Grout is good.
From keeping water, mold, and mildew out of your natural stone’s pores to maintain the brand-new tile or countertop appearance for years; grout helps you maintain the strength and aesthetics of your marble, quartzite, granite or quartz stone tiling for years.
Grout also reduces tile cleaning and maintenance to a bare minimum by keeping out dust and dirt from hard-to-reach tile corners. But when it is time for a cleaning, and you do scrub your tiles, you need to remember certain Don’ts.
Grout is easy to clean – just pour the cleaning agent on and lightly clean with a damp cloth. But this is where most homeowners make mistakes. Instead of using a tried-and-tested formula like one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts baking soda, many homeowners use harsh cleaning agents and equipment that have the potential to destroy not just the grout but also your natural stone tiles.
If you wish to avoid making your grouting and stone tiles fragile, you should avoid using the following during tile cleaning:
• Cleaning acids
Acids dissolve natural stone and alter their physical composition. Using cleaning acids regularly will dissolve the grout and leave behind gaps between tiles, through which mold and mildew can enter. This will ruin the integrity of the tiles.
• Strong chemicals & bleaches
Bleach tends to oxidize stones like marble, quartzite, quartz, and granite. This can change the color of your natural stone tiling, not to mention, make the grout powdery and weak. That’s why it’s important to never use any bleaching agent to clean.
• Colored floor cleaners
Colored floor cleaners work the same way as bleach on stone tiling and grout. But, instead of stripping the marble, quartzite and other natural stones of their color, these synthetically colored cleaning agents impart their own color to the tiles, thereby ruining the color of the tiles.
Even if the stone tiles don’t get too colored, the grout certainly does; resulting in ungainly looking colored lines between your tiles.
• Large, rough scrubbers
Coarse scrubbers can chip-off the grout between stone tiles and can also leave behind marks on your natural tiles. Some tiles like marble are very delicate, and they are easily marked by rough scrubbing using coarse scrubbers.
• Plain water
Excessively cleaning your stone tiles with water can make the grout paste-like, which then becomes very friable post-drying. In a matter of days, you’ll notice the grout chipping off and your tiles getting unsealed.
This is predominantly why you are advised to gently rub your grout using a damp cloth.