Cleaning can get your tile and grout looking like it was freshly installed, but the wrong approach to cleaning can also make everything look a lot worse. Not to mention the dangers of unintentional damage that can result from improper cleaning. Check out our tips for cleaning grout!
1. Check Your Grout Color
Every once in a while, you run into a grout that is not intended to be white. Looking at it, you might assume that the discoloration is a result of grime. However, grout comes in many different colors. And there is indeed no accounting for taste because we have even seen intentionally yellow grout.
If you call a professional cleaning service, they can get to the root of whether your grout is colored. But it is fair to say that a good indication of intentional grout coloring is if the grout (once set) has only ever looked the way it currently does.
2. Beware Colored Chemicals
Sometimes the cleaning agent you are using will have artificial coloring. This dye can be absorbed by your grout and lead to further staining. It is best to look for a transparent liquid cleaner to be sure that the color will not attach to your grout.
If you think the chemicals may not be artificially colored, double-check by looking at the ingredients. These ingredients should be visible on the packaging of your cleaning fluid, similar to how they are displayed on food products.
3. Repair Before Cleaning
Grout gets dirty by virtue of time and normal wear. And with time and constant wear comes other types of weathering. It could be that the grout is cracking or discreetly flaking. And if the grout is not solid, cleaning might create a bit of unintended damage.
Be sure to repair any damage to your grout so the cleaning does not exacerbate any of your issues. You do not want water to collect in cracks or work its way down below your tile. This can create the perfect environment for mold to grow.
4. Avoid All-In-One Solutions
Just as paint plus primer does a poor job of priming and painting, grout cleaners with a sealing chemical do not work. Just avoid these products altogether. Unless a professional tile and grout cleaning service vouches for the product, they are likely to make a mess.
The wax or oil used as the sealing component of these “cleaning” concoctions will often collect as a residue. A cleaning product that leaves a residue is hardly providing any cleaning. Additionally, you do not need to constantly seal the grout. So you can skip these products.
5. Steam Cleaning
Most people try to clean grout with a good scrub brush and some chemical mixtures. This can certainly work, but it takes a fair bit of elbow grease. Not to mention the leftover dirty moisture can often collect between the tiles and lead to restaining.
If you contact a company that has steam cleaning services, they are more likely to have lasting success. You are getting deeper penetration, unbinding more stubborn substances, and leaving less residual moisture that would likely spread the stain.