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Care for tile joints: how and what to clean

Cement grout for interstitial joints is 2-3 times cheaper than epoxy and two-component compositions. This advantage balances the disadvantage - low resistance to contamination.

In this article we will tell you how and what to clean cement joints between tiles in the bathroom, kitchen and hallway. We will explain how to extend the "life" of inter-tile joints and protect them from dirt. We will recommend professional, household and folk remedies for the care of porous grout.

What kind of dirt collects cement grout joints

Inexpensive cement grout is vulnerable to moisture and dirt: due to the porous structure, it quickly becomes dirty or yellow. More "advanced" types have hydrofibbing additives in their composition, which increase the moisture resistance of the material and simplify maintenance.

If the tiles are laid on the floor in the hallway, the cement joints will darken over time due to dust and dirt from the street. Wet cleaning will not save the situation, as water only washes away the surface layer of dirt.

If the bathroom walls are tiled, the joints can turn yellow or black. Yellow stains are metal salts that are found in excess in hard water. Blackness is black mold.

Tiles in the kitchen get covered in dust and splatter from cooking. The most contaminated areas are the kitchen apron and tile floor near the stove. The seams in these areas can become black due to grease buildup.

Note: If cement grout does not contain hydrophobic additives, protect it from moisture yourself. Apply 5 to 6 coats of a special moisture-repellent impregnation (Litokol, Ceresit, etc.) to the joints.

How to clean tile joints

The joints between the tiles should be cleaned 2-3 times a year. The ingrained dirt is removed with a medium-hard bristle brush and a commercial or "people's" remedy.

What you can clean the cement joints with:

♦ Specialized neutral cleaners - Mellerud Fugen Reiniger, Luxens, HG, Starwax, Unicum.

♦ Universal cleaners - gels and sprays with pH 6-8.

♦ Popular remedies - "porridge" of water and baking soda, paste of hot water and oxygen bleach, weak aqueous solution of vinegar or citric acid.

♦ Steam cleaner with a narrow nozzle.

Important: Cement contains calcium hydroxide, which reacts chemically with strong acids (pH below 4) and strong alkalis (Ph above 10). After contact with aggressive acids and alkalis, cement joints become friable, lose their moisture resistance and deteriorate quickly.

Standard steps for cleaning tile joints:

► Test the product on an inconspicuous area.

► Apply the paste, gel or liquid to the seams and spread with a narrow brush (an old toothbrush will do).

► Wait 5-10 minutes to dissolve the dirt.

► Rub the seams with a cloth or brush.

► Wash the seams with a damp sponge and wipe with a cloth.

Note: A steam cleaner will make the care of tile joints much easier. Hot steam under pressure quickly dissolves the dirt and pushes it out. If the grout is thoroughly soiled, steam treatment after mechanical cleaning with a brush.

If you live in Pattaya or other places in Chonburi province, the best way out is to call the cleaning professionals of Hello Cleany company.

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