How to Clean, Refresh, and Seal Your Grout (Easily and Cheaply!)

Grout Collage

Next month will mark one year since we moved into our new construction home. When we were in the building process and went to the flooring supplier to pick our finishes I distinctly remember them telling us that they would not be sealing our grout. I mentally marked it on my to-do list and we can all guess how that turned out….I just kept pushing it back and pushing it back in favor of more “fun” projects like painting and stenciling the master bedroom and making over both the downstairs and master baths.

Fast forward to the holidays and when the baby caused $5000 worth of water damage to the house by flushing a roll of toilet paper. Yeah, I was really wishing I had sealed that grout once the flooding permenantly stained it. Luckily the insurance company paid for the restoration and the tile specialist introduced me to this awesome stuff called Grout Refresh. I decided this past week that it was time to tackle the boy’s bathrooms because as you can see above..little boy lack of, ummmm, aim, has made their tile pretty cringe-worthy!

The first step of this super easy process is just to clean the area thoroughly. Ask Anna has a great tutorial for getting rid of “boy bathroom smell” and cleaning around toilets-I highly recommend it for anyone with similar little boys issues! Once the floors are clean you are ready to apply your Grout Refresh!

grout Refresh

I got my Grout Refresh for less than $15 and one bottle was more than enough to cover two standard full bathrooms. I used Q-tips to apply my Grout Refresh but you can use a toothbrush or gloved hand just as easily. Simply cover all the grout with the Grout Refresh-no need to be super neat-it won’t hurt to get it on the tile.

tile with grout refresh

The instructions tell you to wait 30-60 minutes after application and spritz with water. I can personally vouch that if you get busy with life and forget about it for, oh, 24 hours or so-that’s just fine! Spritz the grout with water and then wait five minutes and scrub off the extra with a sponge. The Grout Refresh will easily clean off the tile while leaving the grout looking good-as-new! The actual labor time for each bathroom was less than an hour. And here is the difference again:

Grout Collage

Isn’t it s huge (and totally less cringe-worthy) result? I wish I would have done it as soon as we moved in but I had no idea it would be so easy and so inexpensive!

Have you sealed your grout? Anybody else have the same “little boy” issues I do? Bleh!

TDC Before and After
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  1. says

    I need to do this and what a great post! Have never heard of this before!! I’m wondering where to buy it as well…I’m guessing any of the home improvement stores? Wow, thanks for sharing this! Happy Wednesday and am pinning this gem for sure!

  2. says

    That’s amazing!!! We did tile in our last house and I never sealed it and it got dirty and I just scrubbed it and lived with it. Where were you then to tell me how easy it could be refreshed?

  3. says

    I used a very similar product on my kitchen counter tile last summer and it still looks great. Amazing how easy it is too!

  4. Cynthia says

    This sounds much easier than scrubbing with a jumbo box of Magic Erasers, which is what I did to clean the grout in one of our bathrooms. Thanks for the tip!

  5. says

    Thanks for including my tip in this post! I’ll have to check out that grout cleaner, I’ve never heard of it before. :)


  6. says

    Thank you for this. I don’t have little boy, yuck anymore. Just old dog, didn’t quite make it outside, yuck. I can’t wait to have clean grout.

  7. says

    Visiting from HOH. OMG I can’t wait to try this, this weekend! our grout looks horrible and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to clean it without having to scrub for days every month! thanks for sharing!

  8. Rebecca says

    I’m glad you had a good experience with this product, but I have used it and didn’t have the same type of experience. I found the product rubbery, with a tendency to peel off the grouted areas when I tried to remove the excess from the edges of the tiles. I used Grout Refresh to change the dark brown grout on my tiled foyer floor to an off-white when Menards was out of off-white in a brand I used in the past. The Grout Refresh has been on my floor for about 3 months now and there are areas were it is wearing or peeling away. The other kind (I don’t remember the brand name but it comes in a bottle that looks like liquid shoe polish) I used in the past on a bathroom floor (about 18 months ago) hasn’t had that problem; in fact, I used it to change icky yellow-colored grout on my backsplash to white 25 years ago and it is still holding up. I think the difference is the liquid-polish dispenser type grout renewer actually soaks into the grout where the Refresh product stimply sits on top of it.

    • Melissa says

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I have to wonder what the difference is though, because I haven’t had any of those problems-the grout that the insurance contractors repaired and sealed with the Grout Refresh is four months post-sealing and I haven’t had any peeling at all. Is there a chance your grout was already sealed and that’s why it’s peeling up? Or wasn’t totally clean before using it? I did have it not adhere to one area where I had not cleaned it thoroughly enough prior to application but once I cleaned that area and reapplied it was fine. Or perhaps it comes from trying to change the color of the grout with the product? (I only matched it to my grout original color, not try to change the entire color of the grout.) Just brainstorming here as I haven’t had those problems. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t as good as mine, I hope you find a good solution!

      Take care, Melissa

  9. says

    I have been after my husband to do this job for a while. I guess I can do it :) That will be a fun surprise :) We have a weekly link up party at We would love to see this post there along with the post on dying your jeans!! We are also your newest FB like :)

  10. Jan says

    Thank you for the grout-cleaning tip. I expect it will work well on other items too, like cleaning faux-granite look countertop maybe. As for the little boy problem, cannot some one (a grown up man, for instance) teach them how to aim better, ahem? Or tape wads of paper towels around the outside of the bowl??? Ewwww! Guess you can tell I’m not a mom, LOL!

