While your bathroom's tiles may be easy to wipe down and sweep, the grout may be another story. The grout—the material that fills the gaps between your tile—is usually a mixture of cement, sand, and water and has a similar consistency to mortar. This consistency means that it is porous and can stain easily. Its surface is also slightly rough, meaning it can hold onto dirt. You can have a contractor sand the grout down, but it will still retain some of its abrasive nature.
As you can imagine, grout can be difficult to clean compared to the tile. Here are three ways to make cleaning easier.
Vacuum Instead of Sweep
When you sweep your tile floors, the broom's bristles may actually compress and wedge more dirt into the grout, since tiles are slightly elevated. It's a better idea to use a vacuum attachment to suck up hair, lint, and dirt. A vacuum attachment is more ideal since you will be able to better clean grout that borders walls and that goes under cabinets.
Make a Safe DIY Mixture for Stains
Once the vacuuming is completed, you can use a wet product to remove stains. Like sweeping, mopping may be a bad idea since you will just spread dirt around in the grout. Instead, create a mix of baking soda and dish-washing liquid and use an old toothbrush to scrub the grout. You can let the baking soda mix set for a bit before rinsing it off with water.
Be sure you check your with your tile manufacturer before using over-the-counter products. Because grout is porous, extremely acidic solutions can break down the tile—or stain it even more! Avoid cleaning supplies with chlorine bleach if you can.
Schedule a Professional Cleaning
If you stay on top of vacuuming and scrubbing stains, you may not need to clean your grout as often. If you schedule a professional cleaning, you'll also extend the life of your grout. A professional cleaning should be done once or twice a year.
When a cleaning technician comes, he or she will use a portable steamer that will loosen gunk that has become embedded in the grout. The steam can also seep deeply into the grout for a thorough clean. Once the technician has finished cleaning, he or she can apply a sealant to the grout. This will help to reduce staining since the sealant will make the grout less porous.
As you can see, while grout can be a little more difficult to clean at first, it can be done. Adjust your cleaning habits accordingly and contact a cleaning service like Arnold's Advanced Carpet Cleaning to schedule a grout cleaning.