How to Keep Tile Grout Clean

How to Keep Tile Grout Clean

February 26, 2020 Off By Torin Dixon

It’s easier than you think!

dirty tile grout joints

There are two reasons tile grout looks Dirty…Poor Maintenance and Unsealed Grout Joints.

I travel a lot in my profession, and because of this I see MANY hotel bathrooms. In either the public bathroom floors, or the guest room floors, I see this same problem over and over again.

This problem is not limited to lower-priced hotels either, I have stayed at many higher-priced hotels and found similar results. Dirty Grout JointsYUCK!!

It doesn’t have to be like this!

The main culprit is Poor Maintenance Procedures, simply washing a floor with dirty mop water, serves to only spread the dirt around the floor. Most tile grout is depressed due to washing the grout in the installation process. In hotels, it seems to be even worse, because in a high volume-production setting, getting as much tile set and grouted in a day is all that matters. So tile installers wash the grout rather quickly and aggressively, thus the floor ends up with deeply depressed grout joints, not flush or close to flush.

Dirty Mop Water pools in the Grout Joints

When the dirty water dries, the dirt remains in grout joints, and over time, (daily cleaning in a hotel setting) creates quite a buildup of dirt and grime.


Mop tile and stone floors with CLEAN – cleaning solution. For general cleaning mild alkaline cleaners (NEVER-Vinegar or other harsh cleaners) in a mild solution is all that is needed. AND the key is to…rinse in a separate rinse water bucket! Change the cleaning solution when it looks dirty. Simple

For Deep Cleaning use a Professional Cleaner

For nearly Forty-Years, we have used and recommended HMK Stone Care (yes also for tile grout cleaning) Intensive Cleaner Concentrate.

clean grout tile stone
Cleans Dirty Tile Grout

For general cleaning, we recommend a solution of 1-part R155 Intensive Cleaner to 10-parts warm water. For very dirty stone, tile or grout joints, we suggest a solution of 1-part R155 to 4-parts warm water.

The Key is to allow Solution to Dwell on Surface for 15-minutes for Deep Cleaning!

If you allow the solution to “Do its Work” you will get better cleaning results. After allowing solution to “dwell”, then scrub joints with a joint scrub brush or a deck brush. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. Rinsing the floor, grout of all cleaning solution will help the floor and grout NOT to grab dirt particles, making regular cleaning easier.

To Prevent Permanent Staining – Seal grout joints with a Quality Impregnating Sealer

Lastly, to make regular cleaning easier, and to obtain better results, (and save time) applying a quality sealer is essential. We offer both solvent-based impregnators, or water-based. Solvent-based sealers utilize smaller molecules, carrying the protectants deeper into stone, tile, porcelain, and grout. Water-based impregnators work best on very porous stone and sanded grout joints that have not already been sealed.

How can you tell if your Grout has been Sealed?

Simply poor a tablespoon of water onto a grout joint and let it sit for 10-minutes. Note if the water is beading up or spreading out. Blot up water with a paper towel after 10-minutes. If the grout looks darker, and if the water soaked into the grout joint then your grout is likely unsealed. If this is the case, you can use either a solvent-based or water-based impregnator. After using many different sealers over the past 35 year in the trade, I prefer Solvent- Based Impregnators.

One of the Industry’s Best is HMK

Moeller HMK Stone Care Products was the 1st company in North America to develop a comprehensive line of Professional Grade products to Clean, Protect, and Maintain all Natural Stone and Man-Made Stone and Tile Surfaces (and grout). The workhorse of this line is the S234 Silicone Impregnating Sealer.

HMK S234 Silicone Impregnating Sealer

S234 Impregnator penetrates deep into the pores of stone, and grout. Using a professional grade impregnating sealer will help to keep grout clean, and help to make the chore of cleaning faster, saving time!

If you prefer a Water-Based-Grout-Sealer then our HMK S232 is your best option. HMK S232 has no fumes, but does a great job protecting Unsealed tile grout. No VOC’s and this product is bio-degradable.

water based stone and grout sealer
HMK S232 Water-Based Impregnating Sealer

StoneCareOnline offers many different product to Clean, Protect, and Maintain Natural Stone and Cast Stone surfaces. Call our experts for technical assistance 800-380-6881