Stone and tile surfaces should be used and enjoyed, not avoided for the sake of keeping them clean. Yet the risk of grout stains makes it hard to preserve the beauty of your floors and walls even if the stone or tile remains in good shape. Grout is white and porous—a risky combination in terms of staining.
You can always get a clean slate with grout recoloring or regrouting. Of course, everyone would prefer to prevent grout stains and keep everything looking (and smelling) clean in the first place!
Start with a Good Grout Seal
Sanded or non-sanded, all grout needs sealing so stains take longer to set. Sealing does not make grout 100% impervious, but it does give you plenty of time to wipe up spills.
Sealed grout only needs an occasional cleaning if you simply mop the floor, wipe the counter, or squeegee the shower wall after each use.
What Are the Best Grout Cleaners?
We recommend starting with gentle and natural cleaning methods, then working your way up to more heavy-duty cleaners for serious stains. Here’s a rundown of the options:
- Scrub with a wet sponge or cloth for regular, preventive cleaning.
- Use “tile and grout” cleaning sprays to prevent stains and pick up food spills, tracked in mud and dirt, and other routine cleaning needs.
- Make a baking soda paste and scrub with water or a water-vinegar mix as a first attempt at cleaning stained grout,
- Only use bleach sparingly for already set-in stains, and reseal the grout soon afterward because alkali cleaners like ammonia or bleach can eat away at the grout.
Keep Grout Mildew & Mold in Check
The porous nature of grout makes it susceptible to germs, not just stains. In humid climates, such as here in the Charlotte area, it can be even harder than elsewhere to prevent mildew in a bathroom. Kitchen backsplashes, entryway floors, and other stone or tile with grout can all grow various kinds of bacteria and mold.
Vinegar and rubbing alcohol can be used on grout, but do not expect great results like magic. A pH-neutral cleaning product made for grout will work better than a vinegar wash. Similarly, do not expect a grout whitening product to kill the germs and keep them at bay.
When to Reseal and Re-Grout
As a general rule, stone and tile experts agree that grout should be sealed annually at a minimum. Heavy use can be more demanding of the seal, so the frequency depends on the location. If regular cleaning isn’t enough, you probably need Charlotte grout sealing services more often.
Grout Cleaning & Repair in Charlotte
When you do get a stubborn stain or cracked grout, our Charlotte grout cleaning team can help. For an annual grout seal or repair services in the Charlotte area, contact us for a free estimate for Sandifer’s Stone & Tile Care.