Grouted tile can be found in most restrooms, regardless of the facility type. The porous surface of grout easily entraps dirt, stains, and odor-causing bacteria. Without proper maintenance, dirt and bacteria can accumulate in grout, and odors can persist in a restroom even after it has been cleaned. A dirty or bad-smelling restroom can affect someone’s perception of the entire facility, so properly cleaning and maintaining grout is an important step in the restroom cleaning process.
Restoring Dirty Grout
Step 1: Deep Clean
To remove deeply embedded dirt, bacteria, and any sealant that may be on the floor, use a strong, alkaline cleaner or stripper. It should be diluted, mopped on, and allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes to penetrate the grout. The grout can be scrubbed using a stiff brush, a floor machine, or an autoscrubber. The spent solution should then be picked up with a mop or vacuum.
Step 2: Brighten
To restore the grout to its original color, a peroxide or acid-based cleaner should be used. Cleaning with hydrogen peroxide will remove stains that have permeated grout. The dilution can be varied depending on how stained the grout is – it should be mopped on and allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub using a stiff brush, floor machine, or an autoscrubber, and pick up the spent solution. Rinse the floor thoroughly and allow to dry.
Step 3: Seal
Sealing grout will keep it free of dirt and bacteria longer and . Pour a small amount of seal on the floor and spread evenly with an applicator or squeegee. Allow the seal to work its way into the grout, and let it dry for at least one hour before reopening to traffic. The floor should be resealed every 6-12 months, depending on traffic.
For daily maintenance, grouted tile should be mopped with a neutral or mildly acidic cleaner. The restorative, deep cleaning process should be repeated as needed.
For more tips on grout cleaning, as well as recommendations for Multi-Clean green cleaning products to use, check out our Grouted Tile Care Method Bulletin.