The Fast & Easy Way to Whiten Tile Grout

I have a DIY project for you today that I think will help anyone who has tile in their home and is looking for a budget friendly and easy way to freshen it so it looks like new. One of the items on my staging the house to-do list was to whiten the grout on the tile floor in my master bathroom.

No matter how much I tried to clean it, it still looked dingy.  Then I found out about a very budget friendly and easy option. No tools needed besides a spray bottle of water and a sponge are needed.  I wish I had know about this product sooner, I would have recolored my grout in my master bathroom years ago.

Before and after tile re coating technique

Here is how the tile floor and tub surround looked in my master bath a few weeks ago. Over the years the white grout darkened. The only way I knew to make it white again was to skim coat it which requires you to drill out the top portion of grout and then lay in a new top coat.  Way too hard.

Tile Guard Tile Grout Coating

Then I stumbled upon this inexpensive product when I was buying paint at my local True Value Hardware. It is called Tile Guard Tile Grout Coating. It states that it makes grout look like new again. I had never heard of it before and became intrigued so I bought a bottle to try out.


Would it work? Was it as easy to use as the label stated?  The answers…a double YES!

How to Whiten Tile Grout the Easy Way

Tile grout coating to whiten grout
  1. Clean tiled surface and let dry.
  2. Shake bottle well and remove cap.
  3. Press sponge tip up and down along grout line to apply the product. Let dry.

4. Repeat over entire tiled surface. Depending on the size of the surface you are working on will determine how long the whole process will take.  It took me about an hour to apply the product all over the floor and tub surround.

how to whiten tile grout the easy way

5. After drying time, spray a light coat of water over the surface and use a sponge or paper towel to remove excess product. You need to apply a little bit of pressure to remove the excess, but it does come right off while leaving the grout lines very white. Let dry.

The unique formula penetrates deeply as it dries to form a durable bond with porous grout. Once dry, the coating protects against soil, stains & mildew. A winner in my book :-)

Re grout tile the easy way

I was so thrilled with the results I took the bottle down to my kitchen and used it on the grout on the backsplash above the counters.  It has been over a month since I did it.

I have washed the floor once and the product is dried on for good.  I have added this to my favorite DIY products.

Total cost for makeover $10. Time needed to complete: 1 – 3 hours

Need to whiten the caulk around a sink? Learn how to do it in this post: Updates for a Bathroom

Home Improvement DIY: If your tile grout is dingy and nothing gets it white you are going to love this product. It is a grout colorant that will have your grout white in no time. Fast and budget friendly!

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  1. I would love to try this on my shower floor, but the tiles are 1” squares. Would it be a problem getting the whitener off the surface all those tiny tiles? Thanks so much.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane – Grout painting small 1″ tiled floor can be done. You may need to use a very damp terry cloth rag that has texture over the tiles and then spot clean each. It may take more time, but can be done without a problem.

  2. This is grout, not caulk.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy – Yes, I used the grout recoloring product on grout, not caulk. If you are interested in whitening caulk, I do have a link to another post showing how to do that. It is at the end of the post.

  3. Can you use this in the shower? Will it hold up to the water?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue –

      Good question. Since I didn’t use it in my shower, I wasn’t sure so I looked it up. Here is the description of the product I used:

      Our unique formula deeply penetrates as it dries. Because this coating forms a durable bond with porous grout, it is suitable for use on floors and in showers. Restore your grout lines to original whiteness and guard against soiling and mildew stains in one easy step.

      For use on these surfaces:
      Use only on white grout
      IMPORTANT: Not intended for unglazed tile, slate, concrete block or porous stones including marble.

      This is the product I used:

      I hope this helps.

  4. Judi Mantos says:

    Unfortunately all my grout is beige, not white

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Judi – White is not the only color of grout lightener. There are many colors. You can see some here:

  5. Is this for white grout only?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debby – There are many brands of grout colorant on the market for all colors of grout. You can see some of them here:

      If you live near a flooring and tile store, you will be able to find many colors.

  6. Fernando Batista says:

    After you apply this product can you paint the grout with outdoor paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      If you are going to paint over the grout then there is no reason to whiten it first. If you have already applied it and want to paint, outdoor paint will go over it without any problems.

