Tiled floors can take the aesthetics of a room to a whole different level – if they’re clean. Unfortunately, tiles and grout are prone to discoloration over time. If you want to be proactive in your tile maintenance and want to avoid hours on your knees scrubbing away, it is important to know what are the main culprits for discoloration in grout and tile.
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The Main Culprits for Discoloration in Grout and Tile
While it is easy to assume that grout and tile discoloration come from spills and dirt, they can arise from different sources as well. Here is a list of typical causes for grout and tile discoloration.
Improper Cleaning Technique
Interestingly, your cleaning technique might be the main culprit as to why your tile and grout are forming discolorations. Understandably, grout is a hotspot for dirt and grime because of its position – in between tiles and typically elevated lower than tiles.
When you clean tiles, especially with a cleaning solution or a cleaning solvent, the goal is to move the dirt off the tiles. However, the motion of cleaning usually moves the dirt around and then they can end up in the grout.
Working with dirty water on tiled floors is a recipe for disaster. Dirty water contains anything from dirty, grim, oils, and other contaminants that will easily be carried by the water into the crevices of grout. Dirty water can be found all over the house – an over spilling bathtub can be dirty water, splatters and debris from washing the dishes can be dirty water, and more.
Bringing in chlorine from the pool under your feet can affect your grout and tile as well. More often, it’s the darker colored grout and tiles that are affected. Try to dry yourself off before stepping indoors or possibly use an epoxy grout sealant on your grout to better preserve the color.
As disgusting as it can sound, that dirt in between your tiles can possibly be mold. Since grout has a lower elevation than the tiles themselves, water is easily trapped in between tiles – this makes grout a particularly moist and humid environment which makes it the perfect environment for mold and other fungi to grow.
Mold is especially difficult to deal with because they are often already present all around in the form of spores. This means that these organisms are just waiting for the right time and place to grow.
Ways to Make Grout and Tile Cleaner and Brighter
Since grout and tile discoloration can come from different sources, they can also be cleaned in a number of ways. Here are different ways to make grout and tile cleaner and brighter.
Focus on the Grout
As mentioned above, improper cleaning technique can be a factor to the accumulation of dirt in the grout. With this in mind, you have to be mindful and focus on the grout when cleaning tiles. An easy way to do this is to simply clean tiles like you normally would, but then afterwards, you have to put in some elbow grease and scrub the grout. Scrubbing the grout is necessary and gets the job done.
Different chemicals have different properties that make them difficult to clean off. In the event that dirt from the tiles and grout is difficult to deal with, then perhaps it is time you should consider using steam. Steam is an incredibly efficient cleaning tool as it helps loosen dirt and grim, making them easier to remove.
Neutral pH Cleaner
While acidic or basic cleaners can work best on other surfaces, it is highly recommended to stick to a neutral pH cleaner when it comes to cleaning tile and grout. This is because cleaning solutions of different pH can actually contribute to the discoloration of tile and grout as well because of how these cleaning solutions interact with the chemical properties of the grout mixture used.
While there are neutral pH cleaning solutions available on the market, a good neutral pH solution is highly accessible to everyone – water.
Cleaning your tiles and grout is one way of elevating the appearance of your floors, making them spick and span. However, keeping them clean is not the easiest thing to do because tiles can easily get dirty while grout is prone to dirt accumulation. Nevertheless, knowing the factors involved in getting them dirty is half the battle because then, you’d know how to deal with them.