Cleaning tile and grout with acidic cleaning solutions

Posted on September 21, 2010

When people hear about using acidic cleaning supplies they are often frightened about the harmful effects these acidic cleaners can do to their health and their home. What people don’t know that they contact with acidic products many times in their daily life.

Bleach and vinegar are acid based products and many people use these for cleaning their home. These are examples of acetic acid products and they were never designed for any type of tile or grout cleaning purposes. While vinegar and bleach are generally safe for household use they can leave a nasty residue and film on your tile and they can actually discolor and break down the cement in your grout.

Different types of acid products.

Other types of acid products that people use for cleaning purposes include:

  • phosphoric acid;
  • sulfamic acid;
  • muriatic acid.

These acids can be found in many harsh and industrial cleaning solutions and can be extremely harmful to your health. They should only be used by experienced contracting professionals.

Safe to use acid.

There is one type of acid that is fairly safe to use with general protection and that is a urea acid cleaning solution. This is generally regarded as a green eco friendly type acid cleaner.

Of course you should still use gloves and not get the cleaning solution on your skin but it is generally safe to use.

You should mix the urea acid cleaning solution mixed with water according to the manufactures instructions. Then you apply it to the ceramic tile grout and you should see a fizz effect on the grout as the urea acid cleaner reacts with the grout. This is a micro abrasion effect and will cause the very small dirty top layer of the cements in the grout to wear away. After the tile and grout is rinsed you will see the beautiful new grout that you never thought existed.

It’s only for cleaning the grout.

When talking about acidic tile and grout cleaning it is generally understood that this type of cleaner is for cleaning the grout in a ceramic tile installation. No acidic products should come into contact with any type of stone surface as they have the potential to etch the surface. Additionally you must be extremely careful that you do not get any acidic products on your stainless steel appliances as this will also etch the stainless steel.

Alkaline cleaning solution.

After you clean your grout ande tile with an acidic cleaner you should always clean the surface again with an alkaline cleaning solution. The alkaline cleaning solution will neutralize any left over acidic residue. This acidic residue can over time cause the cement in your grout to break down if it is not neutralized. Then of course your should always seal your grout to protect it from future dirt and stains.

By materials of Troy Roberts

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