grout cleaning

Grout Cleaning. What Color Is Your Grout?

Do you know what color the grout is suppose to be? Most people don’t unless they were there to see it new or have a great grout cleaning program. Ceramic tile floors are a great surface for restrooms, entrances and lobbies. In fact, even though the cost is much higher than vinyl tile, over the life of the floor, ceramic is always less.

The cost of floor finish, stripper and the regular up-keep makes vinyl tile very costly. Ceramic tile is slip resistant, durable and looks really good. The problems start when we begin cleaning them like a vinyl floor. Traditional string mops, sticky detergent based cleaners and a lack of understanding, can make both the tile and the grout dirty.

Mopping Can Make Grout Dirtier

When you clean a ceramic tile floor with a string mop, a lot of water is left behind in the grout lines. This is the same dirty water that is in your mop bucket. The water evaporates but the dirt is left behind. After weeks of repeating this, the dirt accumulates to leave the grout lines dark. The detergents in the chemicals act as a glue that holds the dirt in place, making it difficult to remove. Since grout is also very porous, this dirt can go deep. This method of grout cleaning is very ineffective.

Make Grout Cleaning Easier

The key to grout cleaning is reducing the amount of dirty water that is left on the floor after cleaning. Looped pile microfiber flat mops work great to clean the floor but reduce the amount of water needed. Keeping mop water as clean as possible also important. A divided mop bucket that keeps the dirty water separate from the clean, makes it possible to start making head way.

A better alternative is to vacuum the dirty water off the floor. This ensures that the dirt will not be left in the grout after the water evaporates.

Grout Cleaning As Daily Maintenance

When you start removing soils from the floor, instead of depositing them in the grout lines, it will begin to restore over time. To speed up the process, scrub the floor with a medium stiffness brush on either a single disk scrubber or a cylindrical machine. This will get you back to square one and allow you to maintain a clean, slip resistant floor going forward.

As always, getting the grout cleaning results you want is not difficult. Once you recognize the cause, daily maintenance makes grout cleaning part of your everyday routine.


2 replies
  1. Mel
    Mel says:

    Hi Bald Guy Clean,

    I’m in the middle of hand scrubbing grout as the floor is shiny smooth marble and I don’t want to scratch it. What’s the easiest way to scrub grout for marble surfaces moving forward and how do I prevent water streaks as it dries?

    Some pointers would be great

    • BaldGuyClean
      BaldGuyClean says:

      Thanks for your question. The majority of dirty grout comes from a build up of cleaner residue and dirt. While the surface of the floor is addressed, the excess dirty cleaning solution is commonly left behind in the grout lines. I would recommend reducing the amount of cleaning chemicals used on a daily basis. It takes a lot less chemical to clean a floor than most people think. If at all possible, use a vacuum system to remove the solution and dirt from the floor. This will get the excess liquid out of the grout. As for the streaking, as I talked about in Streaks Mean It’s Not Clean, too much chemical and excess dirt is typically what causes streaking.


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