Yellowing Grout: What Causes It and How to Clean It

There is nothing more frustrating than noticing that your once white grout has suddenly started to change color (and not because you stained your grout). But why does bathroom grout turn yellow, and is there anything that can be done about it?

Before getting frustrated and thinking that you need to put in all-new grout, take the time to find out the best practices from yourself and professionals on how to make that yellow grout shine brightly again.

The good news is that there are answers to that question! (and you don't have to settle for dingy yellow in your grout lines!)

a white tiled floor with yellowing grout lines on the right side of the flooring

Why does bathroom grout turn yellow?

The yellow coloring that turns grout from white to yellow is caused by an accumulation of various substances on its surface, most commonly mildew from the excessive water saturation. This is because, after showers or baths, not all of the water drains completely, causing that water to sit in areas which in turn causes yellowing. The residue and mildew will continue to build, making the yellow more noticeable over time.

What causes shower grout to turn yellow?

The most likely answer is that it's mildew, but there are also a couple of other reasons that your once-white grout is now yellow.

  • Hard Water - Hard water stains do a number on grout! The minerals from the hard water can slowly change the grout from white to yellow.
  • Dirt - Believe it or not, but various dirt, debris, minerals, and residues will stain grout if it's not cleaned off right away or cleaned properly off the grout.
  • Cleaning Products - Using the wrong type of cleaning solution on tile and grout in the shower can actually discolor grout. Be sure to rinse very well after cleaning with any product.
  • Soap Scum - Residue from soaps, shampoos, and other personal care products can build up and accumulate over time, leading to grout discoloration and yellowing.
a white tiled floor with yellow grout lines on the right side of the flooring

Can I clean the yellow grout myself?

You can, but there are a few things to consider before scrubbing and cleaning your grout in the shower.

You might not be using the right cleaning solution! The cleaning products that you choose matter! If you use the wrong cleaning agent, it might actually permanently stain the grout!

How to Clean Yellowing Grout

Homemade DIY Grout Cleaning Solutions for Yellowing Grout

  1. Vinegar and Baking Soda: Create a paste with baking soda and water, apply it to the grout, and then spray or pour vinegar over it. Scrub with a grout brush and rinse.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda: Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste, apply it, let it sit, and then scrub and rinse.

If you want something hardier, you can try a commercial grout cleaning product. There are various commercial grout cleaners available that are specifically designed to remove stains, mildew, and mold, but you must follow the manufacturer's instructions as often they contain harsh chemicals.

Once the grout is clean, please consider applying a grout sealer. This helps prevent moisture and stains from penetrating the grout in the future. Hiring professionals to clean and seal grout creates the best scenario to prevent future yellowing.

Zerorez tile cleaning wand being used by a a technician on beige tile flooring with yellowed grout lines on the left side of the floor, whereas the right side has already been cleaned and the dirty grout lined removed

What is the best way to clean tile grout?

The best and easiest way to restore grout to look brand new is to hire Zerorez for professional tile and grout cleaning and resealing!

Professional grout cleaning works so well when you hire Zerorez because they are well trained in various tile materials and grout materials. Zerorez adjusts their cleaning methods appropriately to meet the specific needs of what tile and grout is in your home, cleaning with specialized tile cleaning tools.

Zerorez inspects your flooring looking for failing grout and damaged tiles before cleaning too, ensure to clean such areas with additional care or avoiding cleaning them altogether. Zerorez also cleans with cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals, soaps, and detergents, yet is super effective thanks to their multi-step tile cleaning process involving their Zr™ Lifter. Once the yellowing of the grout is gone, Zerorez can apply grout sealant to ensure the grout will look white and new for even longer.

Save your back, knees, time, and health. Don't spend hours hunched over on the floor, scrubbing the grout lines with harsh chemicals. Let the professional tile cleaners at Zerorez come into your home, and take care of the problem in the best way possible for superior, long-lasting results. Schedule your tile and grout cleaning today!

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez® Today!