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Best Grout Cleaners of 2023

Clean between the lines with these top seven products.

Tiled floors are widely loved and used in bathrooms and kitchens. They’re easy to clean and also easy on the eyes. But cleaning the space between tiles can prove to be challenging.

Are you beginning to notice grime in the grout of your tiled floors or walls? This is a common problem in kitchens and bathrooms. However, if not tackled quickly, the mold can stain or be absorbed by unsealed grout, creating even more of a maintenance issue.

To effectively clean this troublesome area, you need a grout cleaner, a brush, and some elbow grease. Check out these seven best grout cleaners based on our research and expertise.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Zep Grout Cleaner and Brightener - 32 ounce (Pack of 2) ZU104632 - Deep Cleaning Pro Formula
Best Brightener
ZEP Grout Cleaner & Brightener
  • Brightens grout lines and tiles
  • Doesn’t require rough scrubbing
  • Safe for colored grout
Product Image of the Soft Scrub with Bleach Cleaner Gel, 28.6 Fluid Ounces
Best for Multiple Surfaces
Soft Scrub Gel Cleanser
  • Multiple purposes including grout and stovetops
  • Non-abrasive formula
  • Fast-working in less than a minute
Product Image of the RMR Brands Complete Mold Killer & Stain Remover Bundle - Mold and Mildew Prevention Kit, Disinfectant Spray, Mold and Mildew Stain Remover, Includes 2 - 32 Ounce Bottles
Best Against Mold
RMR Complete Mold Killer
  • Kills and prevents mold and mildew
  • Works on multiple surfaces
  • Easy application squirt top
Product Image of the IT JUST WORKS! Grout-Eez Super Heavy Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner and whitener. Quickly Destroys Dirt & Grime. With Easy To Control Flip Top Cap. 2 Pack With FREE Stand-Up Brush. Clean-eez
Best Cleaner with Brush
The Floor Guys Grout-EEZ
  • Two-in-one cleaner
  • A little goes a long way
  • Angled brush included
Product Image of the Clorox Bleach Pen? 04690
Best Quick-Fix
Clorox Zero Splash Bleach Pen
  • Quick and precise
  • Usable on grout and garments
  • Compact design fits in your pocket
Product Image of the Mapei Grout Refresh Colorant and Sealer: Grout Paint and Sealant - 8 Ounce Bottle, Ivory
Best for Colored Grout
Mapei Grout Refresh
  • Seals and protectsgrout
  • Restores and rejuvenates old-looking tiles
  • Wide range of colors available
Product Image of the CLR Brilliant Bath, Fresh Scent Foaming Action Cleaner, Spray Bottle, 26 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) (Packaging May Vary)
Best Biodegradable Formula
CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner
  • Safe for the environment
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • EPA-certified and biodegradable

Product Reviews

Here’s our list of seven great grout cleaners.

1. Grout Cleaner and Brightener by ZEP

Best Brightener Grout Cleaner

When you need to give your bathroom floor a deep clean, ZEP has you covered. Its grout cleaner will lift dirt, mold, mildew and restore your floors to nearly new condition.

The product contains a professional strength of acids, making it a worthy contender against grime. Rust stains can be a common problem in some regions of the bathroom, and they can seem impossible to get off. However, this potent formula is designed to eliminate these problems with little to no scrubbing.

A small hole in the top makes the ZEP convenient to use. It also minimizes potential exposure since all you have to do is pour a small amount in the area needed.

Still, the potent formula does mean you have to take a few precautions when using the product. For one, you must wear protective gloves. ZEP also advises you to wear long sleeves and pants to avoid any exposure.


  • Brightens grout lines and tiles, so your bathroom looks as good as new.
  • Doesn’t require rough scrubbing, which saves you energy.
  • Safe for colored grout as well as white grout.
  • Convenient squirt top makes the application extremely straightforward.


  • Very “aggressive” product with harsh chemicals. The potent formula might not suit every homeowner.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Tiles, grout
Form Liquid
Container Type Pour bottle
Brand ZEP Professional
Kills Mold No

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4.5 / 5
Safety3 / 5
Ease of use4 / 5
Versatility3.5 / 5
Total Rating3.75 / 5

2. Soft Scrub Gel Cleanser

Best Grout Cleaner for Multiple Surfaces

Having one cleaning product that can clean all surfaces, such as grout and stovetops, can save time and money. This all-around gel can take on both the kitchen and bathroom.

