clock menu more-arrow no yes

The 5 Best Grout Cleaners (2021 Review)

We’ve reviewed five of the best grout cleaners to help you remove dirt, grime, mold, and mildew from your grout and restore it to its original color. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Grout Cleaner iStock

Unlike many surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom, grout can be extremely difficult to clean. Its ingredients are similar to that of mortar, consisting mostly of sand, water, and cement. Its components make it very porous, enabling water, dirt, and grime to seep in and cause discoloration and erosion.

Once dirt and grime penetrates the grout, a regular shower or floor cleaner just isn’t effective enough to pull dirt to the surface for cleaning. In order to properly clean your grout, use a cleaner designed to reach your grout’s pores and remove the dirt that has settled beneath the surface.

To help you determine the best grout cleaner for your needs, the This Old House reviews team personally tested the effectiveness of the five best grout cleaners on Amazon. Here’s what we found.

Best All-Around Grout Cleaner: Black Diamond Ultimate Grout Cleaner

Black Diamond Grout Cleaner

With a spray-on applicator, Black Diamond’s grout cleaner has the ability to soak into and penetrate grout in your backsplash, shower, or kitchen floor. This acid-free cleanser seeps into the tile’s joints and allows you to scrub away the dirt and stains that discolor your grout.

Specifications

  • 32 oz. spray bottle
  • Acid-free
  • Made in the U.S
  • Not for cleaning mold, mildew, or water spots

What customers are saying

Black Diamond’s grout cleaner received more than 2,200 customer reviews and averaged 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, slightly lower than the average of 4.1 stars on the five grout cleaners reviewed. Despite the 0.3 star difference from the average, this is still our best all-around grout cleaner due to the high number of customer reviews, 55% of reviewers rating the grout cleaner as 5 out of 5 stars, and the overall effectiveness of the product on a variety of tiled surfaces.

We found that many Amazon reviewers commented on the grout cleaner’s ability to bring back the original color of the grout. Though many applauded its effectiveness, some customers did note that multiple applications were needed for some grout-cleaning jobs. The cleaning solution was said to be irritating to some reviewer’s skin, therefore the use of gloves was recommended.

Our testing showed

Pros

  • Easy-to-use, spray-on applicator
  • Fast-acting cleanser breaks up dirt and grime in just under three minutes

Cons

  • Bottle does not seal well, and liquid seeps from the cap when the bottle is tilted during spraying
  • Though acid-free, this cleanser had the harshest smell of all grout cleaners tested

Conclusion

The first thing our reviews team noticed was how easy it was to apply the grout cleaner. Though a little bit of liquid seeped from the bottle’s opening, the spray nozzle simplified the application process by preventing the need to fully bend over to apply liquid to the grout. The spray covered a large portion of the tile, including its joints, and after three minutes, the grout was ready for scrubbing. Our team saw immediate results after one run-through with the grout brush, and the tile showed no signs of discoloration.

Best Grout Cleaner for Floors: Grout-EEZ Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner by Clean-EEZ

Grout-EEZ Grout Cleaner

Clean-EEZ’s grout cleaner helps remove dirt, grease, and other stains from a variety of tile surfaces, including ceramic and porcelain. With the use of its spout applicator, the cleaning solution spreads throughout your tile’s grout, bringing the settled grime to the top for removal.

Specifications

  • 32 oz. bottle
  • 1 bottle cleans approximately 250 sq. feet of tile and grout
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Effective on colored and white grout
  • Not safe on natural stone

What customers are saying

Grout-EEZ Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner received over 1,200 customer reviews and averaged 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon. When evaluating this product’s ratings on other top ecommerce websites, its average increased to 4.5 stars.

In examining Amazon reviews, our team found that many customers noted the grout cleaner’s ease of use and effectiveness. Some, however, commented that the cleaner only produced marginal results for their tile’s grout. One reviewer in particular said the cleanser produced great results, but warned that gloves and goggles should be worn to protect against irritation caused by the product.

Our testing showed

Pros

  • Watery cleanser spreads quickly throughout the tile’s grout lines, seeping into the grout’s pores to lift the dirt to the surface
  • “Easy pour” applicator administers consistent stream of liquid

Cons

  • Harsh product that slightly irritated the skin
  • Strong smell
  • The runny cleanser is great for floor tile, but could be difficult to apply on a kitchen backsplash or shower wall

Conclusion

The Grout-EEZ Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner is an effective cleaner for large tiled areas of your home. During our testing, the liquid moved naturally though the tile’s joints, effectively covering a large area with a small amount of liquid. Per directions, we let the product soak into the grout for about 10 minutes. After scrubbing the grout in each joint, we saw improved results in the color of the grout. It appeared much lighter, returning close to its original light gray color. Though it didn’t leave a haze after cleanup, the cleaner did accentuate the lighter tones on portions of the tested tile.

