Sunday, February 15, 2015

How to Successfully Clean Grout

How to Clean Grout - A Review of the Products & Methods We Used

The best way we found to clean the grout was to paint and seal it. Forget trying to scrub the dirt out of the grout lines 'til your arms fall off. We used this Colorfast Grout Colorant. Below you can see the before and after picture of our kitchen floor.
We've tried a few different ways to clean the grout on our ceramic floors - We've used a steamer (maybe you've seen that method advertised on the shopping channel), and we've even gotten down on our hands and knees and tried to bleach out those ugly dark lines with a toothbrush.
Guess what? The steamer and hard-labor scrubbing methods worked as well, but they were far from what this product did for our floors. Look at the before and after pictures to see the final result.
Our kitchen tile floor was white, but the grout that was initially used by the builder of our house (19 years ago) was a light greyish color. I've always disliked that look - you know, where you see a square.
Before and After Kitchen Grout Cleaning

After researching numerous product options for cleaning our grout, my husband decided to try tile grout paint/sealer. It was a wise choice.
He selected the white grout colorant and carefully followed the instructions that came with the product. 
He put the colorant directly on the light grey grout but prepped the tile grout first according to the instructions
He put two coats and applied them until the tile grout color was nice, white, and clean-looking. Note: you may not need two coats; we just decided to do it.
Also, we had a couple of chips in the white tile squares, and we HATED that look! So, instead of replacing tiles, he simply dabbed the chipped areas with this grout paint.
It also seals the grout simultaneously so that dirt and grime have a harder time penetrating the surface, thus dirtying it up again. 
We've had it on our floors for four months, and it still looks great.
I'm not naive enough to think that this grout paint and sealer will last forever, and I'm sure at some point my husband will have to do a far, so good - and YES, my house has a lot of traffic - 6 people! (four boys!)
So, if you decide to go this route to clean your tile floor grout, select the color you want and follow the directions on the package.
Using a grout colorant close to the actual tile's overall color aids in the tile appearing more like one continuous piece.
In a smaller space, having tiles appear as individual squares can make the room seem even smaller. So the more you can get the floor to look like it flows as one piece, the better the size impression.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. What a good idea, Barbara. Glad it worked so well for you. I like the look of a continuous piece of flooring when using tiles. BTW, would this grout colorant work on those old-fashioned bathroom shower tiles and keep the mildew out? Or would that be a different product?

  2. Pat, our washroom has ceramic tiles - not sure how old fashioned ours are, but they've been there for about 20 years, they're white and my husband did use this process to get rid of the ugly funky black build-up that can happen in the shower - but just to let you know, it didn't last, he had to touch it up a few times, but he doesn't mind doing that (also, we have a lot of people using the shower in the house as well, so if you have only 2 of you, the time it takes for the grout to get dirty again may take longer) - we used this method for the shower cause it was 'easy' in comparison to scraping out all the grout and re-doing the shower grout completely or worse, removing the tiles and putting new ones up - it was a quick fix so to speak (well, sort of quick, it was still work!)

  3. There is white tile in a small bathroom in our home. I have sworn that I will never again have white tile simply because of the grout. Our grout is white, but is easily stained. I have been known to sit in the floor all day before with a toothbrush and baking soda cleaning that grout. It is a job I absolutely hate. I have never tried steaming. That may well be the best solution for us since we started with white grout, but I am going to keep the colorant in the back of my mind too as a consideration. Frankly, I would like to just rip the whole floor up and replace it. Just never high enough on the list of repairs to get first consideration.

    Thank you for the review and much need recommendation!

  4. Cynthia, I totally hear you! We used to get down on our hands and knees and do that to our hallway tile, the steamer is really good for cleaning grout (won't change the color or anything, but it will get the dirt out) - it has a little piece that you can put on the end and you can actually stand up to do it instead of having to be on your knees

  5. Cynthia, if you ever use the steamer just follow the instructions, keep it level so the water doesn't spill into the electrical (common sense I know) but if you're carrying a hot machine upstairs keep it level, don't tip it (just for safety, because the water is very hot!)


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