How to clean the joints between the tiles: 16 effective methods of restoration
Tile is still a popular finishing material, which is used for the design of walls and floors for a reason. It is very easy to install and maintain, durable, attractive, in addition, it has an impressive service life. All these advantages are extremely important for rooms, which conditions are far from being called optimal. We’re talking about kitchens, bathrooms, toilets and bathrooms. As a rule, there are no problems with the ceramic itself, but they do appear. The main culprits are most often joints between tiles, rather quickly lose their presentable appearance due to constant contact with water, with grease droplets, flying during cooking. Instead of the usual snow-white color, they become gray, yellow. After some time in the grout appear “settlements” of mold fungus. Any owner wants to fix this defect as soon as possible, to restore the former white splendor. Those who have already encountered such an unpleasant “metamosa”, it will not hurt to know how to clean the seams between the tiles, which means are able to cope with their “plague” quickly and effectively.
Ceramic tile is almost ideal, because it is very easy to clean. However, grout is more “capricious”: sooner or later, but it becomes the cause of headaches for most owners of finishing with snow-white joints. Therefore, they have to fix the situation, more often such work is done independently. But not everyone knows what remedies will guarantee the result.
Before wondering what and how to clean the joints between the tiles, you need to figure out why it has changed its color. It is the cause can give clues as to how to act in this or that case. Contamination can provoke several factors:
- Ventilation system, the work of which can not be considered effective;
- Constant high humidity, temperature fluctuations in the room;
- joints, which before grouting forgot to qualitatively treat;
- Irregular care of the tiles or its complete absence;
- Not good enough operation of the kitchen hood;
- The purchase of grout of dubious quality;
- Violation of technology during work.
All issues are solvable, as to clean the joints between the tiles is quite a real task. The problem can be solved by several methods. The simplest. the use of some kind of bleach, cleaner, antiseptic treatment. But this is not the only solution. In some cases, when the dirt is very deeply embedded into the grout, there is only one radical method of control: a complete replacement of the grout. It is better to prepare mentally for both options at once.
Painting the joints between tiles. a more reliable way to update the surface in the bathroom (they will remain clean and fresh for about six months). Joints can be treated with ordinary lime, water-based paint or choose a special compound in the store, which is designed for this purpose.
Dyeing joints is not considered the most durable option, the preservation of the effect of the result lasts a maximum of six months
How to choose a paint for joints?
To update the grout, you can choose a color similar to the shade of the old grout, or experiment with the palette. Light paint hide flaws in the tiles and harmonize with any shades of tile, and dark gives the room an original look. Among the most well-known manufacturers who produce dyeing compositions for joints include Edding 8200, Pufas Frische Fuge, Fuga Fresca.
Edding Colouring agent for “freshening up” the appearance of joints between tiles. For convenient use is available in the form of a marker, can be black, white and gray.
Edding 8200 industrial marker, 2-4 mm, round tip, white (for tile joints)
Attention: when choosing a tile joint marker, pay attention to the thickness of the line. if it is wider than the joints themselves, it will be inconvenient to work with the marker.
- Pufas Frische Fuge Komplettset. An inexpensive paint, which has one big disadvantage. low durability. Usually has a white shade, but the addition of a tinting compound is permissible.
It’s worth mentioning that when the paint is applied to the surface, the color may differ considerably from the one declared by the manufacturer. especially if the shade of the new composition is much lighter than the shade of the old grout.
Choosing a paint composition, you should carefully read the instructions on the package. most products are not used for epoxy joints, as well as those filled with silicone or polyurethane sealants.
Step by step instruction on how to paint joints
To ensure that the paint adheres evenly to the surface and the result is pleasing to the eye in the long term, a few simple rules must be followed.
Clean the surface well between the tiles (you can use the methods described above). If the dirt has penetrated strongly, you should use a mechanical method of cleaning, and in the presence of mold and mildew additionally treat them with antiseptic.
Wait until the surface is completely dry (do not apply paint to a wet surface, as the result will not be satisfactory).
Paint is applied with a thin brush, as carefully as possible, and special attention should be paid to vertical joints, where the composition may drip down.
If you get paint on the tiles should immediately, without waiting for it to dry, wipe with a soft cloth, because it can not be removed later.
After painting the joints, it is desirable to protect them with a special compound sealant, which will prolong the life of the composition.
- Tight rubber gloves to protect your hands from harsh detergents.
- Gauze bandage on the face to protect the mucous membranes, if there are traces of black mold between the tiles.
- Goggles to prevent dirt particles and detergent splashes from getting into your eyes.
- An absorbent cotton rag.
- Microfiber cloths.
- A stiff metallic brush (an old toothbrush can be used instead).
- Broom or large scrubbing brush.
- Clean warm water.
- A small metal knife.
- Spray gun.
The need for cleaning
There is nothing difficult to clean tiles, but cleaning joints can take a long time if you have a poor idea of what product is needed. The technique is also important. But first we have to determine the type of dirt.
Tiles usually cover the floor of the kitchen, hallway, bathroom, it is not surprising that it can suffer from many external influences, such as:
- Regular contact with water;
- Dirt entering the living space from outdoor shoes;
- dust, including construction dust;
- small particles of food waste;
- construction debris;
- Aggressive detergents.
If you are not constantly engaged in cleaning joints, mold and other pathogens can appear in these areas of tile tiles. This intensive absorption of dirt, dust, and grease is due to the porous nature of the grout, resulting in a darker color.
