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How to Clean Dirty Grout on Your Tile Floors

Posted by Adrian | Posted in grout cleaning, tile cleaning | Posted on 10-12-2010

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Tile floors are wonderful. They’re easy to keep clean, they’re durable and tough, and they look good for a long, long time.

There's only one drawback: grout.

In short, grout is tile’s “Achilles heel.”

When tile floors don’t look good it’s usually because the grout has become stained.

So, can you revive your grout once it’s gone bad?

Sure, you can. Most of the time, grout becomes stained because it was either not properly sealed with a grout sealant when the tile was put down or because the sealant has worn off with time. Many of today’s tile installers never properly seal tile and it’s a big problem.

It’s like a painter who won’t take the time to caulk.

The reason they don’t do it is because it’s tedious. Very, very tedious.

If your floors look dirty because the tile grout is stained, you have some cleaning options. The first option is to clean the grout yourself. This can be tedious and time consuming. Let’s start with the easiest option first.

NOTE: Before using any of these methods, be sure to do a test first in an inconspicuous area. Also, if you have colored grout, you may be taking a chance of removing the color if you use chlorine bleach. Always test first.


OPTION 1 Cleaning Grout in Tile Floors Yourself

Step 1. Wet mopping with Oxiclean. This is the easiest method and worth trying first to see if you can’t just bleach the grout clean with an oxygen cleaner. Make a solution of two gallons of hot water with 1 cup of Oxiclean powder. Make sure the Oxiclean completely dissolves. Mop with the solution. I like this option because the Oxiclean doesn’t have fumes like chlorine bleach does. But, if that doesn’t work, go to Step 2.

Step 2. Brushing with Oxiclean. Purchase a plastic bristle deck brush with a long handle. Using the solution above, brush the grout with the solution and allow to dry. The extra brushing action will often do the job without making you get on your hands and knees to brush. If the grout still looks dirty…

Step 3. Try wet mopping with chlorine bleach. I am not a big fan of bleach because of the strong fumes, but sometimes bleach is what you need to do the job. Make a solution of two gallons of hot water and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Add 1 cup of liquid bleach and mix. Mop the floors with the bleach solution being careful not to get any of the solution on carpeting or fabrics. You may want to use a hand brush to hand brush any extra dirty areas, like around the stove or sink. Once you have gotten the grout looking good again, it would worth your while to take steps to keep the grout from getting dirty again. This would include sealing the grout with a sealer (available at your home centers and tile stores) and placing area rugs at areas such as entryways, hallways, sinks, stoves, bathrooms and anywhere there's a lot of traffic and opportunity for dirt. However, if you haven’t been able to make a dent in the dirt in your grout, professional help may be called for. If so, this brings us to Option 2.


OPTION 2: Cleaning Grout in Tile Floors Professionally

Because many people have built houses in the past ten years and are using more tile, and because more and more tile setters fail to seal the tile they set, homeowners’ need for grout cleaning help has become clear. Many carpet cleaning services offer tile and grout cleaning.

Eminent Carpet Cleaning services is one that offers tile grout cleaning in addition to its regular carpet cleaning services. Eminent Carpet Cleaning also offers the additional service of adding a sealant during the cleaning process that will not just clean your grout, but will help keep it clean for a long time.

Tile floors are wonderfully convenient and easy to maintain. A quick sweep and they’re clean. But, when the grout gets dirty, tile floors get ugly.

Try the cleaning steps above and see if you don’t notice a difference in the way your grout looks. And, if not, there’s always the option of hiring a service to do it for you. Either way, though, do take the time and seal your tile grout. It’s time-consuming, but once you get your grout clean, you’ll want it to stay clean. Sealing it is the only way you can ensure the grout in your tile floors looks good for a long, long time.

Eminent Carpet Cleaning serves San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore and nearby cities. Our company’s carpet cleaning services are available to both the commercial as well as residential places including homes, offices, schools, churches, gyms, and clinics, restaurants etc.

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