Did you know that some cleaners can ruin your grout paint/sealer? Here’s how to safely clean grout after using grout paint & grout sealers.
How to Clean Grout Without Removing Sealer or Grout Paint
I LOVE grout paints. They can make even the ugliest grout look new again.
Just be sure to carefully follow the directions to clean and prep your grout properly before applying the grout paint.
AND, if you want to keep that grout paint looking good, you have to pick cleaners that are safe to use on grout paint and sealers.
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Most grout paint product recommendations will say that you need to clean your grout with a neutral cleaner to keep the painted grout looking nice.
BUT, I often see people using cleaners with acids, strong solvents, or corrosive chemicals on their floors that will breakdown the grout paint AND/OR any sealer on your grout.
If you breakdown the sealer on your grout trying to clean it, you’ll actually make it easier for dirt and stains to penetrate your grout.
So, your grout will start to look ugly, dirty, or dingy faster than it would if you used the correct cleaners.
In this post, I’ll go over how to safely clean grout after using grout paint & grout sealers.
Table of contents
- How to Clean Grout Without Removing Sealer or Grout Paint
- Safely Clean Grout After Using Grout Paint or Grout Sealer
- Best Products for Cleaning Grout
- Popular Floor Cleaners that are BAD for Grout
- Cleaners That Are Bad For Grout
Safely Clean Grout After Using Grout Paint or Grout Sealer
For weekly or even daily cleaning, I prefer to use a steam mop cleaner on my grout. I love steam cleaning anything I can!
Steam cleaning works without any chemicals or even store-bought safe or “green” cleaners. So, I have less plastic bottles in my house, less plastic to recycle, and I’m SAVING MONEY. *Happy Dance*
Does Steam Cleaning Grout Actually Work? Yes!
A steam cleaner super heats water so that it can easily loosen dirt AND kill dust mites, mold, staph, other allergens and harmful bacteria on many surfaces.
Then a cloth can wipe away the dirt and grime, leaving a clean and sanitized surface behind.
You can also use neutral or alkaline cleaners that are safe for grout. Like, just classic Dawn Dish Soap mixed with warm water.
Be sure to always use a soft-bristle brush to clean grout too. Stiff bristle brushes will damage grout sealers, sometimes tile, and they can even remove grout.
Over the years, any grout is going to discolor. Grout is porous and stains like teeth.
You’ll eventually need to use a grout paint on it to restore the color. I recommend Grout Renew, it’s a paint and sealer in one. Just be sure to follow the directions to get long lasting results.
Check out Is A Steam Mop Good For Tile Floors to see everything you need to know about using a steam mop on floors.
Best Products for Cleaning Grout
Always follow the directions on these products for the best results.
- Steam Mop with a Crevice Tool
- Dawn Dish Soap mixed with Warm Water
- Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide Mixed
- Black Diamond Grout Cleaner
- Mr Clean
- Spic & Span
- Grout-Eez Super Heavy Duty Grout Cleaner
Use a good grout sealer to protect your grout from dirt and stains. I like this easy to use Black Diamond Grout Sealer.
Popular Floor Cleaners that are BAD for Grout
I see tons of grout “cleaning hack” videos or cleaning recommendations in Facebook groups for products that aren’t really safe for cleaning grout.
After you use grout paint with built in grout sealers OR after using a sealer on your grout, you need to use a safe cleaner to protect and extend the life of that grout paint and/or grout sealer.
Many of the products recommended in Cleaning Hacks are products that are actually bad for sealed grout AND very bad for unsealed grout.
Strong Solvents, Corrosive Chemicals, or Acidic Cleaners
Some acids, corrosive chemicals, and strong solvents can breakdown the grout paint or grout sealer. They can even breakdown unsealed grout and unsealed stone tile.
If a strong chemical, solvent or acid breaks down your grout paint, it can reveal darker, dirtier grout beneath the paint.
If a strong chemical, solvent or acid breaks down your grout sealer, it will remove the sealer that prevents dirt from building up in the pores and crevices of your dirt.
Using that makes your grout dirtier, faster than it would be with a grout sealer.
If you decide to use a corrosive chemical, strong solvent or acid based cleaner on your grout, you should always follow that up with a grout sealer to add that protection from future dirt and stains back onto your grout.
Cleaners That Are Bad For Grout
Don’t use these cleaners on grout. They can breakdown your grout, the sealer on the grout, and even porous tile and stone with frequent use.
- CHLORINE Bleach
- Toilet Cleaner with Dyes and Bleach
- Oil-Based And Wax Cleaners
Oil-based or Wax Cleaners Can Make Grout Dirtier
Also, beware of oil-based cleaners that can penetrate grout, making it dirtier. Oil and wax based cleaners will also grab onto dirt, trapping it in your grout.
And, there are 2 hugely popular floor cleaners that are actually bad for your grout. They are Pine-Sol and Murphy’s Oil Soap.
I can guarantee I have used both of those products in the past to clean my tile floors. I love the scent of both of those too. They just give me all the “clean home vibes”.
Stiff Bristle Brushes Can Damage Grout
Stiff Bristle Brushes are often recommended by people for cleaning grout. But they can be too rough, guys.
A stiff bristle brush can remove the protective layer of grout paint or grout sealer. They can even remove the grout.
Stiff bristle brushes can also scratch soft stone tile floors. So, I recommend soft bristle brushes or just a good steam cleaning crevice tool and a clean rag to wipe dirt away.
You can also use a safe scrubbing pad like the Scotch-Brite Dobie Sponge or the Scotch-Brite Scrub Dots Sponge. I use both of those non-scratch sponges when I clean shower glass doors and when I clean marble shower tile.
If you use a stiff bristle brush on your grout, you should spray on a good grout sealer to protect it again. Again, I like this easy to use Black Diamond Grout Sealer.
Watch This Video about Grout Cleaning for More Info
That’s it for how to clean grout after using grout paint.
Looking for another Easy Home Maintenance Project? You can Restore your Grout to Like New and this product seals grout too. Yay! Click here to see How to Whiten Grout. Or check out Does Grout Renew Work for more details.
You might also like What Happens If Your AC Filter Is Dirty and my recommendations for the Best AC Filter Replacement for Cleaner Air in a Home.
See how easy it is to Fix Water Stains on Ceiling Leaks.
I also recommend anyone that wants to learn more about DIY home maintenance should read Do You Use Caulk or Wood Filler on Wood Trim.
Feeling inspired? Now you know How to Clean Grout After Using Grout Paint, so get to it! Have fun and let me know if you have questions.
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Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.