Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 06-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
Madam
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 79
Basic grout cleaning?

I want to try some basic grout cleaning in my shower/tub. The tiles seem to be porcelain topped and slightly faded. They must be at least 20 years old. There are streaks of white residue on parts of the grout. What would be the first thing I should try to clean the grout and get rid of the white residue? There is a good chance the house will go up for sale soon so I want to get the shower/tub as clean as possible.



Thanks
__________________
Jane
Madam is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 06-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
Davestone
Florida Tile & Stone Man
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Naples Fl.
Posts: 22,690
I would try commercial tile and grout cleaner,with a stiff brush or janitor scrubbing pad.
__________________
Dave



http://Davestonestile.com
Davestone is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
Miracle Sealants Tech
Registered User
 
Miracle Sealants Tech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Arcadia California
Posts: 86
You can start mild and progress up.
1- Miracle's Tile and Stone Cleaner
2- Miracle's Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Cleaner
3- Miracle's Phosphoric Acid Cleaner

are all great products to restore the tile and grout to as close as it once was when new. Everything will be relevant to what the tile has had done to it previously. Has it ever been sealed? If so with what?

If all else fails you can always use one of our Grout Color Pens to colro over the grout and make it look new again.

Robb
__________________
Miracle Sealants Tech

"Serving the Tile, Stone and Masonry Industries for 25 Years"

www.miraclesealants.com
Miracle Sealants Tech is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #4
teeitup
Licensed Tile Sealing Contractor
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Southern California
Posts: 79
An unbiased recommendation for you; look at the Aqua Mix products. We have been doing this for 30 years and have found their products to work well.
__________________
Mike Norman, CTC :-)


http://www.tilesealing.com
teeitup is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-09-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
Davy
Moderator -- Mud Man
 
Davy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Princeton,Tx.- Dallas area
Posts: 33,216
I agree with the others. Start with a tile and grout cleaner. Spray it on and let it stand a few minutes before scrubbing. There are several good ones on the market.
__________________
Davy

www.davystephenstile.com
Davy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
Seattle Tile Cleaning
Seattle Tile Cleaning
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 177
If they are porcelain then just go to town with an acidic cleaner like stonetechs restore. That is all you should need in a shower.
__________________
Troy
Seattle Tile Cleaning
Seattle Tile Cleaning is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-13-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
Stone Dude
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 897
MB-3 from mbstonecare.com is an actual soapscum removet. You can use thar to remove the soap scum (the white faded look you mentioned) then follow up with an acidic cleaner like the other guys mentioned. Use a stiff brush but not a wire brush.
__________________
Cameron DeMille
SFA, MIA

MilleStone Marble and Tile Inc.
MillestoneMarble.com
Stone Dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-13-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
perryorperry
Registered User
 
perryorperry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Granville, OH
Posts: 11
If you want to go the natural route, do vinegar and baking soda. It works a lot better than most people think.
__________________
Perry
perryorperry is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-04-2012, 12:27 AM   #9
GM-Columbia
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lexington, SC
Posts: 17
Jane,

Though commonly recommended, I would advise you not to use acidic cleaners, including vinegar or lemon juice. Acids, even weak ones, dissolve the grout and leave it pitted. Many readily available grout cleaners contain contain acids. Use these types of cleaners only as a last resort--as in, if this fails, I will remove and replace the grout.

Cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, though common advice, is just a waste of time and resources. Vinegar's cleaning capacity comes from its acidity, which is neutralized by baking soda; so when you mix the two, you are just cleaning with salt water. If that works, so would plain water mixed with baking soda.

I would also avoid using bleach products that contain sodium hypochlorite to kill mildew and mold on a regular basis, as these also contribute to the degradation of the grout.

The first thing that you should do is try scratching the white residue with your fingernail. If the residue peels off as a waxy substance, it is probably soap scum. To clean soap scum off tile and grout, use a commercially available soap scum remover and follow the instructions on the label. You may need to follow that up with scrubbing with a green abrasive pad or a medium grit sanding sponge. Check the surface of the pad or sponge frequently and discard when the surface gets clogged with soap scum.

