Cleaning tile and grout can be challenging.  Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.  Being equipped with the proper tools for maintenance will help pro-long the appearance of your tile and grout.  For commercial settings proper matting systems reduce soil infiltration drastically.  The same can be applied to residential applications.
When installing tile and grout one of the most important steps is applying a seal after the job is complete.  Most of this should be done by the contractor, but we find many times that the floors are never sealed.  Sealing aids in preventing moisture from entering the grout lines.  This is intended to provide a layer of protection so that cleaning and maintenance is a breeze.  Just like any other type of surface, normal wear and tear, cleaning solutions, and agitation breaks the seal down over time increasing the need for a routine maintenance schedule to include re-sealing applications.
Most of the seals are volatile solvents.  Be sure to have plenty of air circulation, and appropriate skin and eye wear protection to avoid and health related issues.  Some of the major chains have an aerosol seal.  We recommend avoiding these.  Overspray will happen and you do not want the seal to rest on any of your tile.  Best form of application is a sponge type applicator brush found in most hardware stores.  If the soil has gone too far, and cleaning attempts have been futile a color seal application will be your best option.
Color seal comes in virtually every color allowing you to completely restore your grout lines.  We only use Mapei brand color seal.  This will not only restore your floor, but it acts as a more permanent coating allowing for easy cleaning and maintenance.  Don’t think all is lost.  We can save the day!
Having proper matting systems at your home or business will control the amount of soil entering the property.  It’s always best to have a rubber mat outside and a very absorbent mat inside.  Make sure your mats are long enough for at least 3 steps.  3M makes some excellent matting solutions for both commercial and residential applications.  Outside of proper matting, make sure you have the proper tools in-house to clean the floors properly.
Heard of microfiber?  I’m sure you have.  Microfiber dust mops and wet mops are some of the best tools you should have in your cleaning arsenal.  They out perform traditional cotton mops significantly.  They attract more soil without the use of toxic chemicals.  Don’t forget dry vacuuming with a Hepa vacuum is always the first step, then follow with your microfiber dusting and wet cleaning.  In addition to the right tools, chemistry plays a role in proper maintenance.
Sticky residues left behind by aggressive cleaners can be a nuisance.  Microfiber mops, hot water, and a neutral floor cleaner will be your best bet.  Most floor cleaners are high in alkalinity leaving tacky residues that attract soil left behind on your floors.  Did you know household vinegar will help counteract this?  Vinegar is an acid and can help reduce or relieve this problem.  We use the Procyon line of green floor cleaning products.  It’s soap free, chemical free, and is all plant based.  Not only can your floors be challenging to maintain, but bathroom tile needs special attention too.
Most bathrooms are full of moisture.  The environment is often warm, dark, and damp.  What normally is produced in an environment like this?  Bacteria, mold, and mildew.  We are still dealing with soil, just a completely different type.  Ventilation, and proper cleaning are important to avoid issues associated with mold and mildew.  Bacteria thrives in wet environments.  So get it dry, and use the right cleaners to ensure a clean healthy environment for your family.
Hydrogen peroxide cleaners have come a long way.  We use more commercial strength cleaners that you may not find at your local hardware store.  Some are available by top brands, but may not have the strength needed if your situation requires more restorative action.
Dealing with soap scum?  Yeah we hate it too.  Best solution!  Stop using soap!  Organic and green healthcare products eliminate soap completely.  They use essential oils and plant based ingredients vs any lye, glycerin, or animal fats.  If you switch to more “green” options guess what! No more soap scum.  Soap scum may require heavy duty cleaning applications.
In addition to aggressive chemistry the use of a commercial grade steamer will help aid in the cleaning process.  Plus, who loves all those cracks, crevasses, and tight corners?  A steamer will help blast soil and issues out of all those areas.  It also increases the effectiveness the cleaning products ten-fold.  Heat rapidly increased the chemical reaction of cleaning products.  It’s a win win.