Keeping your grout clean is a fantastic way to have a sparkling kitchen and bathroom, whether your grout is colored or neutral to match the rest of your home’s decor. But to have sparkling spaces, you need to have the right and most effective cleaning tools and products in your cabinets. After researching and testing, we determined the best grout cleaners are easy to apply and work on a variety of stains and messes.
Having the right tools is also an important aspect of cleaning. Krissia Garcia, CEO, and founder of KrissKlean says her team uses “sponges, scrub brushes, pot and pan brushes, or grout brushes” to achieve the right clean.
Our top pick, Grout-Eez Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner, works on white and colorized grout and tackles even heavy messes. Notably, it also comes with a scrubbing brush, one of the tools that Garcia’s team uses when cleaning grout.
Here are the best grout cleaners for freshening up your living space.
Grout-Eez Professional Strength Tile & Grout Cleaner
Very effective and cleans quickly
Safe for any color grout
Safe for porcelain and ceramic
Scrub brush included
Not safe for natural stone
This heavy-duty grout cleaner can return your grout to a sparkling clean even if it has been stained for years, which is why it’s our top pick. It picks up grease and grime, two things that can be common culprits in the kitchen and on tile floors. The formula works on tile and grout, including porcelain and ceramic too. All you need to do is spray it on, let it sit for around five minutes, and scrub.
Depending on the amount of dirt and grime, the cleaning task may take some scrubbing or be as simple as wiping the cleaner away. Our tester noted that the nozzle design is not the most helpful for cleaning grout on walls, as well, but loved the results. “Because there is a substantial amount of surface area in our shower, we can’t say that our arms didn’t fatigue with scrubbing,” she said. “But 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.”
Notably, the formula works on both white grout and colorized grout. While it works on most surfaces, it isn’t safe for natural stone. Because it comes in a spray bottle, you can use it on the grout lines of natural stone tile and aim for those specific areas. It has a slightly strong scent as well, which you will likely pick up on quickly—our tester noted that it was pretty powerful. While not totally unpleasant, anyone sensitive to chemical-based scents may find the cleaner’s scent is too powerful.
Ultimately, whether you are cleaning in a small, enclosed area, such as a bathroom or shower, or a large one, it’s best to ventilate while using this cleaner and follow the safety guidelines that are noted on the packaging. Crack open a window and wear protective eye gear and gloves, so the cleaner doesn’t come in contact with your eyes or skin.
The Grout-Eez grout cleaner does use some harsher chemicals than the eco-friendly alternatives. For that reason, it may not be the best choice for food prep areas, such as kitchen countertops. It is ideal for backsplashes behind the stove or entryway floors that see a lot of mud and dirt. The included scrub brush can attach to any standard-sized mop or broom for use on the floor and larger areas, as well, and is angled to get into corners and grout lines.
All in all, this is a super effective and versatile product that includes the tools you need to get your cleaning task done.
Price at time of publish: $22
Type: Spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Ceramic, porcelain, and grout
Goo Gone Grout & Tile Cleaner
Works on a variety of surfaces
Cleans mold and mildew stains
Not for marble, limestone, or travertine
Contains chemical fragrance
This affordable grout cleaner works on so many surfaces that it’s a no-brainer to include it in your cleaning arsenal. While it isn’t as effective in every situation as a professional-strength option, the chemicals are less harsh. You can use it on grout, ceramic, porcelain, fiberglass, and natural stone. It is also safe for white and colorized grout. The only surfaces you should not use Goo Gone cleaner on are limestone, travertine, and marble.
The grout cleaner cleans up mold and mildew stains, as well as common dirt and grime from things like soap scum, hard water, and shampoo. The formula is also certified as a safer choice for your health and the environment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Benzenesulfonic acid sodium salts and alcohol are the two main cleaning agents. It also includes chemical fragrance, which you should absolutely keep in mind if you are sensitive to fragrances.
