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Not only can grout stains look gross, but they can also be the result of mold, mildew, and other substances you definitely don’t want lurking in your house. But of course, grout cleaning is generally not the top of your to-do list for the week. Fortunately, there are cleaners out there to help you get stains out of grout and, even better, help them from forming in the first place.
When looking for a good grout cleaner, you'll want to make sure it's appropriate for the type of tile you have in the room you'll be working in and make sure it's a strong enough formula for the level of stains you're trying to clean. Finally, think about your preferred application style—do you want a spray that can easily be wiped down or do you mind using a pen or gel to get precise application? Each type has a benefit, so it comes down to personal preference and how dirty your grout is.
Here are the top grout cleaners to leave your grout looking better than ever.
Best Overall: Clean-eez Cleaning Products Grout-Eez Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner
Type: Liquid spray | Amount: 3 fluid ounces | Intended Use: Tile and grout cleaner
Concentrated, professional-grade formula
Safe on porcelain and ceramic tiles
Five-minute soaking time
Nozzle design not great for walls
Fumes can be overwhelming
When it comes to grout cleaners, this one from The Floor Guys gets top marks all around. Its name says it all: Grout-Eez. This professional-strength formula is about as easy to use as it gets—just spray it on, wait 10 minutes, then wipe away whatever dirt and grime is lurking in your grout. Grout-Eez is safe for both ceramic and porcelain tile and the only change it will make to the color of your grout is to bring it back to its original color (remember that one?).
It promises to be the strongest grout cleaner you can buy online, working quickly and effectively. A glance at their impressive before-and-after comparison photos makes a convincing argument to give this grout cleaner a try. Grout stains, beware.
"With light-handed brush strokes, grime pilled-up and dispersed down the wall. After just one pass, all of the rust-colored stains were easily lifted and the tiles looked almost like they did when we first moved in."—Rachel Ellison, Product Tester
Runner-Up Best Overall: Black Diamond Stoneworks Ultimate Grout Cleaner
Type: Liquid spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Intended Use: Tile and ceramic cleaner
Acid-free solution is safe on marble
Mild scent compared to other formulas
Doesn't work on calcium, mold, or water spots
From Black Diamond, this grout cleaner promises to clean even the grimiest grout, and customers say it delivers on that promise. It attacks grease, oil and soap deposits with a vengeance. The acid-free formula is safe for ceramic, marble, and porcelain tiles. To use, you spray it on, wait for one to three minutes, then use a brush to loosen and rinse it off. It can also be used with a grout steam cleaner for extra cleaning power.
While it’s not designed to remove mold or calcium deposits (you’ll need a separate cleaner for those), many customers say for basic grout stains it’s the best. While it may take a bit of elbow grease to get the product’s full benefit, most agree the results are worth it.
"The dirt and mildew scrubbed away relatively quickly, and when we gave it a final once over with a soft sponge and a few sprays from the shower head, the difference was astounding.."—Rachel Ellison, Product Tester
Best Multi-Purpose: Soft Scrub Gel Cleanser with Bleach
Type: Gel cleanser | Amount: 28.6 fluid ounces | Intended Use: Sink and shower cleaner
Requires minimal scrubbing
Non-abrasive scrub is good for most surfaces
Good for countertops, showers, and toilets
May not fully disinfect
For a cleaner that will leave your grout gleaming and tackle the rest of your house too, customers swear by Soft Scrub With Bleach Gel. The gel formula is great for getting deep into those crevices, and leaves them looking brighter and whiter (that is if they were white before). The bleach in the formula works to kill germs on everything from your kitchen countertops to your shower and toilet.
It’s non-abrasive, so it’s safe for most surfaces, but it’s tough enough to get out tough stains like coffee. To use, you apply, rub and rinse, letting it sit longer for tougher stains. Customers swear by it, saying it leaves grout and other surfaces looking like new.
Best With a Whitener: ZEP Grout Cleaner and Brightener
Type: Liquid spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Intended Use: Floor grout
Safe on white and colored grout
Mild scent compared to other formulas
Not for use on metals, marble, and other natural stones
Can't remove mold, calcium, rust, or limescale
For grout that's lost its anymore, there’s this formula from Zep. A grout cleaner and brightener in one, it promises to have your grout as white as white can be in just minutes, with little to no scrubbing required.
