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How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner

Want a simple trick for cleaning grout in your shower, bath, or kitchen? This homemade grout cleaner works great and it only requires 2 ingredients: baking soda and bleach!

When we moved into this apartment it wasn’t very clean. I already shared my 5 minute microwave steam cleaning tip, but another area that needed serious cleaning was the bathroom. The grout was disgusting! But after cleaning it with this homemade grout cleaner, it was brand new again!

How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner - The simple recipe is just baking soda and bleach!

There are tons of recipes out there for homemade grout cleaner, but I wanted an effective one that wasn’t too hard to make. I ended up with this grout cleaner recipe which only has 2 ingredients, and it worked great!

Homemade Grout Cleaner

Here’s what you need: (Amazon affiliate links below)

How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner - The simple recipe is just baking soda and bleach!

Mix the baking soda and bleach together in the bowl until it forms sort of a thick paste. Then apply the paste to the dirty grout lines and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

The bleach will do most of the work just sitting there, but after 5-10 minutes, scrub it with your toothbrush to really work the cleaner deeper into the grout.

Wait another 5-10 minutes and then rinse the cleaner off of the grout. If you have a handheld shower head, use that, otherwise just use a damp rag and rinse it out often as you wipe the cleaner away.

Remember, grout does sometimes turn darker when it’s wet. So if you’re not totally impressed with how sparkling white your grout is right when you finish rinsing it, wait a few hours until it dries!

How To Clean Grout With A Homemade Grout Cleaner - The simple recipe is just baking soda and bleach!

I am so happy with how CLEAN everything is now!

Just a few important notes:

  1. You’re using bleach. Make sure you are wearing old clothes or something you don’t care about. I figured it wouldn’t splatter so I didn’t change before doing this, and now my jeans have white spots all over them! There is a surprising amount of splatter, even if you’re careful. So just change first.
  2. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from irritation.
  3. Open a window or wear a respirator to protect your nose, mouth, and lungs.
  4. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from irritation.
  5. And if you use a washcloth or rag to wipe the cleaner off, make sure it’s something that’s okay to be bleached.

How’s the state of your bathroom grout? Or in your kitchen, if you have tile on the floor or in your back-splash. I’m really liking these make-it-yourself cleaning recipes, because they work just as well and it means I don’t have 30 different types of chemical cleaners laying around! We have been using homemade borax free laundry soap for almost a year now and we absolutely love it! It’s cheap, non-toxic, and works better than commercial detergent!

If you liked this project, check out these other cleaning tips!

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you follow along by RSS or subscribe to daily or weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

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Comments

  1. norma brooks says:

    I made the mistake of cleaning a bathroom yrs ago with out gloves and just bleach and had to go to emergency room as I burnt my hands, so use rubber gloves and don’t forget to dilute it.

    • Oh no, sorry to hear that! It’s definitely good advice to be careful; my hands were okay but safety first! And rubber gloves are cheap and easy to come by so it can’t hurt to use them and be on the safe side :-)

  2. The DDH is in charge of cleaning the downstairs bathroom (the only one with a shower/tile). And our grout was gross. Even if you do pretty well doing a regular wipe-down, it seems like the grout always needs to be tackled separately. :-( Cause yeah. Slime monsters.

    I don’t know what he used; I think just 409 (everything I clean we use some sort of homemade concoction, but he insists that if he is going to clean, he’s going to use the products he wants to use. so I let him).

    BUT! I did get him a brush at Target or Walmart that was labeled as a “grout-cleaning brush,” and he says it works better than a toothbrush (bigger so more surface area and stiffer bristles) and waaaaaay better than just a sponge. It has a plastic handle and a line of stiff blue bristles on one side and a wider line of softer white bristles on the other. Our grout looks amazing now, and it took him only about a half hour.

    I don’t usually like to buy weird specialized cleaning doohickeys, but this really was worth it. ^_^

    • Yeah stiffer bristles would definitely help! My old toothbrush has super stiff bristles (thus why it is “old”…it was too harsh for my gums) so it works ok, but it was still a lot of scrubbing!

