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Tuesday, October 30 2012
Using Coke to Clean Your Tile & Grout Floors:

Recently we had someone visit our website wanting to know IF they can use Coke to clean their tile and grout floors. Apparently they were told by someone that Coke is a great cleaning solution. Our response was "No," and here is the reason why:

Coke is made of carbonated water, sugar, carmel, phosphoric acid, flavourings, and preservatives. For every ounce of Coke you drink there is (1) teaspoon of sugar. The reason why people think Coke would make a good cleaning product is because of the phosphoric acid found in Coke. The reason why your throat burns when you drink Coke is because of this acid. People have used both Coke & Pepsi to clean the alkaline off their car battery terminals with great success (this is the white powdery substance you see building up on the battery terminals), and they have even used it to clean the 'ring' from the toilet bowl with some success. To clean your tile & grout floors with Coke, or any other soft drink, would be a nightmare. The sugar would settle down in the grout pours making an instant buffet for ants. The floor would feel sticky from the sugar and the carmel, which is coloring agent, would stain the sanded grout. The phosphoric acid would eventually eat a way the grout because it is acid. To say this least this is a VERY, VERY, VERY BAD IDEA. 

The next time you want to DIY seek the guidance of a professional who can help you avoid making costly mistakes. I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have questions please email me at paddle@frontiernet.net.

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 04:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 11 2012
Using Clorox Bleach to Clean Tile & Grout Floors:

Last night I received a telephone call from a lady named Tamera who wanted information about cleaning ceramic tile & grout floors. She explained to me that they were renting this home and were moving out in a few days, and that the floor was located in the kitchen/ dining areas. According to her estimates the floor was approximately 250 square feet. She also mentioned to me that she had a number of estimates from other cleaners ranging from $.55 to $1.25 per square foot to clean. I explained to her that she should throw out the low bid and the high bid. The lowest bidder is a carpet cleaner who has to rent the cleaning equipment each time he gets a job and has very little to no experience, and the high bid was trying to take advantage of her. No one in Sacramento County charges $1.25 per square foot to clean ceramic tile and grout.

I asked her to give me a little history concerning the floor. Since they were renting this house she did not have a complete history, she went on to say that the tile and grout lines looked almost new the day that they moved in and now the grout lines, especially, were dark with 'yuk.' She went on to explain to me that she had tried everything in her attempt to get the grout lines clean again including buying tile & grout cleaner from Home Depot, and finally using Clorox Bleach. According to her nothing had worked, and now there was a haze over the entire floor. This haze is NOT a good sign. She was surprised that Clorox Bleach did not work.

It is wrong to call household bleach Chlorine Bleach because it has an entirely different chemistry. Household bleach is derived from sodium chloride - common table salt. Clorox purchases chlorine and makes household bleach by bubbling the chlorine into a solution of water and sodium hydroxide. During this process, all of the chlorine is converted to a sodium hypochlorite solution. The pH level of bleach is 11.9, and it is to be used on Nonporous SURFACES. Clorox Bleach "decolorizes" the stain. Notice that I did not say "remove." The stain is stil there you just can't see it. The use of bleach will change the hue of colored grout lines over time. Not to mention that because the pH level is so high, 11.9, bleach will break down and eat the grout sealer leaving your grout lines unprotected.

Because the ceramic tile and grout floor now has a 'haze' on it, as described by Tamera, this is going to be a difficult fix. The floor will have to be tested to determine what cleaning solutions and what method will remove the haze not to mention the dirt and the grime that are still in the grout lines. The moral of the story is simple: Don't use Clorox Bleach on a ceramic tile & grout floor - EVER! If you have questions please contact me at paddle@frontiernet.net. 

Until Next Time,
Michael Hull
 
Posted by: Michael Hull AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 09 2012
Groupon Tile Cleaning:

Last Saturday I had the privilege of meeting a very nice young lady who wanted an estimate for her travertine floors. These floors which included the kitchen and the laundry room were about 114 square feet. When I first looked at the floor she mentioned to me that she had hired a carpet cleaning company from groupon to clean the tile floor and was quite disappointed with the results. The grout lines were definitely NOT clean. She explained to me that she purchased a Groupon for $59.00 from a carpet cleaner to clean up to 150 square feet of tile & grout. This same carpet cleaner has run (3) groupon ads in 2012: February, August, & October. I have done a considerable amount of research on this particular cleaner and for the most part his reviews are mostly negative.

I explained to the home owner that she should call back the carpet cleaner to re-clean the floor and scrub the grout lines until they are clean. She was hesitant to call them back because they had recommended to her that she should 'WAX' her travertine floors. I asked her how was waxing the floor going to remove the dirt from the grout lines? She had the same thought and did not want to call them back out for fear they may ruin her travertine tile floor. By the way, you should NEVER put wax on a travertine floor, but that subject is for another blog. I also suggested to her that she contact Groupon and ask for a refund which she said she was.

It is worth stating - "Good things aren't cheap and cheap things aren't good." I hope this article has been helpful to you, give me a call if you have questions.

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 04:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 08 2012
Renting a tile & grout cleaning machine:
If you were to check the statistics of this website you would find that the NUMBER ONE key word search for this website is: "Renting A Tile & Grout Cleaning Machine." People come here daily, people email us, and even call us wanting to know where the can rent a tile & grout cleaning machine. Often times we get questions about wether you can use a Rug Doctor or a Bissell carpet cleaning machine to clean tile & grout. Most of the people who contact us are DIYers (Do IT Yourself) and they have already tried scrubbing with a brush, using bleach, acid, etc. with little or no results.

