Introduction: Grout and Tile Cleaning

Picture of Grout and Tile Cleaning

This Instructable will teach you how to clean a bathroom, for those of you who don't have maids. Everyone should know how to clean a bathroom, my mom taught me how when I was very young, and it became one of the chores that needed to be done before we could go out and play.

It's really not hard.

Warning, bleach is a pretty strong chemical, and it can burn you skin, eyes, and throat. The fumes can make you pass out if you are not careful, so work in a well ventilated area to prevent this. It is also recommended that you wear gloves, although I don't because my skin is used to the bleach.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

You will need the following to clean your bathroom:

1 bottle with a 10:1 ratio of water:bleach mixture
1 brush
About 20 minutes

Warning, bleach is a pretty strong chemical, and it can burn you skin, eyes, and throat. The fumes can make you pass out if you are not careful, so work in a well ventilated area to prevent this. It is also recommended that you wear gloves, although I don't because my skin is used to the bleach.

As many have stated, there are other types of cleaners, bleach is just my preferred method. Some other choices are the following:

Hydrogen Peroxide mixture
White vinegar mixture

Regular cleaning is also a good way to prevent mold, mildew and other discoloration of grout and tiles.

Step 2: Move All That Stuff From the Shower

Picture of Move All That Stuff From the Shower

The first step would be to give yourself some space to work, move all of the soap and shampoo from the shower and start spraying everything with the bleach mixture. It is best to start cleaning right after someone has showered so that everything is nice and wet already. After you thoroughly spray everything, go get a drink and let the bleach work for a few minutes.

Step 3: Scrubbin' Time

Picture of Scrubbin' Time

Now that the bleach has had time to do a little work, start scrubbing the shower tiles, starting at the top and working your way down. You may want to work in small sections, but I just do everything in one shot. After you scrub everything, rinse it off! Now you should have a nice clean shower, if you missed any spots, now is a good time to go over them.

Step 4: Everyone Loves a Clean Shower

Picture of Everyone Loves a Clean Shower

If your shower curtain has a lot of pink stuff on it (soap scum), it is probably time to wash that too, or get a new one. You can find them in the dollar store or in Wal-mart for cheap.

Cleaning your shower can really make you feel good. Now you won't feel embarrassed when you have company over, you will feel better getting ready for work in the morning, and there is less risk of spreading germs and foot fungus to other people in your house. Now grab your brush and get to it!


anthonylawn55 (author)2017-02-08

Great info :) & we also provide great services for tile cleaning and grout cleaning @atlanta D'sapone

asimplehomestead (author)2009-03-31

Unless you completely rinse ALL of the bleach off you could be damaging your grout. Bleach is caustic and can damage grout. You also don't want to use anything acidic like vinegar on grout - the acid can eat away at the alkaline grout.

I've read that vinegar, full strength, will neutralize bleach.
If you get bleach on your hands and get that 'slimey' feel where you can't get your hands squeeky clean, a simple solution is to apply rubbing alcohol to your hands, and then rinse. It strips the bleach residue off.

AndreR33 (author)realife112015-11-29

Never mix vinegar with bleach unless you have a death wish. It makes chlorine gas also called mustard gas.

realife11 (author)AndreR332015-11-29

Thanks AndreR33, I didn't know that about the 2 mixed together. I googled it to find more info and some say if you use a gallon of water to dilute it + 2tsp. each bleach and vinegar, then it's safe as a disinfectant. BUT, others say it's NOT safe under any circumstances. After what I read about how it creates a deadly gas compound when combined together full strength, I don't think I would even use water. It's best to err on the side of caution. Also, bleach+alcohol (1 to 1 ratio), can create toxic substances too. Before this, I've ONLY heard about ammonia and bleach, and that you're never suppose to mix them. I had never heard about vinegar and bleach, so thank you very much for alerting me (and everyone) to this! You may literally be a life saver :-)

I haven't really ever experienced this. Our grout is still there after all the times that I have used bleach on it. It is not full strength, it is watered down.

tollmanu (author)2015-08-13

This is very useful information for cleaning the tiles and grout. I suggest though you use protective gloves when brushing the dirt off.

sideeffect11 (author)2015-05-27

It's a good way to clean the floor and tile. Thanks

Window Cleaner (author)2014-09-07

Easy and works, perfect.

