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How to Care For Your Grout

How to Care For Your Grout
20th February 2013

In comparison to the surface area covered by the tiles in your shower, the grout is only a small part of its overall design; however, stained and damaged grout can greatly detract from the overall look of your shower and the rest of your bathroom. Although strong enough to hold your tiles in place, grout is a delicate material that can quickly become worn away or discoloured without the proper care.

Follow these tips to keep your grout looking great:

- Choose cleaning products carefully. Never use cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia on grout. Acid-based cleaners can also cause damage to the material. A mild all-purpose cleaner or shower spray is the safest choice for bathroom cleaning.

- Be careful when you scrub. If you scrub too vigorously when attempting to clean grout, you can quickly cause damage. Never use steel wool, metal scrubbers or other harsh abrasives to clean. To tackle stains, try a pumice stone wrapped in cloth or plastic sandwich wrap.

- Keep your grout clean. Built-up dirt and mold on grout can degrade the material over time. Try to clean your grout on a daily basis while your shower is still wet. Make it a habit to wipe down the grout before you towel off at the end of your shower. This will also make cleaning easier and less-time consuming and eliminate the need for vigorous scrubbing.

- Reseal your grout. When your tile was installed, your contractor likely applied a sealant to help protect the grout from water damage and microbes. Over time, the sealant can become worn away, leaving the grout vulnerable. You can determine whether or not your grout needs to be resealed with a simple water test. Start with dry grout and drip a few drops of water onto it. If the water becomes quickly absorbed, the seal needs replacing.

- Use floor mats. If you have a tile floor in the bathroom, place absorbent floor mats outside of the shower and tub and in front of your sink. This provides a layer of protection from moisture damage.

- Check the integrity of your grout. If the grout is old, we recommend that you check its strength once or twice per year. You can do this very easily with a sharp object like a thin knife, an ice pick or a pin. Choose a spot on the grout that is inconspicuous, such as at the bottom of the shower. Attempt to insert your tool into the grout. If the grout is soft enough that the tool slips in easily, it's time to consider having it replaced. Letting soft grout linger in the bathroom can lead to problems with meld and expensive tile damage.

If your grout is stained, damaged or soft, Sydney Emergency Plumbing can replace it and get your bathroom looking beautiful again. Contact us today for an inspection and estimate.

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