How to clean grout in floor tiles – 4 scrub-free methods to save time (and your back)

Say goodbye to grime with these four easy grout-cleaning methods

A birdseye view of kitchen floor tiles
(Image credit: Porcelain Superstore)

Tiled floors are incredibly practical – they are resistant to moisture, easy to clean, and often difficult to damage. The grout, on the other hand, can be a nightmare to keep pristine, especially in high-traffic spots like the kitchen or entryway. 

While it can seem tempting to mop the floors and leave it at that, leaving grime to build up on grout will leave your floors looking tired and could even damage the grout for good. 

Luckily, there are a few cleaning tips for cleaning grout in floor tiles that don’t require scrubbing for hours on your hands and knees. Here, professional cleaners reveal all.  

How to clean grout in floor tiles

The easiest way to deal with grout in floor tiles is to pick large format floor tiles that minimize the size and number of grout lines to clean. If you are stuck with thick grout, however, these four tricks should make cleaning a bit simpler. 

1. Start with a steamer

Quorn Stone limestone floor tiles

(Image credit: Quorn Stone)

Given that it is also the best way to clean shower grout, a good steam cleaner is the simplest way to clean floor grout without having to scrub for yours – and without chemicals too, Katie Lambert, cleaning expert and owner of Clean Queen, Denver, points out:

‘Consider using a steam mop with a grout attachment.  The high heat from the steam can loosen dirt and grime from grout lines effectively, with minimal scrubbing required.

‘I personally like the Shark Steam Pocket Mop, available at Amazon, with the grout cleaner attachment.’ 

2. Make things simpler with a pre-treatment

A kitchen with grey granite floor tiles and a large island with plum bar stools

(Image credit: Future)

To make cleaning grout in floor tiles easier, you can apply a pre-treatment first and let it soak in, especially if you are not using something as high-powered as a steam cleaner, suggests Aylin Davidova, cleaning expert at Fantastic Cleaning.

‘Apply a grout cleaner or solution to the grout lines and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen dirt and stains. It makes it easier to remove stubborn grime later,’ she explains. 

Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener $9.48 at Walmart

Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener $9.48 at Walmart
Zep's Grout Cleaner and Brightener contains strong but safe acids that act as a stain remover for grout lines.

3. Fall back on baking soda

A container of baking soda beside a scrubbing brush

(Image credit: Getty Images)

‘If you prefer natural solutions, cleaning with hydrogen peroxide can be effective too,’ continues Lina DaSilva, founder of Toronto Shine Cleaning. ‘You can mix it with a little bit of baking soda to create a paste and then you apply it directly to the grout, let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then wipe it clean with a cloth.’

4. Try laundry bleach

The Fox group mint green laundry room cabinetry

(Image credit: The Fox Group)

We usually keep our general household cleaning supplies and laundry products separate. However, Heather Nixon, sustainability and regulatory manager at Bio-D, suggests using oxygen bleach to help whiten and refresh old grout lines in floors.

‘I like to use an eco-friendly Laundry Bleach mixed with a little water,’ she shares. ‘It’s an effective and eco-friendly formula created from plant-based and naturally derived ingredients, meaning it doesn't eat away at grout.

‘It's as simple as using a toothbrush to apply, before leaving for a couple of minutes and rinsing away. 


Does The Pink Stuff clean grout?  

The Pink Stuff can be used to clean grout, but it requires a good amount of scrubbing to get it looking its best. If using The Pink Stuff paste, apply with a toothbrush or fine scrubbing brush and work up and down the line, rinsing away periodically to check your progress.  

Do grout pens really work?  

Grout pens can be great for touching up cracked or discolored grout, but they will not hide dirty spots. You need to clean the grout properly before applying it over damaged areas to ensure it adheres and the discoloration of damage doesn't come back. 

After you have cleaned the grout in floor lines, it can help to reapply a sealant to keep it looking its best, prevent it from cracking, and ensure its longevity, suggests Aylin Davidova, cleaning expert. You don’t need to do this every time you clean your floors, but occasional use helps to repel dirt and other contaminants, making it easier to manage in the future. 

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.