Why is it Important to Seal your Grout Using a Solvent Based Penetrating Sealer and How to Do it Yourself?
You invest in costly tile for your floor, shower and countertop to enhance the look of your interiors. But...
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Some of you might have never heard of grout before. It is the mixture of cement and sand added between two tiles to join them. Just like natural stone, grout is very porous and tends to absorb water and moisture into its pores. This leads to staining, molding and discoloration. But, grout is largely ignored by most of the homeowners. They believe that cleaning natural stone is enough. But the mold lurking on the grout can easily spread on the stone if not eliminated thoroughly. Cleaning grout is as essential as cleaning natural stone tile. But many of you make certain errors while cleaning grout, deteriorating it further.
1. Too Much Water
Using too much water while cleaning grout is harmful to its integrity because it is highly porous. If you use too much water, you will cause the grout to disintegrate. The water and moisture can get trapped inside its pores and provide an excellent breeding ground for mold and mildew. Efficient cleaning of the grout between the tiles does not mean using too much water, instead, it means using the right products in the right way. Too much water in the grout also seeps into the underlayment beneath the tile and can weaken the adhesive used below, thereby loosening the tile too. Moreover, mold and mildew can cause many health hazards such as respiratory problems, eye problems and even reeks of bad odor.
2. Harsh or Abrasive Cleaners
To clean and restore the grout, if you think that you can do an efficient job by using strong or harsh cleaners, then you cannot be more wrong. A grout approved cleaner will undoubtedly render a better result on your grout. Grout needs to be cleaned by a deep-penetrating cleaner, which enters the pores and knocks of germs at the root level. Grout also becomes discolored on using harsh chemicals.
3. Using Colored Chemicals
If you use colored chemicals for cleaning grout, your grout can easily get stained and discolored. As grout is porous, it can easily absorb any colors, even those from chemicals and result in totally changing its color. If you have invested in a grout color matching to the surface of your natural stone, colored chemicals can cause discoloration. Cleaning grout with bleach and baking soda also leads to oxidation of the grout, leaving a very faded shade of your grout.
4. Coarse Scrubbers
Using coarse scrubbers for tile and grout care and cleaning can result in knocking off the natural shine of the surface. It is natural to think that coarse scrubbers can remove the hard-etched stains and dirt over the surface. But a safer bet is to opt for a scrubbing pad that is not abrasive. Grout cleaning is best done with a nylon brush that scrapes away the grime without damaging the smooth surface. You can also do a bit of research on how to clean grout before you use a new cleaning agent on your grout.
5. Acidic Cleaners
If you use acidic cleaners to clean grout, you will end up damaging the structural integrity of the grout. The PH balance of the acidic cleaners does not do justice to the formulation of the grout and ends up in wearing it off. Acidic cleaners also make the grout very fragile and cause it to disintegrate easily. They might also create holes in your grout or make it more porous. Weaker grout will get dirty frequently leading you to spend lots of time in its maintenance.
It is best to use a tile grout cleaner that is grout approved and that is alkaline in nature as such a cleaner will preserve the integrity of the grout and also ensure its deep sanitization. Harsh chemicals do not only spoil the integrity of your grout, but also make it last less long, so you should use a specially formulated grout cleaner such as Imperia Deep Clean from pFOkUS. It is a deep penetrating liquid that soaks into the surface of the natural stone and grout and knocks off all the stains, mold and mildew, revealing a thoroughly clean surface.
So do not commit these above-mentioned grave mistakes while cleaning tile surfaces and grout if you want their longevity and durability.