cleaning/ In The Home

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.  😉

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

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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  • Shannon Fox
    January 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Love clean grout! Sure turned out super :))) Looks great!!

    • thomas lewis
      December 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      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

  • Diana Rambles
    January 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Pinned! Want to try this out!

  • nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma
    January 15, 2013 at 6:41 PM


    The grout in my main bathroom is from 1938. It’s hideous. If this works…I’m sending you a gift.


  • Cindy
    January 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    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”

    • Jo-Anna
      January 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      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!

  • nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma
    January 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM


    While I wrote my last comment to you, my husband was rotting up said ancient bathroom’s tub. I cleaned it up the hot mess with your recipe, and it saved me an hour of scrubbing.


    • Jo-Anna
      January 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Woot woot!

  • Amycha
    January 16, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    I really need to try this. I haven’t cleaned my grout in several years and cringe when I think about it. Thank you!!

  • Buttons
    January 17, 2013 at 5:45 AM

    Oh I am going to try this Thank you. B

  • Debbie
    January 17, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    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!


  • Christine
    January 17, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    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!

  • Laurie @ Simply Creating Home
    January 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Your cleaned grout looks amazing! I have tile coutertops in my bathroom and have tried everything, other than replacing the grout, to get it clean. I can’t wait to try this! I’ll be pinning!

  • Cottage Sweet Cottage
    January 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    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!

    • Jo-Anna
      January 22, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      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!

  • pat
    January 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Great mixture. Worked for me!!!

    • Jo-Anna
      January 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Love that! Yay!

  • Pat
    January 21, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Does it have to be Dawn or would any liquid dish detergent work?

    • Jo-Anna
      January 22, 2013 at 8:50 AM

      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.

  • Christine
    January 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    You have been featured at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!! Come on over and grab your featured button, you deserve it 🙂

  • Jeanette
    January 22, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    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!

  • Janet
    January 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Thanks for the great tip!

  • Sue
    January 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    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.

    • Jo-Anna
      January 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      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!

  • Andrea
    January 24, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    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.

    • Jo-Anna
      January 26, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Love it!

  • Kayden Curtis
    January 26, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    I had this grout cleaning problem too, so I got to try it and guess what.. it really works! Thanks Jo-anna!

  • Jo-Anna
    January 26, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Excellent! I’m happy to hear it!

  • upholstery cleaning melbourne
    February 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    A friend recommended me to this resource. Thanks for the details.

  • samdaniel
    February 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    You have shared such an informative post which would be very useful about cleaning and sealing grout . It is very helpful for every one who want to clean tiles and grout. Thanks for sharing such information and keep posting.

  • Cate
    February 25, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    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

  • Richard Black
    May 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    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

  • Lindsey W. Overturf
    June 11, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    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.

  • Jamie J. Corn
    June 30, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    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.

  • Brian
    July 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    This is a great idea! Thanks!

  • upholstery cleaning melbourne
    August 14, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    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.

  • Gen B
    September 4, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I don’t understand why it didn’t work for me…. Am I the only one?

  • bills8091
    September 6, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    That looks like it works great. I have been looking at tile and grout cleaning in Cape Coral, FL. I am really impressed with this one.

  • Dina
    September 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    This mixture works fantastic & not expensive. Thank you for sharing

  • Orville
    October 2, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    I am actually grateful tto the owner of this web
    site who has shared this fantastic piece of writing at at this place.

    • Ken
      January 8, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Does clean grout that has mold?

  • decorative tiles
    February 8, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    I was able to find good information from
    your articles.

  • Kristin
    March 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    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!

    • Jennifer
      April 1, 2014 at 4:53 PM

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

  • Lane
    March 18, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I have a home with mostly tile. Why isn’t this solution good for large areas?

  • Lindsey
    April 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    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.

  • Dave
    April 6, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    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!

  • Diane
    May 6, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    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!

  • Artsy
    June 18, 2014 at 8:39 PM

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

  • Lesley
    June 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    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.

  • Marcia
    June 29, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    It did not work for me either. Back to trying the baking soda and peroxide.

  • Aps
    October 6, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    it works for me! thank you for the advice

  • Deb
    December 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Grout! How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Thanks for the tip. Going to give this a try.:-)

  • Lindsey
    January 26, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    THANK YOU!!! This was great! My tile grout in my kitchen is finally clean!

    • Jo-Anna@APrettyLife
      January 29, 2015 at 2:03 PM

      You are so welcome! I’m very happy it worked for you too!

    February 3, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    OMG! I had no idea that I can use so simple products in order to make a tile cleaner. Thanks a lot for sharing! Barking Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  • Abel Lozano
    February 7, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Awesome tip and job Ill give it a try and recommend this to customers.

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  • Patty Keller
    March 28, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    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.

  • Jessica
    March 28, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    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.

    • Jo-Anna@APrettyLife
      March 30, 2015 at 9:18 AM

      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.


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  • Kristy
    May 23, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    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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