Considerations of Grout Cleaning
Keeping the grout around tile clean is a challenge! Let’s consider the reasons why it can be a challenge:
- Grout is a cement type product. It is porous, meaning that liquids can penetrate it. Things like coffee, vegetable oil & butter, even tomato sauce can penetrate the grout & leave a permanent or semi permanent stain. A sealer can be applied after installation but often overlooked as a routine procedure.
- Often tile & grout is installed in kitchens & bathrooms where water & soils are an issue. These soils may wipe off the surface easy, but get embedded into the rough texture of grout which almost seems to reach out & grab dirt & want to hold onto it!
- Home made remedies are few and all of them take a bunch of work for any significant result. The reality is that professional grout care is also a lot of work! Here are some things that you can do at home to help it stay cleaner longer.
- Make sure you wash the floor with clean water! Smearing around dirty water only adds more soils to cleaner grout lines. Start your floor washing in the cleanest areas and work your way to the dirtiest. Be sure to change your water once or twice along the way!
- Get a scrub brush – if you are lucky you can find a brush that is 6 – 8″ long by 1″ wide or so. It should be thick & have fairly stiff bristles. To help make things easier on your back, look for one with that you can attach a broom handle to it.
- If you have a home steamer, you can use it to steam the grout lines. These units are very helpful in food &/or greasy areas! Please be very careful as you can also cause plenty of damage if not done properly or misuse the steamer. Heat only makes cleaning agents work faster & harder, and the steam – pointed at skin – can cause serious injuries!
- In terms of home cleaning agents, think of using the things you likely already have in your house for removing the similar types of soil conditions. For instance what you would use to remove food/grease from walls could also be used to remove food/grease in grout. Your cleaning agent to remove hard water (calcium) deposits around your taps can also be used on grout. “Oxy” type formulas can help on grout in some circumstances.
ALWAYS TEST A SMALL AREA FIRST
BEFORE CLEANING THE WHOLE THING.
- Do not ‘seal’ dirt into the grout – be sure you are comfortable with the level of clean before attempting sealing it yourself. Be sure to study a number of sealing products before you buy! Look for ones that have the longest lifespan. They may be solvent based and have an odor to it but your results will last longer.
- Remember, grout cleaning takes lots of effort. If you are struggling with your dirty grout – we’d love the opportunity to work for you! We typically get an 85-90% improvement in its look. Grout cleaning though is very similar to bathroom cleaning though – you can clean a bathroom in 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 2 hours, even 4 hours – each of them are called ‘cleaning the bathroom’ but each delivers a different result. Costs for tile cleaning vary with the desired level of our efforts to serve you. We always offer free local quotes to assess your tile & grout cleaning needs.