How To Clean Tile Grout And Make It White Again?

Over the years tile grout will lose its white colour and go brown, yellow or black. This is because water has become soaked into the tile grout and caused mould to grow.

Cleaning Tile Grout - Examples
Cleaning Tile Grout – Examples

Depending on how far your tile grout has deteriorated will determine if you can successfully clean or have to re-grout for it to be white again.

Cleaning Your Tile Grout

Cleaning tile grout can be a tedious task if you are not using the right tools and chemicals. For an easy way to penetrate deep into the grout, we use a bleach and water mixture.

We use 50/50 water and bleach, just your household bleach will suffice.

If your tile grout is very black then we would suggest you swap the bleach for ammonia, which smells even worse than bleach.

Because this solution will be overpowering we would suggest you open the window and wear goggles, gloves overalls and a mask.

Apply the solution over the grout and leave it for 20 minutes. Once you have exposed the tile grout to your solution you need to use a hard stiff brush.

Gently rub the brush over the grouted area and you will notice it cleans up very well.

Rinse the solution away and you should be presented with white tile grout, if this method did not work then we suggest you move onto the next option below.

  • Use a mask, goggle, gloves and overalls
  • Mix your solution 50% bleach and 50% water
  • Swap the bleach for ammonia for bad tile grout
  • Apply the solution for 20-30 minutes
  • Use a stiff nail brush to remove loose grime
  • Your grout should be back to white
  • If still yellow continue onto the next step

Whitenning Pen For Grout

If you have bleached your tile grout and it still looks yellow then using a touch-up pen.

A touch-up pen will spread a layer of white solution that soaks into the grout and makes it white again.

Although this option is popular sometimes the paint in the tubes is inferior, so be sure to use a well-known brand.

If a tile grout pen fails then using brilliant white ceiling paint works just as well, use a small 5mm brush and gently spread it over your grout.

Leave until dry and wipe down the tiles. The paint will not come off the grout but will wipe off the ceramic tiles with a dry cloth.

Re-Grouting Tiles

The last option is to re-grout your tiles. This requires the most work and attention to detail because you do not want to chip the tiles when removing grout.

To re-grout, you need to remove enough old grout for the new grout to stay in place.

You would need to remove half the thickness of the tile for this DIY job to be successful.

Tile Grout Remover
Tile Grout Remover

When removing the old grout you cannot use a metal screwdriver because it will chip the tiles. We use a hard plastic scraper, which you can pick up in most hardware stores in the UK (grout remover).

Just gently work your way around the tiles, once you have removed enough old grout you need to mix new.

Tile Grouting Squeegee
Tile Grouting Squeegee

You must use a rubber Squeegee when applying tile grout. Just spread tile grout over the squeegee and run it around the tiles filling the void between the tiles.

Once you have covered around every tile, leave for an hour or two, when dry simply wipe the excess away.

It will look messy when drying but tile grout easily wipes away from ceramic tiles.

Do not wipe the tiles when the grout is wet because you will just spread it around and the tile gaps will look shallow.


Cleaning tile grout regularly and keeping your tiles dry will prolong the life of your tile grout.

Another reason why your tiles might always be damp is because of airflow, make sure you have a bathroom fan that is in working order.

Removing tile grout is a tedious task but the results are good if you stick at it.

Once you have finished your DIY grouting job you should also remove and replace the silicone around the bath, sink or shower tray depending on what section you are currently working on.

This section explains how to silicone and seal your bathroom like a pro.

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