What Do Professionals Use To Clean Grout?

Posted on January 30, 2024

When was the last time you cleaned the grout between your commercial floor tiles? This is a task that many business owners neglect, and understandably so. You have a lot of responsibilities on your plate as a business owner, and deep-cleaning tasks tend to fall pretty low on the priority list.

However, cleaning your grout can make a significant difference in your business’s appearance and safety. So, what do professionals use to clean grout? With a few tips and tricks from the experts, you can clean your grout like the professionals.

Why Should You Clean Grout? 

Whether your business has vinyl, cement, or laminate tile floors, the grout between the tiles can become dirty quickly. Grout is a porous material that readily absorbs dirt, grime, dust, and other contaminants that pass over your commercial floors each day. Over time, those particles can discolor the grout, causing it to look dark gray or black instead of its original lighter hue.

Without regular cleanings, your grout may begin to look a uniformly dark color, and you may not realize that this shade is not the actual color of the grout; it’s the color of the dirt and grime on top of it. Cleaning your grout regularly offers all of these benefits:

  • Brighten the grout’s appearance: With commercial cleaning in Atlanta, GA, you can restore the appearance of your grout to a brighter shade comparable to its original color. When visitors walk into your business, they’ll instantly notice that it looks lighter and cleaner, even if they don’t realize that the grout is the reason. 
  • Prevent stains and discoloration: Cleaning your grout the right way protects it against further contaminants. As a result, you can prolong that bright, white color, allowing your tile to look new for a longer period before you need to clean it again. 
  • Protect the grout: Without regular cleanings, dirt and other contaminants can penetrate the grout, causing it to crack, break, and wear down faster than it otherwise would. With frequent cleanings, you can protect your grout against wear and tear, helping it last longer. 
  • Improve the safety of your business: Dirty grout can harbor germs, bacteria, and viruses that employees and patrons track in on their shoes. When you mop your floors, you don’t penetrate into the grout, causing these contaminants to sit in the tiles and build up over time. Deep cleaning removes bacteria and creates a safer environment. 

How Often Should You Clean Grout? 

You should clean your grout at least twice per year at a minimum. If you notice that your grout becomes discolored quickly, you may need to increase the frequency to quarterly or even monthly. 

Businesses that experience heavy foot traffic each day typically need to clean their tile grout more often to keep up with the higher level of contaminants that penetrate the grout. A good indicator that your grout needs to be cleaned is noticeable discoloration compared to its original color. Ideally, you will clean your grout often enough that severe discoloration never has time to occur. 

Professional Grout-Cleaning Methods 

So what do professionals use to clean grout? Different cleaners use different methods depending on the type of tile, the condition of the grout, and the materials they have on hand. However, you may be surprised to learn that cleaning commercial grout isn’t too different from cleaning your home‘s tiles. It just takes longer and requires a bit more elbow grease.

Below are some of the most common professional grout-cleaning methods. 

Oxygen Bleach Powder

Bleaching the grout is an effective way to eliminate stains and brighten the grout line, restoring it to a like-new appearance. Bleach also kills germs and bacteria, disinfecting your commercial floors. 

Instead of pouring liquid bleach onto the tile, many professionals recommend using an oxygen bleach powder. Always follow the package instructions to mix the bleach powder with boiling water. This process activates the oxygen bubbles in the solution, helping the bleach penetrate the soft grout. 

Follow these steps to clean grout with oxygen bleach powder:

  • Apply the mixture to the grout line with a toothbrush, gently scrubbing it in. Completely saturate each area with the solution. 
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes, but be sure not to let it dry completely. 
  • Wipe the solution away with a wet microfiber cloth. 

You may need to scrub the grout gently with the microfiber cloth to loosen the particles further, but the oxygen bleach spray should do a lot of the legwork for you. 

Steam Cleaning

What do professionals use to clean grout without bleach? Steam cleaning is one of the most powerful ways to clean grout without the use of harsh chemicals. Professionals often use steam to loosen the dirt and other particles trapped in the grout without needing to scrub manually. 

While every steam cleaning machine is different, you’ll follow this basic process to clean grout lines: 

  1. Use a steam cleaner with a small nylon brush attachment
  2. With the steam setting on, scrub back and forth on a small section of grout
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe up dirt as you go

You’ll need to work in small sections and go over each grout line manually. However, a steam machine can make this job faster than other forms of manual grout cleaning. Steam is hot enough to kill pathogens and microorganisms, allowing it to sanitize your grout lines while loosening dirt and contaminants. 

The biggest downside to steam cleaning is that you’ll need to invest in a steam machine. Once you do, the task of cleaning your grout will be easier moving forward. 

Machine Scrubbers

What do professionals use to clean grout over a large surface area? If you have a large commercial facility, cleaning the grout by hand with a steam cleaner can take time. Instead, a low-speed scrubber can clean a larger area of the grout at a time. 

You can find numerous machine scrubbers on the market ranging in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. At a minimum, you should look for a machine that has a thin cleaning brush wheel that can get in between the tiles.

Baking Soda and Peroxide Mixture

Some professionals swear by a simple mixture of baking soda and peroxide to clean grout. Hydrogen peroxide is an acid, and baking soda is a base compound. Mixing the two together creates a reaction that can penetrate the grout lines and free dirt and debris. 

To make your own mixture, combine two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide. Apply it to the grout lines with a toothbrush.

Working in small areas, allow the solution to soak into the grout for one to two minutes. Then, scrub the mixture into the grout with the toothbrush, breaking free any remaining trapped dirt. Wipe the dirt and baking soda peroxide mixture away with a clean microfiber cloth. 

Tips for Cleaning Grout in Commercial Spaces 

cleaning grout

Now that you know what real-world professionals use to clean grout, you can improve your grout-cleaning efforts further by following a few expert tips:

  • Perform preventative maintenance: Keeping up with daily maintenance can help your grout stay cleaner longer. For example, placing walk-off mats near all the entrances to your business can help prevent employees and customers from tracking in mud.
  • Consider using a shop vac: Instead of using a microfiber cloth to wipe away the cleaning mixture, consider using a shop vac to suck up the liquid. Doing so can help pull away the dirt that you released from the grout instead of potentially rubbing it back into the grout line.
  • Finish cleaning the tile: To make your tile floor shine, apply commercial floor polish and add stain and spill treatment after cleaning the grout. 
  • Hire professionals: If you’re having trouble keeping your grout clean, consider hiring professional commercial cleaners. Commercial cleaners come equipped with all of the right tools and supplies to clean the dirtiest grout lines and provide scuff and smudge removal for the rest of your flooring. 

Contact JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting of Atlanta for Professional Grout Cleaning 

Having clean grout can make a significant difference in your business’s first impression on customers and overall cleanliness. But cleaning your grout yourself can be an arduous task that requires an extensive time commitment and the purchase of new materials and supplies.

Now you can make an informed decision about how you want to tackle your grout lines. Many business owners throughout Atlanta turn to the certified franchisees of JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting in Atlanta for professional grout cleaning and comprehensive commercial cleaning services.

Contact JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting in Atlanta today at 770-955-9822 to speak with a certified franchise owner in your area about commercial cleaning services.