It contains bleach but is non-abrasive so that it won’t harm anything except dirt. A great thing about the gel is that it’s fast-working. The opening is a convenient squeeze top that allows you to apply the product more carefully.

Apply it straight onto the surface or to a damp sponge. Give it a little rub and rinse it off. If the stain is a little tougher, allow the formula to soak for no longer than a minute, then scrub.

Because of the bleach, you mustn’t get any of the product on clothes, carpets, or fabrics. Prolonged exposure to materials like metal and plastic can also cause discoloration. If you’re unsure about an area, first do a small test run in an inconspicuous place.


  • Multi-purpose product that you can use on grout and stovetops.
  • Non-abrasive formula protects your surfaces from damage.
  • Easy to use, thanks to the convenient squeeze top.
  • Fast-working formula cleans in less than a minute.


  • Strong odor due to the bleach and chemicals; it may be irritating for some people.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Tiles, grout, kitchen countertops, stovetops
Form Gel
Container Type Squeeze bottle
Brand Soft Scrub
Kills Mold Yes

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4 / 5
Safety3.5 / 5
Ease of use4.5 / 5
Versatility4.5 / 5
Total Rating4 / 5

3. Complete Mold Killer & Stain Remover Bundle by RMR

Best Against Mold Grout Cleaner

Mold and mildew can quickly build up within grout lines, especially in bathrooms, due to the moisture. It’s crucial to get rid of these fungi since they can trigger allergies and asthma.

This formula from RMR was explicitly made to kill mold and mildew. It acts within 15 seconds of application, and unless the mold is severe, you won’t need to scrub.

You can use the spray anywhere around the house. Mildew is often found around wooded areas and even drywall. Give it a few sprays and say goodbye to the problem.

With this product, you can effectively remove and prevent mold from returning in three steps. First, spray the troubled area and wipe it off. Then allow it to dry. Once it’s dry, follow up with a couple more sprays and allow the formula to dry completely.


  • Kills and prevents mold and mildew in and around the house.
  • Works on multiple surfaces, including drywall and grout.
  • Fast-acting formula works in as little as 15 seconds.
  • Easy applications due to the spray bottle.


  • Overpowering odor may be irritating for some people.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Tiles, grout, wood, drywall, ceilings
Form Liquid
Container Type Spray bottle
Brand RMR Brands
Kills Mold Yes

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4.5 / 5
Safety3.5 / 5
Ease of use4 / 5
Versatility4.5 / 5
Total Rating4 / 5
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4. The Floor Guys Grout-EEZ

Best Grout Cleaner with Brush

The most effective way to clean grout is by using a strong formula and a specialized brush. This duo gives you exactly what you need: two 1-quart bottles of cleaner and a brush.

The Grout-EEZ formula is a two-in-one that can clean grout lines and grease, soap residue, and tiles. After getting rid of stains, the solution will brighten the area, making it look fresh and nearly new again. You can also use it on porcelain, ceramic, and subway tiles, but you shouldn’t apply it to natural stone.

You get a convenient tough brush to get into the grout lines. The brush is angled with pointed ends, making it an easy fit in small lines.

Having to bend down to scrub the floor can be very tiring. However, the brush can be attached to any broomstick lying around.


  • Two-in-one cleaner scrubs up grout lines, grease, soap, and tiles.
  • You only need a small amount; a little goes a long way.
  • Angled brush included making it easy to get into small lines.
  • The product works on porcelain, ceramic, and subway tiles.
  • You can attach the brush to any broomstick.


  • The brush works better by hand than attached to a broomstick.
  • It’s not suitable for natural stone.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Kitchen and bathroom grout
Form Liquid
Container Type Bottle
Brand The Floor Guys
Kills Mold Not specified

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4.5 / 5
Safety3.5 / 5
Ease of use4 / 5
Versatility4 / 5
Total Rating4 / 5

5. Zero Splash Bleach Pen by Clorox

Best Quick-Fix Grout Cleaner

We don’t all have time to scrub grout lines, so when we need the job done quickly, this pen could help. Clorox has come up with a genius way of tidying dirty grout minutes before guests arrive.

Unlike other grout pens, this one treats the stains instead of covering them up.

