So this one time when I was supposed to be writing a post about cleaning tile and grout, I was trying to get a virus off my computer because I forgot to check the site I was downloading it from. Oops. Unfortunately it’s still a work in progress. Random tip of the day, only download files from  trusted sites. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled cleaning tips including a giveaway at the end of the post!

Cleaning tile and grout in a tub surround is very different than cleaning tile on the floor. For one thing, I’m pretty sure the stuff on the floor is far more stubborn and determined to overstay it’s welcome, which is what has happened with this particular tile floor. Good news though, in one of my many cleaning experiments, I have found that one of my super cheap cleaners, meaning a whole dollar, works wonderfully to clean dirty tile and grout. I should also mention that this cleaner is pretty natural too. Yay!

Here is my best kept secret to cleaning tile and grout

Tile and Grout Cleaner


Bon Ami, I love this stuff! (not a sponsored post)

First, sprinkle Bon Ami onto the grout lines using medium coverage like the photo above.

Cleaning Grout

Spray the grout with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. I used a tooth brush to do some scrubbing, you can use a grout brush too. Let the solution sit in the grout lines for about 5 minutes, then wipe up and rinse thoroughly.

Once the tile is dry, you’ll be able to see if there is any Bon Ami left in the grout lines. I did, because some of the grout was sanded. So I wet the tooth brush, scrubbed the area just enough to get the white powder out then followed with a dry cloth to pick up the  water and cleaner.

Tile and Grout Cleaning Tips

This is to show you how brown and nasty this grout is and how loud it was screaming “CLEAN ME!”

Cleaning Tile and Grout


Sorry about the wonky lighting but that dark brown grout turned into this nice, light sandy color. I worked in sections and was able to complete a 3×6 section of tile in about 30 minutes by just giving a few scrubs to each grout line.

I seriously could not believe how well this solution worked to clean the tile and grout. I have used baking soda and hot soapy water, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, bleach and more but using Bon Ami has given me the best results.

Hate cleaning tile and grout by hand? Good news! Today I am giving away a free professional tile and grout cleaning by my company, KIWI!
Tile and Grout Cleaning Giveaway


All you have to do is leave a comment here, preferably about your tile cleaning woes, or secrets, by Friday and I will announce the winner on Monday October 13th. The contest is for residents 18 years or older of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Denver metro areas only, as those are the areas that KIWI serves. The Giveaway ends Friday and the winner will be selected at random and notified via email, so pretty please include it in the comment form.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contest begins 10/6/14 and ends 10/10/14. To be eligible to win, a comment must be left on Angela Says blog post “The Best Kept Secret to Clean Tile and Grout.” Valid only for Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Denver areas only. Must be 18 or older to enter to win. Winner will be selected at random and notified via email within one week of contest end date. No response within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Personal information will only be used to contact winner. Any income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner. By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and release Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules.

*Denise Jordan is the Winner*

Please look for an email from KIWI Services

Happy cleaning!!


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40 Responses to The Best Secret to Cleaning Tile and Grout

  1. Karen says:

    How about trying enzymes to clean rather than toxic chemicals? Let’s talk.

  2. Mary says:


    Thank you for your ideas. Our grout was so dirty the Bon Ami did not work. I used the cleaner that is sold at LOWES, it is much better than any other I tried. Also, be sure that you seal the grout again when you are done. that way, you do not have to do a clean up too soon!


    • Angela says:

      Mary I totally agree with you on re-sealing your grout after a good cleaning and I’m glad you found something that works for you. 🙂

  3. Joyce says:

    I live in a house built in 1950 in the front and 1960 in the back. The white small tiles and grout are hard to clean and keep clean. Would love to win the grout cleaning machine to use with BonAmi.

  4. Denise Jordan says:

    I use a solution of white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. I scrub it with a loufa. When I’m finished and it’s rinsed well, I spray it with an 1 to 8 solution of bleach. I let it stand for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly. I usually only have to clean it twice a year, before Christmas and Easter.

  5. Denice Costello says:

    i have used bleach and it leaves a strong odor so I’m looking forward to trying this.

  6. DonnaC says:

    How about travertine? I’m told not to use vinegar to clean it. What do u recommend? Grout lines are very thin but obviously whichever cleaner I use will get in the travertine.

    • Angela says:

      I would recommend just warm soapy water for travertine, or any other stone sensitive to vinegar, to wet down the Bon Ami.

  7. DonnaC says:

    So it’s ok to use Bonami on travertine?
    Thanks much 🙂

  8. shari says:

    I have a new to me house… you guys did my couches, but i now need my kitchen and bath floors done.

  9. Birdie Berghuis says:

    Can you use Bon ami with marble? I have grout I forgot to re-seal and it needs to be cleaned. I have tried soft scrub for marble and it’s not working. Can you help?