If the substance under your nail is powdery and some of it comes off easily, it is likely degraded grout caused by years of cleaning with bleach. In this case, it is time to consider having your tub surround re-grouted. If you wait too long before regrouting, you will probably end up replacing the walls.

If the white residue does not scrape off easily with your fingernail, try using the edge of a fine-grit sanding sponge in the grout joints. Then wipe it with a damp sponge and allow to dry. Finally, seal the grout.

If this doesn't work, you could be looking at white thinset (tile adhesive) that oozed up into the grout joint when the tile was set. That should have been removed by the installer before grouting, but was missed.

Good luck.
__________________
Bruce
GM-Columbia is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-04-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
Stone Dude
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 897
Bruce, you didn't mention anything about hard water build up. What would suggest to remove this if you're against acids?

I use hydrochloric, sulfamic and phosphoric acids professionally. I have serviced some showers 4-6 times. I have never seen the grout deteriorate like described. If your careless and dump a bunch of undiluted chemicals on anything and don't know what youre doing you can cause damage.

I actually think bleach is great for cleaning mold and mildew and when diluted properly it works just fine without damaging anything, even polished marble. If it doesn't etch the marble it certainly won't deteriorate the grout
__________________
Cameron DeMille
SFA, MIA

MilleStone Marble and Tile Inc.
MillestoneMarble.com
Stone Dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #11
GM-Columbia
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lexington, SC
Posts: 17
Stone Dude,

My advice was to Jane, the home owner. Generally when non-professionals hit on something that works to solve a problem, they use that solution repeatedly. If the problem is hard water stains, and the grout is old and porous, the stain will go deep into the grout and be difficult to clean even with an acid. Repeated cleaning with acids will damage the grout.

But cleaning with sulfamic or dilute phosphoric acid does have its place. When stains are difficult to remove, sometimes the best solution is to clean with an acidic cleaner, rinse well with baking soda solution and then with water; then apply a grout dye or stain or colored sealer. (The color could be white.)

Acid cleaning can also be dangerous--especially with hydrochloric acid, aka muriatic acid. It is commonly sold in concentrate form. I have had several customers tell me that they ended up in the hospital or ER after cleaning with HCl. I have also seen several DIY jobs where nearly every metal fixture in the house was severely corroded as a result.

Acid chemistry is more complicated than most people realize and would require too much space in this forum to explain. If you are a professional and understand the chemistry involved, then you probably know the risks and how to work safely with these products. This is NOT for the average homeowner.

As for the sodium hypochlorite bleach, it kills mold and mildew on the surface, but the hypochlorite ion which is responsible for oxidizing the organic stains left behind by the mold or mildew, does not penetrate below the surface, where the hyphae ("roots" of the mold or mildew) continue to thrive. Since the bleach has no lasting antimicrobial growth inhibitory power, the mold starts regrowing immediately, and the homeowner will probably start using this product weekly. The result will be a reduced life expectancy for the grout--probably no more than 7-8 years.

The bleach will also strip the sealer off of the grout. So the best way to deal with this problem is to treat the grout with a good antimicrobial product designed for mold inhibition and then seal the grout immediately after cleaning with the bleach.
__________________
Bruce
GM-Columbia is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #12
Stone Dude
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 897
Awesome post Bruce, thank you.
__________________
Cameron DeMille
SFA, MIA

MilleStone Marble and Tile Inc.
MillestoneMarble.com
Stone Dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rate your cleaning steam cleaning (grout ) equiptment woodie Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing 4 07-04-2012 12:55 AM
Which grout color looks most like basic concrete? Lee280zx Tile Forum/Advice Board 5 01-05-2012 05:56 PM
Way Basic Grout Questions jjj2114 Tile Forum/Advice Board 22 11-06-2007 08:59 PM
basic grout question tsbrewers Tile Forum/Advice Board 8 01-30-2005 08:22 AM
another basic grout question TheBear43 Tile Forum/Advice Board 2 08-06-2002 08:04 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:43 AM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC