Though tile floors are meant to last long however after a certain time the tiles and grout get stained as they are porous and dirt can easily deposit in them. The presence of stains caused from soap scum makes the floor appear untidy. Some health issues may also arise particularly when the shower and tub region tiles of your bathroom gets effected with mild dew and mold that can even spread to the drywall areas.
The task of tile and grout cleaning is tedious especially if the grout contains stubborn stains that are not easy to remove. Mentioned below are some tips that can simplify the otherwise back-breaking job of tile and grout cleaning.
It is advisable to invest time in tile and grout cleaning and seal the tile and grout area after the cleaning process to ensure a long lasting result.
Easy methods for tile and grout cleaning
It is important to ensure that the floor and walls are cleaned thoroughly before the tiles and grout sealing. There are varieties of eco-friendly cleaning solutions available such as white vinegar or baking soda that can be used for executing the cleaning process.
Using vinegar or baking soda: To implement this method prepare a cleaning solution by mixing white vinegar and distilled water in equal parts. Baking soda and distilled water paste can also be used instead of vinegar solution. In either case distilled water is vital as it does not contain chemicals and minerals that usually stain the tiles and grout. Using soap for cleaning the floor is not a good option as it creates sticky residue on the tile that makes it look dull and attracts dirt particles.
How to clean with baking soda or vinegar solution? Apply the prepared vinegar solution or mixture of baking soda into the grout area in circular motion and scrub it in backward and forward directions. Next rinse the worked area with distilled water and cleaning mop or sponge. For tough stains diluted chlorine bleach can be effective and to prepare it mix 3 parts of distilled water with 1 part of the bleach. This solution can be useful only on the white grout as using it on colored grout can fade the color on the grout.
To remove permanent stains while using the bleach, it is important to wear rubber gloves, eye protection and work clothes. Before applying the mixture on large area a simple patch test can also be conducted by applying the mixture to small unnoticeable area.
Alternatively use undiluted hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach for effective cleaning. But avoid using both the ingredients together or don’t combine them with any other chemicals as they may produce harmful toxic fumes. Once the tile and grout cleaning is done, the next step is to seal the grout for long-lasting results.
How to seal the grout?
After cleaning and drying the tile, use a grout and tile sealer. Before applying the sealer know what type suits your needs. The basic types of sealers are penetrating and membrane sealer. The penetrating sealer once applied will stay for 1-3 years as it is absorbed easily into grout and stays in it and prevents moisture from getting in. Membrane sealer protects the grout and tile by building a barrier that stays for 1-2 years or needs renewing even earlier when the membrane fail to work effectively. For unsealed tiles, both these sealing methods can cause staining of tile. Hence use pen like applicator for applying the sealer along the grout lines for good results and if your tiles are glaze or sealed, then use brush or spray to apply the sealer on the surface. Then give sufficient amount of time for the area to dry for the second coat.
If cleaning and sealing tile on your own still sound overwhelming, it is advisable you take help of professional tile cleaners. Get quote from 2-3 service providers, learn about their service techniques and choose the best one.