How to Clean Ceramic Tile

Ceramics is a popular, durable, and time-tested solution facing the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. Freshly laid ceramic tiles always look neat and pleasing to the eye. But over time, the seams lose their presentable appearance, are covered with pollution. And then the housewives face the question: how to clean the seams between the tiles easily and quickly?

There are many ways – from folk recipes to professional chemistry and even complete removal of stitches.

The choice of a particular method depends on the state of the inter-plate space: if it is just dirt, you can do with folk methods, and if mold – it is better to connect household chemicals.

 

Causes of pollution

Of course, most often and quickly dirty floor tiles for obvious reasons. But even with seemingly apparent reasons, it is worth sorting out to prevent the loss of a presentable appearance of the seams in the future.

Common causes of grout contamination:

  • ingress of dust and particles of finishing materials during repair;
  • poor washing of seams during cleaning – detergents or just dirty water may remain;
  • water ingress, which creates an excellent environment for the reproduction of the fungus;
  • natural settling of dust in the toilet or fat in the kitchen;
  • periodic cleaning of the room.

It is worth noting that grout can darken on its own, even if it is cleaned regularly. This comes from old age, for example, if the tile has not changed for more than ten years. In this case, than to clean, grout is better to update.

 

What are the dangers of pollution?

Ordinary compressed dust can practically not harm a person, except that it will cause an allergic reaction, cough, or simply an unjustified feeling of beauty.

The real danger is mold, which likes to settle in wet places, including the bathroom and kitchen.

 

Mould can cause:

  • poisoning of the body;
  • diseases of the respiratory system – asthma, pharyngitis, bronchitis, rhinitis;
  • dermatitis;
  • diseases of the circulatory and nervous system;
  • suppression of immune mechanisms.

The first detection of mold should immediately begin to fight since its spores can already be on a toothbrush, towel, or washcloth.

 

Cleaning products

Dirt and nascent fungus can be removed even by folk recipes, but professional ones are often used. The choice of a particular remedy is influenced by the nature, degree, and prescription of pollution. You may need:

  • a few rags or sponges;
  • hard old toothbrush;
  • clean water;
  • detergents;
  • Remedies.

But the choice of detergents is quite broad.

 

Household chemicals

Household chemicals have long saved the time and effort of homemakers, facilitating the cleaning of the house. For pollution of the inter-tile space, different manufacturers have come up with many tools. You can find sprays and even unique markers.

It is worth taking a closer look at the following brands:

  • Millard;
  • Lionet;
  • Unicum;
  • Pollux;
  • Silit;
  • Cif;
  • Amway;
  • Domestos.

These are the most effective but gentle tile means.

Contamination of tile seams can be affected with the help of the now famous melamine sponge: it works like an eraser for a pencil, but it is necessary to have gloves on your hands since the tool is aggressive and can cause irritation.

But profound substances containing chlorine should be treated with caution, especially if the grout has a color and not just white. Chlorine is an aggressive component that can whiten the seam in the places of application.

Usually, household chemicals are used after folk recipes have been tried, and the desired result is not achieved, that is, with severe pollution.

If it is crucial to get an instant result quickly, you can use a unique marker that will paint over dirty tile seams, but it will not get rid of dirt.

This solution is suitable for a temporary version when it is necessary to depict the illusion of beauty and purity. Sometimes markers have an antifungal protective impregnation, which will still play a little to the benefit of grout. Such a grout care product has several more advantages:

  • safe for humans, as it does not contain harmful substances;
  • seams acquire shine and beautiful appearance;
  • the composition of the marker has waterproof properties; that is, mold can not appear there (but can spread).

And it is easy to use, but the effect lasts for a short time: a maximum of one year.

 

Folk recipes

Experienced homemakers like to resort to folk recipes because they:

  • not so aggressive,
  • their components are often at home at hand;
  • are cheaper.

There are several proven and effective ways to clean the seams between the tiles.

Recipe 1. Dial one and a half liters of clean, warm water and add there:

  • one glass of baking soda;
  • 1/4 cup vinegar 9%;
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice;
  • 1/3 cup ammonia.

Mix the resulting solution well, wet the sponge in it, and apply to the seams. Rub if necessary.

Recipe 2. The sequence of actions is as follows:

  1. Collect a liter of water and add 100 grams of chlorine lime; mix thoroughly.
  2. Apply to contamination and leave for 10 minutes.
  3. After abundantly rinse with water and wipe with a dry cloth.

The mixture is quite aggressive, so it is better to work with it in well-ventilated rooms.

Recipe 3. Add equal parts to the water:

  • baking soda;
  • mustard;
  • citric acid;
  • toothpowder;
  • ammonia.

The resulting mixture is applied to the inter-sim seams, leave for half an hour, then rinse.

