The best yet the most expensive way to get the grout cleaned from all the tiles in your home is to hire professional grout cleaning services. While, these services are certainly experienced and will help you save time, the fact is that you can save a bit of money by doing it yourself. Unfortunately, many homeowners assume that grout cleaning is easy provided that they pick up the harshest chemicals recommended on blogs and articles online. This if anything damages the tiles leaving them with ugly spots, holes and marks. Below we look at 10 things you should do when cleaning the grout.
Don’t use ammonia and bleach based cleaning solutions
Yes ammonia and bleach are two chemicals that will leave the grout looking nice and white but they can cause problems too. There are many expert grout cleaning services that use these chemicals very effectively but it’s not recommended for a DIY person. The biggest problem with these cleaners is that they will rub off any color that your grout may have albeit gradually. Alternatively you’ll be better off using an all-purpose cleaner that is milder and intended to be used on tiles.
Rigorously scrubbing the grout and tile
Even though the grout and tile may look like they are impenetrable but they can be scratched very easily. Glazed tiles will bear the marks of abrasive brushes, scrubbing powder and steel wool. This will damage the finishing of your tiles. Alternatively you’re better off using a few rags, old t-shirts and jeans, to simply wipe the grout.
Allowing the spill to sit
You shouldn’t allow a spill to sit for an extended period of time. Keep in mind the fact that stains that discolor your clothes will also discolor the grout and tile. Tomato, drink, oil and chemical stains can also seep deep into your tile, so when something spills clean up immediately.
Not properly protecting your tiles from the furniture
Tiles tend to be very hard and so they can withstand a lot of wear and tear but when they chip or crack it’s often because of extended time under pressure. This is why you need to protect a tile floor from your furniture by installing furniture protectors on the bottom of table legs and chairs. Potted plants should also have protectors installed beneath them as well.
Cleaning the tile and grout with a beater bar
The vacuum’s beater bar is certainly not meant for a tile floor. This is one grout cleaning mistake that will result in a scratched or even dull looking tile. Vacuum cleaners have a small button that gives the operator an option to turn the beater bar off, which should be done before it touches a sold surface.
Not mopping a tiled floor daily
Grout and tiles often become dirty because they are not mopped on a daily basis. Dust and mud from the outside tends to sit on the tiles which over time finds its way into the grout, couple this with moisture and it becomes very difficult to remove. This is why a daily quick vacuuming session followed by some thorough mopping needs to be done on a daily basis.
Not sealing and caulking the grout
All tile surfaces that are regularly exposed to water have to be caulked. The caulk also needs to be inspected on a weekly basis to ensure that it’s not peeling away. In the same way sealing will help to protect the grout from wear, tear and damage. This will also protect it from stains. Always check with the manufacturer of the caulk to make sure what type of guarantee it comes with and how long it can last.
Using oil based cleaners on your glazed tiles
Glazed tiles may often get slippery over time. This is why you should never pour an oil based cleaner on it. The same goes for shiny tiles as it can make them extremely difficult to walk on.
Always Fresh Carpet recommends that people who decide to clean the grout and tiles themselves invest in a good commercial cleaning solution. In addition to chemical based cleaners there are also a host of natural cleaners available for a few dollars. That said only hire a professional service if you’re not able to do it yourself.
Mark is one of the leading experts on tile and grout cleaning. Despite having a degree in chemical engineering he finds that finding new ways of cleaning grouts and helping people do it themselves is his calling. When he’s not working on a new cleaning solution for his own cleaning company he is posting a DIY article on his blog. Always Fresh Carpet Cleaning in Facebook