Price at time of publish: $11
Type: Spray | Amount: 28 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Grout, ceramic, porcelain, fiberglass, and natural stone
Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner
Safe for many surfaces
Uses all-natural ingredients
Scent from essential oils
Requires more scrubbing
Can’t use on brass, wood, marble, granite
Finding an effective, eco-friendly cleaner for bathroom tile and grout can be tricky. But, this Better Life option uses safe ingredients, including coconut, corn, and citrus-based cleaners, as well as essential oils for fragrance. The formula does not include alcohol, petroleum-based solvents, synthetic fragrances, dyes, chlorine, or bleach. If you have kids and pets in your home, this is an ideal choice.
The only downside? Expect to do a bit more scrubbing with this formula. Fortunately, it is safe to use on porcelain, ceramic, grout, stainless steel, fiberglass, acrylic, and chrome. That means you can use the same cleaner on most of your bathroom and kitchen fixtures, as well as the tile and grout. Just steer clear of brass, granite, marble, and wood.
Price at time of publish: $14
Type: Spray | Amount: 28.6 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Porcelain, ceramic, grout, stainless steel, fiberglass, acrylic, and chrome
Best for Shower
Soft Scrub Gel Cleanser with Bleach
Disinfects and cleans
Easy to apply
Works for a variety of surfaces
Need to monitor how long it is on the surface before rinsing
The Soft Scrub gel cleaner works on tile, grout, glass, and countertops, making it an ideal choice to use on every surface of your shower and bathroom. Rather than switching back and forth between different products, you can take care of all of your cleaning with just one easy-to-apply gel. It disinfects while it cleans, making it ideal for bathrooms and areas that get a lot of use.
To use it, apply the gel directly onto the surface and let it sit for up to one minute. Keep in mind that this formula includes bleach, so you don’t want to let it sit for very long, or it may damage the finish. In addition, as with any cleaners that contain bleach, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions to ventilate the area. You’ll want to wear protective gloves, keep the bleach away from your eyes and skin, and make sure to never mix the cleaner with another, as the result can be extremely hazardous.
In addition, always test the cleaner on a small area first to make sure it won’t scratch or discolor the tile or countertop. Once it has lifted the stain, you can rinse it away with the shower head or a spray bottle of water.
Price at time of publish: $24
Type: Gel cleanser | Amount: 28.6 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Tile, countertops, glass, and grout
Best for Floors
Black Diamond Ultimate Grout Cleaner
Great to remove dirt and grease
Comes in multiple sizes
Safe for marble
No scrubbing usually needed
Not good for hard water stains
This cleaner works for a variety of surfaces and grout applications, but it gets a special shoutout for its effectiveness on floors. Our tester noted that the acid-free formula was gentle yet powerful in her cleaning endeavors and had a mild smell. You’ll want to put on protective gloves and eye protection, as noted by the directions. In addition, it’s key to consider how much of the grout cleaner you expect to need to tidy up your high-traffic areas or shower tiles.
The cleaner comes in one-quart, one-gallon, and four-gallon sizes. If you have to tackle a large area, this is a big perk when it comes to saving time and money. (You will need to have a separate spray bottle if you purchase the larger refill, however.) Once you’re into cleaning, you’ll notice that the cleaner typically doesn’t require much scrubbing, but you may want to have a brush on hand to work it into the grout to lift up stubborn stains. In the case of our tester, they also reached for a soft sponge to finish a cleaning task in their shower.
“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,” she said. “The whole cleaning process took about 30 minutes. Black Diamond worked better than anticipated, and we might even agree with its self-proclaimed classification as the ‘ultimate’ cleaner.”
The formula is notably safe for many types of surfaces, including grout and tile. It can even work on natural stone, including marble. It can also effectively remove dirt, grime, soap scum, and pet accidents, which is particularly great for pet owners who are looking to spruce up their floors. However, it is not effective on calcium deposits from hard water or water spots. It is best for dirt and grease, common on tile floors and in high-traffic areas.
