While tile and natural stone can add a beautiful look and dimension to your home, the grout stains can become unsightly over time. Grout is very prone to stains and discoloration because it is a porous substance. Although grout stains are very common, they can be very stubborn and difficult to remove. Knowing how to remove stains and maintain cleaner grout can leave your floors looking their best.
One of the most important things to note when dealing with grout stains, is how to prevent and minimize the staining in the first place. Dirt and grime can build up in your grout lines over time from foot traffic, leaving it discolored. You can avoid some of this dirt buildup by removing your shoes at the door. While this will not alleviate the issue altogether, it will certainly help and allow for more time between cleanings. In addition, you want to be careful when you are mopping your tile floors. Dirty mop water can also cause dirt to get caught in the grout lines, leaving unwanted stains. You can help prevent these stains by applying a sealant to your tile and stone flooring. Most sealants will require re-application in order to maintain the best results.
When your grout does become stained, there are a number of things you can do to clean it and restore its natural color and beauty. The easiest way to remove loose dirt and debris from your grout is simply using water and a stiff nylon brush. With a little elbow grease, water alone will remove a great deal of dirt and grime. You can also use a vinegar and water mixture and let it stand for about 15 minutes before wiping it away with a baking soda and water mixture. This can also help to remove dirt while not harming or damaging the tile or stone. You should avoid bleach on colored grout, as it will discolor the grout. There are also a number of commercial grout cleaning products that can be useful in removing grime as well. However, be sure and test any product on a small area before applying it all over your tile and grout.
Even with proper cleaning methods, it is recommended that homeowners have their grout professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. With the use of specially formulated cleaning solutions as well as high-powered suction equipment, a professional cleaning from Chem-Dry can leave your grout free of dirt and grime. You can ensure a long-lasting and pristine shine, all while knowing that your grout has been thoroughly cleaned.