How To Clean Grout (It's Easy & It's EFFORTLESS!)

How to clean the grout in your shower - the results are AMAZING!

 

The whole purpose of showering is to come out looking and feeling clean. If your grout is mouldy, you'll barely want to get in, let alone feel sanitised after the experience.

Although black mould and pink mildew can seem daunting - and a little disgusting - they're often much easier to get rid of than you think.

To prove this to you, we took on the challenge of cleaning up a truly filthy shower, with blackened grout, mildew stains and even living, fluffy mould! 

It was not the most pleasant of tasks, but there was something strangely satisfying in watching the grout return to its former pearly white as we cleaned.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in October 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in December 2018.

Mouldy grout
Yuck, yuck, yuck!
Mouldy Shower tap
Anything but clean!

How to clean grout in the shower

Now we've got that elephant in the room out the way, it's time to get down to business.

1. Remove surface dirt & grime

The first thing you should do when faced with filthy shower grout is give it a good once-over.

We used limescale remover spray, and the rough side of a sponge with lots of fairy liquid.

This will remove the surface dirt, living mould and leave you with only the mould that's in the grout itself, which we're going to talk about tackling next.

Scrubbed mouldy grout
Already looking miles better!

Although this isn't a particularly pleasant task (rubber gloves are advised!) you'll see an immediate improvement in the appearance of your grout.

2. Bleach it up

The next step is slightly more intricate but still shouldn't take too long. All you need is bleach and an old, hard-bristled toothbrush and you'll be ready to clean your grout.

rubber gloves & toothbrush
Ready to get started?

Pour 2 parts undiluted bleach into a small container, and add 1 part water. Ensure your rubber gloves are on and open all available windows to help ventilate the area.

Dip the toothbrush into the bleach solution, then, beginning from up high, lightly scrub the grout with the brush. Go over each section of grout thoroughly so that the bleach seeps deep into the grout.

Once you've covered the entire area, leave to sit for 30 minutes.

Bleached grout
So much whiter!

3. Scrub your grout once more

In order to really remove those blackened grout stains, you want to scrub the grout for a second time. There's no need to add any more bleach, a damp toothbrush will do.

This will help the bleach penetrate ever deeper into the grout, killing mould and removing any stains.

4. Rinse the shower thoroughly

While amazing at cleaning, bleach isn't particularly skin-friendly. To ensure nobody suffers from any irritation during their next bath or shower, it's extremely important to wash the solution away thoroughly.

Wet the entire shower with the shower head, and use the rough side of the sponge to remove bleach residue. Use lots of water to ensure the tiles and bathtub are completely clean.

5. Give it time

Bleached mouldy shower grout
I think we can safely say this shower has been transformed.

If your grout is still looking grimier than you'd like, be patient. Over the next few hours, the grout will continue to whiten until it really does become completely transformed.

How to prevent mould & mildew in the bathroom

In order to prevent such a bad build up of mould in the future, there are several precautions you can take:

  • Air the bathroom as much as possible, especially when taking bathing/showering.
  • Run the extractor fan not only during your shower but for at least 10 minutes after to extract moisture from the air.
  • Wipe the shower walls with a squeegee after use.
  • Always scrub your grout during the weekly shower clean.
  • Periodically treat shower grout with bleach to kill any mould spores.

Here's to stepping out the shower feeling clean from now on!

Wow! The difference in that filthy grout is seriously amazing. Will you be trying this method?

Author

Stephanie C

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Kate Gilbert on October 6, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Neat bleach does not always work, you need to use Dettol Mildew spray and leave that on for a while and hope that works.

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Kate. Bleach has always worked fine for me! Thanks for sharing your tip :)

    Reply
  2. Author Sherry on October 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Bleach and elbow grease, who knew! The terms "Grandmother" and "sucking eggs" comes to mind. I put an old non-slip bathmat in the bottom of the shower tray and plastic bags on my feet while doing this job, otherwise you are inclined to ruin your footwear or get bleach on your bare feet when it runs down the wall.

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Sherry. That's a great idea - bleach can be pretty nasty on bare hands. :)

    Reply
  3. Author Maureen on October 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I have been using this method for years.

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      So have I, Maureen. It's foolproof!