Price at time of publish: $20
Type: Spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Ceramic, porcelain, marble, and grout
Best for White Grout
ZEP Grout Cleaner and Brightener
Brightens as well as cleans
Safe for white or colorized grout
Easy to apply
Acid lifts stains quickly
Not good for many surfaces
Liquid can spread
If you want to give your white grout a pick-me-up, the ZEP grout cleaner and brightener is a great option. You can pour the liquid right on the grout and scrub to get it into the stains. Then, rinse or wipe away. ZEP recommends resealing your grout after use since the cleaner can eat away at the previous sealant. Resealing also helps the brightening last longer.
Now, the cleaner does use acid to lift stains and clean, so it’s best to test it on a small area to make sure it won’t scratch or discolor your grout or tile. It is safe for colorized grout but may not be the best choice for all surfaces, especially natural stone. Marble, terrazzo, travertine, natural stone, chrome, stainless steel, brass, and Corian can all be damaged easily. If you do use this cleaner on grout near these surfaces, make sure to tape off the areas you do not want to be touched with a tape that seals well since the liquid formula can spread.
Price at time of publish: $31
Type: Liquid | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Grout, ceramic, and porcelain
Best for Natural Stone
Granite Gold Grout Cleaner Spray with Brush
Brush is safe for natural stone
Can also be used on granite, ceramic, and porcelain
No harsh chemicals
This cleaner is specially formulated for natural stone and other household surfaces, including granite, quartz, other natural stones, glass, ceramic, porcelain, and grout. It also comes with a brush that can be used to work the cleaner into natural stone without scuffing or scratching the surface. The formula does not include phosphate, ammonia, harsh fragrances, or acids, so you can use it in the kitchen without worry. It is still a good idea to thoroughly rinse surfaces after cleaning, though.
The cleaner is a bit expensive and comes in a smaller size than many others. It may require more scrubbing and agitating to get the same results as cleaners that use harsher chemicals to lift up stains and dirt, too. For the best results on heavily soiled surfaces, let the cleaner soak for a few minutes before using the included brush.
Price at time of publish: $10
Type: Spray | Amount: 24 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Granite, quartz, other natural stones, glass, ceramic, porcelain, and grout
Best for Mold
Home Armor Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover
Removes odors from mold
Requires very little scrubbing
Uses strong chemicals
Not safe for unsealed grout and porous surfaces
This powerful cleaner from Mold Armor gets rid of stains and grime. It also gets rid of the odors that mold leaves behind. After using it, you are left with sparkling clean grout and tile without any scrubbing. Our tester noted that they actually thought it helped with mold and mildew prevention. "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 re-development," she said. To use the cleaner, just let the formula sit for a few minutes and wipe it away, along with the dirt and mold stains.
The grout cleaner does include bleach in the formula, so make sure that you test a small, inconspicuous area before spraying it all over the tile and grout. The grout should be sealed, and the surface needs to be non-porous to avoid damage or discoloration. Fortunately, sealing your grout is easy and makes it faster to clean overall. Though, you’ll need to take several safety precautions when using the cleaner that is paired with a strong smell. Open any nearby windows, run the bathroom fan, and wear protective gloves and goggles to minimize the impact of the strong chemicals on your home and any contact they can make with your skin and eyes. In addition, follow all safety precautions that you would with other bleach cleaners, including never mixing the product with another.
The cleaner should dissipate after you wipe it away, but rinse with water after you are done. That’s a great practice with bleach-based products.
Price at time of publish: $13
Type: Spray | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Safe for Use On: Sealed grout and non-porous surfaces
Best Cleaning Brush
Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber
Comes with two bristle heads
Grout head designed for small areas and corners
Brush oscillates quickly
Requires little manual labor
Not good for large areas
The rotating bristle head of this Rubbermaid scrubber takes the work out of cleaning your tile and grout. It oscillates 60 times per second and functions like an electric toothbrush for your grout. It has two brush heads, including one specifically designed for grout, with a pointed tip that can get into corners. You can also choose between a pulse setting and a continuous scrub setting.
