Tiles and grout cleaning
Office floors see far more wear and collect more dirt and stains than those in residential homes. For this reason one needs to apply considerably more care in order to maintain both cleanliness and an impressive appearance: the tiles need to hold their sheen and the grout should be stain-free. Prevention is the practical answer, and two types of specialised cleaning should be adhered to strictly, quite apart from the daily one: a once-weekly one, and a more rigorous one at least four times a year.
The easiest and fastest option is to employ the services of a reputed cleaning service to remove heavy stains and stubborn blemishes with the appropriate heavy-duty cleaning machines. If you feel your office is sufficiently small to tackle yourself, follow these useful tips for the best results. Take the following into consideration before you begin: the square area to be cleaned, the type of tile, whether the grout is cement grout or epoxy grout, and whether it has been sealed.
An appropriate cleaning solution
The right cleaning solution is the most vital component. Cement grout requires a mild acid solution as cement is caustic and a strong acid solution will react with it and corrode it. A mild solution will eat only the surface. Equally the type of tile must be considered because, if it is marble or travertine, the acid could eat into the tile or damage the finish. With sealed cement grout and epoxy grout, a general cleaning solution should be perfectly safe.
A full-strength application of chlorine bleach is commonly used and has proved effective for very stubborn stain spots, but heed this warning: it is toxic, releases noxious fumes, and will change the shade of coloured grout lines over time. The alternative is oxygen bleach, which is non-toxic and without a harsh chemical odour. To be perfectly safe, it is advisable to opt for one of the many alkaline cleaners on the market.
Should you prefer to make your own cleaning solution to try out on problematic spots, try the following approach:
Use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
- Fill a spray bottle with an equal amount of water and vinegar.
- Spray the solution onto the floor and leave for about five minutes.
- Use a scrub brush or even a toothbrush (but preferably a grout brush) on the stained area.
- Rinse the area with warm water.
- Make a paste in a bowl from the baking soda and added water.
- Dip a toothbrush in the paste and work it into the grout.
- Sprinkle the area with your vinegar and water solution.
- The vinegar causes the baking soda to react with effervescence and this is what sucks the dirt from the tiles and grout lines.
- Again rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Appropriate tools for grout cleaning
A grout brush is long-handled, about an inch wide and eight inches long. The nylon bristles are stiff and tapered in order to fit into varying widths of grout lines. Although any hard-bristled brush will do the job, one that is not deliberately tapered could do damage to the edges of certain types of tiles when applying pressure. A toothbrush can sometimes do the job, but both its small size and softer bristles make it less practical as a tool.
Apply the cleaning solution some minutes before tackling the actual brushing. If dealing with particularly tough or dark stains, spray the solution onto the required spots ten to fifteen minutes earlier, to help soften or dissolve the stain. For the most problematic stains, such as blood, red wine or coffee, a wet poultice kit from a hardware or building store works very well to draw it out.
Mopping the area
Keep in mind that grout gets dirty and accumulates stubborn stain spots because it is below the surface of the tiles. Therefore it is vital that the simple mopping procedure is not done carelessly. Prevention of future problems can be solved simply by ensuring that the water is changed often to keep it remaining clean. Dirty water will otherwise settle into the grout valleys, causing new discolouration and stains. Thoroughly drying and ventilating the floor area after cleaning is as important.
A professional cleaning company will use a pressure sprayer to apply the solution and a wet vacuum to suck up all loosened dirt. If your office area is too large to tackle by hand, such appropriate equipment is available for hire. There is a considerable range of floor scrubber machines from which to choose, as well as a vast array of cleaning detergents.
The finishing touch
Simply knowing your flooring tiles are clean, is reassuring; making them look that way, adds further pleasure. Therefore the final polishing procedure is just as important. When selecting your compound or wax, read the label carefully to establish that it’s appropriate for application onto your specific tiles. Tiles that look lustrous, with a glossy sheen on them, add an uplifting, professional touch to any office environment.
In conclusion, this last significant reminder: in general, it is wise to deodorize and sanitize your office flooring on a monthly basis.
CS Cleaning Solutions
We take pride in offering our customers an accredited, professional and client-centric service that involves revolutionary new technology, green certified (US Standard) products, and meticulous attention to hygiene detail. Our approach to cleaning strives to uphold high quality standards that are affordable, environment-friendly, quick and long-lasting. Added to our considerable experience in the cleaning industry, including both offices and hospitality establishments, we bring awareness that the wellness of employees and guests is essential to healthy morale, a trustworthy reputation and the efficient level of productivity that creates and maintains a successful company.
Find out more by visiting us at www.cscleaningsolutions.co.za