Here at Chem-dry of Northern Maryland, we know one of the most important – and dirtiest – parts of all tile and stone work is the grout! Partly because of the way that a stain will continue to seep deeper and deeper into the stone, and become harder and harder to remove. Especially in the grout, people can get ugly blotches and stains that lead to an unpleasant sight, and a difficult experience trying to clean it. But there is good news, grout can be recolored!
Grout is a beautiful feature of your stone and tile work, and it is so important to keep it clean. But you shouldn’t just clean it when it looks dirty. Grout can be infected by mildew and mold. Keeping up to date on your professional tile and grout cleaning will be essential to maintaining your healthy home. We recommend that you clean your grout every 12-18 months, depending on the protective sealant you use afterward. But in between your regular professional cleanings, here are a couple of ideas that will really help.
Cleaning grout is as easy as making sure that all the grit is removed, the grout is scrubbed clean, and you have the needed materials. The things you need are grout cleaner, grout colorant, and grout sealant, plus any specific sealants for the tile/stone around the grout. The sealant used by Chem-Dry should last a while, but be aware that it does need maintenance.
Some methods may not be as effective for cleaning grout. For example, when using a mop and a bucket you can often make things more difficult because of the dirty water that builds up in the bucket. Then, when you go to get more water on the mop, you can end up transferring a lot of dirt/grime into the grout. So what can you do? Well, we recommend a professional tile/grout cleaner, like Chem-Dry! But if you are between professional cleanings, or just need to do it yourself, you can use some household remedies! Grout can be really hard to clean up totally, so first things first are getting all of the dirt and grime off the surface.
We’ve already ruled out using a mop because of the reused water, and that’s true for traditional mopping. A mop method that does work is taking a bucket of really hot water and splashing it first onto the tile, and then mopping it up with a clean mop head or sponge. Putting the dirty water into the mop bucket in order to allow the mop or sponge to stay clean and not to transfer the dirt into the grout.
It can be a little hard to pick up every type of grime, so using a solution would be a pretty good idea, but it can also be really dangerous for the type of tile/stone you have. Certain stones can easily be discolored by common household products like vinegar or baking soda. So be aware, and know your tile. If you don’t know what type of cleaner you should use and want to trust it to a professional, call for a free over-the-phone quote!
After getting the initial dirt off with the mop, you can use a toothbrush or any fine hard bristled brush to get down and scrub away at the grout. When you have loosened up more dirt and grime, repeat the process with the mop, and you can eliminate most of the problem.
After scrubbing, don’t forget to remove all of the debris and whatever other build-up might be there, you’ll need to follow the above method of applying your colorant and sealant. Both can be tricky processes, so make sure to follow all directions and color match appropriately.
The best way to clean out your stone, tile, and grout though, is to use Chem-Dry! Whatever the problem, Chem-Dry has the best solution. This is their process.
1) grout cleaner. Chem-Dry uses a safe non-toxic chemical that can prevent noxious fumes and poisonous gasses. Cleaning your grout is an essential component to making sure that your recolorization process has every chance of successfully bonding. This means that you are really going to need to put effort and time into making sure that every inch of grout has been adequately cleaned.
2) grout colorant. Chem-Dry will apply the colorizing solution. Chem-Dry can make sure to get a perfect match as they put their trained technicians into cleaning up the long-term grime.
3) After you have cleaned and recolored your grout it is important to seal your grout! Sealing your grout is the Chem-Dry difference. When you add the protective sealant, you keep grime out, and your home maintenance will mean a lot more because your grime won’t seep deep into the porous materials.