How to Clean and Seal Tile and Grout, Orange County, ca


How to Clean and Seal Tile and Grout

Tile is fairly low maintenance and regular cleaning will keep your tile looking new for many years, but there will be times when you have a stain that will not come out with regular cleaning. Ceramic and porcelain tile does not usually stain that easy, but natural stone like travertine, granite, marble and slate does however stain quite easily, but grout is the easiest to stain and the hardest to clean.

Cleaning and sealing tile is different for showers then it is for floors because of the conditions they are exposed to. There is also a difference between normal cleaning, heavy duty cleaning and removing stains.

Normal cleaning:

Tile floors should be damp moped regularly with warm water and a mild detergent. Showers should be cleaned regularly with a tile cleaner such as Tilex, which removes soap scum from the shower walls. For normal cleaning of grout use a non-acidic cleaner made specifically for cleaning grout. Pour some cleaner into a bowl then dip a grout cleaning brush into the bowl and scrub the grout (an old toothbrush also works well). After using the grout cleaner wipe everything down with a sponge using plain water.

Heavy duty cleaning/removing stains:

When normal cleaning does not do the trick, use a cleaner that is specifically made for cleaning tile & grout. Do not use bleach or household cleaners because they could damage or discolor the grout. To get tough stains out of grout use a heavy duty grout cleaner that contains phosphoric acid. Clean the grout the same way as described above then thoroughly rinse with plain water agitating with clean scrub pad or grout brush. It’s very important to thoroughly rinse the acidic cleaner out of the grout or it could damage the grout. Use rubber gloves and eye protection when using acidic cleaner.

Sealing tile and grout:

Natural stone tile needs to be sealed, especially if it is used in a shower. There are two types of tile & grout sealer for natural stone, regular and enhanced. The regular sealer does not change the color of the tile or grout, but the enhanced sealer darkens and enhances the color of the tile and grout. This type of sealer is applied by hand with a white cotton terry cloth towel that is dipped into the sealer and applied in a circular motion, and then wiped with a dry towel within 5 minutes after application.

Ceramic or porcelain tile does not need to be sealed; only the grout needs to be sealed. For sealing just the grout I use Miracle 511 penetrating spray-on sealer that is very easy to use, you just spray it on and you’re done. Light overspray on the tile will evaporate, but any excessive overspray or pooling will need to be wiped off the tile with a dry terry cloth towel.

For cleaning glass shower door enclosures first clean the glass with a glass cleaner such as Windex, and then apply Rain-X (automotive product) to keep the glass from spotting. Using a squeegee after showering also helps cut down on water spots.

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