OpenSpaces (author)2012-09-22

I guess no one has a septic system to worry about. Bleach kills the septic systems. I use 2 Cups of white Vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon of backing soda. Fill the rest of the quart up with water. Spray on walls & doors of shower after a shower once a day. It stays clean of water spots too. Don't know if this will work on grout or not.

m74murray (author)2010-09-09

i do the same thing but i do half n half instead of 10:1 and i add a dolip of dish liquid. this helps the javex adhier to the surfaces that need to be cleaned. but there is a chemical reaction that is stronger than this mixture you have made..... so you must be carefull open windows and keep children out .the time that it takes is much less and you dont have to scrub just rince and whipe.

vgrandja (author)m74murray2011-11-20

Thank you! My home has poor ventilation and I'd have to open the doors from top bottom just so that the smell doesn't travel everywhere!

I'm now weary of using cleaning chemicals but what else would help clean grout that hasn't been attended to by a "maid" for several decades?

It's winter now and I'm stuck: the grout needs weekly cleaning and to open the windows would mean heating bill will go up a % this time last year.

mickryobe (author)vgrandja2012-08-02

My bathroom has one small window. No ventilation fan.
I open the window whenever I shower, summer or winter.
My shower has three sliding doors.
When done I always leave the two end doors open 6" to 8" so the moisture can evaporate.
There is, after a period of time, a small build up of mold on the grout. I use a spray bottle of 100% (Not diluted) chlorine bleach. I set the sprayer for "stream" rather than "spray".
I leave the window open and the bathroom door closed for several hours until the odour is gone.

Oroka (author)2009-03-29

Awesome 'ible! Just one question, will this whiten the grout? The grout in my bathroom looks like it hasn't been cleaned since the 70' (it is a possibility, it is an apartment)/) and needs to be whitened badly.

chewy87100 (author)Oroka2009-03-30

Yes, it will whiten the grout, as long as it was white to begin with.

Oroka (author)chewy871002009-03-30

hehehe... if it turned brown grout white, you might just be onto a new bathroom 'product' ;)

chamunks (author)Oroka2011-08-11

There is the possibility of using Hydrochloric acid to deep clean the grout if its similar to concrete than you could paint it afterwards and the acid itself would make the grout suck up whatever paint you use like fresh drywal.

GeekyMommy (author)2010-09-21

This might work pretty well but I would want to point out that washing or scrubbing away mold with bleach ca be pretty dangerous. Mold, when it comes in contact with bleach could offset more of their toxic spores into the air.

roi94 (author)2010-09-02

how can i make the white vinegar mixture? REPLY ASAP!

Darcy777 (author)2010-07-19

Thank you for this instructable. One is always putting themselves out there when posting an instructable (or anything on the Net where comments are allowed) as snarks are always ready to type insults in response. (oops, did I just snark?) This is a straight forward instructable with images to aid the instructions.

memoggz (author)2009-04-16


MrL33TPenguin (author)memoggz2009-11-27

 but it will look like that the grout is ALWAYS dirty...

canida (author)2009-03-29

Also, be careful of using bleach anywhere near ammonia - the resulting chlorine gas vapors can be deadly.

chewy87100 (author)canida2009-03-30

That is a good point, but ammonia is not required for this instructable.

RoBear613 (author)chewy871002009-05-27

True, but most people don't understand chemistry. Many think that since bleach does such a good job and ammonia does such a good job, combining the two will do even better. A word of caution is always a good thing.

judyblue (author)2009-04-03

Regular cleaning is key to keeping mold from permanently discoloring grout. Since chlorine bleach damages surfaces over time, I spray my walls and curtain with dilute vinegar after every shower. Once every week or two, I sponge the walls down with a slightly more concentrated solution. One-half cup of vinegar in a quart spray bottle filled with water, with three drops of liquid detergent, kills mold and keeps soap scum and hard water stains from building up with daily use. It's cheap, and I don't have to worry if the solution drips on my skin or other surfaces.

pchy (author)2009-03-31

I've found that hydrogen peroxide works really well in my shower. I just got a spray bottle and poured a bottle of H2O2 into it. Then, when the shower is dry, I spray the H2O2 onto the tiles. It takes a few treatments to get it white, but the best thing is, it doesn't stink. The cost is about $3 a month or so (1 large bottles a month).

pchy (author)pchy2009-04-01

yeah, it's pretty slick. i'm sure there are different molds that don't respond (i'm in the pacific NW), but so far it works on that weird black stuff. i spray a little in my patio doors and windows to keep the black mold down there too

chewy87100 (author)pchy2009-04-01

Hey, it sounds like it's worth a try. I hadn't heard of H2O2 being used to clean grout before.

baitzzz (author)2009-03-31

What exactly do you mean when you say bleach. I thought bleach was anything that makes other stuff white...

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