Best Multi-Purpose Grout Cleaner: Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser Liquid

Bar Keepers Cleanser Liquid Courtesy Bar Keepers Friend

Marketed as a cleaning solution for chrome, stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic, copper, and more, this grout cleaner from Bar Keepers Friend gives you the flexibility to clean a variety of your home’s surfaces, including tile and grout. Packaged alongside an ergonomic grout cleaning brush, this cleaner seeps into your grout, allowing you to scrub away the dirt immediately after application.

Specifications

  • 13 oz. bottle
  • Ammonia and silicone free
  • Food-safe formula
  • Grout cleansing brush included

What customers are saying

More than 1,300 customers rated this product 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, 0.5 stars higher than the average of 4.1 stars across the five grout cleaners tested. This product received the highest rating of all products reviewed, with 82% of Amazon customers rating this product 5 stars. The product rating increased to an average of 4.7 stars when including ratings from other leading ecommerce retailers.

Customers on Amazon complimented this cleaner on being great for a variety of jobs, with one reviewer even writing about it restoring the finish on their stainless steel dishwasher. When it comes to cleaning grout, reviewers raved about its ability to clean shower grout. Others, however, stated that the cleaner did not clean grout as well as they expected.

Our testing showed

Pros

  • Pleasant, clean smell
  • Effective on a variety of surfaces, not just grout

Cons

  • No spout makes applying the cleaner difficult
  • Leaves a light haze on the grout and tile

Conclusion

This cleanser was tested and proven to be effective at removing dirt and grime from tile, though we can’t speak to its effectiveness as an all-purpose cleaner. Although Bar Keepers Friend was effective in removing dirt from grout lines, the cleaner did leave a whitish residue on the top of the tile and grout. The haze did lessen after another wash with water, but was not something we experienced with the other cleaners.

Best Grout Spot Cleaner for Mold and Mildew: Skylarlife Home Mold and Mildew Remover

Skylar Life Mold & Mildew Remover

Skylarlife’s gel grout cleaner helps simplify mold and mildew cleanup. As a cleaner that requires no scrubbing, simply apply the gel, wait six to eight hours, and wipe clean for mold and mildew removal.

Specifications

  • 5 oz. bottle
  • Can be used on tiles, grout, sealant, baths, sinks, and showers
  • No scrubbing necessary

What customers are saying

Skylarlife’s Mold and Mildew Remover received over 4,200 reviews and averaged 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the second highest of all products reviewed. When looking at other top ecommerce websites, the grout cleaner’s average review drops slightly to 3.8 out of 5 stars.

Amazon reviewers noted the cleaner’s ability to remove black mold in their bathroom. However, for some customers, the removal took two or three applications to get the job done. Some even explained that it was easy to miss a few spots while applying the cleaner, citing the inability to see where they were applying the clear gel. While many customers found the product to be effective, others stated that it had no effect on their mold or mildew, and that diluted bleach worked better.

Our testing showed

Pros

  • Nozzle administered thick stream of gel
  • No scrubbing needed
  • Bottle easy to hold and squeeze

Cons

  • High cost per fluid ounce
  • More than one application needed to reach optimal results
  • Clear gel makes it easy to miss spots

Conclusion

While testing this grout cleaner, the reviews team found the bottle to be user-friendly and convenient for reaching areas in tight spaces and corners. We did two applications of the product to a grout line underneath a tub. Each time, we applied the gel, waited the recommended 6-8 hours, and wiped the area clean. We saw noticeable results after the first application, though the area did not appear to return to its original color until after the second application. The product did not irritate the eyes or skin, though we noticed a chemical-like smell while wiping the gel off the applied area. This product appeared to be effective, but nearly the whole bottle was used to clean a foot-long grout line, restricting this product to use on small mold and mildew spots.

Best Grout Mold and Mildew Cleaner: FOLLOWIN Mold and Mildew Remover

FOLLOWIN Mold & Mildew Remover

FOLLOWIN provides a cleaning solution that is specifically designed to eliminate mold, mildew, algae, and fungus stains. With no scrubbing necessary and ingredients safe to use on wood, concrete, drywall, siding, tile, and grout, this cleaner can tackle grime in nearly all areas of your home.

