How to Clean Natural Stone Tile Grout
There are a thousand articles on how to properly clean your natural stone, but what about the grout that sits between it? Properly cleaned grout can make or break the aesthetics of your stone, but many common grout cleaners are considered abrasive. Because stone is extremely porous and made of basic materials, the acidity of typical cleaning agents can quickly ruin the surface of your stone tiles. See how to properly clean your natural tile grout by reading on.
Choose the Right Stone Cleaning Product
The right cleaning product will lift dirt, remove mold and mildew, and not damage your stone at all in the process. Don’t use anything acidic, like vinegar, lemon juice, or alcohol. All of these substances eat away at the precious calcium carbonate that makes up your stone. Stone-specific cleaning agents can be found online or in-store, and you can even create your own natural cleaning product. For a homemade option, create a thin paste of ½ cup baking soda and ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide. Add a teaspoon of dish soap, apply, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Gently Remove Dirt
Removing dirt is best done with a small brush. A clean toothbrush or nylon brush is perfect for lifting dirt and debris from grout lines. Spray a stone-safe cleaner along grout lines. Read your specific product’s instructions for sitting time; they may have more specific instructions, but the general rule of thumb is to always leave the grout cleaner sitting for at least two minutes. Gently scrub using your toothbrush or nylon brush, and then rinse. If you choose not to use a toothbrush or nylon brush, make sure whatever tool you do use isn’t abrasive enough to scratch the stone.
Keep Grout in Top Condition
The best way to keep grout clean is through prevention. Many stains can’t be removed from grout in the first place, so resealing your grout relatively frequently prevents the cleaning process completely. Be sure to always use a stone-safe sealant. When applying, it is important to apply it to both the stone and grout, and buff it into the stone until dry.
Reduce Humidity When Possible
The killer of grout is humidity, as humidity leads to the growth of mildew and mold, among other dirt and debris. Because grout is most commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, pools, and outdoor tiled decks, keeping things dry can be difficult. After showering or using a deck, wipe down any stone with a squeegee. Leave bathroom or kitchen doors open to allow excess steam and water to evaporate out of the room, and run a bathroom or kitchen fan if you have one. As for stone tile countertops and floors, clean spills and messes right away to prevent staining and surface-level erosion.
Learn More About Natural Stone Care
Natural stone is a material that can last for decades, if not generations when properly cared for. For stone to fulfill its ultimate lifespan, you’ll need to take proper care of your stone and any surrounding materials, like grout, as much as possible. We at Impression know that the preservation of your stone’s natural beauty is paramount, which is why we have our Limestone Learning Center! In articles like these, you can learn everything you need to know about natural stone care for products made with stone materials like marble, limestone, and reclaimed terracotta. Continue reading now, explore our site, or get in touch with our team members today to learn more!