This is why experienced craftsmen recommend epoxy resin mortars, which can resist corrosion, as the material of choice. In addition, it is better to choose mixtures of dark color.
Personal protective equipment
It is important to protect yourself by preparing your gear:
Goggles. Clothing with sleeves. Mask. Heavy-duty fabric gloves.
Removing unsuitable grout creates a lot of dust, which gets on the mucous membranes, which can provoke coughing and inflammation. Protective dressing must be worn when working. Always ventilate the room when working with chemicals.
Restoring joints and restoring them
In cases where the masonry joints are not affected by mold, but simply darkened due to contamination or you want to change their color, there is no need to clean them completely. Also, with frequent cleaning, the layer will gradually wash out, requiring restoration.
In these situations, it is possible to restore and give the seams an attractive appearance by resorting to unsophisticated actions:
- Make sure that there is no mold and that the grout has retained its properties.
- Cover the edges of the tiles with masking tape to protect them from accidental damage, scratching.
- Use medium-grit sandpaper and carefully remove the outer layer of the grout over the joint.
- Treat the joint surface with an antibacterial primer and leave it to dry completely.
- Using a dye marker or rubber spatula, apply a fresh layer of caulk to the joint.
After all these procedures, remove the already unnecessary tape and apply a wax-based polish to the surface to give the finish an aesthetic look. This masonry restoration option is extremely simple and neat to the coating.
There are several other uncomplicated ways using common household ingredients:
- Grate pieces of any soap on a grater and fill with warm water. When the soap has melted, stir the solution until homogeneous. Use a sponge to apply the mixture to the seams and rub with the hard side. Dirty foam will soon appear. Rinse off the dirt and wipe dry so that no streaks remain on the tiles.
- Mix four parts baking soda with three parts hydrogen peroxide. You can add detergent gel to remove grease. Apply to the gaps between the modules, rub and allow to stand for more than two hours. Clean the necessary parts thoroughly and wash off the dirty slurry. With this simple method, you can effortlessly clean out obsolete epoxy grout. It is not recommended to apply to colored joints, it is better to replace with other means.
Renew the joints in two cases: when they are improperly installed or when they have been in use for a long time. In both cases, gentle methods of removing grout are used.
Grouting joints is done in two steps:
If the new mixture can simply be moistened with warm water, the old grout can not be removed by this method, you will have to take a special solvent. Chemicals are available in building supply stores. Focus on the thickness of the joints, but do not overdo it, some compositions are so aggressive that they can damage the ceramic.To remove grout from tile joints with water, you need to do the following:
- Wet sponge gently wipe seams several times, until they absorb moisture and do not darken.
- Armed with a sharp tool and carefully in the middle spend a deep line for a trimmer. Now remove the soft material from the middle, bit by bit.
- Reaching to the tiles. You can try to remove the remains of the soft compound with a sharp object, or use an emery cloth.
- With solvent you can remove the old grout from the joints, but apply the liquid very carefully, preferably in the middle, so as not to damage the ceramic.
- Grout the joints again.
- Valo clean. softens construction compositions on the basis of cement, moreover it has an antiseptic effect, it can also be used for surfaces affected by fungus.
- If the joints have a protective epoxy film, it is best to use Litostrip. Applied according to the following scheme: apply, wait for softening, remove part of the grout, apply the compound again and so on until complete clearing.
- Concentrated citric acid can also do a good job.
- It is also possible to use vinegar, diluted in water in a ratio of 1 to 2.
This is the gentlest but longest way to get rid of any type of grout.
Does the old grout need to be replaced
To understand whether it is necessary to completely change the old grout, you can after its thorough cleaning and painting. If there are no obvious defects, there is no need to remove it. In most cases, you can limit yourself to a thorough scraping with sandpaper, rinsing and painting. How long does the grout for tiles dry: factors that affect the drying time
For cement joints you can try concentrate HG, which for 10-15 minutes removes dirt, grease, soot. Can be used for colored composition.
Chlorine-containing mixtures can also be used. Belizna, Domestos. You can prepare a solution on bleach, diluting it in water. It is applied for 10 minutes.
However, colored surfaces should not be treated with bleach. To do this, it is better to use improvised means, experiment with folk remedies. hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, baking soda. Try it on a small area to see if discoloration occurs. An even simpler option would be general purpose detergents. Suntree, Pemolux, Ultra Stripper.
Features of different professional compositions for cleaning dirt:
- Ultra Stripper. product for cleaning ceramic, granite, cement and porcelain surfaces, also suitable for mosaics. A concentrated solution, which must be diluted depending on the level of dirt.
- Mister Muscle Expert Spray. dissolves grease, removes streaks and kills pathogens.
- Silit. applied with a brush, leave for a few minutes, rinse with warm clean water, then polish the surface with a soft rag.
- BOSO is a disinfectant which has a viscous consistency. Removes grease stains, soot and rust well. Good for removing the dirt and the unpleasant smell.
- HG. before use, degrease joints with degreasing agent, then dry them. The compound is applied with a brush and cured for up to 20 minutes. Remove with water.
- Pemolyux. the powder is cleaned joints with an electric or ordinary stiff toothbrush.
With superficial contamination is good to use fine sandpaper. This is not the most perfect way, but to update the joints in low-light areas, in hallways, over baseboards will get without problems.
You can paint the seam in several ways:
It is best to take a comprehensive approach. clean from grease, go through with an emery, paint. If the result is satisfactory, there is no need to remove anything. It may be necessary to make repairs after some time, but this is already in case of real need.