DIY CERAMIC TILE & GROUT CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
Maintaining and cleaning your tile & grout can seem tedious and many times ineffective. You may mop and clean the tile and grout on a regular basis, but the tile may seem dingy and dull and the grout has seriously changed its color. What can be done to keep your tile & grout looking its best for years to come?
It is important to remember that sanded grout is porous. Being porous it soaks up the dirt, grime, spills and cleaning products. Unfortunately the areas that receive the most traffic and/or use, your kitchen, the entryway and of course the bathrooms may begin to show signs of dull looking tile and color changing grout. Even more unfortunate is that the changing color is not uniform across your flooring.
There are things that can be done to reduce the unwanted changes in your tile & grout and keep it looking "like new" for years to come.
Because grout is porous it stains easily, it is highly recommended that a sealant be applied right after installation if possible, or after a deep professional cleaning has been done. Sealant will literally protect your tile and grout from the spills, dirt and grime that just happens. There are several types of sealants including topical and water based. Zerorez New Mexico offers a water based penetrating grout sealant that seeps into your grout and acts as a barrier between the grout and traffic or spills. Sealing your grout makes cleaning more effective and much easier, as well as keeping it cleaner longer. Sealant will need to be reapplied depending on the type of sealant as well as the foot traffic and the cleaning process used. For additional information regarding grout and sealants see this article, The Best Grout Sealers of 2021 - Bob Villa
The type of cleaning products you use on your tile can make a huge difference in its appearance. A pH neutral cleaner is recommended as it will not leave a residue on your tile and grout. Residue left on your tile & grout from cleaning products can create a nasty looking film on the tile and may change the look and color of the grout. There are many products to choose from and are easily found on-line but one of the most effective can be made at home with warm tap water and a little bit of dish soap. Many will make a mixture of vinegar and water which is a very effective cleaning solution, however, it is important to remember that vinegar is acidic and can over-time, damage your grout and even your tile. It is recommended by The Tile Council of America (TCA), that you clean with an alkaline cleaner versus an acidic cleaner. The best method according to TCA is to use a cleaner and a shop vacuum to remove the dirty water, doing a final rinse with tap water vacuuming it up as well, to remove any soap residue remaining on the tile and grout.
The best method to keep your tile & grout looking its best is to incorporate a consistent cleaning and maintenance schedule. This is especially important in your bathroom. You may have become annoyed when attempting to clean what appears to be a thick cloudy film off of your tile and/or glass in your bathroom or maybe you notice mold growing (dark green or black spots) on your grout lines or even tile. Soap scum and hard water are difficult to clean (if not impossible). Unfortunately many of us have hard water and do not have softeners in our homes. Hard water and bar soap mixed creates the unsightly soap scum that is difficult to clean. The easiest way to eliminate or at least reduce soap scum and mold in your shower is to do a little daily maintenance, after every use:
- Rinse soap off your shower surface
- Use the squeegee to remove the remaining water
- Use a microfiber towel on your glass and tile
This will take some time, however, it will greatly reduce the time and energy (elbow grease) needed to scrub off the soap scum once it has set. Incorporating these few things into your daily routine will extend the life of your tile & grout.
Professional cleaning of tile & grout is recommended every 12-18 months depending on the traffic or use. Zerorez New Mexico provides a deep clean process that removes dirt, grime, and other impurities that have become embedded on the surface of your tile and grout. We also offer a penetrating sealant that does not change the color of your grout but acts as a barrier from dirt, water and oils that can cause your grout to become discolored. It is recommended that you seal your grout every year or when you have your floor professionally cleaned. For additional information regarding our tile & grout cleaning or other services, call (505) 585-5053 or visit us online at www.zerorez.com.