  3. Avoiding slime monsters….. always a good thing! :)

  4. Great tip! I need try this out on my tiles!

  5. Thanks for this.i was only thinking of sorting the tiles in my bathroom yesterday!

  6. Great info, and I appreciate this tip: “Use an old toothbrush for scrubbing, and please don’t use one you’re going to put in your mouth later!”

  7. Thanks for this. I’m a new follower, would love if you followed back at http://www.iheartpears.blogspot.com

  8. This is great info!! We don’t have tile in our bathroom, but there are definitely still corners that need to be clean. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!

  9. I can definitely use this!!

  10. I love this idea. I am going to try it this weekend. Thanks!

    Hope on over to my site for my latest creation.

  11. Great recipe. Lazy people like me can use an electric toothbrush with an old head! :-)

  12. I love simple homemade items that work better than store brands and a lot cheaper too. I also use a old toothbrush to clean certain areas of my bathroom:) Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays. Have a super great and clean week. Lol

  13. Great tip, I need to try this out!

  14. I wish I had seen this when I was living in my last apt. The grout was so gross but I am so sensitive to commercial cleaners. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

  15. Thanks for the tip- just found you on I heart nap time- pinned it and can’t wait to try it!
    Shannon

  16. Sarah@Naptime Delights says:

    I’m going to need to try this for sure! Thanks so much for sharing this project at Naptime Delights! I hope to see you again tomorrow!

    Sarah
    {www.naptimedelights.blogspot.com}

  17. pinkoddy says:

    Wow what a difference you made on your tiles! Thanks for sharing that – and things I have at home too :O)

  18. Such an easy recipe. I’m pinning this to try later. Thanks!

  19. Sarah@Naptime Delights says:

    This is so awesome I’m featuring it! Come on by to see!

    Sarah
    http://www.naptimedelights.blogspot.com

  20. I just gave this a whirl; it is the only thing that has worked on the grout left behind by my apartment’s former occupants! Thanks for posting!

  21. This is awesome! I have to give this a try :). I would love for you to link up to my linky party via: http://ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com/2012/06/live-show-me-what-you-got-tuesdays.html

    Mrs. Delightful
    http://www.ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

  22. This is great! I have tile on my kitchen countertops (nightmare- never, ever again.) and they are ALWAYS messy! Its not just shower slime, its spilled kool-aid, and pasta sauce, and all the other things I do on my countertop. I’m SO excited to try this! Hey, if you have a second I’d love for you to link up to Sweet Sharing Monday! http://saynotsweetanne.com/2012/sweet-sharing-monday-11/

  23. Great tip Jessi!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! Have a great day! :)

  24. Thanks for the great post! So very helpful. We are so glad that you linked up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. Please come back again really soon! Thanks! -The Sisters

    • Thanks you so much for sharing at Two Sasters!! My shower really needs a good clean! We are featuring you tomorrow! Come stop by:)

  25. I remember the grout in the apartments we first lived in years ago. It was gross. I wish I’d known this trick then. When we built our house, we opted for a “marble” looking tub surround. It’s much easier to clean, not so many crevaces for ick to grow in. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

  26. Taming the slime monster . . . always a good thing! This sounds easy and frugal . . . also a good thing! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again soon!

  27. This was seriously the best discovery!!! I wish I could kiss the person who “invented” this!! We were in the same situation as you…bought our place and the bath tub was very dingy. We tried everything….bought the expensive grout cleaner with the grout sealer…scrubbing with magic eraser and bleach until my fingers burned…the list goes on and on. This was the last ditch effort before we were going to just have the tub re-grouted. I was honestly skeptical at first, but I slathered the paste on and hoped for the best. I waited about 10-15 mins before going back into the bathroom and I was shocked!! I could already tell that it had worked without even washing it off. I did do an extra step and use an magic eraser to SRUB the entire tub and tile, then rinsed it down with my shower head and voila!!

