Explore our article library of tips and how-to guides.

Looking for your next DIY project? Perhaps you need some inspiration on how to make your house a home? Our growing library of how-to guids, DIY tutorials, and home improvement articles are here to guide you through your DIY adventures.

Ready to get started? Browse and shop our online catalog with 70,000 products for your next home renovation or visit us in store.

Home Maintenance

How To: Freshen Up Your Grout Lines (for $2 or less!)

How To: Freshen Up Your Grout Lines (for $2 or less!)

Why is it so hard to keep grout clean?

Grout is porous and usually a lighter color, so it can be challenging to keep it looking clean and prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Even though you regularly clean your floors, bathroom tiles and backsplash tiles, mold and mildew can quickly turn grout dark in moist conditions. Rough River Hardware suggests the following solution to freshen up your grout lines.

Materials needed to refresh grout

You can clean your grout with products you already have at home, plus a little elbow grease and a stiff bristle brush. Your grout should start looking cleaner in days. The best part is that you don’t need to use cleaners with harsh chemicals to clean your grout lines.

Start by using one of the choices below, and then move to combinations of these ingredients and solutions if you find you need more strength to clean stubborn dirt or mildew.

  • Baking soda – Scrub the grout with a hard bristle brush after applying baking soda and water with a sponge. Wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Salt – Take advantage of salt to freshen your grout. Leave it on overnight so the salt can gradually lift the dirt from the grout.
  • White vinegar – White vinegar is an effective cleaning agent, but it can damage certain finishes so test it first on a hidden area. Pour some vinegar onto the grout, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a firm brush.
  • Citric acid – Citric acid is also very good at removing grout, but it’s best not to use near granite and marble. Use a hard bristle brush to scrub the grout after letting the citric acid soak in for a few minutes.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray your grout and leave it for one hour. Rinse the area with water and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
  • Epsom salts – Did you know that the Epsom salts you use to soothe your muscles after strenuous exercise also work well to clean grout? Rub the Epsom salts into the grout with a damp cloth, leave it overnight and wipe it the next morning with a clean cloth.
  • Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide solution recipe – Mix together: 1/2 cup baking soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon dish soap. Apply the mixture to the grout and let sit for ten minutes. Gently scrub with a damp cloth. The baking soda combined with the hydrogen peroxide will help to extract dirt from the grout while cleaning.
  • Baking soda and vinegar solution recipe – Mix together: one cup of warm water, baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Pour white vinegar along the edges of the grout lines. Pour baking soda mixture along grout lines. Scrub grout lines with a hard bristle brush. Leave the mixture on the grout lines for five minutes. Scrub the grout lines a second time. Remove any remaining vinegar mixture with a sponge. Let the cleaned area air dry for approximately 45 minutes.
  • Grout knife – If you are dealing with stubborn stains on your grout, you can use a grout knife to gently remove the soiled top layer of grout.
  • Another method for serious grout stains, mold and mildew, is bleach or a bleach pen. Be sure to open the windows for ventilation when using bleach products. Take extra care not to let any bleach on your porcelain or any stone surfaces to prevent staining and pitting.

Seal your grout

To prevent future staining and mold or mildew, seal your grout with grout sealer. It takes a few hours to dry thoroughly, and then you need to apply a second coat, so allow yourself at least a morning or afternoon for this DIY project.

New grout? Prevent mold and mildew from the start!

If you have just installed new tiles and grout, you can help prevent mildew and mold from forming by applying a grout sealer 10 to 14 days after it has cured.

Regular cleaning of your grout is key to keeping it looking fresh and new. Vacuum floors rather than sweeping with a broom to remove dirt that often becomes trapped in grout.

If you need more information or have questions, visit Rough River Hardware. Our team is always ready to help you with what you need. We're here to assist you in any way we can.

Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.