Using Muriatic Acid to Clean Grout

If you have come here, you must have to deal with a rather unpleasant problem: grout. And you want to get rid of the grout. You have come to the right place, as we explain in detail, how to get rid of grouts using Muriatic Acid.

Mix one gallon of water with a cup of muriatic acid properly (remember to add the acid TO THE WATER). Use a thick enough brush to apply gently to the grouts, and let the mixture stay for a few minutes. Then rinse the acid solution with either diluted ammonia or cold water. Dry the solution used to wash off the acid, and your grouts will hopefully be cleaned!

Sounds simple, right? However, it turns out the world of chemistry is a bit more complicated. You would need to know a bit of introductory chemistry before using acid to clean grout. Stick around to find more.

How To Properly Use Muriatic Acid To Clean Grout?


Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, is an extremely potent acid that can harm human body parts and house tiles if mishandled. Hence, it is necessary to use a very dilute solution of muriatic acid to clean grout. Ideally, you would want to have a mixture containing 1 part acid and 10 parts water.

Using Muriatic Acid to Clean Grout
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As mentioned, since this acid can irritate skin and may also result in toxic effects if inhaled, necessary precautions must be undertaken. Wear a gloves mask, ensuring proper ventilation where you are working to avoid acid fumes accumulating. 

There have been accounts of acid fumes leaving a lousy stain on metals in bathrooms when applied. Similarly, for safety reasons, one thing you would like to do is dilute the acid outside your house to avoid accidental spilling indoors.

Please DO NOT add water TO the acid, as it would result in a harmful and toxic chemical reaction. Speaking of reactions, do not leave the grout unattended after applying the acid solution, as it typically takes minutes for the grout to get cleaned.

If you are using ammonia to rinse off the acid, use a diluted solution, ideally with 1 part ammonia in 10 parts water.

Extra Steps You Should Better Bear In Mind

Another aspect to take care of is using the correct type of brush, rags or mops. Toothbrushes or soft scrubbers will not do the work; you must use thick brushes, like a paintbrush or heavy-duty grout brush. 

Related: How to Clean Floor Grout Without Scrubbing

You have to scrub the solution real hard if you want to properly get off grout, especially as dried grout may become tiresome to work with. Do not use dirty rags or mops to dry your floor after you are finished. 

It can leave nasty stains on the gaps as well as the tiles, ruining the look.

Now that you have known how to properly carry out the cleaning process, it’s time to reveal something: ONLY USE MURIATIC ACID AS A LAST RESORT SOLUTION. You will find on the internet that this is true. Let’s find out why…


As mentioned earlier, muriatic acid is a very dangerous chemical substance. It could eat through the grout and weaken it or destroy tiles, and you may have to reinstall the tiles properly again. 

Especially if your tiles are hand-painted, you MUST NOT use muriatic acid, as the acid would completely ruin the tiles and cost you heavily.

While some may heavily discourage the use of a potent acid like this one, others would say muriatic acid, at the right concentrations, has helped them. 

So you would need to know a bit more before you pick up your tools and buckets.

So if not muriatic acid, then what will I use, you may ask. We have an answer to that too. Keep reading forward.

Alternatives To Muriatic Acid

A good start may be oxygen bleach, it doesn’t contain chlorine, so it is safe. And since it is less corrosive than a chlorine-based bleaching solution, it would work much more slowly, but it is used widely to remove stains off clothes and is a very safe alternative. 

Usually found as a solid, you can mix it with water to make a paste-like substance and scrub it on grout stains.

Another substance that could be used as an alternative is alkaline-based cleaners. Effective for white grouts and mould, these are commonly found in grocery stores and contain potent alkalis like potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. 

So it is better you dilute the cleaner before applying it on grout stains, ideally with 1 part cleaner and 10 parts water in a solution.

However, please do keep in mind that a bleaching solution might as well discolour your tiles or completely destroy your grout.

Similarly, chlorine bleach may be a good alternative too. However, bear in mind that similar to alkaline cleaners, chlorine bleach could eat up the colouration of your tiles as well. Not to mention it is toxic, too, so you would have to take some primary precautions before starting to work with it. Instead, you can use a powerful steam cleaner to clean the grout line safely.

Hydrogen peroxide is very commonly found in households. You could mix it with water and oxygen bleach or even a few teaspoons of lemon juice and spray it on grout stains. Scrub it, and clean grout haze off the floor like luxury vinyl tile!

If not, you would have to keep applying the solution over and over until you notice appreciable results.

But What Do I Use?

Presenting you with so many alternatives could confuse you. And rightfully so, each solution has their own separate methods, precautions, benefits and drawbacks. 

Some people even use cloth detergent to get rid of grouts and get the job done.

What you can do is apply a small sample of a solution on a small area of the dirty grout and see if that does noticeable cleaning. 

You should preferably start with the weakest solution first, as they are more readily available and easier to work with. If those don’t work, you increase the potency of your applied solution until you finally start seeing results.

But a rule of thumb would be to seal off any other substances present in the vicinity you may be working with. Objects like wood, metal or containers may become stained or damaged if exposed to certain chemicals. An easily handheld steam cleaner can also be a great option to clean the grout.

And obviously, wear gloves and ensure proper ventilation so that you yourself do not get injured. 


  • What is the best homemade grout cleaner?

It is usually the more commonly found household items, such as hydrogen peroxide, detergent, bleach or baking soda. 

Not only are they so readily available, they are easy to work with and cause the least irritation. And they generally work for most house stains.

Use this best homemade grout cleaner and vanish all of the grout super easily. 


Finally, we have reached the end of this article. We hope that you have found the answer to most of the burning questions you had for muriatic acid to clean grout. Use muriatic acid only as a last resort, with adamant stains, making sure you have experimented with the other safer alternatives.

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