  7. Hi, I love your bathroom and I was wondering if true value has different colors of that grout sealer ? I have porcelain tiles with white grout because white would be black soon in my bathroom lol. Hope to hear from you
    Great job you did.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Earlene – I am not sure True Value sells different colors, but if you go to a big chain tile or flooring store, like Floor & Decor, Lowes or Home Depot – they will have it in different colors. Not as many colors as the grout colors they sell, but they will have a few colors other than white.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Earlene –

      I am not sure True Value sells different colors, but if you go to a big chain tile or flooring store, like Floor & Decor, Lowes or Home Depot – they will have it in different colors. Not as many colors as the grout colors they sell, but they will have a few colors other than white.

  8. I am so glad I came across this tutorial! I am so impressed with this product! My floors look BRAND NEW! Thanks!

  9. Sarah Kite says:

    Wonderful suggestions!! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Teresa Jefferies says:

    WOW! Last night I just finished painting my black grout with the Renew Grout paint and it was much more tedious than using your product. My painting took hours but I love my new clean kitchen floor. However, thanks for sharing this product because I will use it on my bathroom floor instead of painting the grout. I will be able to see over time which product holds up longer. You are amazing and thanks for sharing this quick and awesome product.

  11. Hi! Does this product have strong fumes? I am sensitive to chemicals.

  12. We live in Mexico and can’t find anything like you used Diane. We took while shoe polish with the sponge applicator and went over our tile on the counter tops. It seems to be working just great!! Have not tried it on the floor tile. Try the shoe polish trick on the counter tops if you can’t find anything else. Be fun to try it on the floor tile

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elena – Wow…this is good to know. Maybe that is all the grout colorant is :-) I am going to try it onthe tiles in my upstairs bathroom. Thanks for taking the time to share your tip.

  13. Roxie Schoedler says:

    Does this product clean the grout or apply a color coating?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Roxie – It is a colorant only, it does not clean it. I cleaned the floor before applying it.

  14. I’m just wondering if you can give me a truly good idea about what to use for whitening/cleaning the caulk around sinks. The sink is white, the counter is white, and the caulk has picked up some debris and looks horrible against the white that surrounds it! l Help!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenny –

      Have you tried wiping it with bleach and letting it sit to whiten the caulk? If this doesn’t work, the best thing to do is remove it. Use a craft knife to peel it off all around the sink. Clean the area well and then run a new line of white tub and tile caulk around the sink. Check out this post for tips on how to do it.

  15. Hi Diane I’m a new follower but everything I’ve seen so far I’ve liked you have an amazing mind!
    I have a question about the grout fix-up. You said you used it on the tile on your back splash but I would like to use it on the counter too. Can you use it on the tile counters in your kitchen where you would be preparing food?

  16. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Ha, I might have to do this ;)

  17. Hello Diane,

    Greetings from a Canadian reader. I have really enjoyed your blog as well as the journey you and your husband are on to find a new home. We downsized for health reasons four years ago after living in our previous home for over twenty-five years. After looking at twenty-one homes we ended up buying the first home we viewed and knew it would be our aging in place dream home. It is very challenging and stressful looking for a new home but well worth it when you find your “dream home”. I hope your search will be over soon.

    Warm Regards,

  18. Thanks for this information. Definitely going to try this.

  19. LaurieRae says:

    I will check an TRUE VALUE store today! Thank you!

  20. lois black says:

    Thanks, Diane. I ordered a bottle. Can’t wait to get it. Love your blog!!!!

  21. Diane,
    First of all, I must say I love your blog! It has some of the best practical and achievable projects out there.
    Many times people need a cost effective way to upgrade their homes without doing a complete remodel.
    Secondly, I am so excited to see how your search for a lake home and new next chapter play out. I am definitely living vicariously through you?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy –

      Thanks, it is in my nature to always try to find less expensive options. I have learned that sometimes the traditional way of doing things is not always the only or best way. I enjoy the challenge of looking for options. I will be updating soon about our house selling and lake home search. :-)

  22. Sawdust Sisters says:

    Looks awesome! Do they have other colors? My grout is grey and it’s looking pretty black in some places!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I don’t think this brand has any other colors, but I have learned that there are grout colorants that come in many colors. Check out your local tile store and you will find them. They may not have the sponge tip applicator this brand has, but are just as easy to apply with an old toothbrush.

    2. Yes, I’ve used a product that comes in a small bottle that you “paint” on with a small paintbrush. I don’t remember the name but I found it originally with a Google search.

  23. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors says:

    Wow! That’s fantastic. We have the same tile and “white” grout around our tub area. Definitely going to give this a try. Thanks!