How to Avoid Damaging Your Tiles When Cleaning Grout
Here are a few pointers you need to avoid when cleaning grout to avoid damaging it:
Excessive Water Use
When cleaning your grout, don't use too much water.
Water is required to clean the tile floors, but don't use too much when cleaning grout. Because grout is porous, water will be absorbed and break down the grout. By using excessive water when cleaning, you not only reduce the structural strength of the grout but also encourage the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. Instead of excessive water, focus on scouring the grout with an appropriate cleaner.
Using Dangerous Chemicals
Harsh chemicals can damage grout. They will degrade the grout, reducing its lifespan, meaning you will be required to have the floor regrouted, an expensive and time-consuming activity. Even if the loss is minor, it will undoubtedly be enough to allow more debris and water into your grout, resulting in more stubborn stains and odors.
Use gentle cleaners on a routine basis to dislodge dirt before it causes a stain. If you mop your floors or wipe down your counters regularly, you should be able to keep them clean. Of course, spills should always be cleaned up immediately so that they do not stain.
Scrubbing with Coarse Scrubbers
When cleaning grout, avoid using coarse scrubbers. Grout is a more delicate material than it appears. It fills the gaps between the tiles and with proper care, it has a long life expectancy, but it is also easily damaged. Using a coarse scrubber, such as steel wool, can remove the grit from the grout, leaving holes and making it more susceptible to future damage.
Therefore, it's best to use either a soft cloth or, if necessary, a medium or soft-bristle scrubber, like the one that comes with a kitchen sponge.
How to Seal Grout on Tile Floor
- Before sealing, ensure the grout is completely dry and sufficiently cured
- Wait a minimum of 48 to 72 hours after applying the grout
- Tape off any nearby wood cabinets or baseboards to avoid unintentional deposits or stains
- The next step is to apply a sealant to grout lines. You can use a paintbrush or a roller
- Begin from one corner and then proceed to the other part
- Wait for 5 to 15 minutes to let the first coat completely absorb into the grout (You can also wait a little longer as some sealant requires more time. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully)
- Apply the second layer of sealer
- Wipe the tiles clean with a dry and clean cotton cloth. It is critical to remove excess sealant from your tile. If the grout sealant becomes dry on your tiles, use cheesecloth pads and water to scrub away any residue
- Allow the sealant to cure for a day or two.
- Finally, check if the sealant has adequately cured. Spray a few drops of water on the grout lines. If water pools on top of the grout, it has been properly sealed.
Cleaning grout can be a little challenging if you allow it to accumulate dirt and stains over an extended period. Therefore, it is better to clean grout lines regularly. You can choose any of the above-mentioned cleaning methods to remove stubborn grout stains. Ensure you are not leaving the chemicals or excessive water on the grout for too long, as this will damage it.
Please contact Surdel Carpets Flooring and Design Centre if you have any questions or browse our tile selection if you’re looking to update your flooring. We service Surrey, BC and surrounding areas.