Recipe 4. Sometimes it seems that Coca-Cola can replace all household chemicals in the house. Yes, and with problematic seams between the tiles, it will also help. The convenience of this recipe is that you will need only one ingredient – in fact, Coca- or Pepsi-Cola itself. In soda, moisten a rag or sponge and apply to the seams, leave for 30 minutes, and then rinse and dry.

With the remains of soda, you can clean the toilet or rid the kettle of scale – everything is better than drinking it.

Any of the above recipes require gloves, as a chemical burn or allergic reaction may occur. If the mixture still got on the skin, then this place must be thoroughly washed with running water.

 

Preparation for procedures

Preparation for cleaning is a critical stage that cannot be missed since the result depends on it, among other things. The essence of preparation is to eliminate unnecessary items from the room and purchase the necessary tools.

  1. Remove all unnecessary items that may interfere with cleaning – for example, hooks, shelves, bottles of shampoo, and other personal care products.
  2. Remove all textiles as they can absorb the unpleasant odors of cleaning products.
  3. Assess the need to remove the sink or toilet. Do this if necessary.
  4. Prepare gloves, goggles, a respirator, and the suture cleaner itself.
  5. Wash the tiles and seams themselves from greasy stains and clean easily removable contaminants.

This little instruction will help you check if everything is done correctly and whether it is possible to start cleansing activities.

 

Methods of cleaning seams

The room itself, where the seams are dirty, depends on how they need to be cleaned. For example:

  • In the bathroom – there is often increased humidity, so mold and fungus are formed. Their spores can penetrate the deepest layers, which only professional means of deep penetration can cope with. Be sure to pay attention to the presence of antifungal components in the composition. Folk recipes and especially ordinary soap are powerless here;
  • In the toilet – the seams in such rooms most often suffer only from dust and dirt particles, so it is pretty easy to eliminate them. You can manage and ordinary soap and folk recipes or resort to household chemicals. In the latter version, it is worth making sure that there are antibacterial components in the composition;
  • InThereSplashes when cooking or washing dishes quickly pollute the inter-stove space and are pretty challenging to clean. It is often also maintained high humidity in the kitchen, but the main problem is still fat. Pretty hard for the kitchen, folk recipes and professional products with many surfactants that can break down fats are suitable.

Regardless of the room, it is worth remembering about the protection of the hands and respiratory tract.

 

Steam purification

It will help to return the walls to their original cleanliness and household steam cleaner. This is a unique device that releases hot steam under pressure. Steam easily copes with old spots, kills pathogenic bacteria, and even destroys the spores of mold fungi that penetrated the grout.

For high-quality cleaning, it is worth giving preference only to those devices that can be heated to a temperature of at least +175 degrees.

It is worth paying attention to the equipment – a brush nozzle will be handy: the steam will become more concentrated, increasing efficiencies.

After steam treatment, the seams should be washed with ordinary water at room temperature and treated with special antifungal agents. The processing itself is pretty straightforward: it is only necessary to bring the included steam generator closer to the seams between the tiles and slowly move it. If there are spots, they are removed with a rag or an old toothbrush.

 

Destroy mold and fungus

Removal of mold is a complex process, which even professional means do not always cope with. It is essential to catch the origin of the fungus at the very beginning – then the chance to defeat it is high, but in other cases, it may be necessary to remove the grout altogether. This is a rather labor-consuming process, for which a specialist is usually hired – he will do everything correctly, quickly, and accurately with his experienced hands.

After the grout is removed, it is necessary to carefully treat all the seams, gaps, and joints with a special antifungal agent. After the inter-spitting space dries, the procedure is repeated after applying new grout.

There are a few rules that will allow you to do everything right.

  1. Carefully read the instructions for the cleaning agent – sometimes the time of aging at the seams is different, and not all products require re-application.
  2. A rag with which the surface was treated, burned, or discarded.
  3. In the presence of a construction hair dryer, it is better to use it to dry the seams. You can replace the usual household option. At the time of processing in the room should not be wet.

There are also folk recipes for getting rid of mold in inter-stove seams.

Recipe 1. You will need one liter of water and 10 grams of copper sulfate. The ingredients are mixed and applied to the treated surface. It is better to climb into the seams with a stiff brush or an old toothbrush. If there are many black spots of mold, you can repeat the treatment 2-3 times. After drying, the surface is washed with water dried, and the room is ventilated.

Recipe 2. Chlorine-containing bleach is needed. Working with it is much faster than in the previous version since the exposure time is reduced to several minutes. You will have to pay with a pungent smell for simplicity, so the room must be ventilated after processing.

There are also industrial tools that will help fight mold. Again, there are a great many of them on the market; you can focus on the following manufacturers:

  • Cilit;
  • Unicum;
  • Savo;
  • Sun Wedge;
  • Neomi;
  • Bugs;

All these funds contain in their composition particular substances that have a detrimental effect on the spores of fungus and mold.

