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The Right Way to Clean Grout in the Shower

A blue gloved hand using a yellow sponge
Jason Deines

There are few household chores more hated than the dreaded grout cleaning. Whether it’s mold, mildew, soap scum or hard water stains, grout seems to capture the worst of it all. If you have any combination of these, you might be wondering how to best clean grout in the shower. If the space between your bathroom tiles is looking lackluster, you’ve come to the right place. Luckily, there are several simple and cost-effective methods to make that grout cleaner. So here’s our top tips and tricks on how to clean grout in the shower.

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A yellow glove holding and orange sponge in how to clean grout in the shower
Karolina Grabowska

Quick and Simple

Sometimes there just isn’t time for a deep clean — life gets in the way and guests can pop by without enough warning. That’s where Melamine Sponges come in. You likely already know them by their brand name, the one tied to the buff bald guy in the white t-shirt. What’s great about these mystic little rectangles is how quick and easy they are to use. To get started, just add warm water to the sponge, wring out any excess water and start scrubbing your target area.

Related: How to Get Rid of a Musty Basement Smell

A bucket of various cleaning products
Ellie Burgin

The Good Stuff

When it comes to bathroom cleaning supplies, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There seems to be no shortage of sprays that claim to do it all. Choosing a commercial cleaning product is often the best choice when the affected areas have a build up of grime and residue. Products specifically designed for tile and grout will make quick work of filth. This effectiveness comes at a cost. Many heavy duty commercial products are harmful or caustic and will require adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). So, glove up and get ready to scrub.

Related: How to Deep Clean Your Oven

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How to clean grout in the shower
Karolina Grabowska

Au Natural 

If the chemical route isn’t for you, then there’s always Nana’s tried and true vinegar recipe. Equal parts warm water and white vinegar makes for an excellent grout cleaner. You’ll want to place old towels anywhere there may be runoff of your mixture to prevent staining. Once applied, let the mixture sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush. Should you find that this isn’t strong enough, you can increase the mixture to one part warm water, two parts white vinegar and a teaspoon of vegetable-based dish soap. When satisfied with your scrubbing, rinse down any areas with warm water and dish soap. 

Related: How to Organize Kitchen Cupboards to Optimize Your Storage Space

A pink glove holding a pink scrub brush
Anna Shvets

Fancy Future Tech

Our last, and coolest, method is steam cleaning. Many steam cleaners have a grout attachment which consists of a nozzle with stiff bristles on its end. The hot steam, coupled with a mild detergent, loosens any debris with little to no effort. Unfortunately, most of us don’t already own a steam cleaner, so this option requires you to either purchase or rent one, which is its own headache. Despite that, it does look like fun blasting soap scum off the wall like Iron Man.

Related: How to Clean Your Couch (and Tips to Keep it Clean)

Yellow glove using a squidgy
Karolina Grabowska

Prevention

In order to not have to do a deep clean on your tiles and grout, there’s a few tricks to keep them looking new. 

  • Remove any excess water from the walls after use with a squeegee window scrubber.
  • Open a window or turn on a fan to circulate air and reduce humidity after showering.
  • After cleaning, let dry before applying a grout sealer.

Here are some extra tips to help keep your tile shining:

  • Clean regularly to prevent buildup of soap scum or hard water.
  • Use a soft or scratch-resistant sponge. Heavy duty brushes, sponges and steel wool can damage these surfaces.
  • Always wear gloves.
  • Work in a ventilated area with a door or window open to reduce any fumes and odors that may build up.



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