Easy Floor Tile Grout Cleaner

Don’t you just hate some parts of cleaning?  What’s your least favourite chore?
Mine is cleaning tubs and showers.  And cleaning grout.

Cleaning grout has got to be the worst job ever.  Down on your knobby knees, staring at a dirty floor all by yourself.  It’s a lonely job keeping a house clean!  😉

But it’s got to be done whether we like it or not.  So let’s try to make things a little easier on us hardworking gals (and guys), mkay?!

By now, if you have ever spent any time on Pinterest, I’m sure you all have seen the ever-popular-shower cleaning solution of Dawn & white vinegar?  If you haven’t it’s a miracle really…it’s there every time I peruse…BUT I do have to say that it is AHMAZING.  Ah. Maze. Ing.  Honestly, we have never used a better shower cleaner.  Ever.  Ever.  It works and it’s cheap.  Love it.

So on to the tile grout…

Over the holidays while I was getting ready for all of our guests to come over, I had a look at my tile floors and they gave me the chills.  Ugly.  Dirty grout.  Dirty dirty grout.  How on earth are you supposed to clean grout?  I don’t clean ours regularly.  I mean, I wash the floors, but that’s the extent of cleaning the grout gets most days!  But this time was different, my grout was gross.

And honestly there is no easy way to clean grout that doesn’t require some good old fashioned scrubbing!  But I have discovered that the same solution that we use to clean our showers, also cleans grout.  Really, really well!

Here’s how it all looked (and this grout in our mud room had not been properly cleaned for at least 2 years.  I kid you not):

What You Need:

  • 1 cup Dawn Dish Soap
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 empty spray bottle

Here’s How To:

  • Put the vinegar in the microwave for 1 minute.
  • Add the Dawn soap to the spray bottle.
  • Add the hot vinegar to the spray bottle too.
  • Close the lid tightly, and lightly shake it to get it all mixed together.
Cleaning Your Grout:
  • Note:  Don’t use too much of the solution, or you will be wiping it off of your floors for days!  Remember, a little goes a looooong way here!
  • Lightly spray the solution onto your grout (you don’t need to cover the tiles, just get it in the grout).
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Using a brush of some kind (I use an old toothbrush), give it a scrub.  You won’t have to scrub too hard or for very long, because this cleaning solution just lifts up all the dirt – it’s amazing!
  • Wipe off the cleaning solution with a wet cloth, then wash your floors well with plain hot water to get rid of any soap residue.
Things to Note:
  • Like I mentioned before, don’t use too much of this solution!!  Or your floors will have a soapy residue left on them!  Use the solution sparingly.
  • I realize that this method likely isn’t practical for large tiled areas!  I use it in my bathroom and mud room, so the size of the rooms are manageable.
  • You can use this solution in your shower or tub too!  Just spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub off.  It’s the best.  I always have a bottle made up and ready to go.
Also, please note:  you DO NOT need to heat the mixture every time you use it.  Just when you are making your original batch – this is just to make sure that the soap and the vinegar mix together thoroughly!


So who knows, maybe I inspired you to clean your grout?  haha  Ok, maybe not, but keep this little tip in the back of your mind the next time you realize you have some dirty, dirty grout on your hands.  😉

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I hope you found this grout cleaning tip useful!  

If you are interested in more kitchen tips and organizing here are some previous posts that I have written!  Just click on the titles… 







Have a great day!


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    1. just be careful vinegar is acetic acid,in can damage the grout,so easy does it.I would maybe cut the percentage down and use a softer brush.Test a small area,make sure you rinse,don’t leave this sitting on the grout too long.just my 2 cents

  1. Jo-Anna, does the solution have to be “heated” each time it is used, or kept warm the whole time using it? Thanks. “Just Me”

    1. Good question! No you just have to heat it up the one time – it’s just to make sure the mixture is combined well! I’m going to update my post! Thank you Cindy!

  2. Yes, you actually DID inspire me to clean my grout! I’ve been meaning to in my laundry for the longest time. It’s definitely overdue. Not that there aren’t many other areas in my home that could benefit. I’m also going to give it a go on the glass in my bathroom shower. Thanks for this helpful tip, I hadn’t seen it before. Just goes to show that if it’s good, it’s worth repeating! I’m pinning it to my cleaning tips board. Enjoy the rest of your week!


  3. I’m soooo going to have to try this Jo-Anna! I have a tile counter and tables with tiled tops.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!

  4. I have tried the Dawn and Peroxide mixture and it took out an AWFUL set in stain that I thought would NEVER come out. I’ve been meaning to try this and I will! I read over on One good thing with Jillee about an all purpose vinegar cleaner for counters too. When my store bought cleaner runs out I will try this! Thanks!

    1. Oh I’ll have to remember that Dawn/Peroxide trick! I also use vinegar to clean all my counters and bathrooms…it’s such a great cleaner!
      Happy Cleaning!

    1. Hi Pat!
      I’m not sure if it would work with any other dish soap…I’ve only ever seen Dawn being used, so it’s the only one I’ve tried.

  5. I’m pinning this one! Having a craft party at my house in a couple of weeks and I really need to clean my tile. Thanks for forcing me to do it! LOL!

