Your tile floors were designed to last for years, but time takes its toll on your grout. Grout is porous, so stains and dirt can be trapped within it. This makes your whole floor look dirty. In tubs and showers, soap scum, mildew and mold can cause stains and may even pose health issues.
Regular methods of cleaning, like vacuuming and mopping, aren’t sufficient to keep tiles and grout clean. Cleaning your grout regularly is a tedious chore, but if you do it correctly, it will show longer-lasting results.
The Easy Way to Clean Tile and Grout
Before you seal tile and grout, the floor must be thoroughly cleaned. You can use eco-friendly choices like baking soda or white vinegar. Mix distilled water and vinegar or make your own paste with baking soda and water. It’s best to use distilled water, since it doesn’t contain chemicals or minerals that could further stain your grout. Soaps should not be used to clean floors. They leave sticky residues that attract dirt and dull your tiles.
Work your baking soda paste or vinegar solution into your grout using circular motions. Scrub the grout in a back and forth pattern. Rinse it with a clean mop and distilled water. If you have difficult stains, you can use distilled water with a little chlorine bleach in it. Be sure that you don’t use bleach on colored grout, since it can fade the color.
If you use bleach, be sure that you wear rubber gloves and protect your eyes. Bleach can stain clothes, too, so wear old clothes when you’re cleaning. Test your bleach mixture on a small tile and grout area before you use it on the whole room. You can use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach, but don’t mix the two, or mix either one with other chemicals, to avoid toxic fumes.
Sealing Your Grout
After you clean your grout and tile, let it dry and then apply a tile and grout sealer. There are two main types of sealers, membrane and penetrating. Membrane sealers create a barrier that will protect your grout and tile. They will need to be reapplied every one to two years. Penetrating sealers are designed so that your grout will absorb them, and they need to be reapplied every one to three years.
Steam Cleaning Your Grout
If you have ceramic tiles that have grout between them, you may want to consider steam cleaning for your grout. Your hands and exposed skin will not meet any oxidizing agents or chemicals if you steam clean.
Steam cleaning uses only high pressure and water. This can disinfect and restore surfaces that are dulled with biological stains. Many pathogens and allergens can also be eliminated, since steam cleaning creates high temperatures. You may rent a steam cleaner if you don’t use one often enough to make purchasing one an economical choice.
Read the instructions before you use any steam cleaner. They will indicate the safest and most effective ways to use the machine. This is true as well when using any product to clean your grout.
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