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

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


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 Shower tap
Anything but clean!

How to clean grout in the shower

Mouldy grout
Yuck, yuck, yuck!

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 to 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 showerhead, 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.

Had cleaning left a bleach smell on your hands? Check out our tips!

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.
  • Replace the shower door seal, if it's more than 5-10 years old or starting to deteriorate. 

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

Now that you've tackled the grout, why not read about shower onions? They could help with those nasty bathroom odours. 

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

Stephanie C


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 :)

  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. :)

  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!

  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 :)

  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!

  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. :)

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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.

    2. Author Phil Taylor on June 30, 2019 at 11:38 am

      "No chemicals, all natural", Edita, vinegar is a chemical - it contains acetic acid.

    3. Author Joanne A on July 1, 2019 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Phil! I see what you mean, but we are saying that vinegar is natural in terms of its raw ingredients. It's much more natural when compared to other cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals.

  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!

  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.

  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!

  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.

  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.

  17. Author susie on January 26, 2019 at 12:26 am

    The rule in our house is that after you shower or bath you rinse the walls and screen down with clean water using the shower head, then use a squeegee to scrape off the water, It literally takes a couple of minutes to do. If everyone does this after a shower or bath then the weekly clean which consists of rubbing the tiles down with a fairy liquid loaded scrunchy or similar, rinsing off and then using a squeegee to remove the water, is so easy. Ventilating the room properly will also hope to ensure you do not have any mould problems.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 28, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Prevention is the best solution, Susie!

  18. Author Zee on February 4, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    I painted my grout black.

    1. Author Joanne A on February 5, 2019 at 9:02 am

      Now there's an idea!

  19. Author Carolyn Laplante on March 16, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Try using a little W-D 40, you can also make your own 3/4 olive oil and the rest water in a spray bottle.and spray your shower to clean the mold and mildew and don't forget to clean the shower doors.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 18, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Great tip, Carolyn!

  20. Author Ren on February 6, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I agree with the bleach. It totally works, especially if you have a white bathroom like mine! It also works on the bathmat.

    1. Author Joanne A on February 6, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Ren! Do you mean a silicone bathmat? I can imagine it stains fabric ones.

  21. Author Snoopy on February 6, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Use h g spray for mould absolutely brilliant

    1. Author Joanne A on February 7, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Thanks for sharing! I'll have to give it a try.

    2. Author Joanne A on February 7, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Thanks for sharing! I'll have to give it a try.

  22. Author Debbie on September 14, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Does anyone have tips for cleaning leather sofa

    1. Author Joanne A on January 20, 2023 at 12:18 pm

      Leather sofas should be regularly dusted and vacuumed to remove dirt and debris. To clean stains or spills, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth, being sure to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the sofa first.

  23. Author Ellen on October 31, 2020 at 12:28 am

    This worked so well after trying so many other methods. Thanks!

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 11:45 am

      We're so glad it worked for you!

  24. Author Su Toon on April 16, 2021 at 9:05 am

    I find that Astonish mould and mildew is good, along with the Pink Stuff - the tiles in my bathroom are starting to look so much better!

    1. Author Joanne A on April 16, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      I love Astonish! Great cleaner.

  25. Author Joy on October 23, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    What if hg spray

    1. Author Joanne A on October 25, 2022 at 12:00 pm

      HG spray is a brand of grout cleaner

  26. Author Vivian on January 22, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    Is this method safe for showers with natural stone (marble)? If not, what product (s) would you recommend. I've been struggling with mold in a white marble bathroom forever and nothing seems to work including bleach.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 24, 2023 at 11:42 am

      Hi Vivian! For cleaning grout in a shower with natural stone (marble), use a mixture of water and white vinegar and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive tools as they can damage the natural stone.


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