How to Clean Grout with Natural Ingredients

There are a variety of grout cleaning options out there. From using bleach to scrubbing simply with warm water and a whole lot in between, the opinions on the best way to clean tile grout is varied to say the least. This tutorial will show how to clean grout using only basic, natural ingredients: baking soda and diluted white vinegar. For me, this method was easy and did provide a slightly cleaner result after one application, although the regular or frequent use of vinegar on grout is argued as being abrasive in the long term.

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Materials Needed:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar + water in a spray bottle
  • Small disposable container
  • Cleaning toothbrush
  • Clean rags
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

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Begin by pouring some baking soda into your disposable container. You’ll be creating a baking soda paste with water.

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Pour a little water into the baking soda until you’ve added enough to create a paste-like consistency. I found a 3:1 baking soda to water ratio to be about right, but feel free to play around with this. A little water goes a long way.

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Use the end of your cleaning toothbrush handle to stir up the paste.

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When you’ve got a consistency that is moist but not runny, you’re ready to go.

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Apply the paste onto your grout with the toothbrush bristles.

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Let the paste sit there a minute while you get your vinegar + water solution ready.

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Mix vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio in your spray bottle.

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Spray the vinegar + water directly onto your baking soda pasted grout. Be generous with the vinegar solution; you’ll want it to reach clear down into your baking soda paste to react at the grout surface. It will foam up a bit, which is kind of fun to watch. (And/or it will make you realize you need to get out more.)

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Let the vinegar solution sit on the baking soda for a few minutes while it foams up. This is actually the cleaning, lifting power of this natural ingredient method of grout cleaning.

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Rinse out your toothbrush, and use it to scrub the vinegar solution and paste on your grout. Celebrate when you see the paste turning a bit dingy; this is just the cleaner doing its job!

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Wet then wring out a rag with damp water, then begin wiping up the cleaner when you’ve completed scrubbing.

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You’ll probably need to rinse and wipe multiple times to remove all the paste and vinegar from your grout. (Bonus: This method quickly turns into tile and grout cleaning – not just grout cleaning – as you do this step.)

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Let the grout dry to see how well it cleaned.

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As you can see from my results, the grout is cleaner, although not dramatically so. (It actually looks more apparent in real life than in these photos.)

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Some stains were lightened but still apparent. I like the idea of using natural ingredients that I have on-hand for cleaning, and this was actually a fun way to get the grout clean, especially with all the foam and bubbles and what not. What’s your favorite tip for how to clean grout?