Ceramic Tile Grout Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

woman cleaning tile grout with a power tool

Ceramic tile grout is vulnerable to problems if not kept clean. Bathroom ceramic tile grout can get mildewed and moldy. In the kitchen, ceramic tile grout is susceptible to food stains, in addition to the dirt and grime that is tracked onto floor grout.

Combat Everyday Dirt

You should wipe, mop, or sponge ceramic tile grout with water on a daily or at least weekly basis to remove surface debris, dirt, and soap film.

blue tiles with dirty grout between them

Advance Cleaning for Color Grout

To treat heavy mildew, mold, grime, dirt, and stains, you can make cleaning solutions from common household products like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

You can also create a paste from baking soda and water. Spread the paste over ceramic tile grout, allowing it to sit for a couple of minutes. Rinse it with water and dry it with paper towels.

You could also try mixing a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the grout. Let it stay on the ceramic tile grout for 15 minutes. Wipe it off with water and dry. For stubborn stains, add baking soda to the hydrogen peroxide mixture and wait until the bubbling stops. Then apply the cleaner and gently scrub the grout with a brush.

Cleaning White or Light Ceramic Tile Grout

Bleach is good for eliminating mildew and mold as well as removing stains. Add bleach to a bucket of water and use a sponge to apply to the grout. Alternatively, you can put a bleach and water mixture into a spray bottle and then apply it to the grout. Let the cleaner sit for 10 minutes, rinse, and dry.

Warning: Always have windows and doors open for ventilation when using bleach. Wear rubber gloves, eye protection, and old clothes when working with bleach. Bleach should not be used on colored ceramic tile grout because it can wear the color away.

a gloved hand cleaning grout between tiles with a brush

Specialized Ceramic Tile Grout Cleaners

If home cleaning solutions can’t get rid of problem stains, you may have to purchase special cleaners made specifically for cleaning tile grout. You can find these cleaners at hardware stores. Ceramic tile experts suggest that after the cleaner is used on the grout and rinsed with water, the dirty water should be vacuumed up with a wet/dry vacuum machine. Repeat the rinsing and vacuum again.

Avoid Acid-base Products

Avoid cleaning products that have an acid-base because they can eat away at ceramic tile grout. When a heavy-duty, acid-based cleaner is needed, closely follow the recommended application instructions.

New ceramic tile grout needs time to cure, so don’t use any cleaners until the appropriate time passes. Grout that is not properly cured is susceptible to crumbling and attracting dirt.

Maintaining Ceramic Tile Grout

Seal grout to keep it from mildew, mold, staining, and collecting dirt. There are different sealers for different grout areas such as bathroom, kitchen, or floor. Remember that ceramic tile grout must be completely dry before using the sealer.

It takes a little elbow grease, but the tips for ceramic tile grout cleaning and maintenance will keep your floors in tip-top shape. Don't forget that everyday care will make things easier down the road.