When To Use Professional Tile Cleaning Services

Your tile and grout floor is pretty easy to maintain, on a day to day basis.  After a few years, though, the grout lines start to get dark, from accumulated soiling and build up.  When you look at the grout lines over near a wall (where no one ever walks) and then compare them to the normal traffic areas, if you can tell a difference in the color, it’s time for a good professional cleaning.

So, now that we have discussed how to know when it’s time to clean your tile and grout, let’s talk about how to CLEAN grout, and what that means.  Cleaning is defined as “Removing soiling (unwanted accumulation of dirt, grease, soap scum, and various other biological contaminants) from the surface of the tile and grout. So many people have called us because even when they’re down on their hands and knees with a toothbrush, scrubbing for all they’re worth, it only looks good for a little while, and they get frustrated.  When we clean and seal your grout, it stays cleaner for longer and will be easier for you to maintain afterward.

Our Tile-Cleaning Process

Cleaning tile and grout is like cleaning anything else.  There are 3 steps, “Spray”, “Scrub”, and “Extraction”. Depending on what type of soiling I’m trying to get up (the buildup in a shower is, chemically, very different from what will accumulates in a kitchen, for example), and what type of floor it is ( A cleaning solution that’s fine for ceramic tile could really damage a marble or travertine floor) I’ll use one of two or 3 different cleaning solutions. 

Once I’ve sprayed the cleaning solution on to the area we’re working on, we then scrub the tile and grout to help break up the soiling and get it suspended in the cleaner.  At that point, I use what’s known as a “tile spinner” to do the actual cleaning.

Floor shines from cleaning

Tile Cleaning Vs. Coating Removal

Lastly, keep in mind that “cleaning”, and “coating removal”, are two separate things.  Earlier, we defined cleaning as removing soiling (both visible, and invisible) from the surface. There are a lot of floors that I’ve encountered over the years that have had a topical sealer applied to them. Topical sealers create an actual physical barrier on top of your tile and grout that acts as a shield between your floor, and the rest of the world.  This barrier is somewhat similar to what a lot of people call “floor wax”, in that the general idea is to prevent soiling from actually reaching the tile and grout.

In a perfect world, when someone seals their tile and grout floor (whether it’s ceramic, or a natural stone like slate), they understand that this protective layer needs to be cleaned regularly, by a professional, in order to properly maintain “the look” of the sealer.  However, all too often I’ve had to work on a floor that has been sealed multiple times (each time another layer of sealer was added it was to bring back the “shiny” look), without professionally cleaning it first.  This is problematic for a number of reasons, but at the forefront is that the dirt on the floor is having sealer put down over the top of it, thereby sealing it INTO the floor.  The cleaning process does not remove that sealer, and as such, is different from “coating removal”.  Should this process be necessary, we’re happy to take care of it for you.  Estimates for this have to be done in person, in order for us to assess what needs to be done to remove the coating effectively.