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.


gym floor cleaning

Gym Floor Cleaning Made Easy

I get of questions about gym floor cleaning. The main question is “why are the gym floors are slippery?” These floors serve many roles in schools and recreation centers. Between P.E. Classes, open gym, assemblies, sports practice and games, there always seems to be some sort of activity going on in the gymnasium. Since a lot of these floors are wood, there is a tendency to avoid cleaning them, because water damages wood right? Read more

microfiber cleaning tools

Microfiber Cleaning Tools – Protect Your Investment

Microfiber cleaning tools have taken the industry by storm! The truth is, they work extremely well for many types of cleaning. Either reducing or eliminating the amount of chemicals it takes to clean, is an attractive proposition for many people. I have been using microfiber cleaning to some degree, for years and it just keeps getting better.

Recently I was working with a customer that I had introduced microfiber cleaning  systems to. He expressed a concern about the effectiveness of the system. They have been using the same microfiber cleaning cloths and mops for over a year. They were making sure to wash them regularly and to not use fabric softeners in the process.

As I inspected the cloths they looked to be  in good shape and were recently cleaned, but felt different to the touch. I took some water in a trigger sprayer and tried to clean some glass. The cloth didn’t do much to the smudges and just pushed the water around. It felt like a regular cleaning cloth.

Caring For Microfiber Cleaning Tools

The problem, in the end, was the detergent being used to wash the microfiber. It was name brand, powdered laundry soap. It did not have a fabric softener in it, but come to find out, the person that was in charge of washing was using more than the recommended amount. The soap residue was clogging up the openings in the microfiber that usually grab and hold on to the dirt. This was also the case with their mops.

In an attempt to reverse the issue, they stopped using the detergent and started using a hydrogen peroxide cleaner in its place. This seemed to make an improvement, but, even after a few weeks, they were not as effective as when they were new.


The best advice is to launder your microfiber cleaning tools with warm, not hot, water and use a neutral, non-detergent, liquid cleaner.  In most cases, microfiber cleaning cloths, mops and dusters will come clean with agitation and rinsing. Remember, what ever you were cleaning with is a cleaning chemical, so don’t overload on the detergent. In some cases, a cleaning agent may need to be used while laundering if they are saturated with heavy soils but if they have been used for routine cleaning, just throw them in the wash.

Protect your investment and keep enjoying the results of  your microfiber cleaning!


vacuuming carpet

Vacuuming Carpet. Why Do You Vacuum?

Why is it that when we are vacuuming carpet, do we go back and forth then, step forward and repeat the process? If we were to use this  same type of pattern when mowing our lawns, there would be tufts of grass all over. The yard would look terrible and we would have wasted the majority of the afternoon with nothing to show for it. Chasing that paper scrap and those potato chip crumbs is not why we vacuum carpet. It is to capture the dirt we don’t see.  Read more

entrance matting

Entrance Matting – Stop Dirt At The Door

Entrance matting is an important part of any cleaning program. What if you could have an employee stand by the door and clean off people’s shoes as they walk in to the building? What kind of impact would this have on your floor finish and carpet? Studies have shown that as much as 85% of dirt in a building comes in right through the door. This is where entrance matting makes a big impact on your cleaning.

I always ask people “How does dirt get to the 20th floor of a high-rise building?” Read more

fixing restroom odors

Restroom Odors – First Find Then Fix

“I clean them, mop the floors and have air fresheners, but there are still restroom odors!”

This is a common statement from many who clean restrooms. It doesn’t have to be. Restrooms odors cause can cause an entire facility to seem dirty. It is common practice to try to quickly eliminate them by using sprays, air fresheners and applying disinfectants around the restroom. The bad news is, these steps have only a temporary effect, if any. Restroom odor must be address at the source. But where do you start? Read more

proactive cleaning

Proactive Cleaning Prevents Headaches Later

What types of prevention do you practice on a daily basis? You brush your teeth twice a day. You put on shoes and socks to prevent damage to your feet. You turn on your directional signal to keep other drivers from running into your car. Read more

cleaning sends message

Cleaning Sends Your Message

Business’ and organizations are constantly being forced to find ways to attract and retain customers. They bend over backwards to give deeper discounts, provide better products and spend thousands of dollars on advertising to lure new business.

Schools are no different. They push for better educational supplies and more funding to provide a safer, healthier learning environment for students, yet cleaning gets over looked when it comes to restrooms and classrooms? With the scare of disease and illness threatening us every day, somehow, we still have a long way to go when it comes to providing clean restrooms. Read more

cleaning budget

Saving Your Cleaning Budget

Do you know how much it cost to clean? You will probably point to a stack of papers or a spreadsheet that is the “ Cleaning Budget.”

A budget is defined as “An estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future and a plan of operations based on such an estimate” How has your plan changed lately? Where did this estimate come from? Is it realistic? Read more