    • Melissa says

      Oh Jan we’ve tried!! The thing is getting distracted and they turn to look at something and boom-big mess! Maybe I should hang very interesting pictures directly over the toilet!?

      • says

        Easily distracted, oh my! Well, I don’t want to post adult-only content about what kind of picture might serve as a distraction and where to put it, LOL! Perhaps we, meaning USA, need to re-think how we do plumbing in our homes. While I have not personally seen such a set-up, I understand that many homes in Europe have toilets, bidets for the ladies, and urinals for the men, so three plumbing fixtures just for doing the necessary. Even if we eliminated a bidet from the design in the average homestead for the USA, we could still have a toilet and a urinal — a WIDE urinal with a large basin/base designed to catch, er, distracted aim. Unfortunately, I don’t think aim necessarily gets better with age, ahem.

        • Melissa says

          Jan if we had a urinal my life would be so much easier-not that I ever imagined myself thinking that phrase!!!

          • says

            Hmmm, just wondering if aim might markedly improve if the “aimer” had to clean up after himself/themselves by pulling bathroom clean-up duty every couple of days under mom’s tutelage. Personally, I have over the years become convinced that this is one of the main reasons that men get married – to finally not have to clean their own toilets anymore. Perhaps it is time to pull a SWITCHEROO and require the males in the household to clean up after themselves — sort of like Wife Swap, but this is Icky Chores Swap.

  11. says

    WoW! I have never heard of Grout Refresh before! It sounds so easy and effortless! I am sooo gonna try it out! I usually use Kaboom or Soft Scrub with grout cleaning. Another routine method for me is to spray the grout with vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. I guess it’s about time to try something new! Thanks for sharing this post!

  12. Rebecca says

    Ok, so maybe I missed something, butI didn’t know this came in different colors. I was expecting a miraculous grit cleaner not a “colorer” . :( My local Lowe’s also doesn’t carry many shades. Rats!

      • Melissa Riker says

        Sorry that wasn’t clear Rebecca, basically if you choose the same color it will “restore” it, I’ve also used it to change grout color in my kitchen after I regretted my backsplash grout color choice! In that case I couldn’t find the color I wanted locally so I ordered it on Amazon.

        • Rebecca says

          Thanks for the reply, Melissa. My grout is grey and the only shades at my local Lowes were white and tan tones. The salesman recommended another cleaning product and that (with a handy stiff bristle grout brush) seems to be working pretty well in one of my bathrooms. If I decide I need the Refresh for other areas, I’ll know to check Amazon. Thanks for the info! Great blog, btw!

  13. Chad R says

    They have a solution for everything don’t they! Informative post — and yes, anyone with a boy has the issues as you describe!

  14. Carla says

    I just discovered this stuff…and OMG!!! It is the greatest!!! It took me 3 days to do 4 rooms but it was so worth it. It truly looks as if we just installed our tile floors (they are 11 years old). The hardest part of the process is being on the floor … LOL!!!
    To anyone with doubts, I swear you will NOT be disappointed. It was the best $11.97 I’ve ever spent!!!

  15. says

    Melissa, I’ve to admit that I’ve never heard of this product before, but I will definitely try it in my next project. Thanks for the idea! I noticed it is colorant and grout sealer at the same time, which will be ideal for the moisture protection.

  16. cherise says

    Bought this product at my local Lowes in order to renew old grout lines on my kitchen tiles. I followed the directions exactly on the bottle. I have literally had to apply this stuff 5 different times.
    First application: I waited 30 minutes and applied a light mist of water from a water bottle and waited 5 minutes. Wiped up the tile with a damp sponge and the grout lines started to peal along with the excess grout color on the tile. Very messy clean up.
    Second application: Waited until the damp tile was dry and reapplied the product to the grout lines that did not take; waited an hour this time. Some grout lines took and again others did not; peeling from the grout lines once again.
    Third application: Decided to re apply again on the grout lines that did not take and went to bed, thinking it would work better if I left the product on the grout lines overnight. Well this morning, nothing has changed. Some grout lines took and some did not.
    Fourth application: After setting overnight, absolutely nothing has changed. I find myself once again applying the product to the grout lines that did not take once again. Using a sponge to wipe off the excess product from the tile; again some took and some did not.
    Fifth application: Here we go again applying the product to the grout lines that did not take.
    Bottom line is this product SUCKS! I would have been better off using regular paint to the grout lines and applying a clear epoxy. My fear is, now that I have applied this horrible product to my grout lines is that once I wipe the kitchen counter that this stuff is going to peel off, end up in my food and all over my kitchen floor. I will be contacting the company regarding this horrible horrible product.

    • Melissa says

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience Cherise, I’m not sure what would have made the difference. I used this product in 3 bathrooms, a laundry room and on our kitchen backsplash in our last home with no issues. The only thing I can think of is either the product formula itself has been changed since I used it (over 2 years ago now) or there was something on your grout that was preventing it from “taking.” But again, I never had that problem, our previous home was only a year or so old when I used it though so the grout was fairly new. Please let me know if you find out anything from the company that I can update my post with. ~Melissa


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