How to Clean Grout on Kitchen Backsplash

Keeping your kitchen backsplash grout clean is an important part of maintaining your kitchen’s appearance. Over time, grease, dirt, and grime can build up in the grout lines, making your backsplash look dingy and dated. Fortunately, cleaning grout is a relatively easy process that can dramatically refresh the look of your kitchen.

Supplies Needed

Before getting started, assemble the following supplies:

  • Grout brush or old toothbrush – Use a brush with stiff bristles designed for scrubbing grout. An old toothbrush works too.
  • Grout cleaner – Use a store-bought grout cleaner or make your own natural cleaner with baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Spray bottle – To apply cleaner and water to the grout.
  • Clean cloths and paper towels
  • Grout sealer (optional) – Sealing grout can help protect it from future stains.

Preparing to Clean the Grout

Before scrubbing, you’ll need to thoroughly wet the grout lines. This softens any dirt and allows the cleaning solution to penetrate. Follow these preparatory steps:

  • Sweep or vacuum the backsplash to remove any loose debris or dirt.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and generously mist the grout lines until damp. Wait 5-10 minutes for the water to soak in and soften the grime.
  • For particularly dirty grout, apply a baking soda paste. Mix baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste, then apply to the grout and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Scrubbing and Rinsing the Grout

Once the grout is prepped, it’s time to start scrubbing. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

  • Apply your desired grout cleaner to the grout lines, either with a spray bottle or by working it directly into the grout with a brush. Let the cleaner sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Use a grout brush or old toothbrush to scrub the grout lines, applying moderate pressure to lift dirt from the pores. Scrub diagonally across the grout lines to get the best coverage.
  • Dip the brush in water periodically and scrub again to loosen up dirt. Rinse the brush often.
  • Wipe away any dirty cleaner residue with a damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Repeat the cleaning process as needed for stubborn areas. Rinse thoroughly after each application.
  • Allow the grout to fully dry when finished cleaning.

Sealing the Grout (Optional)

For longer lasting protection, apply a penetrating grout sealer after cleaning:

  • Allow grout to dry completely, then apply sealer according to product instructions.
  • Use a small paintbrush to brush sealer evenly into the grout lines. Avoid getting sealer on the tile itself.
  • Allow sealer to penetrate for 5-10 minutes, then thoroughly wipe away any excess with a cloth.

Re-apply sealer once a year to maintain protection.

Tips for Keeping Grout Clean

Regular maintenance and prompt cleaning can prevent major buildup on grout:

  • Sweep or vacuum the backsplash often to prevent dirt from settling into the grout.
  • Spot clean spills right away to prevent staining.
  • Use a gentle daily cleaner like dish soap and water to maintain grout between deep cleans.
  • Re-seal grout every 1-2 years to protect from stains and mildew.
  • Consider re-grouting if the grout becomes excessively cracked or worn.

With some periodic effort, you can keep your kitchen backsplash grout looking fresh and clean. A little elbow grease can make a big visual impact!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Grout on Kitchen Backsplash

How often should I clean the grout on my kitchen backsplash?

It’s recommended to thoroughly clean and scrub the grout on your backsplash every 3-6 months. For lighter maintenance, spot clean spills as needed and use a gentle daily cleaner like dish soap and water.

What is the easiest way to clean grout?

An easy grout cleaner is a mixture of baking soda and water. Make a paste and apply to grout lines, let sit, then scrub with a grout brush or toothbrush. For heavier duty cleaning, use a store-bought grout cleaner. Always rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

What is the best grout cleaner?

Some popular and effective grout cleaners are Zep Grout Cleaner, Clorox Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover, and Black Diamond Stoneworks Grout Cleaning Brush. For a non-toxic option, try mixing baking soda and vinegar.

Should I seal my kitchen backsplash grout?

Sealing grout is highly recommended for kitchen backsplashes. Sealant creates a protective barrier that prevents stains and makes cleaning easier. Seal grout every 1-2 years.

What can I use to whiten grout?

Baking soda is great for whitening dingy grout. Make a paste and scrub into grout lines. You can also try hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice. Commercial whitening products are available, but test in an inconspicuous spot first before overall application.

How do I get mold off of grout?

Use an antimicrobial cleaner formulated to kill mold and mildew, like Tilex or Concrobium Mold Control. Scrub into grout with a stiff bristle brush and rinse thoroughly. Make sure the area is well-ventilated. Always wear gloves when handling mold.


With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can keep the grout lines on your kitchen backsplash looking like new. Take time every few months to thoroughly scrub the grout and make your whole kitchen sparkle. Sealing the grout will also provide added protection. By keeping grout clean, you’ll prevent it from becoming an eyesore. Just a little periodic elbow grease will go a long way towards maintaining the beauty of your kitchen backsplash.