Learn Why Grout Gets Dirty!

Learn Why Grout Gets Dirty!

We spend a lot of time thinking about grout cleaners and reviewing various related products. You might have read already about what exactly grout is, and here we will explore a few more questions. In this post, I want to explore these questions of what the dirt in grout is and why it builds up so quickly.


Grout will get dirty, it’s just a matter of time. Cleaning it will be a personal trigger for how much you can bear to look at the dirty grout day-after-day. Some general causes for dirty grout include;


As grout and tiles age their color can fade to off white colors. This is a particular concern with white grout in bathrooms, showers and baths. This is why bleach based grout cleaners are popular in bathrooms.


Where there is water there is life. Microscopic organisms get into the porous surface of grout and grow. It’s a fact of life that wet areas grow mildew and mold if left untreated for long periods of time. You will want to seal your grout and use grout cleaners with bleach or acids, and maybe a disinfectant treatment.


Tiles and grout on floors cannot help but get dirty from use. Family and pets walking on the tiles will quickly discolor tiles and grout.

The types of dirt that builds up in grout between tiles depends on the room in which the tiles are. Grout in a kitchen is likely to collect grease and food particles from cooking and food preparation. Grout in bathrooms and laundries is likely to collect mold and mildew from the abundance of water and the lack of direct sunlight.

Kitchen Tiles

Grout between tiles in the kitchen will build up a different kind of dirt to grout in the bathroom. Typically in the kitchen, tiles will collect dirt related to cooking and food preparation.


When you cook, the food will release steam and grease. This will particularly affect grout in tiles that make up counter splashbacks behind cooking areas such as stoves and ovens. You will want to use a grout cleaner that targets grease removal like those that are based on solvents.

Food Particles

Normal everyday food preparation will leave very small food particles on the grout that get stuck in its porous surface. This likely affects countertop tiles. Bleach or acid based grout cleaners are desirable.


Staining is common from some foods such as coffee powder near a coffee machine or sauces in grout next to stoves and cooking surfaces. Ideally acid based cleaners and even grout coloring products are useful in these circumstances.

Bathroom Tiles

Grout in the bathroom will be affected very differently to tiles and grout in the kitchen. Bathrooms, showers and baths are generally darker (lack direct sunlight) and have a lot more water than the kitchen. This means the buildup of soap scum and biologicals.


Mold likes dark wet places and can build up in tile grout. You will most likely find it in bathrooms in areas that are hard to get access to like corners, around fixtures and behind bottles.

Mildew: Mildew is a thin fungal growth typically on the surface of tiles. Once on the tiles it can build up around the grout and can be brown or a dark red in color. It will typically be on walls of showers and other very wet areas and can be missed without close inspection.


Soap and soap scum builds up in showers and baths where you are using soap. This is the suds and bubbles you get when you use soap that although cleans you, can build up in corners and in your tile grout. Having a good understanding of the room your tiles are in and what your tile grout is exposed to is valuable information that can help you choose the best grout cleaner for your needs. Take a broader look at your grout and think about what you need from a grout cleaner, then head over to the grout cleaner guides at


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