Posted on: 18.06.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Are your shower grout lines yellowing? Are the once bright tiles in your shower gradually taking on a sickly hue? Then it might be time to address the causes of your yellowed shower and restore optimal shine and a fresh, clean appearance to your bathing area. But to do that, you need to understand what causes grout and tiles to turn yellow.

When shower tiles turn yellow, the cause can be anything from colored dyes and high levels of iron in the water supply to body fat accumulation and tobacco smoke residue. Vinegar, baking soda, and a lot of elbow grease are three common remedies for yellowed shower tiles.

In addition to exploring the many reasons why your shower tiles turn yellow, we’ll provide some of the most proven solutions for yellow shower tiles. After using the information in this guide, you may never have to deal with embarrassing, unattractive shower tiles again!

Why Do Shower Tiles Turn Yellow?

To prevent your shower tiles from turning yellow, you need to be familiar with the things that can contribute to tile discoloration. Some of the most common causes of yellow shower tiles are things like:

  • Dyes
  • Iron
  • Oils
  • Wax
  • Smoke
  • Moisture
  • Tile material

In your investigation into why the tiles in your shower are turning yellow, it may be helpful to go through these factors. For example, if you are currently using all-natural soaps and cleaners to scrub your shower and tub, wax and dyes may not be the cause of your yellow tiles.

However, if you’re not drying out your shower area after each use, using a fan to keep the room dry, or using a water softener to reduce mineral deposits, then you should focus on these areas before honing in on less likely factors like oil or wax.

Before we show you some of the best ways to brighten yellow tiles and grout, let’s examine some of the things that can contribute to tile discoloration. You might use this information to prevent newly cleaned (or recently purchased and installed) tiles from turning yellow. If your natural hair color isn’t blonde, there’s a good chance your hair dye products contribute to the yellowing of your shower tiles. Hair dye (primarily yellow hair dye) can not only cause your bathtub and shower to turn yellow, but shampoos and conditioners with dyes can also contribute to slow, undesirable color change.

Body soaps, specialty bath products, shaving creams, and all sorts of things can contain dyes that discolor your shower tiles. Unfortunately, the best way to avoid dye-related discoloration is to avoid products that contain dyes.

Of course, you could also invest a little time and effort into daily cleaning and continue using your color-intensive products. After all, your yellow shower tiles might not be caused by dye at all. It could be the result of too much iron in your bathwater.


Do you use a water softener at home? If not, your yellowed shower tiles could be a sign of high iron content in your bathwater. Typically, iron causes red and orange stains. However, in its early stages, it can leave a yellowish tint.


The human body naturally produces oils that help keep skin and hair shiny and supple. During our teenage years, these sebaceous glands can become overactive, leading to acne. Luckily, modern technology and innovation allow us to take multiple baths and showers throughout the day.

But the oil our body produces doesn’t disappear during a shower. Instead, it is stripped from us and allowed to sink down the drain. However, when the spray from your showerhead hits your body, the water doesn’t just go straight down. It can bounce off your semi-waterproofed skin and land on the surrounding shower tiles.

If you don’t wipe down your shower after each use, body oil stains may accumulate on those tiles. Just like an old pillow or a sweaty blanket, this oil can lead to yellowing over time.


Did you know that some cleaning chemicals and products contain wax? Of course, this ingredient is common in floor cleaners or wood polishes, but some bathroom cleaners also contain wax.

Over time, these products can build up on your shower tiles and form a yellow sheen. Fortunately, removing wax buildup is often a simple matter. Much more challenging is avoiding wax-containing cleaners.

If you live in a house with a previous owner, that person may have also applied wax to your shower doors or tiles to promote an anti-mold environment. On the surface, this idea is fairly solid. Unfortunately, wax can discolor ceramic tiles and grout over time.


Smoking tobacco not only harms your health but also your home. Smoking cigarettes indoors can negatively affect indoor air quality. Additionally, tobacco smoke is highly toxic and tends to contaminate walls, fabrics, carpets, and pretty much anything it comes into contact with.

