Why Is My Grout Always Dirty?

posted by: Bruce Myers - "the KING of Floor Care"

Whether it’s a kitchen backsplash or tiled bathroom floor, grout is the essential filler for tiled spaces throughout the home. If you have tiled surfaces you probably notice that, while it may be simple to clean the tile, it is often difficult or even impossible to thoroughly clean the grout. Here we’ll talk a little bit about what grout is and try to answer the question “Why is my grout always dirty?”

What is grout?

Grout is a rough, porous material used in between tiles to fill up excess space and bind tiles together. Grout is typically applied as a paste or mortar; liquid upon installation, but it quickly becomes a solid surface.

What causes grout to get so dirty?

There are many characteristics of grout that make it such a welcoming spot for many contaminants. Because of the rough texture of grout, dirt and other contaminants easily find a home in the many pores and ridges of the grout. Another problems is liquids; since grout is porous, liquids can seep deep into the grout and stain it – especially if that liquid is colored (think mud).

What are the benefits of clean grout?

Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits of having a clean surface, keeping grout clean will actually prolong its lifespan. If you allow contaminants to pile up in the grout, it is more likely to crack and degrade. So regular cleaning can actually prolong the lifespan of your tiled surfaces!

How can I prevent my grout from becoming so dirty?

Since areas with grout (such as tiled floors in bathrooms and kitchens) are such high-traffic areas, it is impossible to completely remove or prevent dirty floors all the time. However, there are some cleaning techniques you can use to touch up your grout and prevent an unseemly grime.

  • Clean high-traffic surfaces regularly by vacuuming up loose dirt and contaminants.
  • Reduce the amount of detergent you use in water when cleaning the floor – excess detergent will actually leave behind a residue which attracts dirt, defeating the purpose of cleaning!
  • Mop regularly with water! You don’t always need detergent or a cleaning solution. A cleaning with water once weekly will handle most of the dirt in grout and on tile floors.
  • Don’t use dirty water! Remember how we mentioned that colored liquids can seep deep within grout and stain the grout? Well, dirty water falls under that category. Make sure to change your mop water regularly so that you’re not applying dirty water to your grouted surfaces.

What are the benefits of a professional cleaning?

You can definitely prolong the time between professional cleanings by utilizing some of the techniques above, but regular professional cleanings will also substantially increase the lifespan of your grout. A professional cleaning can sanitize grout, especially for grout in humid areas that might develop mold (such as in a bathroom or shower). A professional cleaner will also be able to use specialized chemicals for different areas of the house; you might not need the same cleaner for kitchen grout as you do for bathroom grout. Professionals will also be able to utilize specialized equipment to blow out all contaminants lodged within the grout – equipment that most homeowners don’t have access to.

While there are several things you can do yourself to keep your grout clean, over time grout can still accumulate grime and dirt just because of the heavy traffic these surfaces experience. In this case, a professional cleaning is the best solution to make your grout sparkling and clean again. To make your grout look as good as new, feel free to reach out to us at Dr. Clean Home Care. Whether your tiled surface has been used for 5 or 15 years, we can provide a quality cleaning that will prepare your grout for years to come. We pride ourselves in using the best practices to clean even the most hard-to-reach places, and helping to make your home look brand new again.

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