Even the most beautiful granite or marble can look lackluster and unattractive next to dirty or poorly maintained grout. The grout lines in your shower or floor could quickly pick up grime and turn from white to black in a matter of weeks without regular cleaning. The grout between your stone tiles should be cleaned as often as the stone itself, but standard grout cleaners are either a masking agent or are too abrasive on the surrounding stone. Here’s how to clean grout the right way to keep your natural-stone floors, countertops, and showers looking their best.
Choose the Right Cleaning Product
Common grout cleaning products can cause irreversible damage to granite, marble, and other types of stone. Never use a product with ammonia or acids like vinegar, lemon juice, or alcohol, as the acids will eat away at the calcium carbonate in the stone and leave visible etching, and they also make grout more fragile and porous. Choose a stone-safe grout cleaner like Granite Gold Grout Cleaner® instead.
Agitate the Dirt Away from the Grout
To get the deepest clean possible, use a small, clean nylon brush to agitate the dirt and debris away from the grout lines. Spray the stone-safe grout cleaner along the grout lines and allow to sit for two or three minutes before scrubbing the grout with the nylon brush, then rinse with water. Make sure you don’t use anything abrasive that can scratch the stone.
Seal Grout Frequently
Most stains can’t be removed from grout, so it’s best to prevent them as much as possible. The best way to guard against grout stains is regular sealing with a stone-safe sealer. Start by cleaning the stone thoroughly with a granite cleaner before applying the sealer in three-foot sections. Immediately after applying the sealer, wipe it into the stone with a clean lint-free cloth. Buff it into the stone until the surface is dry. Regular sealing can protect not only the stone itself but also the grout from absorbing liquids and developing unsightly stains.
Keep Stone Tiles in the Bathroom Dry
If you have natural-stone tiles in your shower or on the bathroom floor, take care to prevent mold and mildew growth in the grout and stains on the stone itself. All types of natural stone, including marble, travertine, and granite, are at least somewhat porous and absorb liquids. This includes water as well as personal care products like soap, shampoo, and body wash. After every shower, wipe down the stone with a squeegee and leave the shower stall open to help the tile and grout dry thoroughly between uses. This can prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the grout along with stains on the stone. Regular use of Granite Gold Shower Cleaner® can also prevent the growth of mold and mildew as well as soap scum and hard water deposits. If you have stone tile countertops or floors, make sure you clean up spills right away and keep the floors clean with a granite stone and tile floor cleaner. Spilled food and liquids can stain the stone and grout if allowed to sit.
To learn more about maintaining grout and natural-stone surfaces, get in touch with the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. Our stone care expertise spans three generations, dating back to the 1950s. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.