How to Clean Restroom Grout

Grout Cleaning

Is the grout in your restroom truly clean? If bleach is your go-to grout cleaner, all it does is lighten the dirt load, fooling you into thinking the grout is clean.

Grout is a porous material that easily collects protein soils. Unless you’re removing the soils that turn the grout dark in the first place, it can look dirty again very quickly.

Use the guidelines below to develop a grout cleaning strategy for your facility.

Determine Which Cleaners and Tools to Use

Before you start tackling the grout, answer these questions:

  • What area of the restroom are you cleaning? Options – Floor, Shower
  • How dirty is the grout? Options – Light, Moderate, Heavy
  • What is the makeup of the soil load? Options – Dirt, Soap Scum, Body Oils, Greasy

Based on your answers, it’s time to look for the right products for the job.


Spartan Clean by Peroxy® – Most restrooms have at least a light soil load. This all-purpose cleaner is created from specially selected surfactants and blended with hydrogen peroxide. The solution provides excellent cleaning action to most surface soils. Dilute 4-6 ounces per gallon of water.

Spartan Emulsifier Plus® – If your grout is so dirty you don’t know what the real color is, then your restroom has a heavy soil load. Heavily soiled floors need a boost of alkalinity to tackle and destroy the problem-causing soils. This cleaner is a high-alkaline (pH 13.5-13.7) stripper that quickly removes heavy build-ups. Dilute 32 ounces per gallon of warm water.

Spartan Chlorinated Degreaser – Body oils and soap scum in showers add another level to grout cleaning. This high alkaline solution is formulated with sodium hypochlorite to provide quick protein soil removal. The ingredients react with greases and oils to emulsify, suspend and remove them from the surface. Bleach helps to whiten and brighten the grout. Dilute 6 ounces per gallon of water.

Grout Cleaners

Note: Before you begin using a new cleaner, test it on a small spot in the area you plan to clean. This is a good practice to follow with any new cleaner, so you can see how it reacts with area to be cleaned.


Low speed rotary floor machine – We recommend using this type of machine to make sure the cleaner stays on the floor (doesn’t end up on you), and the grout or floors aren’t damaged. Medium-stiff brushes on the machine will speed cleaning time and ensure that soils are removed from the grout lines.

Swivel scrub brush – For the areas a machine can’t get to, like behind the toilet or on the wall, a scrub brush will do the job. This brush has angled and straight bristles, and can swivel on its side to help you reach every nook and cranny.

Foam Gun – If you’re tackling shower grout, a foam gun can be helpful for distributing solution on walls. The gun attaches to a water hose to produce thick foam that sticks to the surface of walls for additional penetration of soils. It’s best to apply from the bottom of the wall up, agitate, then rinse from the top down.

Time to Clean the Grout

Follow the safety data sheet (SDS) of your selected cleaner and ready yourself with any recommended PPE such as impervious gloves and safety goggles.

Now let’s get cleaning!

Cleaning Steps

  1. Dilute the chemical
  2. Mop on or use a foam gun
  3. Let the solution dwell 10 minutes
  4. Agitate with a floor machine or brush
  5. Rinse and repeat as needed for heavy soil loads

Clean Grout for the Win

Restrooms are high-traffic areas in every facility, and all of that activity leads to soil being embedded into the grout. Attack the protein soil that has made its home in your grout for a cleaner, brighter floor.

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Courtney Petesch

Courtney Petesch is the Marketing Specialist for HP Products, a distributor of 50,000 facility maintenance products throughout the Midwest. Courtney has over 5 years of experience managing e-commerce product content and merchandising, overseeing social media initiatives, executing email marketing campaigns and evaluating analytics.