  10. Nici says:

    Great tip, Angela!Glad to hear it’s both inexpensive and relatively “natural”. I so need to do this to our grout! Thanks for sharing at my Creative Ways Link Party last week. Hope you’ll be back tonight to share more great tips!

  11. Cynthia says:

    Great tip, thanks! I’m always looking for natural alternatives for everything.

  12. […]  Great tip for cleaning that dirty grout! […]

  13. Janet says:

    I recently came across a suggestion that oxygen bleach will clean tile grout. Well,with brown grout that should be tan, it was time to try. I purchased Oxi clean, mixed according to box directions, and squirted onto the grout. I let it sit for 30 minutes (it was dirty grout), then scrubbed a couple times. Rinsed, mopped and gorgeously clean tile.

  14. Brenda Landowski says:

    Thank you for the tip! I have a ton of grout to clean so off to the store to shop for this stuff and wish me luck!! Nothing iv done works really well and yes I have scrubbed for hours in the past! Lots of teenage boys running through my house so you cN only imagine!!

  15. Melody Brown says:

    The grout in my bathroom really needs to be cleaned. I am glad you included a specific product that works for you. I will have to get some of that for myself, and try this method.

  16. Aspen Bowen says:

    Angela, I like that you used a toothbrush. That is a smart tool to use, especially since the grout can be tough to get to. When I mop my floor the grout never get very clean, so I will have to try using a toothbrush on the grout lines.

  17. Jade Brunet says:

    Cleaning is not my favorite thing to do, so when I do decide to get the chores done, I need the efforts to be effective. Thank you for this information of how to see results when cleaning tile. Another thing I have found to be productive is using product and a sponge.

  18. Linda says:

    Bon ami is my best friend. LOL i use it to clean my pots and pans, glass, stove, everything. it does not scratch

  19. Jackie Oliver says:

    This was such a great help, you can really see the different in your tiles! My husband and I want to put tile in our home, and I need to know how to take car of it. I never would have thought to use a toothbrush, but that is such a clever idea.

  20. John says:

    My wife and I love the look of tile in a home and have been considering having it installed. It’s good to know there are DIY solutions available to clean your own tile like mentioned above. Would you suggest having your tile and grout professionally cleaned every now and in addition to your own cleanings? We would want to keep our tile looking great for a long time.

  21. The idea was excellent, and I like it but can it clean entirely? Means what if some solid stain on tiles can make it clean completely too?

  22. JeremyJosh says:

    Very informative tips. Just to add up, do not use bleach. It will cause the grout to deteriorate and eventually break. Bleach also ruins the shine on glossy tile

  23. Billy says:

    Thank you for the article, it was very informative! I will have to use the vinegar combination with bon ami. I always thought that it was cheap and overlooked it, but I love trying new cleaning products on tile and grout. Will try, and update you with results. Cheers!

  24. I made the mistake in bathroom cleaning few months 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.

  25. I in addition to my guys were taking note of the good information and facts from your web site and so instantly I had a horrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to you for those tips. All the men became consequently joyful to see them and have sincerely been enjoying them. Thanks for being quite kind and for picking out this form of fantastic ideas millions of individuals are really needing to learn about. My personal honest regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  26. Andrews Carpet Service says:

    Thank you for publishing this article.

  27. andrewscarpets.com.au says:

    Thank you for publishing this article. We appreciate you spending time
    to write this.

  28. Emily Turner says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing these great tips with us. Cleaning is kind of a mess for people. Your tips are great help.

  29. Anne Lewis says:

    Great tip for cleaning. How or what do you use for revealing your grout? Thank you

  30. Paul Brown says:

    Is it ok to use Bonami on travertine?

    And how safe is bleach for my tiles? Will the usage of bleach affect the state of my tiles and grout shortly?

  31. Sherry Clark says:

    Thanks for the recipe for the cleaning solution. Just wanted to know if this would work on gray or black grout.

    • angelasays says:

      Sherry, We’d recommend that you test a small spot in an inconspicuous area first. It’s good practice anytime you’re trying a new cleaning method. Let us know how it turns out.

  32. Donna Salvo says:

    Rent a tile and grout steamer from home Depot..didn’t need any product until clean up after…mopped the floors after steaming dirt out of grout lines. USED MANY WIRE NOZZLE HEADS ON GROUT MACHINE NOZZLE.

  33. Penelope Smith says:

    I just moved into my first home and the grout in the master bathroom is really dirty. It is good to know that you can mix vinegar and water together to help clean the grout. It might be smart for me to hire a professional to help me clean that grout really well.

  34. Kathy says:

    Wondering if this would work on grout that has had multiple layers of mop & glow used on it? It was prior to us owning the house. I used vinegar that removed a lot. I am hesitant to use the mucuric acid that is recommended.

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