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Get Grout Cleaning Right First Time

March 4, 2024

Get Grout Cleaning Right First Time

Getting grout cleaning right the first time requires some planning and preparation. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best results:

Assess the Situation

Before starting any grout cleaning, take time to assess the condition of the grout.

  • Examine the grout lines closely. Check for cracks, missing pieces, efflorescence (a white powdery substance), and stains. Making note of any problem areas will help focus your cleaning efforts.

  • Determine if the grout is sealed. Sealed grout is more resistant to stains. Try sprinkling water on the grout – if it beads up, it’s likely sealed. If the water soaks in, it probably needs to be sealed after cleaning.

  • Identify the grout type. Cement, epoxy, or urethane grout have different cleaning needs. Knowing the type will determine what products to use.

Have the Right Tools

Equipping yourself with the proper tools will make grout cleaning much easier. Useful items include:

  • Grout brush or toothbrush to scrub grout lines
  • Grout sealer to protect grout after cleaning
  • Microfiber cloths that won’t leave lint behind
  • Bucket for mixing cleaning solutions
  • Rubber gloves to protect hands
  • Knee pads for working on floors
  • Grout cleaner – citric or phosphoric acid-based formula

Choose a Grout Cleaner

The right grout cleaner is critical for getting your grout sparkling clean. Consider these factors when selecting a product:

  • For cement grout, use an acid-based cleaner. It will dissolve soap scum, hard water deposits, and other buildup.

  • Epoxy and urethane grout can be cleaned with mild detergents. Avoid acidic cleaners which can damage the grout surface.

  • Check product labels and avoid using anything that contains ammonia, bleach or dyes which can discolor grout.

  • Choose a non-toxic and low VOC formula for health and environmental reasons.

  • Read all instructions thoroughly before use. Follow safety precautions like working in a ventilated area and wearing gloves.

Clean in Sections

It’s best to clean grout in small, manageable sections so the cleaning solution stays wet and doesn’t dry too quickly:

  • Start with a 3×3 foot area. Rewet your toothbrush or grout brush frequently as you scrub.

  • Use a minimal amount of water – you want the cleaner to remain concentrated in the grout lines.

  • Work diagonally across the grout lines to thoroughly clean inside the crevices. Apply pressure but don’t scratch the tile surface.

  • Rinse thoroughly and wipe clean before proceeding to the next section.

Apply Grout Sealer

Once grout is clean and dry, sealing is an important final step:

  • Carefully follow manufacturer’s directions for applying grout sealer. Use a sealer recommended for your specific grout type.

  • Two thin coats of sealer is better than one thick coat. Allow the first application to dry fully before adding the second.

  • Make sure sealer gets deep inside the grout lines for best protection. Wipe off any excess from the tile surface.

  • Let sealer cure fully – often 24-48 hours – before using shower/tub, traffic on floors, etc. This ensures maximum performance.

With the right process and products, you can get your grout looking like new again. Careful prepwork, section-by-section cleaning, and sealing sets you up for grout cleaning success.

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