Dirty, black grout is one of those pesky little things that really mess up the appearance of a room. No matter how clean the tiles and the rest of the room are, if the grout is dirty, everything will look unkempt. So, it should come as no surprise that so many homeowners, as well as business owners, are trying all the possible methods to clean their grout, browsing the Internet for quick, easy, or at least efficient fixes.
The Mirage of the DIY
While many cleaning products do help keep your flooring clean longer, many DIY solutions for cleaning grout can be harmful. Grout is a very special material that is quite porous. After all, it needs to have flexibility combined with durability to keep the tiles sealed together. Applying the wrong methods or cleaner can seriously damage your grout. Even if the result can look decent, repeating these methods can lead to visible damage, forcing you to replace the grout in the long run.
Here are some cleaning methods that you should avoid if you want to protect your grout and have it last for years to come.
Most DIY tutorials you will find online about grout cleaning will involve some kind of scrubbing tool. Whether it’s an old toothbrush or a fancy, modified drill that has a circular brush attached to it if it scrubs too hard, it will only worsen your problem in time. As we mentioned before, grout is porous, and it needs special treatment.
Using friction and mechanic actions to remove the dirt from its pores will not work. Moreover, it can damage the integrity of the grout. All you do when vigorously scrubbing the grout is move the dirt around at the surface. Yes, you might dislocate some of it and even out its appearance, but the problem is still there, and it will build up in time, leading to permanently dirty grout.
Aggressive Cleaning Solutions
When you think of aggressive cleaners, you probably think we are talking about chemical mixes. You might be surprised to find out that one of the most popular natural methods of cleaning your home is also one of the most aggressive: white vinegar. Vinegar is very acidic, and it will damage the grout if used on it. Avoid vinegar or combining it with baking soda. This mix is harsh on grout and can damage it irreversibly.
Tiles are usually present where spills are most likely to happen: kitchen, bathroom, pools, and hallways. They are easy to clean and don’t get damaged by water. But it doesn’t mean that the best solution to clean grout is to flood it with a lot of water. Leaving the water on tiles to pool and sit for a long time will eventually get the grout wet at a deeper level, which can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. That will not only stain your grout, but it is a serious health hazard too.