    Ladies…do this to your “troubled” tub immediately. I WILL NEVER USE ANYTHING ELSE EVER AGAIN!! THE BEST DISCOVERY EVER!!

  28. Well, I was skeptical of this…something so simple but effective? SO glad I tried it! I couldn’t believe the difference!! I left it on for longer than 10 minutes though.

    Thank you for this!!!

  29. This was great! We are selling our condo that is 12 years old and over the years the white grout on our bathroom floor has just gotten so dingy looking. Nothing has really worked to break up the years of “dingyness” immediately I saw a difference and I will do this at least one more time while we have our unit for sale.

    Thanks for the great tip

  30. I have a question… can I use this “recipe” to clean the grout on my ceramic tile in my kitchen? Or is this solely for the purpose of bathroom wall tile?

    • You definitely can! It works on any tile, we just only happen to have tile in our bathroom. But it will work on kitchen counters, kitchen backsplash, tile floors…anywhere you have grout :-)

  31. Jahangir Alam says:

    What a great post and I am extremely thankful for the step by step guide and the safety tips that are provided. I am going to try it out on the next weekends and see what my bathroom will look like. I think the magic ingredient is the baking soda. Will update u guys what the results are soon.

  32. What a good idea about the grout cleaner, I’m trying this soon.

  33. I definitely think the use of bleach is the way to go. I recently attempted the project using a recipe of ammonia and baking soda, and it seemed i really needed to scrub to get that grout clean…you can see my results on my blog: http://testingtrendy123.blogspot.com/2012/10/well-my-kitchen-floor-is-in-serious.html

  34. Even if bleach does not irritate your hands at all, someday that damage will show, your skin is an organ (the largest in your body) and it absorbs everything! I would wear gloves with any acidic or caustic materials….to preserve it… just sayin…

  35. Dave the Grout says:

    Hi all great tip and here’s another.

    Forget grout whitener as in silly pencils and expensive paint, just overpaint the grout with Brilliant White Sandtex masonry paint and after drying for a while rub over to get rid of excess on tiles with a White bathroom textured sponge. Do not use a Green kitchen sponge as the colour comes out. If really keen clean as previous and then whiten.

    I have used it in a few rooms now and find it lasts quite a while, shower cubicles perhaps need attention more often.

    Test it by buying a tester pot and paint it on just over the grout so there is not so much cleaning off before spending to much dosh.

  36. I just tried this tonight. Worked GREAT!!! Thanks :)

  37. I have seen many posts suggesting using peroxide and bakingsoda instead of bleach…anyone tried that recipe?

  38. I’ve been meaning to clean our shower’s grout for a while now. If this doesn’t work, I’m gonna have to recaulk!

  39. I’m a registered respiratory therapist and I’d like to remind everyone the importance of making sure there is plenty of fresh air while cleaning with bleach, use exhaust fans or open windows and step out frequently to breathe fresh air. If you have sensitive airways be extremely cautious.

  40. You probably should wear some sort of eye protection; especially if it splatters.

    • It didn’t splatter at all when I used it; it was basically the consistency of paste. But it’s a really good idea to protect your eyes, even just from the vapors!

  41. I use the same method but instead of bleach, I use a vinegar and water solution (half and half). Same instructions, let it sit awhile, I wait a half-hour or so. Then I use a wet rag and some elbow grease. Works very well!

  42. Hello there, thanks for the cleaningtip: i saved your post for later use: this was this evening: de results are fantastic!

    I was also shocked though, by the effect it immediately had on my airways :S i almost had to trow up :(.
    But, if you like Debbie pointed out, make sure there is waaay waaay of fresh air… you might not get in to trouble to soon.

    I cannot believe this chemicalreaction is good for our health though, so i advise everybode to use your brains, and not breath in de chemicals that come from blending those two ingrediënts.

    But, it must be said, the darkest spots dissapear on the watch ;)

  43. After you clean your grout, seal it. It is porous and needs sealing every year or so. It is so easy to do and worth the effort. Sealer goes on like water.

