Dingy Grout Got You Down in Ann Arbor?
When your grout is stained, it seems like your tiled floors and walls never look clean, no matter how many times you wipe them down. Deep cleaning grout at home can be a time-consuming chore. Still, with some patience and elbow grease, you can make it look bright again. Read on for our best tips to help you get stains out of grout.
Assess the Damage
Grout is a cement-based mixture that usually contains sand. Unfortunately, because grout is porous it stains easily, especially if you let spills or dirt rest on the surface for a while. The microscopic pores in grout will also trap moisture. A damp, slightly dirty surface will always attract mold, which will further discolor the grout lines as it spreads.
Older grout can also begin to crumble, making it even harder to clean, and allowing moisture to leach behind the tiles. This will damage your walls or floor. Take a moment to inspect your grout for cracked or disintegrating areas. If you find any, you may need to actually replace the grout. It’s the only way to prevent water damage, stop mold growth, save time cleaning, and improve the look of the floor or wall.
Start by Sweeping and Mopping
Once you decide to clean your grout, begin by sweeping and moping the floor. This removes the first layer of dirt and dust or anything else that might interfere with the efficacy of your grout cleaning products. If you skip this step, you’ll likely move dirt around the floor, and might make the problem worse.
If you want to save yourself some time, some vacuums are specially designed to run on hard surfaces, while others have a specific setting for hard floors. However, make sure you do not run a vacuum’s beater brush over tile. This can damage the grout, or further deteriorate crumbling grout lines.
Pick Your Perfect Cleaner
Once you’ve mopped your floors, you will need to choose a cleaning agent for the grout. There are several good options out there. If you prefer a green method try spreading a baking soda paste on the grout lines then scrubbing with a soft bristled brush. You can follow this with a vinegar spray.
For a higher-powered cleaning agent, a form of oxygen bleach is particularly effective at removing tough stains. You can buy oxygen bleach in a powder form at your local hardware store from brands like Ajax, Seventh Generation, and Biokleen. To clean your grout with oxygen bleach, follow the directions on the container.
Finally, avoid cleaners which are particularly corrosive or abrasive since these types of cleaners erode and damage your grout. Stay away from chlorine bleach, lime and mineral scalers, and ammonia. Also, do not scrub grout with stiff bristle brushes, wire brushes, steel wool, or anything else which might scratch the grout or surrounding tile.
A Penny of Prevention
Once you’ve spent hours painstakingly scrubbing stains out of your grout, make sure to protect your hard work. Squeegee and spray the tile in the bathroom after you shower to prevent mold and soap scum build-up. Wipe up spilled coffee, wine and juice in the kitchen immediately. Sweep and mop regularly as well.
Also, be sure to seal your grout regularly. Most grout is sealed right after it is installed. However, penetrating grout sealer, which is most commonly used, doesn’t last and so your grout will need to be resealed semiregularly. Right after a deep cleaning is the perfect time to do this. The sealer will fill the pores in the grout and keeps out damp, dirt, mold, grease, and other stains.
When to Call a Professional to Get Stains out of Grout
Cleaning and resealing your grout is a laborious job. You’ll spend quite a bit of time crawling on the floor or endlessly scrubbing shower walls. The more beautiful tile you have in your home, the longer this will take to get stains out of grout. Even if you are up to the physical challenge, sometimes our modern lives leave us feeling like we’ll never have a moment to sit down, let alone hours to scrub grout stains.
If you want lustrous tile and refreshed grout without sacrificing your knees or your weekend, contact the professionals at Modernistic. We use proven techniques to get rid of stubborn stains, and can protect your tile and grout with a high-quality sealant. When we finish, you’ll love the look of your tile again. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.