Tips on Cleaning Grout

Using proper cleaners for tile and grout to prevent mold

Proper maintenance on your bathroom is definitely an area where you don’t want to skimp.  This is where a knowledgeable contractor can help you with the right selections to aid in the performance and promote cleanliness of the room.  If you’re seeking out a tile installation whether it’s a floor or shower area, your tile contractor should take you through the proper products for a successful installation and beautiful appearance!  Aside from aesthetics, grout plays an important role to any tile installation but if not chosen correctly or properly informed, cleaning can become a hassle.

Cement grout is a standard product and has been around the longest.  With a higher absorption rate, cement grout must be sealed every year so that dirt, grease and grime does not penetrate and stain the product.  You can clean cement grout with just about any household cleaner and if gets too dirty, you can also steam clean it to lift out dirt and debris.

  • For better performance, latex additives can be added to the initial mix during installation to boost the performance.  Some cement grouts may already have latex added in a powder form that will be ready for when your contractor mixes it.

Non-sanded grout is basically the same make up as cement grout but without the sand mix.  This grout will be lighter and smoother to fill small grout joints for wall tile applications.  All rules apply with sealing and cleaning when compared to cement grout.

Although cement based grouts have their time and place, most tile contractors would rather see you with an upgrade product that will be less maintenance for you.  This can be more of an expensive option, however, your wrists and elbows will save some strain in the future (not to mention possible replacement services).

Epoxy grout pretty much speaks for itself especially when you’re considering the well-known product with proven results.  Epoxy grout is highly stain resistant, mold & mildew resistant and virtually maintenance free with a low absorption rate.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you can get away without cleaning it because proper up keep will bring years of function and beauty.  When cleaning epoxy grout it is important to stay away from citrus based (or acidic) cleaners.  Over time, an acidic cleaner can soften the epoxy and cause it to loosen out of the joints.

Urethane grout is similar to the make-up and performance of epoxy.  It is a little more flexible than epoxy, which is not a bad thing, but it still is stain resistant, mold & mildew resistant and has a low absorption rate.  Citrus based cleaners can be used on urethane grout but two of the best cleaners that we’ve found is Scrubbing Bubbles and Clorox – Green Works.

When cleaning grout it is best to apply the cleaners and leave them sit for a few minutes.  Agitate thoroughly with a brush or cleaning sponge and then rinse off with warm water.  Wipe down all areas with a towel to ensure that the walls and floor are clean and free of chemicals.  It is always important that all cleaners are wiped off so the chemicals do not linger and slowly attack the product.  You also want to cross-reference your cleaning products with the tile manufacturer’s specifications so porous or natural stone tile does not get stained in the process.


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