  44. thanks so much for sharing this …I have tried this and wow it definitely worked…

  45. victoria says:

    Hi I just had a quick question in regards to the tooth brush to scrub the tile grout , Could I use a scrubbing brush instead if in a hurry to help cover more of the area or does it work better with a a toothbrush

    • Victoria, absolutely you can use a scrubbing brush! If you have a bigger scrub brush, or even one of those battery-powered scrubbers, that will work great! I just figured more people might have an extra toothbrush laying around. :-) Also, if your grout lines are very fine, the toothbrush might be better for really getting in there where a bigger brush might not. But any kind of brush will work!

  46. Hello, how would I clean the grout on the kitchen floor? which is a big area

  47. Can you please advise is that 3 to 4 cups, and 1 to 2 of bleach, thanks

  48. Awesome post! The bleach + baking soda recipe works great, i have tried it too. There’s another alternative to this recipe, and that is to use vinegar instead of bleach. Bleach, when used often, can damage grout and tile. Vinegar, on the other hand is a lot milder compared to bleach. I also squeeze in a little bit of lemon into the Vinegar + Baking soda mixture. Super easy to make, and best of all, it works!

  49. Thank You! I’ve been looking all over the web for a solution like this. The before and after pictures really tell the story. I’m moving out in a week and need my shower grout to shine.

  50. Really hoping this works! We moved into a condo about 9 months ago, and the grout was bad then..it has gotten worse over time, and so far none of the cleaners we have, worked. I will try this tomorrow and post my results!

  51. Raquel says:

    Please, what is C bleach, I am Brazilian and I am not able to translate the item? Thank you!

  52. Thank you for this! We just bought a house that was formerly owned by a hoarder (yep, just like the hoarders on television). It was a great deal and a great location if you don’t mind all the work, and thankfully we were able to get in and clean to the point that it was somewhat tolerable before moving in. But, the bathroom was so disgusting, shoes were an absolute must because the tile floors appeared to have never been cleaned. They’ve been mopped but I just now began detailing and the grout was caked! Ugh, I cannot even describe the horribleness! But this grout cleaner recipe works great! Thanks again :)

  53. How to clean grout that is white? I do not want to spoil the color with the bleach.

    Ann

  54. I have a whole kitchen floor, counter top (same tiles as on floor), backsplash, hearth, and entryway with tile. It’s not moldy, but really needs a good cleaning. I plan to use product from a company called This Old Grout. I’m wondering if anyone reading this post has used their products. Their website seems to have good reviews, but you never know whether they “sensor” the reviews to only show favorable ones. The concept of their system is to first clean the grout (use a stronger cleaner if the grout has previously been sealed), thoroughly rinse, then apply the sealer/stain (which, by the way, makes the color totally uniform). I know it will be a lot of work, but I hope the fumes will not be as caustic as the bleach and baking soda paste. I can see how that mixture would be great for a smaller area, but I know I’d be passing out if I had to do ALL the tile in my house with bleach! Has anyone else here tried using a stain/sealer product for grout? If so, which one did you use and were you happy with the results? Please don’t tell me to use regular paint. I know that’s the cheap route, but I would rather spent more money to get what I KNOW will last a long time.

  55. I will be cleaning the grout in my shower with bleach and baking soda. Some of my white tile in the shower is stained. Will the mixture also work on the tile also? How should I apply? I found your website this afternoon and thank you for all of the interesting ideas. Jeri

    • I don’t know if it will work on the tile Jeri, but it definitely won’t hurt to try! If you’re wearing gloves, just scoop out some of the mixture and spread it over the tile and grout with your hands. Leave it for a while and then scrub with a toothbrush or stiff bristle brush. Good luck, I hope it helps the tile stain too!

  56. I just did the floor of my small bathroom, the grout wasn’t full mildue of mold but just black grime….i used the toothbrush to get right in there and it cleaned up great! the grout is now a sandy color to match the tiles – ….i also sealed the grout afterward to help it stay clean for longer .

