I Tried the TikTok-Famous Grout Cleaner and I Think Everyone Needs a Bottle of This Stuff

published Oct 4, 2021
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Credit: Lana Kenney

I have a lot of grout in my house: It’s in all of my bathrooms and the kitchen. And, fact: It gets gross if you don’t stay on top of it. In the past, I’ve tried many different cleaning methods, including baking soda and vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, an Oxiclean paste, and Magic Erasers. They all worked to an extent, but the amount of work (a lot) and payoff (not a lot) never satisfied me.

So when I heard about the TikTok-famous grout cleaner (that costs just $7), I knew I had to give it a go. And guys, it was so satisfying.

I Tried Zep Grout Cleaner and Here’s How It Went

After watching a few videos on TikTok, I knew I had to try Zep Grout Cleaner. I placed a pickup order at Home Depot and got straight to work.

I started in my boys’ bathroom, where I rarely clean the grout. I gathered my supplies, which included rubber gloves, a scrub brush, a bucket with clean water, a rag, and my bottle of Zep. I opened the bathroom window, turned on the fan, and vacuumed the floor. I didn’t want any dust and dirt interfering with my grout deep-cleaning session.

I began in the back of the room, the portion farthest away from the door, and applied Zep to the grout lines of about three rows of tile. The grout lines near the toilet were especially grimy, from what I can only assume were pee stains. (I know, gross.)

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

The bottle has a small hole that the liquid cleaner pours out of when it’s tilted. It’s almost as runny as water, clear, and smells mildly minty. Application is a bit tricky because it’s easy for too much cleaner to come out and spill over onto the tile, which isn’t harmful but feels wasteful (and makes it a bit harder to clean up). But the more I practiced, the more adept I became at tilting the bottle and running it over the grout line fast enough.

As the grout lines were covered in the cleaner, some of the dirt in the grout began to fizz, in what I can only assume was a reaction with the dirt and grime. I let the product sit for about 15 minutes, at which point I used a small brush to scrub the cleaner into the grout lines. In particularly dirty areas, the liquid surrounding the grout lines became visibly dirty, and I got excited seeing immediate visual evidence of dirt lifting up and away from the grout.

Next, I grabbed my bucket of water and rag and wiped the Zep from the floor. It took a few swipes, but it was quick work. Then I started the process over in my next section of floor.

As always when cleaning grout, you can’t see the full before and after until the grout dries completely. But even immediately after wiping, I could see a difference in the appearance of the grout.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths
All clean!

And the end result was even more impressive. Even my boys noticed how clean the floor was!

When I moved to the kitchen, where the grout grim started off darker with dirt from an amalgamation of kitchen spills and dirty mop water settling into the porous substance of the grout, Zep proved itself again.

I employed the same method as in the bathroom, and though there remain some portions of the grout that don’t seem like they’ll ever be restored to their original color, the overall effect is one of substantially cleaner floors. They are cleaner and brighter with no more nearly-black lines outlining each square of tile.

I was so pleased with my work and my new find that I called everyone in to admire the floors.

Bottom line: Zep Grout Cleaner has earned a permanent spot in my cleaning arsenal and if you struggle with keeping grout clean, I’m confident you’ll love having it in yours.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: I Tried the TikTok-Famous Grout Cleaner and It’s OMG Amazing