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The Best Grout Cleaners

Zep
🕚 Updated February 2022

Scrubbing your home's grout can be unforgiving work, especially when you're using a subpar cleaning agent. If you're looking to restore your grout without destroying your scrubbing arm, check out these effective grout cleaners.

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  Best Cleaning Pen Strongest Cleaner For the Quickest Clean Best for Natural Tile For a Sparkling Finish
 
  Rainbow Chalk Markers
Grout Pen
Grout-Eez
Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner
Black Diamond Stoneworks
Ultimate Grout Cleaner
Rock Doctor
Natural Tile and Grout Cleaner
Zep Industrial
Grout Cleaner and Brightener
 
Our SummaryThis easy-to-apply grout pen features a bright white color that will make old grout look as good as new.This heavy-duty grout cleaner is effective at removing set stains and heavy grime accumulation.This fast-acting grout cleaner stands out for its effective cleaning power and minimal odor.This grout cleaner has a very minimal odor and is safe to use on most natural tile surfaces.This heavy-duty cleaner eliminates a lot of scrubbing by breaking down dirt and grime before you get to work.
ProsEasy to apply, creates a "like new" appearance, requires minimal effort, easy to clean off tile.Heavy-duty cleaning action, perfect for unsealed grout, limits amount of scrubbing, works on years of accumulated grime.Works quickly, minimal odor, safe for most surfaces, comes in a variety of sizes.Cleans tile and grout, safe for most tile surfaces, budget-friendly price, effective in small amounts.Heavy-duty cleaner, bulk options available, for white or colored grout, minimizes user scrubbing.
ConsMay not bond to sealed grout.Strong odor, takes time to set.Not ideal for all applications.Harmful to most stainless steel surfaces.Not for natural stone surfaces.
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The Best Grout Cleaners

A hand in a yellow rubber glove scrubs grout with a toothbrush and a grout cleaner.
Zep

Although there are plenty of great grout brushes on the market, even a fantastic grout brush will struggle to remove years’ worth of grime without an effective grout cleaner to provide the legwork.

Buying Guide for Grout Cleaners

a person uses a brush to scrub grout.
makasana photo/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a grout cleaner?

Grout cleaners reduce the amount of effort it takes to achieve clean, immaculate grout by loosening up dirt and grime before you begin scrubbing. They’re typically safe on most tile surfaces and can be used for minor spot treatments or to clean the grout in an entire room. Many grout cleaners work well for soap scum, dirt, mold, and even grease, making them a versatile option for cleaning grout in many different areas of your home.

What should you look for in a grout cleaner?

  • Convenience: Most grout cleaners begin working almost immediately but require you to let the cleaning agent sit for a while in order to achieve optimal results. However, the difference between three and ten minutes can mean a lot for those who are short on time. Also, some grout cleaners offer impressive cleaning potential without the need to air out your home due to a strong, unpleasant odor.
  • Surface: In general, it’s a good idea to test out a grout cleaner on a small area of grout and tile before applying it all over. This is because not every cleaner is ideal for every type of tile. However, if you do your research, you can find effective grout cleaners for any surface. This is especially important for those with marble tile or natural stone surfaces that require extra care to prevent damage while cleaning.
  • Effectiveness: If you tend to keep your grout relatively clean, you may not require the most heavy-duty grout cleaner on the market to achieve pristine grout. However, for those tackling years of caked-on grime and dirt, a heavy-duty grout cleaner is just what the doctor ordered. This will help you get the job done with fewer applications and less bodily strain, although it might be necessary to protect your skin and lungs while you clean if the cleaner you opt for is particularly abrasive.

What if your grout won’t become clean?

If you’ve tried almost everything (including using the best heavy-duty grout cleaners) and your grout still looks discolored, there is still hope for your floor. After thoroughly cleaning your grout and allowing it to dry, you can use a grout pen to recolor your grout back to its natural look. While this takes some time and isn’t a great option for everyone, it’s certainly more affordable than tearing up your tile flooring and redoing your grout. Plus, many grout pens will seal your grout so that it can’t easily get soiled in the future.

Our Picks for the Best Grout Cleaners

Best Cleaning Pen

Rainbow Chalk Markers Grout Pen

This easy-to-apply grout pen features a bright white color that will make old grout look as good as new.

Pros: If you’ve tried everything to restore particularly troublesome grout to a pristine white color and have fallen short, the Rainbow Chalk Markers Grout Pen is all it takes. This easy-to-apply product works best on pre-cleaned grout and instantly restores it to a “like new” condition. It also takes much less effort than endlessly scrubbing grout joints and is exceptionally easy to wipe up with a wet sponge if you get some on your tile.

Cons: This product won’t work on all sealed grout, although it’s worth trying a spot test if your sealed grout shows definite signs of dirt and grime. Additionally, while this product is straightforward to apply, it does require you to take your time and have a steady hand for pristine-looking results.

Bottom Line: While this grout pen won’t appeal to everyone, it’s a great option for those who wish to achieve an immediate clean appearance. It’s also a convenient option if you’re low on storage space or get sore just thinking about scrubbing your entire tile surface. That being said, if your grout joints are already sealed, it’s important to set your expectations realistically.