  57. Hi Jessi!!

    I wanted to take the time and quickly offer some praise where it is well-deserved for this wonderful cleaning “recipe” on tile grout, it worked AMAZINGLY well. I was very skeptical, but like many others, I had perused the internet in search of something to the effect of this post that detailed a more “natural” means to cleaning the shower and it sounded like just what we needed, so, I figured I’d give it a try. Unlike an apartment shower, our bathroom and especially the shower-area are done in real (large) tile which also accompany equally big grout lines, as our house was built in the 20’s. Although the bathroom has been updated, for some reason the tile chosen for this room is very stubborn and difficult to clean. I can poor gallons of bleach and other bathroom-specific cleaners on it, to no avail. I usually can keep up with it fairly easily, especially since there are only two of us in the household each only taking one shower per day (versus a home with a higher “traffic” area to the shower), but over the past few months a few illnesses and a recent job change, among other things, had left it neglected to a level of pure disgust and covered, COVERED in slimy, black mold. I wish I had taken before and after pictures, but please be assured either way, that this recipe WORKS! I should note that for my mixture I used 1/3 of a cup for everything, instead of 1/4. However, the general guide I adhered to was 3 parts baking soda to 1 part bleach. I stirred until a thick paste, and then spread on all of my tile grout. I then scrubbed with a toothbrush (I should also note, that I also had on-hand a much larger scrubbing brush I could have used but it did not work well for me in doing this task), and then allowed it to sit for 15-20 minutes because I had a more substantial area to cover. After I rinsed, I did notice an improvement but I was initially disappointed in the results since I did not feel the grout was truly clean. However, I recall the post on this topic stating that occasionally grout is an off-white color and can appear darker with time or when wet. This was the case for my shower. Once it dried, my shower was noticeably cleaner. The grout is normally a “sand” color to match our tiles, and while the color is still maintained, it is greatly brightened and clear of any mildew and in our case, hard water deposits. Anyone with a tough grout problem needs to give this a try before they give up, spend a fortune in various cleaners, or resort to a professional. This was a great tip that is so worthy of mentioning and it so worth the effort and eventual results. Thank you, Jessi for posting about this so that I could find it and save my poor shower! Lol :)

    • Brandy, I’m so glad to hear this worked so well for you, thanks for letting me know! I had the same issue when I first cleaned my grout; it seemed to help, but the grout was still a bit darker than I liked. But after an hour or two once it had dried completely it was perfectly white!

  58. This is great – I’ve got an issue with the mold in my downstairs bathroom, started after we had a baby and started using it more for his baths. I usually just spray bleach on it, but I wonder if I used a toothbrush and really scrubbed it with the paste here if it would stick longer – because right now it comes back. :/ I’ll have to try it – thank you! Merry Christmas.

  59. It didn’t say anything about not using on colored grout and I just applied it to a grey colored grout (that looked black). The grey color has come back but it has white spots/residue all over. Is this just access baking soda or did I just create a larger job by using bleach on a non white grout? Suggestions for fixing it?

    Thanks,
    John

    • The bleach will bleach a colored grout, but it also bleaches dirty grout. So unless you know for sure whether the grout was actually grey to begin with or whether it was just dirty, it’s probably impossible to say at this point which it was. But I used it on white grout and I got spots too the first time. It just means that the bleach only cleaned some spots of dirt and not all of them (or, if you accidentally bleached colored grout, it just means that the bleach only fully bleached some spots and not all). To get the spots to go away, just use the cleaner a second time and leave it on a little longer to make sure all of the places are bleached evenly. It worked for me!

  60. I’m gonna try this tomorrow – what a way to spend new years day right? lol Thanks for the tip, hope my tub looks as clean as yours when i’m done.

  61. I found that 3 parts baking soda to 1 part bleach was too thick to use.

  62. Can’t wait to give this a try, I also live in a tiny apartment with a puppy so my grout is dirty from previous tenants and my puppy having accidents! I feel like this will definitely give it the deep cleaning it truly needs! Thanks for posting this, looking forward to more hoe improvement tutorials.

