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Natural Grout Cleaner Recipe

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

A natural grout cleaner can help old tile to shine again, without the hassle of chiseling out tile or replacing the grout entirely.

Traditional grout cleaners may contain harsh chemicals, like bleach, ammonia, chlorine, or phthalates. Yuck! Not only are these chemicals potential hazardous to your health, they’re actually not even necessary to get a good clean.

natural grout cleaner recipe

Natural grout cleaners are a great way to naturally clean your tile without harsh additives or mystery ingredients. These homemade cleaners use inexpensive pantry staples to provide a quality clean and complete grout restoration.

Natural Grout Cleaner Ingredients

Many natural grout cleaners use many of the same ingredients. Understanding how to use each ingredient will help you to know which recipe is best for you.

Each ingredient has its own special job and part of the solution.

Some of the most popular ingredients include:

Distilled White Vinegar – The Antibacterial Additive

Distilled white vinegar is a popular choice for natural cleaners. Vinegar’s primary role is anti-bacterial, when used in cleaners.

distilled white vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is an incredible cleaner to use around the house

Due to its acidity, cleaning with vinegar cuts down on the spread of germs, airborne illnesses, or other contagious gunk that may be floating around your home.

Baking Soda – The Natural Whitener

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is another staple ingredient for cleaning tile grout, naturally. This ingredient works as a bonding agent, a scrubbing aggregate, and a natural brightener.

baking soda
Where white vinegar goes, baking soda usually follows. Great for more than just building science fair volcanoes.

It’s dense enough so that you can use a toothbrush, steel wool pad, or small scrubbing brush to really grind your cleaning solution into the grout for real scrubbing power.

Hydrogen Peroxide – The Dutiful Disinfectant

Although many people commonly find hydrogen peroxide in their fist aid kit, it is equally as beneficial to have under the sink with the cleaning supplies.

Hydrogen peroxide is a great disinfectant and can sterilize many surfaces, including tile floors and grout.

hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning grout, in addition to scraps and bumps.

You can purchase hydrogen peroxide with a screw-top lid or with a spray spout and squirt the solution directly onto the grout.RELATED – House Cleaning Schedule infographic (printable schedule to help stay on track!).

Liquid Castile Soap – The Grease Buster

Liquid Castile soap originated in Castile, Spain, and is made from vegetable oils (like hemp, olive, coconut, almond, avocado, etc.)  Castile soap is a nice additive for grout that could use a little extra elbow grease.

For greasy grout or excessive dirt, this soap will help to break down particles and clean residue. These soaps can come scented or unscented, allowing you to add your own scent.

Essential Oils – The Featured Fragrance

Essential oils are a fantastic way to add a scent to your natural grout cleaners without adding synthetic fragrances. Essential oils are derived from the original plant or fruit. Popular essential oils to add to cleaners include:

essential oils
Essential oils are great for adding a fresh fragrance to most any natural cleaning recipe.

Water – The Secret Diluter

Depending on how you want to use your natural grout cleaner, you may want to consider adding a bit of water.

Without water, you can create a natural grout cleaner with a consistency like soft scrub. You could use a scrubbing brush to liberally apply the cleaner to the grout and work your way across a room.

If you want to use a spray bottle to apply your natural grout cleaner you’ll use a bit of water to cut the recipe to a more liquid form.

If you don’t have a large amount of dirt and mainly want to disinfect your grout, you could add water to thin out the solution. When it’s thinner, you could squirt it through a squeeze bottle or a spray bottle.

RELATED – 12 Natural Cleaning Recipes for a Greener Home.

How to Apply Your Natural Grout Cleaner

When it’s time to start applying your natural cleaner to your grout, you can follow this simple process to ensure that your grout gets the makeover you’re looking for.

1. Sweep Your Floors

Start the cleaning process by sweeping or vacuuming the space you want to clean. Getting as much dirt and residue off of the tile and grout prior to deep cleaning will save you time and energy during the job.

Sweep your floor before applying grout cleaner

A quick sweep of the floor before applying the grout cleaner will remove any large debris.

Alternatively, if you have a robot vacuum, you can let that pre-clean the tile as well. If you don’t yet have a robot, check out some of our cheap robot favorites, including the Roomba 690 and iLife A4s.

2. Spray, Squirt, or Spread The Grout Cleaner

Depending on the consistency of your solution, you want to generously apply the cleaner to a small section of grout. You can use a spray bottle for ultra-thin cleaners, a squeeze bottle for toothpaste-consistency cleaners, or a spoon or small trowel for thick soft scrub-consistency cleaners.

Work your way across the tile, scrubbing in small circles or linearly down the surface of the grout. Depending on your area, common grout tools include: toothbrushes, grout brushes or small scrub brushes.

Applying natural grout floor cleaner

Generously apply your natural grout cleaner to the floor. Recipe #3 is pictured here (it’s more of a liquid than the others)

For difficult spaces, apply the cleaner and let it sit for 10-30 minutes before you start scrubbing. This will help allow the solutions to break down the grime and make it easier to clean.

3. Rinse with Damp Washcloth

Once the grout is restored, wipe down the floor with a damp washcloth, rinsing occasionally to ensure that you don’t leave any excess solution on the floor.

Lastly, Let Your Floors Dry

Allow your floor to air dry before using the space. It shouldn’t take too long and then you’ll be back in business!

Natural Grout Cleaner Recipes

Making your own natural grout cleaner is a wonderful way to get cleaner tile without worrying about what you’re putting in your home. Here are a couple quick recipes for easy grout cleaners that use some of the popular ingredients listed above.

Grout Cleaner Recipe #1 – Simple Paste

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide

Grout Cleaner Recipe #2 – Deeper Clean Paste

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap

Grout Cleaner Recipe #3 – Sprayable and Fresh Smell

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 20 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Have your own secret natural cleaning recipe you think we should feature? Let us know here!

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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