If you live in a house that used to belong to a smoker, or if you currently live in a house with a smoker (including yourself), now is the time to make a change. Otherwise, you could be dealing with yellow shower tiles, books, cabinets, walls, blinds, ceiling fans, doors, teeth, and lungs.


While it may seem strange, moisture can contribute to yellow shower tiles. It’s important to remember that nearly any type of mold and mildew relies on water to grow and thrive. If you have a moist bathroom that is constantly in a somewhat damp state, you’re welcoming fungi into your shower enclosure.

Mold and mildew come in a rainbow of colors, including yellow. They can also permanently stain almost any material they begin to consume, including plastics, woods, fabrics, and ceramics. To prevent moisture (or rather mold) from yellowing your shower, you’ll need to develop some smart drying habits.

Tile Material

Lastly, the type of material your shower tiles are made of could contribute to their color changes. Some tiles are more porous than others and may naturally absorb the colors of hair dyes, shampoos, cleaning products, or smoke.

Ceramic, porcelain, and stone tiles may be more prone to staining than other types of shower tiles due to their porous nature. The best way to prevent these types of materials from developing severe discoloration is to seal or glaze them with a waterproof coating.

Of course, a protective coating alone is not sufficient to prevent yellowing. Exceptional cleaning and maintenance habits are also a must.

Solutions for Yellow Shower Tiles

After eliminating or reducing the factors that may cause shower tiles to turn yellow, you can start finding the right solutions for your tile discoloration issues. In general, there are three things you can do to get rid of unsightly yellow shower tiles.

For example, you can commit to:

  • Regular Cleaning
  • Tile Replacement
  • Grout Cleaning and Resealing

To select the best option for you, your budget, and your bathroom, you need to sit down and weigh your preferences. If you’re not able or willing to spend at least an hour each week cleaning your shower, the first solution may not be right for you.

If you’re not interested in replacing your shower tiles, the second option probably isn’t the best for you either. However, it’s important to consider the age of your shower tiles, their current condition, and your weekly schedule when making a final decision.

While a complete replacement may be more costly than long-term cleaning or a few deep cleaning sessions, it may be the wiser option if your shower tiles are very old or in poor condition (cracked, chipped, warped, heavily stained).

That said, for most people, regular cleaning will do the trick and bring shower tiles (and the surrounding grout) back to shiny glory.

Regular Cleaning

In regular cleaning, consistency is key. If you choose to go this route, you’ll also need to be patient. Restoring your shower tiles’ original color and shine can take several weeks or months, especially if you’re not using a motor-powered scrubber.

If you’re determined to expedite the restoration process, you can invest in a powerful tool like the Homitt Cordless Shower Scrubber. This nifty device comes with four different brush heads designed to clean tight corners, ceramic tiles, and curved tub areas.

It can also work hard for a full ninety minutes before shutting off, providing plenty of cleaning time per charge. With an extendable handle, this scrubber allows you to tackle your kitchen, bathroom, and floor cleaning tasks in no time.

No matter which path you take (electric or manual), there are, of course, a handful of regular cleaning and maintenance activities you’ll want to perform. You can choose one day per week to tackle your bathroom cleaning tasks, or you can decide to do one cleaning task each weekday. Take a look at your schedule and choose the option that makes the most sense for you. Remember that it’s perfectly normal to have “free days” when you don’t have the time or energy to do your cleaning tasks.

As long as you make it a habit to do these tasks when you can, dirt and oil shouldn’t become a constant problem. Some of the most practical features that could help you get rid of yellow shower tiles are:

  • Using a vinegar spray
  • Applying a baking soda scrub
  • Ensuring proper ventilation

Let’s examine each of these tasks more closely to understand how they can help bring a little more shine to your shower tiles. After all, it’s difficult to feel inspired to clean if you’re not entirely sure of the purpose of your cleaning task.