There is more than one way to clean & grout. The obvious way is to get on to your hands and knees and scrub the grout lines and tile with a stiff nylon brush and vacuum up the water with a WetVac. Some people have actually started this process only to learn that it is extremely difficult, time consuming, back breaking work. Unfortunately renting a carpet cleaning device like a Rug Doctor or a Bissell will NOT work, and here's the reason why:

When cleaning carpet you are using a chemical that has a pH level of 8.0 to 9.0. When cleaning tile & grout you are cleaning with a chemical with a pH level of 12.0 or higher. Since pH is measured in powers of 10 this makes tile & grout cleaning solutions at least 10,000 times the pH as carpet cleaning solutions. Because of this high pH the floor must be thoroughly rinsed or it can damage the color in the grout, attract new dirt at a rapid pace, etc. In order to properly rinse we here at Liberty Floor Solutions rinse the floor using 2.2 gallons of hot steamy water per minute with a psi (pounds per square inch) of approximately 1,200. If you have ever rented a Rug Doctor their fresh water box is about (1) gallon and the psi is about 50. This means that the Rug Doctor and the Bissell are using much less water. It is the high pressure that safely loosens this 'yuk' from the porous grout making for an efficient removal. It is not uncommon for a tile & grout floor to look almost new once we have completed the task.

In order to generate the amount of water heat (our temps are about 210 degrees), water pressure, and vacuum ability you would need an energy source - a Truck Mounted Engine. Our truck mounted engine has been specifically designed to clean tile & grout floors. Our hand tools have been specifically designed for that purpose too.

If you are intent on trying a Rug Doctor on your tile and grout floor my advice to yo would be to make sure that you have some carpet to clean too. When the grout cleaning fails you can use it on the carpets. Don't forget to use ONLY carpet cleaning solutions on carpet. I hope this blog has been helpful to you. If you have a question please let me know.

Michael Hull
 
Posted by: Michael Hull AT 11:12 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, October 04 2012
Cleaning caked on dirt and grime off tile and grout floors:
Each month we receive calls from people who have recently purchased a used home that they are fixing up. Wether it will become a rental or their own personal residence we hear from people who are desperate for help when it comes to removing the caked on dirt and grime from their tile & grout floors. These well meaning people are tackling many projects simultaneously: painting, adding new light fixtures, new carpets, etc., and it is not uncommon for us to hear from someone who has spent the last (4) hours cleaning and scrubbing their tile & grout lines with little or no success. All they have to show for their hard work is an aching back.

One of the reasons why we never give estimates over the phone is because we first need to Inspect, Test, and Measure the floor the client wants us to clean. Because the client is not the original homeowner they do not know when the floor was installed, what it was cleaned with, was it ever sealed, what caused the 'grimy' build up, etc. Without testing the floor we can not determine wether or not we will be able to meet our client's goals. Another problem we run into is time. What if the client says they can only allow one day for cleaning & sealing but we know it will take two? Now what? These are some of the challenges we face when we walk into your home for the very first time.

The reason most DIYs (Do It Yourself) are unsuccessful is because the INGREDIENTS that make up the 'yuk'. The typical caked on dirt & grime found on tile and grout floors usually consists of oils, dust mites, dust mit feces, dander, hair, dead skin cells, food, and drink. Not to mention all of the outdoor 'yuk' that is brought into the house. The darker the 'yuk' more probable there is bacteria. If your floors has a definite odor to it then you can bet there is bacteria in it. If you can not clean it with a mop, cleaning solution, and a nylon brush it is probably time to call in a professional.

To clean floors properly we typically use a (4) step method: Step 1). Apply an alkaline cleaning agent to the entire floor this includes the tile and the grout lines, Step 2). Agitate the grout lines with a grout brush and let it dwell for about 15-20 minutes. Our cleaning solutions are famous for breaking down grease and grime. We even include an ingredient that will kill the bacteria - this is a safe product for pets, children, plants, etc., Step 3). Power wash the floor with high pressure water, roughly 210 degrees. The heat not only enhances the cleaning but it also kills bacteria. Step 4). Vacuum - our equipment vacuums up the water and the 'yuk' as it goes. It is typically dry in minutes. We use, on average, 2.2 gallons of hot steamy water and it is critical to have the right equipment and experience to do the job right.

Cleaning caked on dirt and grime from your tile & grout lines is not fun and it is typically back breaking work for the average homeowner. If you have already tried and had little or no success it is probably time to call in Liberty Floor Solutions to do the job right. If you have questions about your tile and floor please feel free to contact me.

Michael Hull
 
Posted by: Michael Hull AT 12:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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We put the 'WOW' back in to your floors

 

We provide professional tile, grout, carpet cleaning services for home and businesses in the following California cities: Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Wilton, Galt, Lodi, Stockton, Laguna West, Rancho Murieta, Mather, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rescue, Cool, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Antelope, Roseville, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin, Natomas, Citrus Heights, and Slough House. We will travel to other areas.

 

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Providing tile, grout, travertine, carpet cleaning professional services to Sacramento and Elk Grove California : carpet cleaning - grout tile cleaning - travertine tile cleaning - carpet steam cleaning services