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This compact Rubbermaid scrubber took my dingy grout from orange to white

The $20 doodad buffs grimy surfaces 60 times a second to give your arms a much-needed break.

When I say I've tried everything under the sun to clean my bathroom grout, I mean everything. Baking soda concoctions, commercial cleaners, even my beloved Pink Stuff. But none of them could tackle the icky orange hue my grout had taken on. I'd just about lost hope when I heard about the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber, an electric toothbrush-style cleaning tool that delivers more power than manual scrubbing. I figured it couldn't hurt to put it to the test, right? Well, here's my review.

VERDICT: A cleaning tool that gets the job done quicker and gives my arms a break? Um, yes, please! This is a gadget that belongs in your arsenal. 

  • Its small head can get into tiny, hard-to-reach spaces
  • Extremely user-friendly, even for tech novices
  • Scrubs 60 times per second
  • Does not come with extra brush heads
  • Requires batteries, and uses them up quickly
  • Only covers a small area at a time
$20 at Amazon

I bought a house a few years ago and quickly learned that having white grout in the bathroom is not a walk in the park. The previous owners had let it become an unsightly orange color in many spots, and ignorant me assumed there would be a quick fix involving some baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a little elbow grease. Wrong! My grout had been stained for too long for any home remedies to have an effect. I tried some other commercial cleaners and scrubbed as hard as I could, but I was left with the same rusty-looking grout every time.

Then I remembered hearing about a nifty little tool called the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber, a popular buy among Yahoo readers (and an Amazon top-seller). Having used an electric toothbrush for ages, I knew a motorized cleaning tool could provide better results, so I figured I'd give it a try. It's conveniently water-resistant, with a small brush head designed to fit into tight corners and small spaces — think grout lines, faucets, window edges, tire crevices. I also knew my own hands couldn't compete with its ability to scrub 60 times per second.

author holding the red and gray rubbermaid reveal power scrubber in front of a tiled shower
My new best friend. (Britt Ross/Yahoo Life)

The scrubber arrived complete with AA batteries, so it was ready to go right out of the package. (Love when that happens!) It felt comfortable in my hand, thanks to its soft grip handle, and as someone who isn't so savvy when it comes to electronics, I appreciated its user-friendly design — there are just two modes: pulse and continuous scrubbing.

Now for the test on my grout. I'd purchased some highly rated grout cleaner to try along with the Rubbermaid scrubber, so I spritzed some on and waited a few minutes, per the instructions. Then, I held my breath, turned on my battery-powered last hope and placed the bristles against the grout. I kid you not — after just a few seconds of buffing, the orange stains disappeared before my eyes. I've never before experienced such a where-has-this-been-all-my-life moment, because the task I'd tried to accomplish so many other times, by hand, was being tackled like it was nothing by this little gizmo. Quite humbling, really.

Now that I've seen the wonders the Rubbermaid Reveal can work on stained grout, I'll be using it for pretty much any cleaning chore involving scrubbing. Why make my arm go through an intense workout when this gadget can do a better job, and in less time? It's also — dare I say — fun to use. Plus, it'll let me get into all of those nooks and crannies around my house that have probably (definitely) been neglected — I'm lookin' at you, fridge gaskets.

author's before and after photos showing orange grout that's been restored to white
The difference in my grout before and after using the scrubber is staggering — and I even kept that bit of orange you see in the second photo for contrast. (Britt Ross/Yahoo)

While I'd love to take credit for discovering this life-changing product, the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber already has 16,000-plus fans who have given it a five-star rating. No surprise there.

"I am always skeptical of the products that have so many reviews and that are hyped up on social media," admitted a convert. "However, I was very surprised by how well this works. I have arthritis in my fingers and it is difficult for me to scrub crevices and do a lot of housework, but this tool is saving my hands!"

"This thing is amazing — whoever thought of this should get a Nobel prize, because it’s that good," raved another enthusiast. "I got this a day before my birthday and I've told my husband I'll take this as my gift. This tool not only cleans grouts and faucets, but it doubles as a therapy tool. It is so satisfying, comforting and oddly soothing when you see the difference. I set this next to my kitchen sink so it's easily accessible so I can use it whenever I need some calming activity."

"This product is great. My first use was on a pair of sandals that I was prepared to discard with white fabric uppers," shared a shopper. "I used a little OxiClean and the power scrubber, put them out in sun to dry and they look like new! Has paid for itself in [its] first use by saving me a shoe purchase."

"I love this little thing," gushed a user. "I can get into small spaces that I couldn’t before. It’s electric, so you don’t have to scrub hard. Just wish it wasn’t battery-operated and had a charger instead."

One fan called it "a real clean machine," adding: "Definitely a must-have for crevices and detailed cleaning areas. Scrubs great and easy to clean. Wish it came with different heads, but I'm managing fine." (Note: A dedicated grout head and eight-piece polish kit are available.)

In case you're thinking, Hmm, if it can tackle stubborn orangey mildew on bathroom tile, imagine how clean it'll get my teeth ... well, don't. Just don't.

$20 at Amazon

Here's the Black Diamond Grout Cleaner I used.

This stuff is the real deal. I love that it doesn't require any mixing, and you only have to leave it on for one to three minutes to get great results. The fumes are potent, so you may want to wear a mask if you're not near a window, but I'll be buying this on repeat. 

$15 at Amazon

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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.