So you have some ceramic or porcelain tile on your floor. How do you keep it clean?
Have you ever cleaned your grout with bleach and a toothbrush on your hands and knees? It is difficult to clean that way.
Did you know that using the wrong product during your regular cleaning maintenance can dramatically aid in re-soiling your tile and grout?
Well, here at Perfect Pear we not only want to clean your tile and grout we also want to educate you on how to maintain your floor after we do a deep clean.
The first thing you must know is that your ceramic or porcelain tile is “impervious.” Meaning nothing can absorb into it. All of the dirt stays on the top of the tile waiting for you to “suspend” the soil and then “extract” the soil, either through a mop, micro-fiber flat mop, or towel. Tile is a piece of cake to clean.
In the South American culture they usually will mop tile and grout and then towel dries the floor afterward. Why do they do this? The principle they are following is this: water evaporates, dirt doesn’t. So after you clean the floor with your “correct solution” you have all of this product and dirt suspended on the tile and grout. Don’t let that air dry! Absorb that moisture and dirt up. By following that one principle, drying your floor with a towel after you mop, you will find that your floor will stay cleaner longer.
We’ve identified that the tile is impervious. What about the grout?
Under a microscope grout is filled with dips and valleys. Those dips and valleys are great places for dirt to hide and make a home in. The easiest surface to clean is a flat one.
Is grout flat? NO!
Grout is not flat but it is “pervious” to dirt. Meaning it will absorb moisture and dirt. Cleaning your grout is the hard part because you have to use a solution to do the following:
- Penetrate: The solution used must go beyond and through the grout line just like the dirt. Chemicals that use “surfactants” really help out a lot. They help wet things get wetter and stay wet longer.
- Agitate: Once the solution is down into the grout it must be agitated into the grout line. Agitation will allow deeper penetration and will allow the soils to break the bond from the grout line.
- Suspend: Once the dirt is broken from the grout line the solution must have the ability to stay wet long enough with the soil to be extracted up and away from the grout.
Water naturally has a lot of “surface tension,” meaning water molecules stick to each other. If you’ve ever seen water bead when it’s spilled or watched that last drop clings to the edge of the tap, you’ve noticed it. This makes cleaning grout difficult because water would rather stick to itself than slip into the tiny, nearly-invisible holes where dirt is hidden. Surfactants are solutions that reduce water’s natural surface tension, making it stick less to itself and flow more easily in and out of hard-to-penetrate areas.
Bleach can’t do the above and will never clean grout well. All it does is take out the pigment to color your grout. Since grout is like a cement guess what happens to those folks who just constantly bleach their tile and grout? Their grout lines turn gray. No cleaning in the world will get that gray out.
Can grout be restored? Yes, it can. By following the C.H.A.T. principle 95% of the time the grout is restored.
C.H.A.T. stands for: Chemical, Heat, Agitation, and Time. Using any one of these four cleaning principles is good, but put them together and you’ve got an unbeatable cleaning combination!
Protect, Enhance, and Restore: The Perfect Pear Way
At Perfect Pear, we don’t just clean your tile and grout, we clean deeply to restore it and make it look like new! Additional protection and grout color sealing services are available to enhance the look of the grout to blend in or highlight your tile. When our professional cleaning technicians visit your home, here’s exactly what you can expect.
- Pre-Inspection: They will do a pre-inspection of the home with you, including locating any “hot spots” or stains and a wall-to-wall measurement of areas to be cleaned. They will then calculate a to-the-penny estimate of our different levels of cleaning service, so you can choose exactly what best fits your needs and budget. We always honor the original price and can email you an invoice on the spot. We will also give you some realistic expectations and possible outcomes of the cleaning.
- Furniture Moving: Unlike on carpets, moving furniture is standard procedure for tile cleaning. If we don’t do this, lines will appear where we didn’t clean and that looks funny. And nobody wants funny-looking grout.
- Sweeping: This is a no-brainer, but we need to remove the dry soil from the floor. We don’t like cleaning mud off the grout. You’d be surprised by how many companies try to cut corners and don’t even sweep.
- Pre-Spray: We use specialized cleaning solutions designed to suspend the soil. We spray and let it “dwell,” sometimes for as long as 20 to 30 minutes. (This is where both the “C” and the “T” from C.H.A.T. come in.)
- Agitate Pre-Spray: Once the product has had sufficient dwell time, we will then agitate the pre-spray into the tile and particularly the grout to suspend the soils in the cleaning solution.
- Extraction #1: While the dirt is in the suspended state (meaning stuck to the cleaning solution and not your floor), we will remove the cleaning solution along with the dirt and oils by vacuuming or bonnets, depending on the type of floor you have.
- Rinse: To make sure that we leave no sticky residue behind, your floor will be rinsed and pH-neutralized.
- Extraction #2: We will then extract the rinse we put down and dry everything up.
- Sealing: For customers who choose to have a clear sealer or Color Seal applied to the grout, at this point we will go over every inch of exposed grout. We apply the sealers by hand, carefully working them in to protect your grout from future spills and stains.
- Post-Inspection: This is the final walk-through to see that you are pleased with our work and we are both happy with the outcome. If there is anything we missed or that isn’t clean to your satisfaction, we will stay until it’s right or schedule a return visit.
No one cleans and protects your floors like Perfect Pear. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed. You will love the way that your home looks and feels with a truly world-class cleaning. Click on the gallery button below to see for yourself the difference a Perfect Pear cleaning can make in your home.