    Reply
  4. Author Marie Myers on October 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Got the tools. Going out to buy the backupsame tomorrow. Can't wait

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Good luck Marie! Let us know how you get on :)

    Reply
  5. Author Fiona on October 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    An old shower 'scrunchie' can be used instead of the rough side of a sponge!

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Fiona. We actually do this in my house - great tip!

    Reply
  6. Author Jamie on October 29, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Great recipe. Lazy people like me will use an electric toothbrush with an old head!

    1. Author Stephanie C on October 31, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Hi Jamie. This is actually a pretty neat idea! Just make sure to fully disinfect the toothbrush after use. :)

    Reply
  7. Author jay on June 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    I've deep cleaned my bathroom every week from the day it was installed five years ago, and along the way have tried white vinegar, baking soda - even hydrogen peroxide - and nothing really brings it back to a "just grouted" state. Silicone sealant around a bath or shower can also begin to look grotty very quickly, and too much scrubbing can remove it. All in all bathrooms are a pain in the you-know-what to keep 100% clean. One thing I have noticed though - grout dries during the day and doesn't look nearly as dirty as when it's wet.

    1. Author Joanne A on August 16, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      We feel your pain, Jay!

    Reply
  8. Author Sandra on January 2, 2019 at 9:48 am

    This is a good way to clean grout and I always do this when needed. But I use a nail brush as I find it easier to hold, and covers a larger area. You have some great tips by the way. Thanks.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 2, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Sandra! A nail brush would be perfect. We're glad you enjoyed the tips.

    Reply
  9. Author Teresa B on January 2, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Too much effort. Just spray on Astonish Mold and mildew remover, then rinse off

    1. Author Joanne A on January 2, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Hi Theresa! Astonish is an amazing product and could be used in place of bleach in these steps.

    Reply
  10. Author Mr John Harwood on January 2, 2019 at 10:07 am

    A weekly chore of mine is to remove any mouldy grout with a diamond grit cutting wheel and re-grout. This method does actually restore the grout to 'just grouted' whiteness.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 2, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Hi John! That sounds interesting. Does this process take a long time?

    Reply
  11. Author Edita on January 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Bleach does not kill the mould. Instead, bleach is toxic substance and it is bad for people to be breathing while cleaning with it. I clean mould with white vinegar slightly diluted with distilled water, with lemon peels soaked in it, and with tea tree essential oil or eucalyptus essential oil. No chemicals, all natural and does the job well without making me feel sick.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 2, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      All-natural cleaning is the way to go! Thanks for sharing, Edita.

    Reply
  12. Author Samsara on January 2, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    So satisfying once you've bleached the grout. Its true that bleach doesnt kill mould, but vinegar does. I find that grout always goes pink/black because a shower is usually always wet. Ever been to tropical asia and noticed mould on all the buildings? High humidity. Bleach and a toothbrish/nail brush is a quick, cheap, satisfying way to make your shower look new again 🙂 i always used this method when cleaning for work in a hotel or bond cleaning.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 2, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Samsara!

    Reply
  13. Author Mailea Rambeiri on January 2, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Tried it all ... Astonish, Mr Muscle, Dettol, Cillit Bang, Bleach, White vinegar and anything else I could find and nothing has ever worked. Nothing has ever killed the mould. Looks like the only way I'm going to finally get rid of it is to remove the grout completely. Shame!

    1. Author Joanne A on January 2, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Mailea. Sometimes the mould is just too ingrained to clean, unfortunately! You're right - the best thing to do would be to remove the grout and start again. Be sure to do what you can to prevent the mould from coming back once you've replaced it. Prevention is always better than treatment.

    Reply
  14. Author Tina on January 2, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    To keep the ceiling clean wash occasionally with white vinegar it stops any mould forming

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 2, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Tina!

    Reply
  15. Author Bob B on January 2, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    To speed up the cleaning put the bleach solution in a spray bottle and spray all the tiled area and use a good sized nail brush to clean ,I always cover my mouth with wet cloth to stop the bleach fumes effecting me.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 3, 2019 at 9:18 am

      Great tip! It's very important to take proper precautions when using bleach.

    Reply
  16. Author Julie on January 5, 2019 at 9:46 am

    I would not call this method effortless but it is worth the effort to keep a clean shower!

    1. Author Joanne A on January 7, 2019 at 9:21 am

      It's certainly less effort than replacing all of the grout - never a fun job! Glad you enjoyed the tips.

    Reply

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