How To Green Clean the Grout In Your Bathroom

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

Grout is no fun. The word even sounds unhappy. And the bright white stuff shows Every. Little. Blemish. It's porous, hard to get to, easily stains—the list goes on. But fret not, here we have it: some helpful tips to make your least favorite chore a little more bearable.

What You Need


  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Spray bottle
  • Grout brush or scrub brush (a toothbrush works as well!)
  • Small bowl


Step 1: Start with vinegar.

Fill your spray bottle with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water and spray the work area generously. Let the solution sit for about five minutes, then follow up with a grout brush or a scrub brush. If you don't have one of these, a toothbrush works in a pinch. Rinse with warm water.

Step 2: Add baking soda.

In a small bowl, make a paste with baking soda and water. Dip your toothbrush or grout brush in the paste and work it into the grout. Spray the area with your vinegar + water solution. The vinegar will cause the baking soda to bubble up and will start to work away that nasty soap scum. Use your brush and get all the way into the grout lines to remove buildup. Rinse with warm water.

Got really tough grout stains? Try hydrogen peroxide:

If you've got visible stains, mold or mildewed grout, hydrogen peroxide is a game changer. Spray it on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes then go to work on it with your scrub brush of choice. You might have to repeat this step a few times if you've got a tough stain. If repeated efforts still aren't making the stain disappear, try making a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste. Apply the paste to the grout lines, let sit, scrub and rinse with warm water.

Here's how to keep your grout looking good:

The best way to save yourself from the dreaded grout scrubbing experience? Spray down your shower with a 1:1 vinegar and water mix before you get out of the shower. Clearly label a spray bottle "Shower Spray" (set it up high, out of the reach of kids if that's an option) and keep it in the shower. You don't have to spray religiously; 2-3 times each week will make a major difference and you'll find yourself four inches away from your shower walls a lot less often!

Note: I found my hydrogen peroxide in a super handy spray bottle at Walgreens and keep it in my cleaning bucket. It was a bit more expensive than a regular ol' screw top bottle, but it's so convenient I find myself using it in place of other not so green cleaners—and THAT is worth it to me! I keep larger bottles on hand to refill it after it's run out.

Edited from an original post by Amber Byfield published on February 3, 2011

More great tips and tutorials: Cleaning Basics

(Image credits: Ashley Poskin)