Easy and Simple Process of Maintaining Tile Grout
If you can no longer see your reflection in your grout and want to restore it to its former resplendent glory, look no further. Contrary to popular belief, cleaning and sealing grout is actually quite an easy and simple process.
Typically made of cement, sand and polymers, grout has microscopic pores that readily trap dirt. The dirt which becomes a magnet for mould and mildew leads to the discolouration. But despite the challenges, keeping tiles and grout clean is a fairly straightforward task. A little preventative action and regular cleaning will keep them looking good as new.
Preventive and Daily care
Make your grout stain-resistant by applying a commercial sealer which resists water and oil-based substances. Reapply sealer periodically. This could be yearly but depends on the brand and the wear and tear the surface receives; refer to the instructions on the sealer packaging.
Mould feeds on dirt, so get it where it gathers. Use a grout brush or old toothbrush to clean out joints and corners. To prevent discolouration, clean regularly with a commercial neutral pH tile and grout cleaner.
Deep Cleaning (As Needed)
Clean off soap scum or mildew using an alkaline cleaner like H.D.C and a grout brush. To prevent recontamination, scrub mould spores with a grout brush and then discard brush after use. To treat stubborn stains, use porcelain creme (Always test products on an inconspicuous spot first).
For the Best Results
When sponging or mopping, change the wash water/rinse water frequently to avoid redistributing dirt. A wet/dry vacuum could be used if there’s a large area to cover as it extracts dirty water efficiently. If grout it crumbling or powdery, there’s no quick fix. It’s a sign that it’s time to regrout.
Products to avoid
In an effort to restore dingy surfaces to like-new brightness, homeowners are often tempted to use cleansers and tools that are tougher than necessary, such as bleach and stiff brushes. Strong-arm cleaning tactics often create more problems than they solve. They can scratch tiles and damage grout, creating conditions that dull surfaces, invite stains and make maintenance difficult in the long run.
Steer clear of lime and mineral scalers and white vinegar, which damage grout. Oil soaps and pine cleaners will leave a sticky residue on the tile. Fight the urge to use bleach too; they won’t get rid of mould, and they may harm both the grout and tiles.
Sealing new grout with a user-friendly water based Premium seal will help prevent dirt from working its way into the grout line and even if your grout contains additives to fight mildew, a seal will provide added protection against the formation of mould and mildew. Plus, sealing the grout will actually extend its life, and since sealing new grout is a quick and easy job, why not do it? The benefits of grout sealer also include:
Applying the sealer will reduce the effects and appearance of staining. You will never have to bleach stains again!
Sealing the grout will reduce the moisture penetration on the tiled surface. The sealant prevents moisture from lifting the tiles. This is especially important in rooms which are in contact with steam and humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
The benefits of sealing your grout are quickly diminished if you use harsh chemicals or detergents over the sealed surface. Ongoing maintenance with mild soaps and detergents is recommended.
If you need expert advice on techniques and products for proper tile and grout maintenance or see our range of tiles, you can get in touch or visit your local Tile Wizards store.
Tile Wizards stores are located across Australia, in and around:
- Sunshine Coast QLD (Tile Wizards in Bokarina)
- Coffs Harbour NSW (Tile Wizards in Coffs Harbour)
- Adelaide SA (Tile Wizards in Lonsdale, Para Hills West, and Richmond)
- Brisbane QLD (Tile Wizards in Springwood)