The Best Tile Cleaner for Grout and Tile Stains

Is cleaning your bathroom tiles part of your regular bathroom and kitchen cleaning lists? I’m guessing no because it is one of the more time-consuming cleaning chores. However, we should all be cleaning our tiles regularly. And then we should be hitting our tiles with a tile scrub as needed (i.e., when they start to look grimy and stained). 

Cleaning bathroom tiles isn’t hard, but a lot of people struggle with this chore. And a big reason for that is they use the wrong cleaning product for tiles. That’s why I want to share the best tile floor cleaner recipe out there, right here!

Often, I see people throwing whatever cleaning products they have at their tiles. This might seem harmless, but using the wrong cleaning product can, in the worst-case scenario, actually damage your tiles. In the best-case scenario, it will leave your tiles less than clean and create more work than necessary. 

My DIY tile scrub is cheap to make, nontoxic, and hardworking. It’s the perfect solution for dull-looking and stained tiles and grout! I also have an in-depth article called How to Clean Bathroom Tiles, Soap Scum, and Bathroom Grout, where I share all the information you’ll ever need about different types of tiles and the products, tools, and techniques you need to clean each one. So I recommend popping over and giving that article a read as well. 

But for now, let’s talk all things DIY tile scrub. 

Melissa Maker on the Bathtub

Why Use DIY Tile Cleaner

Tiles can become dull and stained quite quickly. They have to contend with soap scum, mold and mildew, and regular dirt and grime. There are a lot of products on the market for tile cleaning. However, I always opt for DIY tile scrub when possible. 

If you know me, you know I love a good DIY recipe. And particularly for tile cleaning, a lot of store-bought tile cleaners contain quite harsh chemicals. And these chemicals create fumes when you clean. This stuff just isn’t great for you, especially when cleaning smaller, confined spaces like the bathroom. 

I want to add here that these products are, of course, tested and tested again, and if you do choose to use store-bought products, that’s OK; nothing terrible is going to happen. But personally, I prefer to make my own DIY recipes when possible because fewer ingredients and additives feels better for me and better for the environment. 

Plus, store-bought cleaner is just more expensive than DIY. And honestly, that’s reason enough for me. So hopefully I’ve now “sold you” on NOT buying cleaners in stores, let’s talk about how to make a DIY tile scrub at home. 

The Best Tile Cleaner Recipe

This DIY floor cleaner is a great, easy way to get your tiles sparkling clean. It packs a big cleaning punch without all the harsh chemicals of store-bought cleaners. And it can even tackle stained grout. All you need is: 

  • ¼ cup dish soap
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 2 tsps hydrogen peroxide
  • 10 drops essential oil (optional)
Hands mixing tile scrub ingredients in a bowl

Grab a small bowl and throw all your ingredients in. Well, maybe not throw unless you have exceptionally good aim. Then mix your concoction well until everything is combined. You should have a thin paste when you’re finished. 

I like using tea tree essential oil in this scrub because it’s antifungal, and I like the smell. However, essential oil is optional here, so if it’s not your thing feel free to skip it. And if you’ve never cleaned with essential oils before, read Everything You Need to Know About Cleaning with Essential Oils

When your tile scrub is ready, use a sponge to scrub it into all the grimy, stained areas of your tile. For stained grout, grab a cleaning toothbrush to help get into those hard-to-reach and tough areas. 

Next, let your tile cleaner sit for a few minutes. This time gives your cleaner a chance to work. Finally, rinse the cleaner off well and dry your tile and grout with a microfiber cloth. This recipe doesn’t store well, so only make it as needed. 

A hand using a purple microfiber cloth to clean tiles

Clean Tiles Without Harsh Chemicals 

And that’s it! If you thought cleaning tiles, stains, and grout was going to be a long process, you thought wrong. The right tile cleaner will get you through the whole ordeal quickly. How often you clean your tiles will really depend on how much use they get. 

There are three people in my family, so my bathroom and kitchen tiles get really dirty really fast. If you’re cleaning your bathroom and kitchen regularly, you may not need this tile scrub as frequently. However, there’s no way to avoid stains and dullness completely. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get your tiles looking new again. 

And if you’re interested in more DIY recipes, I have a ton of free DIY recipe articles for you, including Clean Your Whole Home for $7.25 with these DIY Cleaning Products! Finally, if you’re a DIY cleaning fan like me, be sure to check out my 50 DIY Cleaning Recipes printable for all the DIY recipes you could ever need. 

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. This probably works fine but you should not say that it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Dish soap is chemical and you can’t say what’s in it and how it’s produced. Baking soda production is very polluting. And who knows what will come out of this mixture? Everyone uses a different dish soap, who knows how it can react with the other ingredients?

  2. Thanks for the informative post. I notice that the tile backsplash behind my stove gets an orange tint between the grout every once in a while. Cleaning the grout is always a pain but this might just be a great solution, thanks for sharing!

  3. Do you answer question that have been asked?Just curious don’t want to waist my time typing a question that won’t be seen or answered.

    • Hi there! We get a lot of comments but we try to answer questions or refer you to another helpful blog or article if we can.

  4. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe.Worked beautifully on tile in my mom’s bathroom that had old grout smeared on the tile and aged as well as tiles that yellowed over the years. They look nice and sparkling clean!

  5. I really wanted to like this solution as a way to clean my shower tiles but each time I made (and yes I’ve even looked at her update recipe which is just equal parts baking soda and dish soap) the results were not great. I was often left with a paste mess to deal with. I suggest trying her Soap scum buster spray which I can say does work very well.

    • So I tried this recipe again and it honestly does work. The difference? I followed Melissa’s technique that she shows in her other tutorial videos and then I also didn’t apply that much product when I was cleaning (which I think I over did on the first time). I only did this on the back part of my tub to test it and the difference is night and day. Then back of the tub feels so smooth and got rid of that soap scum! I will definitely use this in conjunction with her spray. Tip: don’t apply too much product and watch her other videos on how to scrub it in!


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