Why Is My Bathroom Grout Turning Yellow Or Orange?

Tile grout has a naturally porous composition, which makes it very susceptible to mold and dirt. So what do you do if your bathroom grout turns yellow or orange? And what causes it? We’ve researched the most common reasons for this issue, and in this post, we will share them with you.

Yellow and orange discoloration can appear on bathroom grout for many reasons. Oftentimes, hard water is the biggest culprit that causes the grout to become discolored. However, it can also become discolored due to excessive moisture, spills, improper cleaning products, and a buildup of residue from personal products.

Over time, cement grout tends to pick up grime, dirt, and minerals from hard water. It can also become molded if exposed to long periods of humidity, which can be common in most bathrooms. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of yellow and orange colored grout and how to get rid of it.

Reasons Why Grout Turns Yellow or Orange

Hard water

Hard water is the most common reason for orange or yellow stains in the tub or shower tile. If you live in an area with hard water and notice that the tile grout in your bathroom becomes stained, it may be best to purchase a water softener to reduce the number of minerals that make contact with your shower walls and floors. Yellowing of the grout is usually due to the high concentration of minerals in the water, such as magnesium, calcium, and iron.

Dirty tile grout

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This discoloration can be particularly difficult to get rid of, especially if it’s have been present for several weeks. However, with the right cleaning products and methods, you can remove it from the grout. Also, if you notice that the stains are a deep orange hue, the chances are that the culprit in the water is iron, and it has caused a buildup of rust on the grout. The discoloration can be treated by using a cleaner that contains rust removal agents, such as CLR.

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Learn more about CLR on Amazon.

Humidity and moisture

Moldy tile and grout in tan shower bath on shelf ledge

Moisture is a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. This is especially true for grout, as it is porous and makes the perfect surface for microorganisms to grow in. Most bathrooms are closed spaces that may have less ventilation than other rooms in the house. On top of that, they’re also exposed to humidity and moisture daily. If you notice yellow or orange stains on your shower tile grout, the chances are that moisture is being trapped, and it is due to the grout not being sealed.

Product spills

Products spills are another common reason for discolored grout. They can lead to severe yellowing, as the ingredients in the products will interact with the cement in the grout, causing it to turn a yellowish-orange color. This is especially true if the products are used daily, such as shampoo or soap products.

Using cleaning products that contain oils and waxes

The chemicals in cleaning products can definitely cause the shower tiles in your bathroom to turn yellow or orange. This is especially true in the products that contain oils are waxes. As you use these products, the oil or wax can build up in the grout, causing discoloration. Removal of these particular stains will usually involve a degreaser and a bleaching agent to help re-lighten the grout.

Infrequent or improper maintenance

Cleaning your shower area frequently and with the right products is essential to preventing yellow and orange stains. Over time, certain cleaning agents can cause the grout to become discolored, turning it a light yellow or orangish color.

Wet dirty tile grout

It’s important to know that all bathroom cleaners aren’t ideal for tile grout, as some may contain cleaning agents that can cause the grout to become discolored over time. This is especially true for cleaning agents that contain dyes, high concentrations of bleach, or polymers. It’s helpful to look for bathroom cleaners that are specifically meant to clean tile grout as well.

Read more about this tile grout cleaner on Amazon.

What causes shower grout to turn yellow?

The most common reason why tile grout may begin to turn yellow is because of hard water. Minerals in hard water may cause discoloration over time as they penetrate the layers of the cement. If your water has a high iron concentration, it can also cause the grout to turn yellow or orange due to rust buildup.

Old and extremely dirty tile grout

Other common reasons why shower grout may turn yellow are mold from excessive moisture, product spills that contain oils and waxes, and frequent cleaning. The best way to prevent your bathroom grout from turning yellow or orange is to clean your bathroom frequently. This could mean giving the tile and grout area a thorough cleaning at least once a week or more, depending on how often the bathroom is used.

How do you fix yellow grout?

If you have the budget, you can contact a professional cleaning service to fix the yellow grout in your shower area. They can inspect the grout to determine what cleaning agents will lift the stains and whiten the grout again. They’ll also be able to tell you if the grout should be replaced and if it should be sealed after the cleaning. If you’d rather clean the grout yourself, you can do so using different combinations of everyday products such as baking soda, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice.

How do you get yellow grout white again?

The best way to get yellow grout white again is to use a combination of cleaning agents to lift the stains from the grout. The best method also depends on the cause of the stains. For example, if the stains are the result of product spills, it may be best to use a degreaser before applying any bleaching agents. On the other hand, if the stains are a result of infrequently cleaning, deep cleaning should work to lighten the grout. Let’s look at a few cleaning options to whiten yellow grout.

Woman cleaning the tile grout using a toothbrush, Why Is My Bathroom Grout Turning Yellow Or Orange?Why Is My Bathroom Grout Turning Yellow Or Orange?

White vinegar

Consider using white distilled vinegar to clean the grout and make it white again. Simply mix the vinegar with an equal ratio of water and two to three tablespoons of baking soda and pour it into a spray bottle. Next, spray the stain on the area and let it sit for about 30 to 45 minutes. Afterward, scrub the area with a scrubber brush and rinse it with warm water. Then repeat these steps as necessary.

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Salt with lemon

A mixture of lemon juice and salt works wonderfully to help dissolve mineral deposits from stained grout and other surfaces. To apply this method, mix a 1/2-cup of lemon juice with three tablespoons of salt and pour the solution into a spray bottle.

Next, apply the solution to the stained route and allow it to sit for about an hour or until the stain is gone. Afterward, rinse the area with warm water. You can also use a disposable toothbrush to help to get between the small crevices in the shower area.

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How do you get orange mold out of grout?

The iron in hard water typically causes orange mold stains in the grout. The most effective way to remove this type of stain is to use a rust cleaning solution such as CLR. You can also put your undiluted vinegar on in the affected area, as rust reacts to the acid in vinegar, causing it to break up and lift away from the surface.

Woman scrubbing the tile grout

Is there a white grout that doesn’t stain?

Yes. It’s called epoxy grout. This type of grout is water and stain-resistant as it is not porous like cement grout. This means that the grout typically lasts longer than cement grout, and you won’t have to worry about it turning yellow or orange over time. However, the surface of the grout can be susceptible to mold from excessive humidity, so it’s best to keep moisture to a minimum with sufficient ventilation.

Learn more about epoxy grout on Amazon.

Does Coke clean grout?

Yes. Coca-Cola is known to help remove discoloration from tile grout and other services due to its caustic and acid chemical makeup. To use this method for grout cleaning, simply pour about half a cup of Coca-Cola on the affected area and let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Afterward, scrub the area using a scrubber brush or wipe it down with a clean cloth. Repeat this until the stains have lifted.

Tile Grout Repair, worker using trowel to spread grout

Wrapping Things Up

We hope this post has provided you with the information that you were looking for on the causes of yellow and orange grout and how to mitigate this common bathroom issue. Remember, cleaning your bathroom frequently can prevent the accumulation of these stains.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

Should You Choose A Black Shower Base?

No Hot Water In The Shower Or Sink – What To Do?

Cleaning bathroom tiles. Women washing bath walls. Housemaid cleaning up tiles of bath. Why Is My Bathroom Grout Turning Yellow Or Orange

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