Most of us do not enjoy the tedious job of cleaning tile and grout. Getting down on your knees to the floor and cleaning up the tile and grout is not among the most enjoyable jobs for most of us. There can be no argument that our grannies were adept at this type of tasks. But, that was a few decades ago and the world was moving at a significantly slower pace. Today, everything is fast-paced and time is at a high premium. Our lifestyle to has changed and many of us have sedentary jobs depriving us of the flexibility of muscles and bones.
Tiled floors and other surfaces are designed to last a lifetime thorough the tile and the grout holding it in place can be stained with regular use. Some tiles and nearly all grout material are also porous and therefore stains and dirt easily get trapped making the tiles' surfaces like flooring, tub and shower areas in the bathroom and perhaps even some parts of the kitchen look unsightly. In wet areas, you also run the risk of bacteria, mold and mildew growth which can contribute to multiple health issues.
For tile and grout cleaning, the normal cleaning methods fall significantly short of the needs. If you attempt cleaning grout at regular intervals, it can be tedious and you could even invite back problems. Therefore, the better option for tile and grout cleaning is hiring a professional service such as melbournecarpetandtilecleaning.com.au whose experience and expertise can be very helpful to you. The equipment and grout cleaning material that they bring along is generally not available to homeowners and further, they can also seal the grout and even recolor it when needed.
Easy Method of Cleaning Tile and Grout
Before you start cleaning the tile and grout, ensure that the wall/floor gets a thorough scrubbing. For this, you can use eco-friendly cleaning materials like a mix of water and vinegar or water and baking soda. Ideally, you should use distilled water in place of regular potable water since distilled water is free from chemicals and minerals which can stain your tile and grout. While cleaning the floor, you should avoid the use of soap since it can leave sticky residue dulling the tile and attracting dirt.
Making Natural Cleaner For Tile and Grout
- Mix distilled water and vinegar in 1:1 proportion or use a paste made of baking soda and distilled water
- Work the paste or solution into the grout in a circular motion and scrub in a back and forth motion.
- Rinse with distilled water and clean up using a mop or sponge
- If the stains are stubborn and difficult, use distilled water and chlorine bleach on 3:1 proportion.
Clean Tile and Grout With Care
While vinegar is an excellent cleaner for ceramic tiles, you should never use it with natural stone since you may have etching issues. The bleach can be used on the white grout, but never on colored grout since that will cause permanent fading. You should also be wearing rubber gloves and protection for the eyes while using any kind of bleach. Also, take care to wear clothes that can take some stains. Further, it is always a good idea to test the cleaning mixture in an inconspicuous and small spot before taking on larger areas. In place of bleach, you can also use hydrogen peroxide without dilution though you should never try combining any of these substances and get yourself into trouble.
Similarly, it is essential to be careful with commercial cleaners since most of them contain caustic soda which is a highly corrosive chemical. Unless you are conversant with using products with caustic soda, it can potentially give you significant problems when it is not used with care. To get rid off stubborn particles from the grout, you can employ an electric toothbrush, but metal brushes are essentially a threat to the integrity of the tile surface and you could even knock off a piece or two from the tile while scrubbing, apart from potential scratches.
Sealing The Grout
Once you are through with the tile and grout cleaning process, allow the grout to dry completely and apply a sealer. There are at least two types of sealers – membrane and penetrating. Membrane sealer will act as a barrier and protect the tile as well as the grout and you will have to refresh this once every 2 years or so. Penetrating sealers, on the other hand, get absorbed by the grout and needs renewal at intervals of about 3 years. However, if the tiles are not sealed, never apply a grout sealer since the sealer can stain the tiles. Using an applicator like a pen would be a great idea to ensure that the sealer stays in the grout area and does not overflow. For glazed and differently sealed tiles, you can spray or brush the sealer over such surfaces. But, before applying a second coat, make sure you give adequate time for the first coat to dry up.
Sandpaper or emery paper is another convenient tool for removing grout from tiled surfaces. Simply fold this paper and employ the creased edge in a forward and backward motion along the line of the grout with stubborn stains. Never forget to rinse with hot water after every scrubbing of grout disregarding the product you used for grout cleaning or the method.
The Professional Advantage
It may be tempting to carry out domestic chores like tile and grout cleaning as a DIY task. But, when you get down to the actual job you are bound to realize that the demands of the job are beyond what you would have imagined. You should also give a thought to the week ahead and