Bleach-Free DIY Grout Cleaner


It’s officially spring! Time to start opening windows, enjoying some sunshine, and also time to tackle larger cleaning projects.

One big project that has been on my list since my husband and I moved in to our San Francisco apartment has been the tile grout in our bathroom. I loved that our bathroom is covered in white tile (nothing like the weird 1950s pink tile and bathtub we had in our last apartment in LA), but the grout needed some work.

Before starting I knew that I wanted to try every method possible before resorting to bleach. Besides the obvious health risks that result from breathing in bleach odors, I was super paranoid about getting bleach on my feet and then accidentally walking on (and ruining) our carpet. Security deposits ain’t cheap in SF, let me tell you!

After some internet research, I came across a bleach-free homemade tile and grout cleaner recipe from Meagan of A Mom’s Take that I decided to try. See below for details and results!


Materials (note that my bathroom is very small so you will want to double this recipe for larger projects):

  • 1/8c lemon juice
  • 1/8c baking soda
  • 1/4c vinegar
  • 2c water
  • scrub brush
  • toothbrush (for small crevices)
  • spray bottle

Once you have your materials, the rest is pretty straight forward. I used a homemade paper funnel (a piece of card stock rolled into a funnel shape then taped to hold the shape) to pour all of the ingredients into the spray bottle adding the water last. Prep your bathroom (or kitchen or wherever else you might have tile grout to clean) by removing any bath mats or furniture and by doing a quick surface clean.


Once your room is prepped, spray the solution on all grout surfaces. I recommend letting the spray mixture sit on your grout for a solid 30 minutes at least (maybe even a full hour) before starting to scrub. I have to be honest, this formula required a LOT of elbow grease, but had I been more patient and let the solution do its thing before starting to scrub (I waited less than 10 minutes – big mistake) I probably could have avoided a lot of extra work.

Bleach would have certainly rendered faster, and possibly more impressive results BUT I have to say that it was worth it not to worry about getting bleach on my hands and feet and then accidentally bleaching something precious.

Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with my clean, white bathroom – happy spring!


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