How to clean grout on floor tiles to get rid of stains

Cleaning grout on floor tile with toothbrush
Cleaning grout on floor tile with toothbrush (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re always mopping your tiled floors but they still look dirty, you’ll need to know how to clean grout on floor tiles to get rid of stains. 

Be it the kitchen, bathroom or hallway, these tiled areas encounter a lot of traffic on a daily basis. It isn't any wonder that the grout between the floor tiles pick up dirt, debris or any other grime over time.  What’s more, due to its light coloring and porous material, grout is more likely to stain or have an unsightly, yellowish color. This is often the case in bathrooms where there is a risk of mold or mildew.

While tackling grout on floor tiles may seem tricky, you can easily clean grout using simple household products, a toothbrush and some elbow grease! 

Follow these simple steps on how to clean grout on floor tiles to get rid of stains, and make your tiles look brand new again.

Since you're already in the bathroom, check out how to clean a bathtub, and how to get rid of mold if you're dealing with this kind of stain. Want to keep limescale at bay in your bathroom? Here's 7 ways to prevent limescale in your shower

How to clean grout on floor tiles using baking soda and vinegar

What you'll need

Baking soda

White vinegar


Stiff bristle brush or old toothbrush

Spray bottle

Protective gloves


1. First, mix three parts of baking soda to one part water to create a thick paste. Wearing protective gloves, apply the paste to the grout lines with your finger, making sure it is evenly distributed.

2. Next, create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water before pouring into a spray bottle. Then, spray the baking soda paste with the vinegar solution. This will start a bubbling action which is the chemical reaction needed for the natural cleaning process to begin.  

Baking soda and vinegar

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Once the solution stops bubbling, scrub the grout lines thoroughly with an old toothbrush or bristle brush. This will remove any stains and clean it well.

4. Go over the floor tiles with a clean mop to remove any baking soda and vinegar residue. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

Bear in mind, if your tile is made of natural stone such as marble, travertine, or limestone, do not use vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar may burn, etch or damage the stone. Instead, use warm water and scrub with a brush. 

Cleaning grout with baking soda paste

Cleaning grout with baking soda paste (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to clean grout on floor tiles using lemon and baking soda

1. Similar to the baking soda and vinegar method, mix one part baking soda to three parts lemon juice to create a paste. 

2. Next, apply the paste directly onto the grout lines and leave for 10-15 minutes. 

Lemons and baking soda

Lemons and baking soda (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Then, scrub the grout with a brush before rinsing thoroughly with water. The natural acidity of the lemon combined with baking soda makes a great natural cleaner. It's also handy if you don’t have vinegar on standby! 

Rinsing grout on floor tile

Rinsing grout on floor tile (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to clean grout on floor tiles using bleach

1. Before you start, open your windows to ensure the space is well ventilated. Next, always spot test bleach on a small area of the grout first in case it lightens any colored grouts. 

2. Pour a little neat bleach into a cup, dip an old toothbrush into it before applying directly onto the grout. Scrub the grout and leave for up to 15 minutes. 

Mopping tiled floor

Mopping tiled floor (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3.  Then, rinse the area with a damp cloth or go over with a mop to remove all traces of bleach residue. This method is an ideal option for tackling tough grout stains that can’t be shifted with the above natural methods. 

Alternatively, you could try a cleaning eraser such as Mr Clean Magic Eraser ($5, Amazon). When activated by water, these micro scrubbers are designed to remove tough surface dirt and grime.  

Next: You can also read about how this $3 tool helped me clean my bathroom in seconds.

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!