You get four pens in the packet, and they’re easy to use. Each one has two ends; one is a thin point that applies the bleach to even the tiniest crevices. The other end is a broad scrubber to rough the stains. When you’re done, wipe the area clean or rinse with water.

Clorox is a well-known brand for its laundry bleach. And yes, these bleach pens can be used on white garments as well, but not while wearing them!


  • Quick to use due to the pen-like design.
  • Usable on grout and garments so that you can clean your bathroom and your clothes.
  • Compact design; small enough to fit into your pocket or bag and use on the go.
  • Precise enough to fix small areas.
  • It treats stains rather than just covering them up.


  • It’s tricky to see how much of the product is coming out.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Tiles, grout, household areas, garments
Form Liquid
Container Type Pen
Brand Clorox
Kills Mold Not specified

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4 / 5
Safety3.5 / 5
Ease of use4.5 / 5
Versatility3.5 / 5
Total Rating3.75 / 5

6. Mapei Grout Refresh

Best Cleaner for Colored Grout

Grout stains can sometimes become too hard to handle. But instead of replacing it, you can give it a refreshed look.

To give new life to old grout, this product colors and seals it. Sealed grout is less likely to stain and is also less prone to mold and mildew.

When you purchase, choose a color to match your grout. The product is available in 14 shades, so you can easily match it precisely. Customers have been pleased with how well the color stays put even with daily cleaning.

Although the product is water-based, it’s still important to handle it with care because it contains harsh chemicals. Apply it directly to the area and use a brush to cover the desired lines.


  • Seals grout and colors it, making it less prone to mold and mildew.
  • Restores and rejuvenates old-looking tiles.
  • Wide range of colors is available; choose one that matches your grout.
  • Easy application; simply apply it to the affected area and brush to cover the grout.


  • Requires around 24 hours for the whole process, which is a while.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Ceramic and porcelain tiles
Form Liquid
Container Type Bottle
Brand Mapei
Kills Mold No

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4 / 5
Safety4 / 5
Ease of use3.5 / 5
Versatility3 / 5
Total Rating3.5 / 5

7. CLR Brilliant Bath

Best Grout Cleaner with Biodegradable Formula

If you’re reluctant about using harsh chemicals when cleaning grout, this product might be what you need. This convenient spray is an all-purpose cleaner made to get rid of tough stains, calcium, and limescale.

It can be used anywhere around the kitchen and bathroom, such as showerheads, faucets, sinks, tiles, and grout.

As you apply the formula, it foams and quickly lifts build-up and stains. You can then wipe it off to reveal a clean surface. Leave the formula for an extra minute or two for adamant stains.

The biodegradable formula is gentle on surfaces and the environment but tough on stains. It’s certified by EPA’s Safer Choice Program, and it doesn’t contain any bleach, ammonia, or phosphates.

Other formulas are notorious for having a strong odor that can be overpowering. This spray, however, has a fresh scent that won’t leave you gasping for air.


  • Safe for the environment since it’s biodegradable and EPA-Certified.
  • All-purpose cleaner works on various stains and surfaces.
  • Works in as little as one minute to clean tough stains.
  • Safe on multiple surfaces, including showerheads, tiles, sinks, and more.


  • Doesn’t kill mold, so it’s useless if you have a mold and mildew build-up.

Product Specs

Recommended Use Kitchen and bathroom surfaces
Form Liquid, foam
Container Type Spray bottle
Brand CLR
Kills Mold No

Our Ratings

Effectiveness4 / 5
Safety4.5 / 5
Ease of use4.5 / 5
Versatility4.5 / 5
Total Rating4.25 / 5

Product Comparison Chart

Product Award Recommended Use Form Bottle Type Kills Mold
ZEP Brightener Best Brightener Tiles, grout Liquid Pour No
Soft Scrub Gel Best For Multiple Surfaces Tiles, grout, kitchen countertops, stovetops Gel Squeeze Yes
RMR Mold Killer Best Against Mold Tiles, grout, wood, drywall, ceilings Liquid Spray Yes
The Floor Guys Best with Brush Kitchen and bathroom grout Liquid Bottle N/A
Clorox Zero Best Quick-Fix Tiles, grout, household areas, garments Liquid Pen N/A
Mapei Refresh Best For Colored Grout Ceramic and porcelain tiles Liquid Bottle No
CLR Cleaner Best Biodegradable Kitchen and bathroom surfaces Liquid, foam Spray No

What to Look For

Finding the right cleaner requires a few tests and some consideration. Here are some key points to consider.

