How to Clean Shower Tile Grout

Show that mold and mildew who’s boss.

Even the best tile-cleaning routine in your shower can leave the grout begging for extra attention. Mildew and mold are commonly seen between shower tiles, breeding quickly in the perpetually wet and humid atmosphere. If you have light shower grout, you’ll see it – first spots, then bigger areas – and hopefully you can clean it before it gets out of control. If you have dark grout, it can be much more easily disguised and become a bigger health concern. Make it a point to include grout cleaning as part of your ordinary shower routine and abate mold buildup on the grout easily before it becomes a big chore.

moldy tiles

moldy tiles

Photo by: Lee Rogers / iStock

Lee Rogers / iStock

One of the best ways to clean shower grout doesn’t involve the use of harsh cleansers or chlorine bleach-based products. Harsh chemicals can be challenging to use in an enclosed bathroom environment where ventilation and air circulation are compromised. Oxygen-based bleach (hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate) and washing soda are safer alternatives to consider when you’re looking for a powerful indoor cleaning solution. They’re notably more eco-friendly and treat and prevent the growth of mold in a really effective way.

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom Shower

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom Shower

Spring cleaning starts with a deep clean your shower and bathtub.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Next time you’re deep cleaning your bathroom tiles, pull this recipe from your memory bank:

Start by creating a paste-like mixture using 1 part hydrogen peroxide and two parts of an oxygenated powder product, such as OxiClean or generic washing soda. The thick combination of these powerful ingredients will adhere to the grout lines in your shower without dripping away and spot-treat areas affected by mildew and mold. It’s not too harsh to use as a defense against spores, either, so even if the grout doesn’t look dirty, consider applying it as an effective cleanser that will aide in preventing mold from blossoming. If you look at ingredients in many of the heavy-duty mold abatement products, you’ll spot that hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient, so it’s no surprise that this at-home solution works really, really well.

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom Shower

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom Shower

Spring cleaning starts with a deep clean your shower and bathtub.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

With the paste in a bowl, use an old toothbrush to apply it to the grout lines between the tiles in your shower.

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom Shower

Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Bathroom Shower

Spring cleaning starts with a deep clean your shower and bathtub.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Focus on the areas you can visibly see the mold but also aim to coat areas of the shower that may be more mold-prone and mold-affected than others. This might include any grout along shelves, corners and floor tiles, or the grout and tile that surrounds the shower drain. Allow the paste to set for a few minutes to work its magic and then give the grout lines one more agitating scrub for good measure. Next, rinse the area thoroughly and use a cloth to wipe the surfaces clean.

Cleaning Tile Grout

Cleaning Tile Grout

If you’ve got tile flooring, tub surrounds or backsplashes, you’ll eventually need to clean the grout if you want them to stay beautiful. Go easy, though — grout is less durable than the tile it’s holding together, and harsh cleaners like bleach can erode it. Start with water and a stiff brush, and if that doesn’t do the trick, try an oxygen cleaner or a mix of baking soda and vinegar followed by brushing. Deep stains may call for replacing the grout altogether.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Strevell

©iStockphoto.com/Strevell

Are you doing enough to clean your shower tiles?

While you’re busy focused on the shower grout, consider the best ways to clean build-up from the surface of the shower tiles, too.

A simple white vinegar wash is a good solution for non-porous tile surfaces, while marble or other porous stone surfaces are more safely cleaned using plain water or cleaning products specifically formulated for stone to avoid damaging the color or finish.

Next Up

Mold Removal Products

Just like your favorite all-purpose cleaner, the right mold removal product for your home is key to ensuring a successful cleanup process.

How to Kill Mold

Killing mold is a dirty job, but the right tools can help you wipe it out for good. Check out these tips for using the best cleaners to solve your fungus problem.

How to Prevent Mold

Learn strategies to prevent rot from ruining your health and your home.

How to Replace Moldy Grout

Step-by-step instructions for laying in a new coat without disturbing the tile.

How to Remove Black Mold

Learn how to remove black mold safely and effectively.

How to Clean a Paintbrush

Keep your paintbrushes long-lasting with these simple tips for successful care.

How to Clean Rust Off Concrete

Follow these directions to remove an unsightly rust stain from your concrete patio, driveway or garage floor.

How to Clean Wood Before Staining

Perfect prep is mandatory for wood staining projects, so follow these wood cleaning tips to do it right.

How to Clean Tile Countertops

When it comes to cleaning tile countertops, grout is the trickiest part. Learn how to clean both the tile and the grout with our easy-to-follow steps.

How to Remove a Grease Stain

Grease stains can be frustrating and intimidating. But with our four simple steps, you can say goodbye to those once ugly stains and hello to fresh, like-new carpet.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.