  63. What’s even better is to spray Lysol all over the shower after cleaning it and mold won’t grow on it any more.

  64. Oh Jessi, I’m so glad I saw this on Pinterest tonight. My kitchen counters are starting to look haggard, and I’ve never had to clean grout before. They are going to be so sparkly white this week!

  65. Important caution: Don’t try to ‘boost’ this with ammonia. Ammonia + any chlorine based cleaner will create TOXIC fumes!

  66. Thanks for the tip, going to give this a try!

  67. Paulina says:

    It’s a great way to clean grout, but only white. Bleach might cause change in color of the grout, so on colored ones it should be used with caution. I have some strange kind of orange grout in a tiny bathroom and bad air circulation causes a lot of mold in and around the shower. I tried to get rid of mold with bleach and now I have huge discoloration on grout. Luckily I rent that apartment, so I don’t have to replace the grout.

    • I guess there’s an added benefit to adding bleach, but I don’t think it’s really necessary. I’ve made a paste of baking soda and water, thin enough to spread and cover tiles and grout, but thick enough to ensure it stays put. I’ve left it on overnight and used a larger scrub brush, on the you slip your four fingers through the handle, and scrubbed away before taking my shower! I just get in unclothed and use a fine mist from the shower head, moistening the baking soda. Scrubbed everything down really good.. took my shower and rinsed the entire shower and everything is sparkling clean. The mildew is gone and the stains are gone. Of course you wouldn’t dare do this with bleach in the mixture. Leaving it set overnight I think is key in getting a good result.

      Here’s something that amazed me, my mother and anyone else who ever used her bathroom. She has an old porcelain bathtub and it’s really deep. Over the years from using various cleaners it’s become etched and stained. Bleach didn’t work, baking soda and bleach didn’t work.. but I’ll be darned if she didn’t try one of those very simple Mr Clean Magic Erasers and BOOM! Her tub was white without any stains left! I’m talking 37 years of chemicals and stain buildup, GONE!.. I’ve used those things before and was never impressed, but I sure am now, at least on an old porcelain etched bathtub.

      • Those magic eraser things are AMAZING! It doesn’t surprise me it worked on the tub; I’ve used them on my porcelain kitchen sink before and it worked great! And I’m glad to hear the baking soda by itself (or with a bit of water) worked for you; that’s definitely a good option if you’re opposed to using bleach! I agree leaving it overnight definitely helps give it plenty of time to work!

  68. TerriSue says:

    I just found you tonight when I Googled “How to clean a Microwave”. I haven’t done it yet as I have been wondering around your site. I make my own laundry soap. You really can’t call it detergent because it isn’t. Neither is yours. It’s laundry soap. I’ve been using the borax recipe for years. I have to say I’m going to try yours out. I just made a big batch of laundry soap and I hope it lasts a while as even more recently I made 5 pounds of pure castile soap and I want it to have had time to cure before I make your laundry soap. I’m highly suspicious of Dr. Bronner’s items and try to stay away from them. If I do run out of soap before it cures, which sometimes happens, we buy Kirk’s Original Coco Castile soap. It is not a true Castile Soap as it is made from coconut oil. Pure castile soap has only olive oil and no other additives. But, hey coconut oil is all the rage right now.
    What I really wanted to question was the 3rd thing I looked at, which as you can see here is your grout cleaner. I’ve read two posts that sound like you care about your family and the things that they are around. You use vinegar for a cleaner….I’m definitely with you there. You question borax which I have done in the past and now you have given me an alternative……..But then you go and ruin the image that was forming in my mind by using liquid bleach. And by the slew of comments you have hundreds of people following your uninformed advise. Alright maybe you don’t mind having a highly toxic chemical in your house, I just can’ for the life of me figure out why bleach is ok but borax isn’t. But for your house that’s for you to choose………..The BIG problem here is it isn’t just for your house. When you wash down those now sparkling walls you are washing bleach into ALL OF OUR’S water systems. Eventually this toxic chemical get’s back into our river, streams and lakes. You might say “But it’s only 1/4 cup.” Look at all the people who responded to you, you know that that is only a small portion of the people who read this blog and went and tried your potion, now multiply that by all of the 1/4 cups and think of all of the gallons into going into our water. The water that has been destroyed by the bleach. The water animals who have been killed by the bleach. the land animals who have drank the tainted water. Don’t tell me their is chlorine in our water, I have a filter that removes the stuff. So really What is your problem with Borax when you have bleach sitting around? I really, truly want to know. I am so confused after reading these three posts. Please, please answer me!

