• The Grout Brothers, Tile & Grout Cleaning & Restoration Co.
  • Common Questions About Grout and Tile Cleaning

    + How is grout sealer applied?

    Before we apply any sealer to the grout, the grout must be first deep cleaned. Once the grout is deep cleaned and dried we then use a special grout sealing applicator to apply the sealer to the grout. Letting the sealer soak in for a few minutes we then wipe off any excess sealer and let the tile surfaces dry.

    + What is “color sealer”?

    Color sealer is a topical sealer that has color added to it. Not only does the color sealer seal the grout, it makes the grout color consistent, which makes the tile floors look new. We use the highest quality color sealers that may last up to 15 years.

    + Why is it important to have the grout sealed?

    Having the grout sealed will help protect your investment from future permanent stains. Sealed grout will help repel any liquids from soaking into the grout which can cause permanent staining. When the grout gets stained it makes it almost impossible to restore it back to the original color by just cleaning it – color sealing or re-grouting will be required to restore stained grout.

    + How soon can we walk on the tile floors after the grout was sealed?

    You may use your floors as normal after roughly an hour. If you need to use the floors while the sealer is still wet, all you have to do is step over the grout lines. Pets and kids must stay off the areas with wet sealer until the sealer is dry to the touch (one hour after application).

    + What is “clear sealer”?

    Clear sealer is a sealer with no color added. We use a high-quality penetrating clear sealer, which penetrates deep into the grout and blocks any dirt from getting into the pores of the grout. Clear sealer does not affect the look of the grout.

    + How do you clean the tile and grout?

    First, we spray down the solution, we then manually scrub the grout with our special brushes that get deep into the grout lines in the worst areas, then we let the chemicals dwell some time. After the dirt is loose and is ready to be picked up, we use our truck-mounted system called “steam cleaner” that rinses the tile surfaces with hot, pressurized water that is contained under vacuum pressure.

    + Can your equipment damage the grout?

    No. We use low-pressure rinsing that will not damage the tile and grout – it’s completely safe.

    + Does my tile need to be sealed?

    Ceramic and porcelain tile should NOT be sealed because they will repel any sealer. Natural stone such as marble, granite and travertine that is not polished does need to be sealed, because they are very porous and will get stained if not sealed properly.

    + How soon can we start walking on the floors that have been deep cleaned?

    About 30 minutes after we rinse the tile floors with our truck-mounted system.

    + Do sealers prevent the grout from getting dirty?

    No. However, sealed grout is easier to clean because it doesn't let dirt penetrate into the grout pores. Proper maintenance and good habits keep your floors looking clean. After every job we do, we give our customers instructions on how to keep their tile surfaces looking clean.

    + Can I clean my tile and grout with muriatic acid?

    No. Muriatic acid is a very dangerous chemical and should not be used indoors – it is extremely toxic. Muriatic acid can permanently damage the tile and grout surfaces, which might require re-grouting or even replacing the tile. We only use chemicals that are safe for your family and the environment to restore the tile and grout of your home.

    + Can I use vinegar to clean tile surfaces?

    Yes and no. Vinegar contains acid, which will erode the grout slowly if not neutralized. To neutralize the acid, use baking soda mixed with water and mop over the area that was cleaned with vinegar.

    + Can I use bleach to clean the grout?

    No. Bleach is a chemical that is too harsh for the grout; it erodes the grout and can cause discoloration.

    + When should I have my tile re-grouted?

    When you see cracked, missing, or worn out grout, that’s when a re-grout is needed. Damaged grout in the showers should be repaired or re-grouted as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to the back wall of the shower. If the grout is heavily stained and discolored, it does not need to be re-grouted – color sealing is recommended (unless inside a shower).

    + Do you replace damaged tiles?

    Yes. However, the customer must provide replacement tiles.

    + What is the proper way to maintain my tile surfaces after a deep clean?

    We highly recommend our customers to use a neutral cleaning solutions. An effective and cheap solution would be 1/8th of a tea spoon of Original Blue Dawn Dish soap mixed with 1 gallon of warm water. You can use the Dawn Dish Soap cleaning solution with a microfiber mop for best results.

    + Will I have to have my tile surfaces cleaned and sealed again in the future?

    Yes. Your tile surfaces will still get dirty and the sealer will eventually wear off. The frequency of cleaning and sealing your tile and grout depends on what conditions those tile surfaces go through. On average, we recommend having the tile floors deep cleaned once every 2 years and re-sealed after 4 years.

    + What do the sealers repel?

    Both, color and clear sealers repel any liquids that are water-based and oil-based - basically, anything small enough to get into the pores of the tile and grout. Sealed grout will still let moisture in and out, but at a much slower pace compared to un-sealed grout, which buys enough time to clean up a mess.