Back in the fall this new customer had us out to clean her upholstery. The team arrived, even Wendy stopped by, and got down to it (even the Love Sacs,™ a fun type bean bag chair was cleaned.) During the walk through Wendy was expounding on all the services, and our client got excited about our tile cleaning services. Planting a seed, she wanted to think about it.
As they were discussing the tile cleaning process Wendy pointed out the uneven color of the grout in high traffic areas vs other areas less traveled.
When the client inquired about the tile cleaning process, Wendy explained the process. She also inspected the floor (at the invitation of the interested client-btw,) while they were talking. It was a decent size area to include the foyer, the butler pantry, the powder room, the kitchen and breakfast table area. As they walked Wendy pointed out how soiled the grout. It was especially soiled in the traffic areas, by the major work station areas by the sink, dishwasher, trash can, stove, fridge, and the traffic lanes. There was a substantial difference in grout color when you see the grout along the edges, away from the work areas, versus the very dark dirt and germ build up elsewhere.
What’s crazy about tile cleaning is, often homeowners don’t know how much dirt, grease, residue, and contaminants collects in the grout joints, and even the tile. And frankly, the wider the grout joints the more obvious it becomes. Honestly with our process, “the reveal” can be quite apparent!
It can be very telling when the pre-spray tile cleaning solution is applied to the floor. Just like that, the tile becomes dark as all the dirt and grime releases, without even scrubbing, from the grout joints. And if the homeowner sees it when its applied, they usually get disturbed or acknowledge that they didn’t realize how dirty it was.
Usually what happens is the pre-spray is allowed to dwell, a period while cleaning solution reacts chemically with the soils. Before long, or right away the solutions attack the soils and suspends them, where they release from the grout joints. Again, the floor becomes dark as the soils are released and invade and lay on top where ever the wet “slurry” is on the floor. Since the floor is covered with the slurry this can be quite dramatic. (A similar process occurs with carpet and upholstery cleaning, but since the fibers are fuzzy you don’t see the soil release, but indeed it does happen.)
It is very telling when the steam wand sprays the hot water at 1200 Psi, and the extraction creates a suction steam chamber to increase cleaning power while extracting and rinsing the water into the extraction hose and out to our waste tank in the truck. There is no question this is advanced cleaning technology, and a process we like to refer to as liberating our homeowner, just like she was freed like Cinderella and the wicked step mother!
At the time they felt tt was the biggest advancement in cleaning seen in 35 years of business, and the missing piece that would help their clients finally have a solution for cleaning dirty grout, besides comet and a toothbrush!
Even before the technology, Westwood had us cleaning their carpets, and along the edges, where the carpet wand ran across the tile and grout, they couldn’t believe how clean the tile and grout got. Being visionaries, they even suggested we toy with inventing a tool that would be suitable. Boy were they on to something.
When we learned a steam wand for tile had come out we asked our supplier to demo it at the owners of Westwood Tile’s home in Medford. The appointment was set. The demo ensued, our client’s jaws dropped, and frankly ours did too. We signed the contract to purchase the wand system in their driveway, and took the wand home with us!
This began a friendly rapport between Westwood and our team. The cleaning potential was well received by their clients, and we immediately began solving a cleaning dilemma for them with ease, and without lifting a finger (honestly until then, and before home steam mops, the alternative with comet and a toothbrush!)
This client was overwhelmingly pleased that her floors were so cleaned and sanitized. She was especially happy that she was able to write a check, and have the work done without lifting a finger!
If you have tile and grout, regardless of large grout lines, or small, steaming the floors will correct most appearance problems while drastically equalizing and removing the germs and contaminants from the floor. One way to tell if you are in need of cleaning is to take look around your floors, especially in high traffic and work areas.
Look at the grout in front of your work areas, i.e. the sink, by the dish washer, trash cans, fridge, stove or ovens. Compare those areas to the areas less traveled, like against the wall on the far side of the breakfast table, or other out of the way areas. If there is a drastic difference, then you know professional steaming will help.
Ps- call us first before you think painting the grout will solve your problems. Cleaning may be the simple solution. Don’t automatically assume you need to go to drastic measures like using grout paint. We do offer a specialized restoration process that impregnates grout colorant (not available in the box stores or hardware stores,) but we rarely recommend it. Again, simple cleaning may be the best and most cost effective solution for you.