How to Clean the Most Stubborn Grout Stains

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Things You'll Need

  • Bicarbonate of soda

  • Bleach

  • Tile-cleaning product

  • White vinegar

  • Copper wire

  • Borax

  • Toothpaste

  • Water

  • Brush

  • Toothbrush

Tile grout can mildew and stain easily, especially in the bathroom where white grout often changes to gray, brown and even black. You can remove some grout stains with mild products, especially if they are recent, but others require more time, concentrated efforts and abrasive products. The process of removing the stain may be even more labor intensive if there is no sealant on the grout. You can use several products when cleaning floor or bathroom grout stains, including manufactured and household substances.


Step 1

Form a paste with three parts bicarbonate of soda and one part water. Apply the paste to the grout, and let it stand until it is dry. Scrub off with a brush and clean water.

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Step 2

Use bleach. Mix one part bleach to three parts water, and pour the substance into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the stains, and scrub in with a brush or stiff toothbrush. Let the solution sit for five minutes, and rinse off thoroughly. For mild stains, use one part bleach with ten parts water.

Step 3

Use a tile-cleaning product. Scrub this into the grout with a hard-bristle toothbrush. Let the solution sit for two minutes. Rinse the toothbrush, and use it with water to scrub the grout clean.

Step 4

Mix one part white vinegar to one part water. Spray the mixture onto the grout, and let it sit for about five minutes. Wash it off with clean water.


Step 5

Pour vinegar into a glass, and place a strip of copper in it. Let it sit for two days. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle, and spray it on the stains. Wipe the walls dry. "Copper kills fungi and the tiny bit of copper that has dissolved into the vinegar will prevent the mildew from returning," says Ellen Sandbeck in Green Housekeeping.


Step 6

Mix borax and water into a paste, and apply it onto the grout with a toothbrush. For stubborn mildew, leave the paste on the wall for two days, and then vacuum it off.

Step 7

Scrub the stain off the tile grout with toothpaste and a toothbrush. In Haley's Hints, authors Graham and Rosemary Haley say the pumice in toothpaste is sufficiently abrasive.


If the stain remains after trying these cleaning methods, consider staining the grout a darker color to hide it. Use a grout-stain. This may be the best solution for rust stains.


Throw old toothbrushes away. Using them to clean spreads germs from teeth.


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