Cleaning your grout is a chore we all try to avoid; it’s stubborn, grimy and often a big task to undertake. However, it is an easy way to breathe new life into your home with shiny tiling that looks its best.
If you’re using the best grout cleaner for the job, with a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll be able to shift these stains in no time and give your bathroom or kitchen the facelift it needs.
Often these cleaners will not only clean up your grout but prolong its life with added anti-mould protection to keep it looking pristine for longer.
We’ve scoured the web and found the best grout cleaners, including those tried and tested by us and real people in their homes.
What is grout?
Grout is the hard binding, filler cement used between your tiles. It’s essential for waterproofing your tiles, holding them together and giving them a nice finish.
However, it is also where, as you’ve more than likely experienced, you'll find a build-up of mould. This doesn’t mean you have a dirty home – tiles and grout are typically in enclosed spaces exposed to more moisture, which makes grout, as a more porous material, a susceptible place to find mould growth. Over time they can attract dirt and become discoloured, particularly noticeable against traditional white tiles.
Embedded between the tiles, grout is stubborn to clean but with the right grout cleaner for the job, you can wave goodbye to ugly stains and dark mould.
We’ve done the research and found the best grout cleaners to buy to get your tiles looking as good as new, though some may take a little more elbow grease than others for optimal results!
Best grout cleaners to buy now
Size: 1 litre
Works on: Glazed and unglazed ceramics, slate, quarry tiles, brick, terracotta and stone
How to apply: Dilute solution with water following the bottle recommendations and based on strength needed
Tried and tested review from PUNK rock on Amazon: “I couldn’t be more impressed with this product. I thought the grout staining on my unglazed floor tiles was very severe so initially used the strongest recommended dosage but actually even with just 1 part grout stain remover and 4 parts water, it cleaned it up like it was spilt milk. I didn’t think I’d be able to get the tiles looking like that. 100 per cent happy.”
Size: 500g - 3 pack
Works on: Ideal for stains on saucepans, barbecues, glass, sinks, paintwork and tiles. Removes rust from metal surfaces and marks from hard surfaces
How to apply: Apply using a soft cloth or sponge, rub gently and rinse with clean water
Tried and tested review from Carrie on Amazon: “Excellent product! Bought on recommendation and based on reviews and didn’t disappoint. Cleaned my travertine tile floor with the product and even the grout that had turned black was lifted. Liked so much ordered another 2 pots!”
Works on: Nearly all types of grout between wall tiles, floor tiles and brick
How to apply: Spray ready-to-use cleaner onto the grout and leave to soak for a few minutes. Brush the grout and wipe clean, repeating if necessary
Tried and tested review from Eleanor Weaver, Commercial Content Writer for Yours: "I live in rented accommodation with a bathroom that is fully enclosed without ventilation. While the bathroom fan works hard, we do end up with mould and dirt quickly building up in our bathroom across the floor and shower tiles.
"This was my first try using a grout cleaner and was amazed how quickly it worked! It was a little bittersweet as it was so easy while I'd previously bought supermarket products and failed to remove the mould many times before. This just proves that grout cleaners are designed to really target those stubborn stains and this HG grout cleaner did just the trick.
"As I'd never been able to shift the dirt before I used the spray a couple of times, simply spraying the mix onto the tiles, leaving for 10 minutes before wiping and scrubbing clean with a damp sponge. My tiles and grout aren't pure white so I wasn't expecting gleaming results but was still impressed with what it had picked up.
"Another feature I really liked was the safety latch on the spray bottle which meant there couldn't be any accidents, and that for something that removed my bathroom mould so efficiently, it didn't smell too overwhelming at all. I would definitely recommend."
Works on: Multi-purpose cleaner for ovens, toilets, rust remover, bathrooms, limescale remover, grout cleaner, UPVC, stain remover, tiles, kitchens, hobs, showers, trainers, microwaves, granite and barbecues
How to apply: Moisten a sponge and pick up some paste before brushing onto grout. Create foam by squeezing the sponge and wipe clean with water
Tried and tested review from David and Rachel on Amazon: “I’ve used this to clean the tiles and grout in my shower as well as my oven. It is very easy to use and seems to cut through dirt and grime quite well. There is a peculiar smell but I don’t mind it. My only complaint is that while the sponge gets good and “soapy”, it also breaks apart rather easily. Overall happy with the product and have recommended it to others.”
Works on: Grout and tile
How to apply: Spray solution onto grout, leave for 10 minutes and scrub clean
Tried and tested review from Brian on B&Q website: “I saw mixed reviews on this product and wasn’t too sure but went ahead and ordered some. Our kitchen floor tiles have been down for 14 years and we don’t have a dirty house but the grout was looking a bit tatty. We had tried some other approaches to cleaning the grout without much success. It needs to be left to work for 10 minutes then does need some elbow grease but it works! So ignore any negative reviews, just follow the instructions and put some welly into your scrubbing.”
How to choose the best grout cleaner
Consider what you're cleaning
Before you buy your grout cleaner of choice, make sure it's suitable to use on the tile material you're hoping to clean, and the colour of the grout between your tiles.
The Unibond grout reviver will work wonders if you have white grout and tiling, but naturally, brown or off-white grout won't look good with the white coating on top.
If you're not sure of the material you're cleaning, and it doesn't seem to be a traditional tile, we'd recommend using the LTP Grout Stain Remover or the All For Stone Xtreme Clean Heavy Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner which specifically note their ability to work on a range of surface materials.
Density of the mould
If you've left your mould to stew for a few years or have some tiles that need more than a little TLC, you may want to consider using a more heavy-duty cleaner grout. Whilst all grout cleaners should cut through the grime without you breaking a sweat, you might need to be prepared to put in a little more elbow grease on tougher jobs.
If you have arthritis or weakened joints and hand strength, a ready-to-use spray solution might be best for you for easy application and removal. You can apply and reapply so if the first coat won't shift all the mould, a second application might. If some tougher stains need a little more action, employ the help of a willing friend or family member.
If like our writer you've got poor ventilation in your bathroom, you need to make sure to both wear a mask and think about opting for a grout cleaner that is less intense for the enclosed space. Eleanor used the Ready To Use 500ml HG Grout Cleaner which worked well for this, though you may want to consider a more eco-friendly cleaner if you're concerned that it'll affect your health. Where possible, make sure the space you're cleaning is well ventilated both during and after.
Best way to clean grout
Wipe down the surface first with soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth or pad to remove any surface dirt or soap residue.
Follow the specific instructions given by each supplier and make sure the grout cleaner you use is suitable for the materials you’re cleaning.
Most cleaners can be irritant to the skin so make sure to wear gloves as well as a breathing mask if the area can’t be well ventilated.
But as well as having a good grout cleaner, you’ll need a good brush to take up the mildew and mould. To avoid damaging the tiles, using a bristled brush, like an old toothbrush, is ideal for targeting the spacing of the grout. Likely to be cleaning often? Buy one of these grout cleaning brushes to keep on top of the grime.
What is the best homemade tile grout cleaner?
Want to make your own homemade grout cleaner at home using household ingredients? This video from 'The Old House' shows you how you can create your own grout cleaner using regular ingredients from your cupboards. Certainly worth a try if you want to avoid the use of chemicals or want to try before buying a grout cleaner.
Alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide in place of the vinegar for extra oomph!