In an effort to expand my knowledge of all things Electrodry, I once again hit the road with one of our friendly cleaning technicians to learn about tile & grout cleaning and recolouring. As someone who lives in a house with tons of tiles and hates cleaning them, it was a subject close to my heart.
Everyone knows how hard it is to keep the grout between the tiles looking fresh and clean. I know I’ve used every possible product on the market and I’m still searching for the right one.
There are a lot of products on the market and it can be really difficult to decide which is the best option for you.
Once your grout lines start to get dirty, it can be hard to get them clean. Luckily we are here to help you out - these are our pointers.
Why do tiles get so dirty?
The first house we visited this day was huge and had a tiled kitchen, family room and hallway. The lady of the house was a new mum and had spent 6 hours on her hands and knees trying to clean just the kitchen area when she gave up and called Electrodry.
The first thing I learnt was why grout ends up looking so dirty. Grout is porous and really good at absorbing things like oil and grease which is why the grout in kitchens often looks worse than other rooms.
One of the other main reasons grout gets so dirty is because of using too much water while mopping. Because grout sits under the tile line, too much water while mopping soaks into the grout and can cause bacteria and mould to thrive.
Unfortunately the chemicals we often use to clean them build up and make the grout look dirtier. Really strong cleaners like bleach and mould killers can not only destroy the grout but can get in behind the tiles, causing them to loosen and eventually fall off the wall or lift from the floor. That's the last thing you need.
I really didn’t like learning that bit ...
So how do the pros clean tiles and grout?
- Pre-treat the tile and grout by mopping it with an alkaline based degreasing solution and letting it sit for about 15 minutes. This process loosens the soil, grease and contaminants in the grout.
- Power Scrub with surrogated brushes that agitate the grout lines and the tile surfaces.
- Extract/Turbo Power Rinse by injecting high pressure hot water and sucking up excess water at the same time. The water, cleaning solutions and contaminants are captured and extracted in this process.
- For stubborn stains an acid wash can also be applied
I watched in amazement as the Steamvac or Power Scrubber (which I personally think looks like a Dalek for all those Dr Who fans), extracted the dirt from the tiles. The water that was pumped out was black and really filthy. There’s a giant squeegee head on the Gekko Turbo Power Rinse machine that makes sure there are no streaks on high gloss tiles. The floor was dry almost immediately.
How to recolour grout
The customer at the next house we visited wanted her grout recoloured in her bathrooms, toilet and laundry. There was a lot. The cleaning process was the same but in the smaller spaces of the bathroom the work was a lot more manual and our Electrodry technician was working very hard!
Finally I got to watch the recolouring process. There is a wide range of colours to choose from and the customer chose to go from a grey grout to a beige colour. The grout colour and sealant was applied by hand, rubbed in and then the excess wiped away. It makes the grout no longer porous – dirt will sit on top of the grout and be easier to remove. The colour and sealant sink into the grout so it will remain that colour even if the top layer of grout is scrubbed away.
The Electrodry technician explained that it is the hardest job they have to do – it’s the most manual but the most satisfying. It definitely has the wow factor and I'm told customers are usually blown away by the results. It completely revitalises the tiles and grout and makes future cleaning a lot easier. This day’s customer was an elderly lady who couldn’t thank us enough, which was really nice to witness.
Why should I get a tile and grout clean and recolour?
Tile & grout cleaning and recolouring makes a significant difference to the way your home looks. The thought of all that dirt and bacteria being trapped in the grout is disturbing!
If you are considering freshening up your tiled areas why not have them cleaned, sealed and recoloured – much more economical than re-tiling and the tiles can look completely different!
And finally, remember – no matter how tempting, using bleaches and harsh cleaners will only do your tiles and grout harm in the long run. Bleach will just take the colour out of the grout, and not actually treat the problem.
And here are some we prepared earlier!
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