Do NOT Clean Grout With Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Let me loudly and clearly say that this is a PINTEREST FAIL for me!!!

Image Source: Life PreKARIous via Pinterest

I know everyone has come across this little cleaning “hack” either through Pinterest or a Facebook post or something.

It sounds amazing. Use Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner, the gel kind, to quickly and easily restore your grout to the original “new house” state. Apply gel, let it set for 10 minutes, lightly scrub with a brush and wipe it up!

So of course, I had to try it tonight while J.D. went to cover a Rockets game and after the kids went to bed.

I took some ‘before’ pictures and then applied the gel. That part was super easy and quick. I let it set and then started scrubbing.

That’s when it dawned on me — the grout looks cleaner because the gel is eating away at the top layer.

As I continued cleaning, I noticed that some parts were oozing a reddish substance, which turned out to be the red clay that our ceramic tiles are made of — the gel was eating away at the tiles, too.

Ugh. No!!! Super gross and it actually caused more stains.

So, I quickly wiped up the rest of the gel and I was left with a kitchen floor that was super gritty. While I was able to clean up the new stains caused by red clay, the floors didn’t look that much cleaner than what I started off with.

I cleaned up the floors with our spray mop to remove as much grit and gel residue as possible and went back over the grout with an actual grout cleaner.

This one, to be exact.


Image Source:

I’m not sure why I didn’t use this in the first place. No, I do know why — I’M AN IDIOT! Also, I bought this about a year ago when we first moved into the house to clean up some stains caused by the builders, and was too lazy to use it and then just forgot about it.

Honestly, as I was happily applying the gel, I could hear my mom’s voice screaming in my head, “Don’t use products where they don’t belong! If it’s not an approved application, don’t do it!”

Argh, even in my imagination, my mom is always right.

Well, lesson learned.

Also, nobody tell J.D. about this epic fail. I hope he doesn’t notice how gritty the floor is when he gets home. Also, someone remind him that you’re supposed to reseal grout every six months… I don’t know how to convince him to do it without explaining this epic FAIL!

Also, remind me to buy some more reusable mop pads because tonight taught me that trying to clean a gritty floor with a gritty mop pad because you only had one on hand is counter productive.

Learn from my mistakes. Or at least proceed with caution.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to the items I used in this disasterous attempt to do some house cleaning. All these products are awesome if they’re used as intended. I am so mad at Pinterest right now. 

2 responses to “Do NOT Clean Grout With Toilet Bowl Cleaner

    • Our tile is like a terra cotta material under the top layer of white. What I think happened was that the toilet cleaner was eroding the red edge which made everything look stained. It wasn’t actually stained it was just grainy red dust. After cleaning with regular floor cleaner a couple of times, the red dust went away.


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