 

Strongest Cleaner

Grout-Eez Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner

This heavy-duty grout cleaner is effective at removing set stains and heavy grime accumulation.

Pros: If your grout cleaning job requires heavy-duty cleaning action to remove years’ worth of dirt, grime, and discoloration, the Grout-Eez Super Heavy-Duty Grout Cleaner is as strong as its name implies. When used on unsealed grout and allowed to sit, this heavy-duty cleaner can eliminate hours of scrubbing by loosening up accumulated grime before you take your grout brush to it. This cleaner also performs well on set-in stains, making it incredibly useful for demanding applications.

Cons: Like most heavy-duty grout cleaners, this one has a pretty strong odor that many will find unpleasant. That being said, it dissipates fairly quickly if you leave a window open while cleaning. Also, you will want to let it sit for up to ten minutes for it to perform at its best.

Bottom Line: While this might not be the best grout cleaner for minor jobs due to its strong odor and somewhat expensive price tag, it can be a real lifesaver when facing grout that hasn’t been cleaned in years. It’s also a smart option for those who strain to scrub away grime with their grout brush since it makes scrubbing so much easier.

 

For the Quickest Clean

Black Diamond Stoneworks Ultimate Grout Cleaner

This fast-acting grout cleaner stands out for its effective cleaning power and minimal odor.

Pros: Those seeking a fast and effective solution to cleaning grout will love the Ultimate Grout Cleaner from Black Diamond Stoneworks. This grout cleaner is effective at cleaning grout after only a few minutes of setting and won’t fill your entire room with chemical odors. It’s safe for a wide variety of surfaces, including most marble floors. That being said, be sure to do a quick spot test before going all out on your grout!

Cons: This cleaner won’t work on calcium or water spots, so it might not be the best product for cleaning the grout joints in your shower tile. That being said, it’s incredibly effective at removing soap deposits and is surprisingly useful at removing tough grease stains.

Bottom Line: When cleaning grout, sometimes speed isn’t the best factor to consider if you want to get the job done right. Luckily, this grout cleaner is effective enough to make it much more than a gimmick. While this probably isn’t the best option for heavy-duty applications, it’s an excellent product for those who frequently touch up their grout to ensure it remains clean and pristine.

 

Best for Natural Tile

Rock Doctor Natural Tile and Grout Cleaner

This grout cleaner has a very minimal odor and is safe to use on most natural tile surfaces.

Pros: Those with natural tile floors should consider the Rock Doctor Natural Tile and Grout Cleaner, which is extremely handy at cleaning natural tile surfaces while being no slouch at removing dirt, soap, and oil stains from grout. This product stands out thanks to its versatility, as it’s safe for a wider variety of natural tiles than similar products. It’s also a great budget-friendly option considering using just a little bit of this cleaner goes a long way.

Cons: While this grout cleaner is safe for a wide variety of natural surfaces, you will want to do your best to keep it away from stainless steel since there is a good chance it will harm stainless steel surfaces unless you take immediate action.

Bottom Line: Although this isn’t the most heavy-duty grout cleaner on the market, it’s a really great choice for those with delicate tile floors that are unable to handle harsher cleaners. So, if you’re looking for something inexpensive and effective with a very minimal odor, this product is certainly worth a try.

 

For a Sparkling Finish

Zep Industrial Grout Cleaner and Brightener

This heavy-duty cleaner eliminates a lot of scrubbing by breaking down dirt and grime before you get to work.

Pros: Featuring heavy-duty cleaning potential that minimizes the need to scrub your heart out, the Zep Industrial Grout Cleaner and Brightener is effective for even the most demanding cleaning jobs. It breaks down dirt and grime incredibly well so that many opt for their mop instead of a grout brush after letting the product set. This grout cleaner is safe on white and colored grout and can be purchased in bulk, making it a great choice for businesses who strive to keep their floors clean.

Cons: This grout cleaner can be harmful to marble and other natural stone surfaces, so make sure you know what you’re using it on before giving it a try. Also, like most heavy-duty grout cleaners, this one gives off a very strong odor when cleaning.

Bottom Line: While this grout cleaner needs to sit for just a bit longer than other options in order to work its magic, it’s still an amazingly convenient option for those with synthetic tile and filthy grout. That being said, this product does have its limitations, so those with natural tile or sensitivity to strong odors may want to seek an alternative.

Final Thoughts

Finally getting around to cleaning your grout can be incredibly satisfying, but if you’re using the wrong product, it can lead to more problems than solutions. Be sure to choose a grout cleaner that is safe for your tile surface and effective at cleaning the main culprit behind your dirty grout. Whether it’s soap, grease, mold, or dirt that is marring your grout, there is a grout cleaner out there for you.

Zachary McCarthy Zachary McCarthy
Zachary McCarthy is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and experience in blogging, copywriting, and WordPress design and development. In his free time, he can be found frying up Tangsuyuk or watching Korean films and MMA events. Read Full Bio »
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