Many times I am asked why is my tile easy to clean but my grout is black and filthy ?
The short answer to that is because when you clean off the dirt from your tiles you put all of it in to the grout. Let me explain. If you think about it when you vacuum your carpet the dirt gets sucked into the vacuum. When you sweep your floor the dirt goes into the dustpan. So you may say well when you mop the dirt goes into the mop bucket. This is true but that same dirty water goes back on the floor ! Not only that, that dirty water stays on the floor and is never picked up. In fact what happens is that the water ends up dripping into the grout lines since they are generally lower than the tiles. So when all that water dries up all your dirt ends up in your grout (and some in your mop bucket).
But in fact it goes further than this. Grout generally is cement based and absorbent. You can see how light grout darkens when wet just like a sidewalk in the rain or a sand darkens from water. So when the dirty mopping water goes on your grout in fact it really goes in and it does not come out easily just like a stain absorbed in to clothing. Sometimes it can’t come out at all and can be stained permanently.
So how can you prevent grout from staining and getting dark and dirty ?
The key is proper mopping and sealing your grout.
Proper mopping requires clean water a cleaop and water should be changed if necessary. A large 5 gallon mop bucket may not need the water to be changed for most residential floors. Water should be used in abundance so there is plenty of clean water that can rinse off the grout lines and not just merely dampen the tiles.
Finally and most important the water on the floor should be dried with a bath towel to soak up all the dirty water. Now you will have a clean tile floor and a dirty towel not dirty grout !
So you may ask so why do I need to seal my grout ? The answer is that even when drying properly after mopping because grout is porous it will still absorb some of that dirty water before you have a chance to dry it off. By properly sealing your grout that makes the grout non absorbent and will prevent any absorbtion. As long as you dry the water before it begins to dry your grout will stay totally clean. I have seen this time and time again.
In the coming articles we will discuss various types of grout and natural stone (granite) sealers and their effectiveness as well as how anyone can tell whether their grout was properly sealed or not. We will also discuss how to clean grout once it does get dirty and caution on how not to ruin your grout in the process. Last but not least we will discuss proper shower maintenance in preventing leaking as well as preventing mold occurrences.
Grout Works of Central NJ is a company that Professionally Cleans Grout, Seals Grout and restores showers and natural stone surfaces and services
most of NJ.