    • Hi TerriSue! I’m so happy you asked the question! If you look at the dates of the three posts you’ll see you actually read them in backwards order, so I did the grout cleaning a year before I really started paying attention to the types of chemicals we use in our house and started focusing on more natural solutions. But truly, the answer is personal preference! I completely understand that there are many modern conveniences in our daily lives that are harmful to the environment, and I understand that it’s not ideal to use harsh chemicals because of the effects on our environment, or even the effects on our homes and households. I do prefer to use natural alternatives to harsh chemicals like bleach now, but years ago I didn’t know more about it. And, like I said, I think everyone is allowed their personal preference.

      For example, my husband doesn’t like to use my all-natural cleaners, and still uses bleach when he cleans the bathrooms. I can (and have!) talked to him about the reasons why I prefer natural cleaners, but it is not my place to force my opinion on him or anyone else.

      So even though in general I prefer to find a more natural alternative rather than use a harsh chemical, I know that is not a priority for a lot of people, and it doesn’t need to be! We are all living our lives on this planet and doing the best we can, and perhaps the simplicity or ease of using a chemical cleaner makes it worth it to some, even though it might not be worth it to others. We don’t know the reasons behind the choices of others, only the reasons behind our own choices, so I try not to judge anyone for their preference, even if it doesn’t match my own.

      And since this homemade grout cleaner worked so well when I used it, I provided the “recipe” and my experiences here on my blog in order to share that with others. Obviously, if you don’t want to use bleach to clean your grout, you don’t have to! No one will force you, but for those whose personal preference does not preclude them from using bleach, this is a very useful cleaning tip and I thought it worth sharing!

  69. TerriSue says:

    Dear Jessi,
    I can’t tell you how much it meant to me for you to write me back. I truly was not trying to bash your blog. I truly was confounded how you could say one thing was bad and then use another that was infinitely worse on something else. Your blog does look right up my alley and I am going to subscribe. I am also going to have to google borax and look into it more carefully. Personally I think liquid bleach should be banned from easy buying and only be able to be bought through a lot of red tape. Thank you again for getting back to me.
    TerriSue

  70. I found that this did not work on my shower tile grout. I left it on for 30 minutes and no change after a good scrubbing. :( I’m not sure what other method will work. :(

  71. I recently bought a new house and was told by the tile people never to use bleach on grout. Can’t remember the reason. I use baking soda and vinegar. It’s an amazing grout “bleacher” and the smell doesn’t make me feel like I am going to pass out. I just use an old spice container filled with baking soda and sprinkle it along the grout (on the floor) and then spray with vinegar and then brush with grout brush. I supposed you could make a paste for the walls. Clean up takes a while because of the gritty baking soda. Maybe I’ll make a paste next time and see how that goes.

  72. We tried this today on our shower tiles in the bathroom. It did work, however I was a bit concerned about the fumes it generated. Despite the bathroom window and hallway window being open to create a through draft I am suffering from a rather irritated throat. Next time maybe a face mask would be in order

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  1. [...] The most viewed link from last week was…. Homemade Grout Cleaner from Practically Functional [...]

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  4. […] detergent before? Did you like it? What about other homemade cleaning products? I still love the homemade grout cleaner I made last year; it works great on all our […]

  5. […] love simple cleaning solutions like this. I made a homemade grout cleaner with just baking soda and bleach and it worked WONDERS! And we’ve been using a homemade borax […]

  6. […] spring cleaning done while you’re waiting! Clean your microwave with vinegar, or make this homemade grout cleaner and clean your tile […]

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