The Nitty Gritty of Cleaning Grout

The Nitty Gritty of Cleaning Grout

Few things are more attractive than a beautifully tiled mudroom, entryway, kitchen or bath. Tile is available in a wide array of styles, colors and finishes to complement virtually any decor. Tile is also relatively easy to keep clean, which is why it’s so widely used in areas of the home that see a lot of traffic, such as kitchens and bathrooms. That said, the grout lines that run between individual tiles are another story altogether. Cleaning grout is a down and dirty job, no matter how you approach it.

What is Grout, and Why is it so Difficult to Keep Clean?

When tile is set into place, it is adhered to a backing surface in a particular pattern. Because tiles are carefully spaced, it is necessary to fill in the spaces between each piece of tile. That’s where grout comes in. Grout is a cement-based product and comes in sanded and unsanded finishes. No matter what grout option is chosen, grout is, by its very nature, a porous material. That means that it is vulnerable to discoloration and staining over the course of normal use. While the tiles themselves may be easy to clean, grout requires a bigger investment of time and effort.

What are the Best Ways to Keep Grout Clean?

Some homeowners prefer natural products that are easily available and will not irritate the skin or respiratory system of the person cleaning the surface. Vinegar is among the most common household cleaning options for those who wish to avoid harsh chemicals in their home. Other homeowners choose to use a combination of vinegar and baking soda, which adds a mild abrasive property to the cleaning process. Still others use lemon juice to brighten grout and remove staining.

Most cleaning solutions should be left on for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the solution to begin penetrating the surface of the grout lines.

No matter what option is chosen, the most important thing to remember when cleaning grout with natural products is that a good degree of elbow grease is the most important component. A stiff bristled brush and a willingness to scrub can make natural cleaning solutions effective.

For diverse stains or a faster outcome, many homeowners turn to commercially available cleaning products. Some are specifically formulated to address grout and tile, and can be sprayed directly onto the surface before scrubbing begins. Most cleaning solutions should be left on for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the solution to begin penetrating the surface of the grout lines. After that, a good scrubbing can help remove stains and brighten the appearance of both tile and grout lines.

A Professional Approach is a Worthy Investment

When it comes to keeping your tile and grout lines looking their best, many families turn to professional cleaning companies. A professional can evaluate your tile surfaces, and quickly determine the best course of action to restore your grout to its best possible appearance. At Chet’s Cleaning, our professional house cleaners are highly skilled in addressing all of your cleaning needs. If you need tile/grout cleaning and stain removal, we are the pros that can get it done. Contact us today to discuss your particular set of needs and to get a quote on the cost of our professional cleaning services.

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