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Tuesday, May 29 2012

Removing Grime From Tile & Grout Lines:

Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we get calls every week for Tile & Grout Cleaning, Natural Stone Cleaning, Tile Shower Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, and Upholstery Cleaning. But the voice with the most frustration always seems to be the person whose is frustrated with their tile & grout cleaning. When I meet these people in person they usually have an assortment of cleaners, mops, and scrubbers showing me what they have tried with little or no success. I often here stories of clients who spent the better part of day on their hands and knees trying to clean their tile & grout lines with little to show for their hard work accept a sore back and achey knees.

As the only "factory trained", "factory certified" tile & grout cleaning specialist in the Sacramento Valley Region we have learned a thing or two when it comes to cleaning tile & grout lines. I would like to share (5) things that may help you the next time you want to clean your own tile & grout lines:

(1). TEST. People often go to Lowe's, Home Depot, or Ace Hardware and buy a large bottle of this "great cleaning solution", a mop, maybe a dry mop, and sealer only to find that the products they purchased did not work for them. Before purchasing  a large quantity of any product ask for a FREE sample, or a trial size, and test it on your floor in a small area to see if it really works. Not all tile floors are the same and so the solution that you seek may not be the one with the "Memorial Day Sale" tag on it. Becareful to read the labels and follow the directions. If you applied an acid cleaner on to a natural stone floor like travertine it will etch the stone costing you hundreds, or maybe thousands, in repairs. Reading the label is like asking directions for some men, so ladies you may need to take the lead on this one.

(2). TIME. Chemicals usually take time to work. If you read the label on the bottle it will usually tell you how long you should let the chemical dwell on the tile & grout lines before removing. The number one ingredient in most cleaning solutions is WATER. Typically 80% or more of the cleaning solution is plain old water. I have discovered that I need to give my cleaning solutions about 5-10 more minutes to dwell on the floor then what is recommend by the chemical manufacture. If you are testing a small area this is much easier to control and work with than trying to clean the whole floor at once.

(3). AGITATION. Even though we have the latest technology when it comes to cleaning & sealing tile & grout lines we still have to agitate, this is a fancy word for scrub, the floor using a nylon brush. The brush hairs can reach into the pours of the grout lines and bring the dirt, grease, and grime to the surface for removal. The odds are you will need to scrub your grout lines too if you want them clean. The odds are also good you will need a variety of shapes and sizes to get all of the areas.

(4). HEAT. Check the label of your cleaning solution and see if you can add HOT WATER to your cleaning solution. If the label does not have any information then go to the manufactures website and ask. Typically hot water can increase the molecular excitability by 100%. This means the chemicals work faster and better. Use heat when applying the chemical and when rinsing.

(5). EXTRACTION. You will need a method to extract the slurry from the floor. Slurry is the technical term for the combination of dirt, grease, grime, cleaning solution, and rinsing water. You may need additional towels, micro fiber mops, or a Wet Vac of some kind. Taking your time on this step can not be over emphasized, you want to make sure you pay close attention to properly rinsing the floor. You may want to rinse the floor twice just to make sure.

If this all seems to be a  much then you should probably consider giving me a call. If you have questions about this blog please give me a call at (916) 525-2456 or email me at

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 10:10 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
How long do you believe it takes to clean 400 square feet of tile without your equipment?
Posted by Richard on 05/30/2012 - 08:52 AM
Richard - Great Question. I have recieved more than one telephone call where a husband and wife have spent (3) hours trying to clean ONLY 100 square feet and still be disappointed with the results. I think it would also have to depend on how dirty the floor is at the time of cleaning.
Posted by Michael Hull on 05/30/2012 - 09:02 AM
Can you recommend a cleaning product?
Posted by Rachel on 06/04/2012 - 07:16 AM
Rachel - good question. I would recommend Aldon Chemical's Insta Clean. This product has a pH of 11.0 and is residue free. It is more expensive than what you will find at the local hardware store.
Posted by Michael Hull on 06/04/2012 - 08:41 AM

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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