Cleaner Efficiency

When we talk about an efficient grout cleaner, we mean one that does the job quickly and is easy to use. Depending on what you prefer, there are various applications available.

  • Direct application: Some products allow you to spray the solution directly onto the troubled area conveniently. Then, you can either scrub or wipe the grime away.
  • Concentrate: Other products are highly concentrated. This means you have to make a solution of the product and water. These come with instructions on how much soap per gallon or quarts of water you use.

The next thing to consider when determining the efficiency of a product is time. How long does the formula have to sit? Does it require a lot of scrubbing, resulting in a more extended session? The most efficient formula will work quickly as it’s applied and won’t need too hard a scrub.

Safety Is Paramount

Even if you choose a product marked “safe” or with a low pH level, it’s still crucial to stay protected.

  • Wear safety gear: Grout cleaners are generally considered harsh chemicals. You should, therefore, wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and masks.
  • Correct storage: Some formulas must be stored at a specific temperature and away from direct sunlight. These are also things to consider when choosing a storage spot.

Stay Safe

Always store cleaners out of reach from children and pets. Choose higher locations such as overhead cabinets, or keep the products in a locked cabinet.

How to Clean Grout Lines

The best way to get rid of grout grime is by using a specialized grout brush and a suitable cleaner. Whether it’s the bathroom floor or kitchen walls, it’s crucial to get into this area.

A grout brush is small but has rough bristles. The small size makes it the perfect tool for this small area. They come in various shapes and sizes but look for one with a comfortable handle since you’ll need to exert some pressure while cleaning.

How Often Should You Clean the Grout?

Deep-cleaning the grout isn’t an everyday task. It is, however, essential to look out for mold or mildew as these tend to build up in these areas. They can trigger illness in allergic individuals (1).

How often the grout requires cleaning depends on the area’s exposure to moisture. So bathroom tiles, whether floor or wall, tend to need a scrub more often.

A good rule of thumb is to clean the grout when it’s beginning to look discolored or dirty or once a month when doing a deep clean.

The Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some top tips when it comes to cleaning grout:

1. Alkaline Solution

According to the Tile Council of North America, the best way to clean grout is with an alkaline solution (2). Some people might recommend using either baking soda or vinegar to tackle the stains. However, experts highly advise against this.

Grout is mainly a mixture of sand and cement. Sand is, for the most part, unaffected by cleaners, but cement is alkaline-based and will dissolve if exposed to acids. Baking soda and vinegar are high in acids, making them an unfit solution for grout cleaning (3).

2. Oil and Wax-Based Cleaners

Unsealed grout can absorb soap and stains, making them tough to remove. Therefore, to avoid staining, you should stay away from oil- or wax-based cleaners since these will leave a thin film behind.

Any soap, for that matter, could stain, so it’s essential to wash the area off with water afterward.

3. Seal Your Grout

If you have unsealed grout, you might want to consider sealing them. This isn’t a difficult job; you should be able to do it yourself without any problems. Some grout cleaners also work as a resealer.


Why Does Bathroom Grout Turn Black?

Bathroom grout turns black because moisture causes mold and mildew spores to grow, which stain the grout. Once it takes hold, it can be tricky to eradicate. Try using RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover for outstanding cleaning power.

How Do You Clean Grout Without Scrubbing?

There are several ways to clean grout without scrubbing. You can use white vinegar and baking soda, Clorox bleach, or hydrogen peroxide, like this Amazon Basics Hydrogen Peroxide. You can also combine vinegar with hydrogen peroxide for potent cleaning power.

What Do Professionals Use to Clean Grout?

Most professionals use heavy-duty steamers to clean grout. It enables them to work on large sections and removes the need for harmful chemicals.

Does Vinegar Ruin Grout?

Vinegar can ruin grout if the grout is unsealed. Overall, a diluted treatment of vinegar mixed with water and baking soda should be safe enough on your tile grout to remove mold staining.

Does Toothpaste Clean Grout?

Toothpaste does clean grout if you have light stains and slight discoloration; however it won’t tackle mold infestations. Try using a more powerful cleaner like white vinegar or Clorox bleach.

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Headshot of Amy Anthony

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!