Overcoming common grout cleaning problems
September 19, 2010
More and more cleaners are adding tile and grout cleaning and sealing to the list of services they provide.
With more cleaners cleaning more tile and grout, they are encountering unexpected problems.
One such concern is a white haze on the grout or, sometimes, on the tile after the floors dry.
One common situation that can produce a white haze is efflorescence. Efflorescence appears as a white powder, normally on the grout.
Some efflorescence will wear away from traffic.
This solution may be acceptable if the problem is mild, or if your clients are not picky.
In many situations, the salts can be removed by simply brushing with a stiff brush.
When brushing is not an effective solution, efflorescence can be dissolved and removed with acid products.
You may be able to use concentrated solutions of the acid-side tile and grout cleaners already in your cleaning arsenal.
Another option is muriatic acid diluted about 10 ounces per gallon of water. There are also a variety of products designed especially to deal with efflorescence.
Caution! Anytime you are dealing with acids be sure to use appropriate personal protective equipment. This includes splash goggles and acid-resistant gloves.
Keep in mind that water is a necessary ingredient to produce efflorescence. Try to use a minimum amount of water when removing it.
Your acid can be applied with a damp sponge or slightly damp mop.
Tile and grout cleaning is a naturally-added service.
More and more homes have tile floors. You are already in those homes cleaning the carpet.
Begin with man-made tiles such as ceramic and porcelain before trying to work on natural stones.
A little practice on your own floors or those of friends will help void problems efflorescence.