How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

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How to clean the joints between the tiles in the bathroom if the appearance of the tiles has deteriorated over time and you decide to update the grout. If cleaning the glossy surface of the tiles themselves is not a particular problem, then cleaning the joints requires a more thoughtful and scrupulous approach..

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

How to properly wash tiles

“It is not clean that is washed, but that which does not get dirty,” says popular wisdom. So it is with tiles: its seams are the most vulnerable part of the entire visual appearance, therefore it is advisable to keep them clean at all times and, at least, avoid actions that could lead to pollution. One of the main reasons for the darkening and loss of brightness of tile joints is improper cleaning of the entire coating as a whole..

Tiles should be cleaned and cleaned at intervals of 7-10 days, depending on the intensity of use, and whenever critical contamination forms on the tiles: from coloring liquids, dirty hands or, for example, the results of the work of young artists, or red bloom from the high content of iron in the water. Thus, regular preventive and local special cleaning of tiled coatings can be distinguished..

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

Regular cleaning of tiles consists in removing plaque formed by dust, small drops of grease and dirt, and soap stains. This type of cleaning can be performed both dry and using cleaning agents: grease solvents, antistatic agents, polishing compounds. In this case, dirt is removed only from the central part of each individual tile, the seams are not affected. In rooms where tiles are constantly in contact with water, the cladding is cleaned under a stream of liquid and, as a rule, without the use of special cleaning agents. The main requirement for this method of cleaning is to maintain a low relative humidity in the room so that the tile is in a dry state most of the time..

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

Local cleaning is carried out in local areas or in full, if the regularity of preventive cleaning is not high enough. The difference between this type of cleaning is the targeted removal of a certain type of contamination. At the same time, the observed severe contamination of the joints, as a rule, is the result of precisely non-compliance with the rules for cleaning tiles and is carried out according to a more complex scheme, up to prompt repair..

Choice of cleaning agents

The range of household cleaning chemicals is very extensive, most of the products can be successfully used to clean the tile fugue from contamination. In total, three categories of suitable formulations can be distinguished:

  1. Combined universal kitchen and bathroom products from manufacturers such as Mister Muscle, Domestos or Cillit. The type of detergent should be selected based on the nature of the dirt: grease, dust, dirt, limescale. These products are good because they are supplied ready-made and in a sufficiently strong concentration, however, some may be confused by the high cost of such household chemicals. It is important that the cleaner has a neutral or high PH: acidic environment destroys the joint filler and leads to increased porosity.
  2. Self-prepared compounds or household chemicals that do not have such a direct purpose as tile cleaning. Starting with chlorine and oxygen bleach, ending with glass detergent, washing gels and hand washing paste for car refiners. Often, when cleaning the seams, there are areas with especially heavily ingrained dirt, where you have to choose a cleaning agent by a test method. Self-prepared formulations based on baking soda, ammonia and whiteness are also quite effective, they are less expensive and therefore more popular.

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

  1. Specialized fugue solvents are used in two cases. The first is if the bevels of the tiles have not been properly cleaned of aggregate residues and constantly spoil the overall picture of the joints. Also, cleaners of this kind can be used when stubborn dirt does not lend itself to any of the available cleaning methods: in these situations it is better to remove a thin top layer of material to renew a fresh, unstained surface..

How to properly clean a joint or grout

The very process of cleaning tile joints is extremely simple. Initially, you need to remove dirt from the main surfaces so that the washes do not subsequently drain onto the cleaned seams. Better to do it this way: apply the cleaner to the seams and leave for 20-30 minutes. During this time, the tiles in the selected area are slightly moistened from the spray bottle with water washed with dishwashing detergent. In this case, each tile must be wiped separately, often rinsing the rags in a bucket of clean warm water.

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

During the cleaning of the common plane, the dirt in the seams will already be corroded. For further work, you should arm yourself with a small brush, you can use a toothbrush. It is convenient to carry out cleaning in this order: starting from the uppermost row, the crosshairs of the seams are first sequentially cleaned, then the vertical joints between the tiles of the same row, and after that – a common horizontal vein. In this case, there is no need to remove dirty flush and residues of cleaning agent, they will drain onto uncleaned areas..

When removing stains from tile joints, you must constantly ensure that the applied cleaning agent continues to work in the area intended for cleaning. It is advisable to periodically update the presence of liquid solvents on the seams, and when using pasty compositions, sprinkle them with warm water when dry. After all the seams have passed the initial cleaning, if necessary, another portion of the cleaner is applied to them, or a milder detergent composition.

