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How to Clean Dirty Unsealed Grout

Tiles can always make a statement in any interior design. It sets the look and feel of the house. It is used widely in recent times, as they give a fine polished look. They have grown so much in popularity, and you can get a wide variety of tiles in different shapes, sizes, patterns and textures.

They are also preferred as they are easier to clean. However, like any other thing, they also have a downside. There is a word to perfectly describe this downside – grout. Grout degrades over time and there is no avoiding it. How to clean unsealed grout is one of the most common questions that I get asked, so let’s get on with it.

How To Clean Unsealed Grout

Before we start, you should know that every method in cleaning grout has three necessary steps. These steps are mentioned below:

Step 1: Cleaning the Surface

Remove any solid or wet dirt particles, flakes of the grouts, and any spills from the surface.

Duct tape is a versatile tool that can be used to remove any dirt particles from a surface. Just apply the duct tape to the grout surface and pull it off. Any dirt, grout or spills will come off with it!

Step 2: The Cleaning Method

Choose any cleaning methods mentioned below.

Step 3: Sealing the Grouts

Once the grouts have been cleaned, it is best to seal them, or else you would have to repeat the processes again after some period.

Methods to Clean Unsealed Grout


Bleaching the tiles might be one of the most convenient methods to clean the unsealed grouts. However, it will require some time and effort on your part. 

Things you will need:

  • Oxygenated bleach
  • Warm water
  • Scrub
  • Wipes
  • Cleaning solution

How to Clean

As mentioned above, you should first remove all scattered bits of tacky stuff and let the surface dry.

Now take 3 tablespoons of the oxygenated bleach and dissolve it in 2 cups of warm water.

Next, dip the brush in the bleach solution. Then, apply it to the gaps of the tiles and let it soak in them for about a minute.

After some time, start scrubbing the gourd in a circular motion.

Once you are done with scrubbing, spray some cleaning solution over it and wipe it clean. Easy right? However, if you do not get the desired result, you can repeat the process again.

Once you have the desired result, let it dry after it is all dried. Seal the gaps with a grout sealer.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Soda

This method might look complex, but trust me, the results might shock you.

Things you will need:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda
  • Cleaning Soap
  • Scrub/ toothbrush
  • Clean cloth/ rag

How to Clean

Firstly clean the surface and let it dry. Then take half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and four quarters of baking soda. Combine the mixture in a container and add one-half tablespoons of cleaning soap. The mixture will come out as a paste.

(The mixture will begin to bubble once the components start to react with one another)

With a Scrub or a toothbrush, apply the paste onto the grout and let it rest for about 20 minutes after the grout is soaked. Start scrubbing in a uniform motion, and then use a cloth to wipe it dry.

Once the grout is cleaned, don’t forget to seal the grout.


If you are opting to clean the grout with ammonia, it is of importance to keep your safety first. Keep the windows, doors and ventilation open. Wear your rubber gloves and protection glasses.

Things you will need:

  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Scrub
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponge
  • Towel

How to clean

Clean the surface dry. Put on your gloves. Then add equal parts of ammonia and water in a container. 

Dip the brush in the solution and apply it to the grout. Start scrubbing vigorously until the grout is cleaned to your liking. Then rinse the entire area with water and soap and dry it with a towel.


Using steam to clean the unsealed grout is one of the most effective.

Things you will need:

  • Steam cleaner
  • Power source/ outlet
  • Brush
  • Dry towel

How to clean

Cleaning with a steamer or via steaming process is one of the easiest and fastest ways to clean grout. This method doesn’t require much elbow grease. All you need is a steam cleaning device and some brushes, and a towel. 

In the steamer, as usual, pour the required level of water, and plug it in. As it gets heated, the steamer mop is ready to use. 

Scrub over the tiles with the steamer. The heat and steam will make the dirt easier to remove. Brush over the tiles. You can also apply a small amount of detergents or floor cleaner as you clean over it. You can wipe away the gunk and the dirt that comes with a dry towel. 

If the grout doesn’t come off easily, you can repeat the process till it becomes clean. It usually takes not more than 1-2 times to repeat the process to completely remove the dirt unless it is tough stains which might require up to 3-4 times of cleaning.

Is It Necessary to Clean Grouts?

Grouts are fluids that are used to seal gaps between the tiles. If it is not used properly, it can be uprooted quite easily. When these are left unsealed over a long duration, dirt and grime get accumulated in them. And let’s face it, it makes our once beautiful tiles look filthy.

Apart from ruining your houses’ look, it may also become hazardous to your health due to the formation of molds. This is true for areas like the bathroom and kitchen where there is high moisture.

Unfortunately, getting rid of this problem is not that easy. But do not despair. There are some ways that will help to clean this unsealed grout. One of the above processes might work out for you.

Wrapping Up

It may appear that cleaning and keeping your grout clean is a tough, tedious job, but it is not an everyday chore. You can deep clean it occasionally, and it is bound to stay neat for a good few weeks. 

If you want to avoid the hassle of doing a deep clean frequently, the best advice we can give is to clean any stains or spills quickly.