Friday, May 13, 2011

Cleaning Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Grout

Dishwasher detergent is concentrated and a good de-greaser (alkaline ph) to clean tile grout. The best dishwasher detergents to use are the granular capsules which you cut open and empty into a small container. Make sure to saturate the grout with hot hot water first then apply the detergent with a firm toothbrush scrubbing along the grout. For heavy oily grime "Easy Off" oven cleaner will remove quite well. I sometimes use extra strength cleaning vinegar or a mild phosphoric acid in combination with alkaline de-greasers to get all the stains out. Be careful combining other chemicals like ammonia and bleach as the mixtures can be lethal. Also be careful when working with strong alkalines and acids especially at face level. (rubber gloves and an eye goggles are essential) Using a latex paint with an "acrylic paint reducer" will renew what cannot be removed by cleaning. This is basic information but a good intro into the complex world of stone, tile, and grout care without the specialized chemicals. I have field tested every professional tile and stonecare product available and will advise that proper technique and basic household cleaners can achieve "as good as" results at a fraction of the cost without the dangers. Caution: acids and strong alkalines will etch marble, sandstone, travertine, and limestone surfaces with the exception of Granites. Enjoy your stone!

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