Learning how to properly clean your shower tiles takes time, practice, and patience. If you find yourself getting upset, tired, or frustrated during any of these activities, take a moment to relax and step back from the situation. Patchy yellow tiles can take some time and effort to fix. It’s okay if you don’t achieve perfection after the first try.

The longer you work on developing excellent bathroom cleaning habits, the more comfortable they will become, and the better your home will look and feel! To start, you may want to use a vinegar spray.

Using a Vinegar Spray

Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with 50% water and 50% white distilled vinegar. Congratulations! You now have an all-purpose vinegar spray that works great on glass surfaces and yellowed shower tiles.

Because of vinegar’s high acidity, it’s also a great solution for removing lime and scale deposits. Vinegar can also help disinfect areas and prevent mold and mildew, so it’s great for showers and bathrooms in general. Simply spray down your shower with this vinegar solution after each shower.

Don’t forget about your shower curtain! On your tile scrubbing cleaning days, you may want to apply a baking soda scrub before spraying your vinegar solution. This way, you can get the most benefit from these holistic ingredients.

Applying a Baking Soda Scrub

You can make your own bathroom scrub with baking soda, or you can use a pre-made store-bought version. If you’d rather skip the DIY process, then Mrs. Meyer’s Baking Soda Cream Cleaner could be the perfect baking soda product for you.

This cleaner is great for showers, bathtubs, countertops, and kitchens. It also leaves a gentle lemon scent that’s reminiscent of lemon sorbet, not harsh cleaning chemicals. If you’ve decided to make your own baking soda scrub, it’s important, of course, to follow a few simple rules.

First of all, let’s assume you’re interested in restoring the shine to your shower. In that case, it may be better to use Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda instead of regular baking soda because washing soda can help remove grease and lime deposits more effectively than regular sodium bicarbonate products.

Secondly, baking soda and washing soda products are often abrasive. It’s important to remember that when applying pressure to a scrub. Too much pressure could wear away the glaze on a tile. Too little pressure may result in unchanged, yellowed grout.

The best way to balance this difference is to use vinegar and mild pressure when cleaning your shower tiles and apply some extra pressure when cleaning grout. You may also be able to prevent yellowing by ensuring proper ventilation.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Most modern bathrooms have exhaust fans that help draw out moist, humid air from the room. If you’re not using your bathroom exhaust fan after showering, you may inadvertently contribute to grout and tile yellowing.

To complicate matters a bit, sometimes one fan isn’t enough. You may also need to use special drying tools. A towel and squeegee usually suffice. Make sure to use these tools after each shower to keep your tiles dry and clean.

If your grout is heavily soiled or in poor condition, you may need to apply new grout and reseal it. But we’ll address that process shortly.

Thoroughly Cleaning and Resealing Grout

Sometimes, the yellow appearance of your shower doesn’t come from the tiles themselves. Instead, it comes from the mortar surrounding those tiles. If you’re dealing with discolored grout lines, it’s important to clean and scrub the old grout before applying a sealer or additional grout coverage.

Otherwise, your sealer and new grout mortar may not adhere properly, leading to quite a mess that you’ll have to clean up. Be sure to do your deep cleaning before attempting to reseal, no matter how tempting it may be to move forward.

While you might be tempted to use bleach for deep cleaning your grout, you may want to hold back. Bleach often produces a mild yellowing in once-white grout. Baking soda and vinegar are a much better option.

If the grout lines are heavily damaged or heavily soiled, you may need to remove and replace them with new mortar. Once you’ve completed either your cleaning or removal and installation, it’s time to seal the grout.

Unsealed grout is much more susceptible to mold, mildew, and stains, so don’t forget this final step.


Shower tiles can turn yellow due to dyes, iron content, body oils, product waxes, mold, or moisture accumulation. Removing yellow discoloration from tiles or grout often requires baking soda, vinegar, and careful cleaning habits.

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