We love tile surfaces for their durability and aesthetically pleasing nature. But if you have tile floors, showers, or countertops, you need to keep up with regular cleaning. If not, your grout will lose its color and create a breeding ground for mold.
Unfortunately, many homeowners only pay minor attention to their grout when cleaning, and others neglect it entirely. If you find yourself wondering how often you should clean your grout, we have outlined the answer in our grout guide below.
Deep-Clean Your Grout Annually
Generally, most households should deep-clean their grout tiles once per year. You can do this yourself or hire a professional grout and tile cleaning service to handle the job. However, some factors may increase the frequency of your grout cleanings. They include:
- Pets and young children: Kids and pets rarely wipe the mud off their shoes and paws before running through your house, which can cause tile floors to accumulate buildup faster.
- A full household: The more foot traffic in your home or the more people using a shower, the dirtier your grout will become.
- Dry climate: Homes in dry and dusty regions collect buildup faster.
- A busy kitchen: The more frequently you use your stove-top appliances, the faster grease and oils can build up on tile floors.
If these factors apply to you, you may need to invest in grout and tile cleaning two or more times per year. Likewise, if you live in a home without pets and minimal foot traffic, you may be able to get away with cleaning your grout once every other year.
How to Keep Grout Clean
Grout is porous and light in color, making stains more noticeable. So while you may deep-clean annually, you need to maintain regular tile and grout cleaning methods to keep your surfaces pristine.
To keep tile walls and floors looking fresh, be sure to:
- Spray shower walls with a white vinegar and warm water mixture, then wipe the tiles with a squeegee
- Vacuum and sweep tile surfaces regularly
- Mop tile floors weekly using mild cleaning solutions
- Place floor mats near stoves and at every entrance of your home
- Use bleach to scrub away grout stains as they appear
By taking proactive measures to keep grout clean, you can extend the lifespan of your tiles and save money.
The Importance of Regular Grout Cleaning
Frequent grout cleaning keeps your tiles looking aesthetic. Grout is highly porous, which means it can quickly absorb spills, grease, and dirt. Cleaning your grout throughout the year prevents discoloration and stains.
In addition to aesthetics, clean grout is durable. If you skip your annual cleaning, your grout could start to break apart. When this occurs, you may need to replace your tiling altogether.
Finally, clean grout prevents mold and bacteria growth. When water seeps into grout lines, it creates an environment where mold can thrive. Mold in your house is a severe health risk and can cause breathing problems, allergic reactions, and asthma.
Signs Your Grout Needs Professional Cleaning
No matter how long it has been, there are a few unmistakable signs that you need to clean your grout. They include:
- Stains: Grout stains form from mineral buildup, and they are both unhygienic and unpleasant to look at.
- Bacterial growth: Warm weather and humidity can lead to water buildup in grout lines, creating an environment for bacteria.
- Discoloration: Once grout loses its color, mopping and wiping with cloths will no longer do the trick. Discolored grout requires deep cleaning to restore its original color.
If you spot any of these along your grout surfaces, you are overdue for a grout cleaning.
How to Clean Grout
To eliminate soil, grease, and grime and restore your grout’s color, you need to use grout cleaning chemical solutions, hot water, and high pressure. When professionals wash grout lines, they will:
- Vacuum and mop: Clear the area to remove dry soil, dirt, and top-level stains from grout surfaces.
- Steam clean: Use high-powered steam cleaners to extract debris from grout lines and remove dark stains.
- Drying: Use microfiber cloths to dry tile surfaces and ensure any lingering dirt gets wiped away.
After cleaning, it’s best to apply a protective sealant to your grout lines. Grout sealer creates a barrier between grime and your grout, making it harder for stains to form. If your grout is severely discolored, high-quality grout color sealers are available to help preserve its luster.
When in Doubt, Clean Your Grout
Pay attention to grout and tile surfaces. When you keep up with regular maintenance, you can prevent dark stains and grime from taking over your floor and wall tiles.
If you are unsure whether your grout needs a deep clean, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional. A local tile and grout cleaning service can inspect your grout lines and determine the best way to preserve your surfaces.