To choose the best tile grout whitener for your tile, you will need to consider what types of tile and grout you have, how much money you want to spend and the strength of the chemicals you are willing to use. Tile grout whitener is simple for most cases, but certain types of tile or grout might dictate your choice of whitener. As with most purchases, you will have to balance the cost and convenience of the material you choose to get something that is right for you. Also, there are varying levels of harsh chemicals in grout whiteners and even some ways to get around using any harsh chemicals at all if this is an issue for you.
A generic form of tile grout whitener that is appropriate for most basic projects is easy to find. You might have to look more carefully if you have unglazed tile, slate or concrete as many whiteners cannot be used on these surfaces. You should also look for a formulation that is specific for the area and types of stains you are dealing with. For example, tile in a kitchen or walkway will have more stains from food or traffic whereas a bathroom will probably have more issues with mildew stains. Many tile grout whiteners work for several types of stains, but if you pay attention to the labels, you might find a formula that is especially effective for the stains you are working with.
Most tile grout whiteners are relatively inexpensive and can be found in home improvement stores or cleaning supply stores. There are some whitener and cleaner options that are used by professionals and will cost more, but they may end up being worth the expense if you have very difficult stains or want something that is a little more powerful. You will also find some formulas that are ready to use just as they are and some that are concentrated and must be diluted with water before you use them. If you have a large area to clean or plan on saving some of the whitener to use in the future, this last option might be more economical for you.
Another factor you should consider when picking your tile grout whitener is the strength of the chemical substance you want to use. There are varying levels of strength, and consequently, chemicals in whiteners, and it is probably best to start with the mildest option first. There are also several homemade options you can try if you want something that is milder than store-bought cleaners. Mixtures of baking soda and water, vinegar and water or even hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can remove some stains. Some all-purpose household cleaners that you might already have will sometimes do the trick as well and keep you from having to buy anything new.
Choosing the best tile grout whitener is largely a process of trial and error to find out what works best for you. One other thing to consider is what you are using to scrub the grout with once you have the whitener on it. Some brands come with an applicator on the bottle which might prove to be more convenient for you, or you may prefer to use a separate grout brush or other scrubbing tool. No matter what you choose to get your grout looking clean, be sure to remember to apply some grout sealer once you are done. This will prevent new stains and erosion and preserve the hard work you have done for as long as possible.