It is a bit pricey, considering it is just a fancy, battery-powered toothbrush. You could use a worn-out toothbrush and get similar results for just pennies. However, the time and effort that using this powered version saves is worth it to many. It may not be the most efficient way to scrub an entire shower or bath, but it will do the job for stained and dirty grout and be your best friend when spot-cleaning.
Price at time of publish: $25
Type: Brush | Amount: 1 | Safe for Use On: Grout lines, corners, crevices, and tight spaces
Our top pick is the Grout-Eez Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner. It works on most surfaces and is easy to use with the spray bottle and included brush. It is also highly effective, as noted by our tester, and requires very little scrubbing. For a more affordable and milder option, consider the Goo Gone Grout & Tile Cleaner. It is certified by the EPA as a safer choice for your health and the environment and works on almost every tile and grout surface, including most natural stones.
What to Look for in a Grout Cleaner
If you are cleaning large areas, such as tile floors or showers, you will need plenty of grout cleaner to get the job done. Smaller jobs, such as touching up the grout only, only require a few ounces and can be done quickly. Once you find a grout cleaner that works for you, buying in bulk or larger quantities can save you money—and even time running out to the store for a refill!
Formula and Ingredients
Professional-strength grout cleaners often contain harsher chemicals, such as bleach or other disinfectants. With these strong formulas, you need to wear thick gloves, vent the space, and even wear goggles to protect your eyes. You also need to be cautious of pets and kids in your household, who these products may not be safe for, and where you’re hoping to clean. Some cleaners are not suitable for food prep areas. It’s best to read all the directions on the label of your cleaner beforehand, so you can get the most out of it and use the product safely and correctly.
If you want something less abrasive, look for a grout cleaner certified by the EPA to contain safe ingredients, such as salt and alcohol, for cleaning. (Our best budget pick, the Goo Gone Grout & Tile Cleaner, is one of these products.) Eco-friendly ingredients, such as vinegar, are the least bothersome to the natural environment and your body but may require more scrubbing to get the same level of clean.
Grout cleaners come in spray, liquid, and gel form. Sprays are the most common and easy to use, but it is easy to over-spray and cover nearby surfaces. Depending on the material you’re working on and the cleaner, this may cause damage or discoloration. Liquid can be used on its own or to refill spray bottles. Gel is the easiest to control but is often more expensive and not efficient for use on large spaces, like high-traffic floors.
How can you make your grout white again?
Any professional strength cleaner will be effective at lifting stains and making your grout white again. White vinegar is a great all-natural option to clean grout. However, make sure that your grout is sealed or it may become damaged. If your grout is very worn or stained, you may want to replace sections. Sealing it can help your grout stay white longer with regular cleaning.
How do you make your grout cleaner?
Sealing is the best way to protect your grout and keep it clean. After you thoroughly clean the grout, seal it right away. This helps protect the grout and makes it harder for dirt and grime to build up and stain the grout. You will still need to regularly clean the grout, but it should be easier and faster.
Can you use a steam cleaner on grout?
Yes, a steam cleaner is a great way to penetrate old stains and buildup. Depending on the severity, you may be able to wipe away the dirt using just steam. You can also use a steam cleaner and follow up with a cleaning formula and scrub brush for the most stubborn stains and dirt.
How can you tell if grout is sealed?
The easiest way to test if your grout is sealed is to pour a small amount of water on it and observe closely. If the water beads up, the grout is sealed. If the water penetrates the grout, usually observed by the grout darkening in color, it is not sealed. It is possible for sealed grout to wear over time and no longer provide the same layer of protection. In this case, it will look like unsealed grout and need to be resealed.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. She has renovated multiple homes, tackling old grout as well as installing and sealing grout on new tile floors. For this piece, she talked to Krissia Garcia, CEO, and founder of KrissKlean, about the best tips and tricks to clean hard-to-reach areas that get a lot of wear, such as grout.