It’s not safe for all surfaces—not recommended for marble, stone, metal or Corian—but it is bleach-free, so you don’t have to worry about it discoloring colored grout. Customers say it works better than expected, doesn’t have an overpowering scent, and that it’s a bargain for the price. One reviewer on Homedepot.com went so far as to say they think it’s underpriced, it works so well.
Best for Showers: Home Armor Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover
Type: Liquid spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Intended Use: Hard, non-porous surfaces
Good for shower mold, mildew, and scum
Helps prevent additional buildup
Requires minimal scrubbing
Very strong chemical smell
Not a good general purpose bathroom cleaner
When it comes to shower grout, you need something tough enough to take on stubborn mold and mildew, like this spray from Home Armor. The bleach-based formula promises to kill them instantly, with no scrubbing required (seriously, no scrubbing), and keeps them from coming back for up to two months. Beyond the grout, you can use it for all your other bathroom cleaning needs, including the shower curtain, toilet and beyond.
Customers are wowed by this product, saying it melts away shower mold, and while it sounds too good to be true, you really don’t have to do any scrubbing. Reviewers call it “amazing,” “magical” and “the best product ever.” Some say the fumes are fairly strong though, so be sure to take precautions when using it.
"After three weeks of daily shower use, the slimy feeling has yet to return on the areas where we used the spray, making us think it’s helping delay new mildew redevelopment."—Suzie Dundas, Product Tester
Best for Kitchen: Krud Kutter KK32 Original Concentrated Cleaner/Degreaser
Type: Liquid spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Intended Use: Kitchen degreaser
Good for cleaning a variety of surfaces
Safer around children and pets
Hardly any scent
Requires a bit of scrubbing
With its no-nonsense name, Krud Kutter is designed to cut through all the crud in your grout and beyond. While it works on almost any surface, including denim, driveways and even engines, it works especially well on the tile found in kitchens because it contains a degreaser. For tile and grout, it's recommended you use the product at full strength, but it should be diluted for use on other surfaces. To use, you spray it on and wipe off, no rinsing required.
"It removed nearly all of the grease, leaving the kitchen cabinets smooth and clean. The Krud Kutter is undoubtedly going to become our primary cleaner for grease stains or cooking build-up."—Suzie Dundas, Product Tester
Best for Floors: TECH 128 oz. Grout Cleaner
Type: Liquid spray | Amount: 128 ounces | Intended Use: Colored grout
Good on all types of grout
Will not bleach colored grout
No chemical fumes and fragrance free
Requires a bit of scrubbing
With the pitter patter of little feet, big feet and those of pets, floor grout can be some of the grimiest in the house. That means you want something tough, but also safe, because, of course, all those feet are precious. TECH grout is 100 percent odorless and 100 percent biodegradable, yet it promises to get out your toughest grout stains. To use, you spray it on, scrub with the included brush, then rinse or mop. No residue is left behind, just grout that looks cleaner and brighter.
Customers say that while it may take a bit of elbow grease to scrub out the stains, the results are worth it.
If you're looking for a fast-acting grout cleaner that will deliver powerful results on even the most stubborn grout stains, the Grout-Eez Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner is perfect for you. But if you want a more basic, acid-free grout cleaner that penetrates grease, oil, and soap stains effectively, pick up the Black Diamond Stoneworks Ultimate Grout Cleaner.
What to Look for in a Grout Cleaner
The most important thing you want from a grout cleaner is, of course, clean grout. How strong of a cleaner you need depends on how dirty your grout is. If you’re just looking to prevent gunk from building up on grout that’s already reasonably clean, then a milder cleaner may be fine. If, however, your grout is covered in tough stains and deposits, you’ll want to choose a stronger one.
Just like there are different types of grout, there are different types of grout cleaner for them. There are those designed specifically for showers or kitchens, while others can be used on any grout. Consider the type of surface surrounding the grout, as well, to make sure a particular type of cleaner is safe for it, as some can damage various types of stone and marble.
You also want to consider how much elbow grease is involved. With some cleaners, you simply spray on then wipe off, while others will take some scrubbing. Grout cleaners also come in sprays, and gels, which may influence your choice depending on your preference.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Julie Evans, a freelance writer who has contributed to The Spruce since 2017. Her work has appeared in several leading publications. To make this list, she considered each pick's strength, type, and application.