DIY Zero Waste Tile & Grout Cleaner

I really love kitsch. Max and I are looking to buy our first home together and I seem to gravitate towards the the retro side. Give me a 1950s seafoam green bathroom with matching tub, toilet and vanity over a renovated bathroom with subway tile and vessel sinks.

Currently, we live in a 1920’s bungalow in Oakland with a sweet little yellow bathroom (with the requisite matching yellow sink, tub and toilet). Our kitchen is also painted yellow with a matching yellow and white tiled countertop. I love the look of our vintage tile bathroom and kitchen, but homeowners (or renters) who have lived in tiled spaces know, keeping them clean is a bear.

The tile grout in our kitchen has become so dirty, I’m about too embarrassed to show you the pictures. One reason I kept putting off cleaning it was my assumption that no homemade zero waste cleaner would be able to give my grout the deep clean it really needed. Surely I would need some abrasive chemicals to get the job done.

Finally, I gave in and decided to give DIY a try. Turns out, I was able to get the job done with a few households items I already had on hand. Baking soda, vinegar and castile soap was all I needed to get my tile grout sparkling white (ok, maybe not sparking, but as clean as grout can get).

You can also keep your tile grout clean with my DIY below:

Step 1. Sprinkle baking soda into the tile grooves, I used a spoon to lightly tap the soda into the grout and used my fingers to spread it out.

Step 2. Mix 1 cup water and ¼ cup vinegar in a spray bottle with 2 tablespoons of castile soap and shake. Spray the mixture into the grout and let it sit for a minute.

Step 3. Scrub with an old toothbrush or dish brush (I used both) and wipe away with a damp towel.