Your Grout Makes Your Kitchen Look Dirtier than It Is. Here are the Best Cheap Finds to Fix It.

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

No matter how clear your countertops are and how much your faucet sparkles, if your grout is grimy, your whole kitchen is going to look, well, dirty. You might not notice it right now, but if you were to clean your grout you would notice a night-and-day difference. Promise.

We have a great post that’ll walk you through the steps (see: How To Clean a Greasy Tiled Backsplash and Grout) and, save for one thing, only calls for supplies that are probably already in your pantry. If it’s been a while, though, and your grout is extra dirty, you might need to call in some reinforcements. And that’s where these inexpensive-yet-highly-effective finds come in.

(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

First, Why Your Backsplash Grout Gets So Dirty

It’s simple: Grout is porous, which means it absorbs water, bacteria, grease, stains, etc. So even though you’re not walking on it or showering around it, the more you cook, the more likely your backsplash is to get dirty. You’ve got pots and pans that splatter, grease particles that fly through the air, splashes from the sink, and more. And even if you wipe your tiles as splotches happen, that microfiber cloth alone won’t do much to clean up stains along the grout.

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Grout Pen, $9

Note: This is NOT a cleaner and you actually have to make sure your grout is as clean as possible before you use this pen. Once that’s done, though, you just use this pen like it’s a magic marker and color over your discolored grout. It’ll freshen up those lines, turning them from yellow to white nearly instantly. It’s a bestseller on Amazon, and the people who’ve given it a five-star review say the before-and-after results are just astounding. Each pen covers up to 60 meters (meaning, you may need to order more than one.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Of course, you can use that extra toothbrush that your dentist gave you for free last month. But your fingers are bound to cramp up and you run the risk of scraping up your knuckles. This scrubby brush was designed specifically for cleaning tile and grout and it’s got an ergonomic handle that’ll stay comfy from the first inch of cleaning to the last.

(Image credit: Walmart)

3. CLR Bath & Kitchen Multi-Surface Cleaner, $4 for 26 ounces at Walmart

Because sometimes vinegar just isn’t enough. The folks over at The Good Housekeeping Institute turned us onto this stuff. It doesn’t contain any bleach and it’s super effective. Spray it, let it sit for a few minutes, scrub, and rinse and the grout will whiten as it dries. And because it’s a multi-surface cleaner, you can also use it on your sink, granite countertops, glass cabinet doors, and more.

(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

4. Grout Sealer, $7.50 for 10 ounces

A good preventative solution to protect your grout from future staining and discoloration once you’ve gotten it clean, this silicone-based goo seals the grout, making it less porous. It goes on easily (like a giant magic marker) and will give you peace of mind the next time your pasta sauce spits and splatters.

Do you have any other grout tools or cleaners that you swear by? Tell us about them in the comments below.