  6. Hi all,
    Since our son has asthma and I have eczema, I use “green” products . Jo-Anna (or anyone else) – do you know if this would work with any dish soap or just Dawn?
    Before I make up a bottle, I thought I’d ask.

    1. I’ve only ever done this with Dawn, but I see in the next comment a reader used Palmolive Oxy and it worked for her!
      Good luck!

  7. I tried this with Palmolive Oxy [since it was all I had on hand…] and it worked! I was skeptical at first since I didn’t see much results, and only did a few grout lines [it took a bit of scrubbing with a tooth brush!] but once it was all washed off and dried…I walked into my kitchen and you could actually pick out which ones were cleaned! Now I really have to do the rest of it all to match the areas I tried since they stand out so much.

  8. Stopping in from the Dog Days of Winter Clean It link up. I have been looking for a grout cleaner for our bathroom and this might be it. Thanks for linking this up.
    -Cate from Random Crafty Georgia Girl

  9. My wife wanted our kitchen counters and floor to be re-grouted, so I was going to do just that. I learnt about NuGrout from a buddy of mine who agreed to help me with the re-grouting. Boy am I glad I asked him to help me out. The NuGrout cleaner and Pre-treat products worked wonders! It appears as if we have a brand new kitchen. We even used the products to clean our bathrooms. Don’t hesitate to check them out at http://www.nugrout.com/

  10. Cleaning the grout, tubs and showers are my least favorite too when it comes to doing household chores. The dirt is just so hard to remove at times that it may take you a couple of hours just to get rid of it. All this tips will definitely be noted! I’m going to try your solution the next time i clean the bathroom.

  11. It’s totally effective! It has been my problem for some years now and i can’t seem to find a solution to get rid of the dirt. I’m definitely trying this. I have been looking for ways and i’m really glad to have stumbled upon this post. I’m cleaning the bathroom in a while with your solution.

  12. Everyone wishes to maintain their home tiles and grout to be clean and neat but fails to do. With the help of professional cleaners we can maintain our home tiles and grout clean. They take proper measurement to clean the tiles as they clean with extract hot water at high pressure.

  13. Just wondering if Dawn is a must. I live in AUS and we don’t have that brand. Is it for its grease cutting properties? If so I can substitute the grease cutting brand over here. I am looking forward to trying it. Thanks!

    1. I’m in Sydney and I use Woolies’ dish soap in place of Dawn. Or whatever is on sale. Works fine.

  14. I tried this today and was disappointed. It didn’t get out all the dirt, and I had to scrub a lot more than I was led to believe.

  15. Worked great on a super moldy nasty tile shower. I used a stiff brush along with a tooth brush and elbow grease. Was super nice not having to worry about chemicals on your skin/hair. Thanks much!

  16. Jo-Anna, this is great! But I tweaked the method just a little – I started with a toothbrush on my large dining room/foyer grout. The toothbrush didn’t work well because it was the one that has the longer, softer bristles at the end so they were fraying and the hard bristles weren’t reaching. But I noticed the tile around the grout was looking cleaner, so I switched to a hard bristled scrub brush and am scrubbing the grout first and then spreading the cleaner to the surrounding tiles with the scrub brush. My entire floor is going to look amazing! I even sent a picture to some friends showing the cleaned part next the uncleaned part! Thanks for this trick!

  17. Tile grout is such a mess! I just found out about white vinegar to be more effective than leading stain removers.

  18. Just tried it in my sunroom where an elderly dog likes to sleep and has started some drooling in drips……yuck. I think this may have worked for the writer so well as she mentions not having cleaned it in 2 years!! I regularly scrub the sunroom floor and I tried this grout trick on the rubbed in dirt and really notice much of nothing. I do see that white white grout is showing in splotches so I think JUST vinegar and water next time. The Dawn made this a chore and a half even used sparingly. I have also tried hydogen peroxide without much luck. I have not tried the Baking soda approach or lemons yet. There has to be a better way.

  19. CAUTION – while this method DID clean the tile it was a frightful mess trying to clean up the suds from the Dawn. I spent more time trying to wipe up and thoroughly clean the soap residue up than cleaning the grout. Perhaps the ratio of Dawn to Vinegar should be smaller (?) Also, the residue of soap on the floor, it seems to me, is going to ATTRACT MORE DIRT. I cleaned and steamed and rewashed the floor countless times and it still feels filmy. I bought a tile and grout cleaner/sealer and in less time than it took to do a five-foot section with the Dawn/Vinegar, I did my entire kitchen – with much less scrubbing. The $9.00 purchase was SO worth it.

  20. Do you think this would work in a larger room as well? The grout needs cleaning @ the business I work in & we only have professionals come do it once a yr. I’ve got a few slow nights so, am trying to ready myself for the task.

    1. Yes it would work, but as I mentioned in my post you there are a few things you should be aware of first:

      1. You shouldn’t use too much of this solution or your floors will have a soapy residue left on them!
      2. This method likely isn’t practical for large tiled areas! I use it in my bathroom and mud room, so the size of the rooms are manageable for the clean up after.
      So for a large area, I would exercise caution.


  21. Ditto to what Patty Keller said. Getting all of the soap off is going to take forever, and I used it sparingly and only on the grout. I’m not sure it was worth it.

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