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

The final task is to remove the remains of the detergent with dissolved dirt as thoroughly as possible. This is necessary to avoid the formation of a sticky coating on which dust will accumulate abundantly. The best way is to go over all seams with a clean brush, periodically washing the areas to be cleaned with a spray bottle with water. In conclusion, it will not be superfluous to rinse the entire surface of the tile several times and use a polish to gloss.

Mechanical cleaning

Often, when cleaning tile joints, it can be concluded that the work is not being done on removing dirt from micropores, just as a result of long work and efforts, the top layer of the filler is removed. There is nothing to be done: sometimes the joints are so badly neglected or affected by mold that partial removal of material from the surface is the only way to return the cleanliness and visual clarity to the joining.

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

It is important not to overdo it when cleaning mechanically. In the most polluted area, you need to check to what depth the dirt has eaten and visually adhere to a certain depth of material removal over the entire cladding area. It often happens that in the pursuit of removing particularly deep dirt, the grout surface becomes wavy, which will finally ruin its appearance. Do not forget that after removing even a very thin top layer, it makes sense to try to wash the tiles again: often on a slightly peeled surface, household chemicals begin to successfully cope with the removal of dirt.

To remove a thin layer of seam, you can use the simplest mechanical method: sharpen the handle of any cutlery to form a spike of the same width as the tile seam. Hard stainless steel will not blunt when scraping the seams, it is only important not to exert excessive pressure on the tool, so as not to inadvertently crumble large lumpy fragments. The depth of filler removal is controlled by the number of movements with a scraper: in each area it should be the same.

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

The second way to remove the grout surface is with special fugue solvents. In this case, the removal depth is controlled by the time during which the applied solvent reacted with the filler. With this cleaning, it is very important to establish the correct sequence of actions: work in small areas, for example, 5×10 tiles, ensuring uniform removal. Residual solvent must be removed quickly and completely after the specified holding time.

Replacing the joint filler

Complete renovation of tile joining is rarely required, but there are situations when this method is the only one possible. In particular, such a procedure is indispensable when the grout is damaged by fungus and mold, as well as when the joints are contaminated with strong dyes, such as brilliant green or a solution of potassium permanganate..

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

It makes no sense to partially replace the joint: the filler is firmly held in the grooves of the tile due to the T-shape of the profile, that is, it is in a kind of lock. In order for new seams to last a long time, you first need to completely remove the old and process the joints between the tiles. For this purpose, it is convenient to use special scrapers to clean the seams from the glue. It is better to choose a tool with a serrated working edge instead of a diamond one, so it is guaranteed that no scratches and chips are formed on the tile chamfers..

From the available tools, you can offer a blade for a hand-held bow saw for metal. Many people are familiar with canvases with a double-sided tooth of different sizes. It is enough to break off the tails to leave the middle part with a length of 170-200 mm. Next, you need to wipe off the bulk of the filler with a large tooth, after which, by slightly tilting the canvas with a small tooth, pick up the remains in the corners. We do not recommend doing such work with a grinder or a brush-brush, such tools are guaranteed to spoil the edges of the tile.

Contamination prevention

It is quite possible to avoid the hassle of cleaning the tile grout in the future. To begin with, it is imperative to carry out a bioprotective treatment of the joints before they are filled with grout. The introduction of an antiseptic into the root of the seam and subsequent impregnation of the filler will eliminate the formation of mold and mildew during operation. It remains only to prevent damage to the seams by settling dust and dirt dissolved in the liquid flowing down the tile.

How to clean the seams between bathroom tiles

If the joints are trowelled with cement, plaster or sand grout, open pores will inevitably form on the surface. You can protect them from dirt using any universal water repellent. The simplest handy way is to rub the sanitary silicone with effort into the seams, and then remove the remnants with the rough fiber side of the kitchen sponge..

Furan or epoxy based grout is virtually immune to any kind of contamination. You can fill the seam with them completely, but there is also a more economical option. An ordinary gray cement grout is applied to the root of the joint between the tiles. While the composition is still wet, using an improvised scraper, it is necessary to deepen the seam by 2–2.5 mm. After that, the surface is degreased with a toothbrush soaked in acetone, then the seam is covered with a grout based on synthetic resins. This method is somewhat more time consuming compared to conventional filling of joints, but at the same time it is less costly and rather durable..

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