It’s Official: This Is America’s Most-Hated Cleaning Task

Here’s how a pro makes it less of a hassle.

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Everyone has that one chore you avoid at all possible costs. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment? That’s more fun than laundry. Submitting expenses? We’ll take that over doing the dishes any day. You may meet a few other people throughout life who share the same hatred for the chore you dodge the most. But if that thing you really despise happens to be cleaning tile and grout, then you definitely will.

Yelp released a report on the 10 chores Americans leave to the pros every spring. The task at the top of the list? Tile and grout cleaning. (Personally, my partner and I have taken on the duty in our bathroom—after that experience, I want to outsource it, too.) Most people will attack dirt and grime by scrubbing the space down with a general cleanser and a scrubbing tool, but there are ways to optimize your efforts that don’t require going straight for the bleach. To help make it less of a burden, I spoke with Becky Rapinchuk of Clean Mama to get her tips and tricks.

Her Favorite Cleaning Solution

marble clad tub
Photography by Madeline Tolle; Styling by Jessica Hansen

Rapinchuk prefers to keep it simple—and relatively hands-off. “I like to put a sprayer on hydrogen peroxide and spray the grout (this will disinfect and whiten),” she says. Let that sit for a bit before giving it a gentle scrub. 

As for what not to use, the list is longer: “I never recommend using bleach for cleaning and I avoid products with ingredients that I can’t pronounce or that have warning labels.” And if you do end up using something a bit harsher, you’re potentially adding more work to your plate. She recommends resealing the grout after scrubbing if the grout hasn’t been sealed within one to two years.

Her Go-To Tool

Hit Amazon or Target and you’ll be bombarded with cleaning tools promising big results. It can be a lot to dig through. To keep it easy, Rapinchuk has two recommendations: Spin scrubbers like this are great, and this detail brush works wonders in crevices, too. They’re also ideal for kitchen cleaning, but Rapinchuk does not recommend using the same set you use for the bathroom. 

Leebein Electric Spin Scrubber, Amazon

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Her Best Technique 

So how do you avoid falling into the habit of never cleaning your tile and grout? “Staying on top of it and clean weekly,” says Rapinchuk. It makes sense: Setting up bite-size cleaning sessions will help keep big messes away. One final tip? “I also like a daily shower spray,” she says. The pro even has a simple recipe you can use daily to keep soap scum and mildew out of the picture.