Tiled floors and walls in your home are meant to last for years, but as time passes can tend to get stained and look dull. Some tiles and grout are porous, making it easy for stains and dirt to get trapped. In the kitchen, bathroom and tub areas, soap scum, mildew, mould, and cooking fumes and grease result to ugly stains and difficult to remove marks. In some cases with mould and mildew, this may can even turn to a health hazard. Structural damage can also occur if the mildew spreads to plasterboard behind the tiles.
Routine household cleaning, such as vacuuming and mopping are not adequate long term for areas of the home that are tiled. Regularly cleaning of tiles and grout is somewhat tedious and physically a challenge. But it is wise to invest time in tile and grout cleaning to avoid all these issues and for the best results long term, seal the tiles after cleaning.
Tile and Grout Cleaning Methods
Before sealing grout, give your wall and tiles a thorough cleaning. You can do this with environmentally friendly solutions such as vinegar and baking soda. Mix equal part of distilled water and vinegar, or prepare a paste with baking soda and distilled water. Distilled water is ideal since it does not contain chemical or minerals that may otherwise stain tiles or grout. Don’t use soap solutions to clean tiles. Soap leaves a residue that sticks to the tile making them dull and attract dirt.
Apply the mixture of baking soda and vinegar into the grout in circular motions. You can do this with a small brush. Allow it to settle for about two minutes and scrub with a household cleaning brush. Rinse the surface with clean water using a clean sponge. For tough stains, apply bleach diluted 1 part to 3 part with distilled water. It is advisable to only use bleach on white or lighter coloured tiles and grout and never on coloured tiles as bleach can permanently fade colours.
Whenever using bleach, always put on eye protection, rubber gloves, and clothes you that you don’t care for as the bleach can permanently discolour your clothing. Always test the cleaning mixture on a small concealed area prior to applying to a bigger area. Repeat the scrubbing until your tiles and grout look fresh and clean.
Hydrogen peroxide may be utilized instead of bleach. However, never get tempted to mix these 2 ingredients hoping for a more effective cleaning agent. They may give off toxic fumes. Only use distilled water to dilute them.
Seal the tiles and grout
Once the grout and tiles look satisfactorily clean, leave them to dry and then apply a sealer. There are usually two types of sealers; membrane and penetrating sealers. Membrane sealers form a barrier that protects the tiles and grout, and requires to be re-applied after every 1-2 years. Penetrating sealers are directly absorbed into the grout and should be applied after every 1-3 years.
Avoid spreading sealer to tiles, since it can stain them. Rather, apply it using a pen sharp applicator and strictly follow grout lines. In cases where your tiles are sealed or glazed, spray the sealer on the surface. Allow it to dry and apply a second coat. Always remember to seal the grout for beauty that lasts.
If you have any questions on tiles and grout cleaning, feel free to contact us. Shield Carpet, Tile and Pest are a professional cleaning company, and we are always happy to assist.