 

Remove other contaminants

Other contaminants can be classified.

Nicotine If there is a lot of smoking in the room, yellowish or brownish coating appears on the seams over time. This problem is easily solved with the help of acetone, gasoline, white spirit, and other organic solvents. If the situation is not started, you can do it with vinegar and lemon juice.

Rust on the grout appears only if the pipes are located nearby. Therefore, the best option to eliminate such a scourge will be ordinary household chemicals marked “From rust,” for example, Sox. In addition, you can use a melamine sponge.

Old pollution From the old yellowed or cracked grout is best to get rid of and make a new one immediately. In particular, the result of such cleaning by the renovator will remain for a maximum of a year; then, you will have to repeat the procedure. But you can try to revive it with folk or industrial means or paint it over with a particular marker. But such a pencil is a great way to refresh and update the appearance of the seams briefly.

With regular cleaning of the seams, the grout will not deteriorate, even if the room is often smoked, there is a pipe nearby, or it just turned ten years old. Thus, the main rule in the care of sutures is regularity.

It would seem that the most challenging thing is to wash the white seams. Unfortunately, this is not the case since any bleach can cope with it. And colored grouts of such a tool can not afford, as they will significantly lose in brightness. That is why difficulties with how to whiten the seams usually do not arise. The main thing is to be careful and not to go to the tiles.

 

How do I remove grout?

If even professional remedies helped only for a short time, it means that the spores of mold and fungus penetrated deeply. To get rid of them, you will have to remove the grout altogether. If there is no desire to hire a specialist for this, then you can do it mechanically with your own hands. But there is one secret that will facilitate this process of updating the grout.

If you mix vinegar with water in a ratio of 1: 1 and apply the resulting solution to the seams, the composition will soften, and the grout will be easier to remove.

This is done by the abrasive side of a regular dish wash sponge. However, if the tile has a relief surface, it is better to use the soft side of the sponge so as not to damage the tile.

You can use more crude tools:

  • spatula;
  • screwdriver;
  • knife;
  • folded sandpaper;
  • Chisel.

But they must be used very carefully not to damage the tile with a sharp end.

 

Prophylaxis

Preventing is much easier than fixing. That is why it is worth knowing the measures that will help to avoid mold on the seams between the tiles.

The leading cause of fungus is high humidity, so all measures are aimed at maintaining a standard atmosphere in the room:

  • monitor the serviceability of pipes, immediately correct leaks;
  • eliminate condensation and find out the causes of its appearance;
  • dry clothes not in the bathroom, but on the balcony;
  • maintain ventilation in good condition;
  • if necessary, use a fan with the function of extraction;
  • keep the washing machine clean and dry;
  • in the presence of a shower door after use to open;
  • carry out regular cleaning;
  • periodically review the room for early detection of mold;
  • frequent ventilation.

These steps will help maintain a familiar atmosphere in the room, which will minimize the possibility of mold.

 

General recommendations

Maintaining humidity at the proper level is very important, but other steps will help prevent rapid contamination of inter-inter-inter-feature seams:

  • timely care of tiles and cleaning of contaminants;
  • treatment with unique means that prevent the penetration of mold spores into the deep layers of sutures;
  • processing of tile seams with special impregnation immediately after grout application;
  • at the repair stage, you can abandon small tiles, reducing the number of seams to be cleaned.

There may be a new difficulty with which is better impregnation to choose. It is not necessary to be original in this matter, but it is best to select an impregnation of the same brand as grout: in this case, the funds will work in synergy.

 

Features of tiles

If any tile could be cleaned with the same seam cleaners, it would be too easy. There are several limitations for each type.

Glossy and glazed surface You can not use acids, as this will cause tarnification of the tiles.

Matte tiles It is essential to wash it qualitatively after the procedure and then cover it with a special protective mastic.

Mosaic and glass tiles They are pretty stable but do not tolerate highly concentrated funds (both alkaline and acidic)

And on any tile, it is forbidden to use strongly abrasive materials, as this will cause microcracks and scratches of the surface, in which bacteria will feel great.

 

Conclusion

It is essential to responsibly approach the choice and the grout itself to make it easier to take care of it. The last word in the world of materials for seams is epoxy grout. It is more expensive than usual, and only a professional can cope with the application. Still, its appearance will remain for a more extended period, and care will be much easier.

If such a nuisance as contamination of tile seams has already arisen, then it is better to start with folk methods of eliminating stains. If they are powerless, then turn to household chemicals. Do not forget about the steam generator, which in general in the economy will be helpful, including in cleaning plumbing.

But the best solution is simple prevention of severe pollution. In this case, you do not have to puzzle over how to wash the seams between the tiles on the floor, apron, and in the bathroom, and the presentable appearance will remain for a long time.

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