Why Is Tile Grout Cleaning Important?

Cleaning Tile Grout
  • Tile and Grout Cleaning

Many homeowners conscientiously clean their tiles, but may completely overlook the fact that grout requires a specific cleaning routine in order to keep it looking good and working well. Here we take a look at what grout is and the problems that can occur if it's not cleaned regularly. We also consider the benefits that clean grout provides both to the look of your home and the longevity of your indoor tiling installation.

What is grouting?

Grout is the filler that's placed between tiles once the tiles have been laid. Grout is usually made of cement, sand and water. It's available in a selection of colours that either complement or match the tile colour palette. Grout tends to sit slightly below the surface of the tile. This means that regular tile cleaning misses the grout, as a cloth or mop passes stays on the tile surface rather than dipping between the tiles. This leaves grout to gather dirt and grime, which can cause a whole host of problems.

What happens when grout isn't cleaned regularly?

Mould and mildew

Grout is porous, which means over time moisture can get trapped in it - this provides a perfect location for mould and/or mildew to thrive. Particularly if you've got wall tiles that are located in an area that is prone to high humidity (typically the bathroom or kitchen), mould on your grouting could become a problem unless regular cleaning is employed.

Smelly bacteria

It's not just mould and mildew that can thrive in dirty grout - bacteria are also able to make grout their home. Bacteria may cause unpleasant diseases, as well as create an unpleasant smell. If you're noticing a "damp" smell, that's usually mould, which could be lurking in your grouting.

Missing the chance to perform maintenance

Discolouration or mould can mask the fact that the grout has been poorly applied and/or incorrectly sealed. If the grout remains neglected, it will continue to deteriorate. If water is able to penetrate through the grout to the sub-surface, it can seriously damage the wall, as well as potentially enable a build-up of mould between tiles and the wall, as the water spreads beneath the tiling.

Dirty grout looks awful

Stained, discoloured or downright dirty grout looks revolting!

The benefits of clean grouting

We recommend that grouting is deep-cleaned (either by professionals or the householder) at least twice a year. The best way to clean grouting is to use a proprietary cleaner, bicarbonate of soda or detergent and plenty of water to scrub the grout. Avoid bleach, as this can accelerate deterioration and give paler grout a yellowish tinge. If necessary, reseal the grout after cleaning to preserve it.

Clean your tile grout regularly and enjoy spotless grout that showcases your tiles beautifully. Clean grout won't harbour the moulds and bacteria that can lead to decreased air quality - expect a fresher smelling space in your home!

In addition, well-maintained grout prevents water from penetrating the space behind the tiles and the wall, prolonging the life of your tiling.