Specifications

  • 16 oz. bottle
  • Concentrated gel formula
  • 3-10 hour wait time

What customers are saying

FOLLOWIN’s grout cleaner received over 500 reviews and averaged 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, matching the average across all grout cleaners reviewed. Despite having the lowest amount of Amazon reviews of any grout cleaner reviewed, more than 60% of reviewers rated the product 5 out of 5 stars.

We found that many Amazon reviewers had positive results using the product in a variety of locations, including the bathroom and around the refrigerator. When handling the cleaner, many reviewers commented on its harshness and irritation to their eyes. While the product was effective for many, some reviewers saw no results.

Our testing showed

Pros

  • Gel is easy to administer
  • Large bottle supplies user with cleaner for more surface area

Cons

  • Gel is a little watery, so users may find difficulty in applying to vertical surfaces
  • Harsh smell, especially when wiping clean

Conclusion

The reviews team found this gel applicator from FOLLOWIN easy to apply despite its large and somewhat heavy bottle. Once administered on the designated grout line, we allowed the gel to sit for seven hours, with the recommended sit time being between three and 10 hours. Like the Skylarlife gel, this cleaner was effective on the first application, but a second was needed to see desired results. While no irritation was felt while administering the product, the product did emit a chemical smell when we wiped the area clean.

Review Standards

The This Old House Reviews Team is dedicated to providing informative, thorough, and transparent reviews. We conduct extensive research on products so that you, the reader, can save time and money when purchasing items for your home and family. When choosing the best grout cleaners offered by Amazon, our team considered a variety of factors including:

  • Effectiveness
  • Price
  • Customer reviews
  • Features
  • Availability

Our testing process

We individually tested each grout cleaner reviewed, following each product’s instructions explicitly to ensure we received optimal results.

To ensure consistency, we tested the two mold and mildew cleaners on different areas of the same grout line underneath a bathtub. We also applied the remaining three grout cleaners to different areas of the same floor to measure results. We used the scrub brush packaged with the Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser Liquid with every grout cleaner we tested, excluding the two mold and mildew removers.

Grout Cleaning Tips

Safety

Before using a grout cleaner, it’s important to read the product’s label. Some cleaners will provide a safety warning and outline the necessary steps to protect yourself. Others, however, do not include this information. If they are not included, look up the ingredients to see if they are hazardous, or look through reviews to see precautions taken by other customers.

For grout cleaners that incorporate acidic ingredients, a respirator and protective gloves are usually recommended. For other ingredients that are more pH neutral, these safety precautions may not be necessary, but could vary from person to person.

Choosing a cleaner

When choosing a grout cleaner, it is important to consider your tile’s material and grout color, what you need to clean, and the time required to produce optimal results.

Grout Color

Depending on the color of your grout, some cleaners may be more effective than others. Typically, you can find grout cleaners that specifically target white grout, ensuring that the color isn’t tainted during the cleaning process. Other cleaners incorporate chemicals that can damage colored grout.

Make sure that the grout cleaner you purchase is suitable for your grout color.

Need

Different grout cleaners can be effective in different areas. If you’re looking to clean mold or mildew, check to make sure that your cleaner can target these troublesome areas. Typically, grout cleaners that target mold and mildew have a high pH.

For dirt and grime cleanup, many grout cleaners utilize ingredients that are acidic to really dig into grout and remove dirt. However, some incorporate acid-free ingredients.

Material

Before cleaning your grout, ensure that the grout cleaner is safe to come into contact with your tile. Tile comes in various materials such as porcelain, ceramic, marble, and natural stone.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are generally safe from the harmful effects of cleaners, but natural stone and marble could be tainted by chemicals in grout cleaners. Make sure that you read the product description to ensure that your cleaner is safe on your tile.

Time

Some cleaners have the ability to be applied, scrubbed, and wiped off in one sitting. Others require time to agitate the surface and remove grime and discoloration. Carefully follow the instructions on the back of your grout cleaner to understand the time required for optimal results.

Protecting your grout

Due to its porous nature, grout easily absorbs dirt and grime. To help protect these substances from penetrating deeply into the grout, sealers should be applied during tile installation or after cleaning the grout. Sealers keep the grime at the surface of the grout so that they can be cleaned using traditional methods such as mopping.

Sealers are applied to new grout upon installation or after a deep clean of the grout because a significant amount of the grout’s top layer is removed during the cleaning process, revealing a new, clean layer. This layer should be protected using the sealant to aid future cleaning.