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While a tile floor or wall can be quite elegant, the grout that holds the tiles in place can be difficult to keep clean. Stains from water, dirt, and grime tend to stick to grout like a magnet. There are a number of different types of grout cleaning equipment, however, that can be highly effective in cleaning grout. Examples of grout cleaning equipment include hot water extractors, detail grout brushes, grout cleaning chemicals, and even a process known as water-free grout cleaning.
One of the most common types of grout cleaning equipment are hot water extractors. Though these tools are often used to clean carpets, they can also clean tile and grout. This is done due to the ability of hot water extractors to generate up to 1,2000 psi of water (8,268 kPa). This water is directed towards dirt, dust, and grime that has become embedded in grout, and is highly successful as a cleaning agent. While hot water extractors can be purchased, most people rent them only when needed.
Another common piece of grout cleaning equipment is the detail grout brush. Detail grout brushes contain short, sturdy, V-shaped bristles that allow the user to scrub the dirt and grime on the grout between tight spaces. When used in a small space, such as above a bathroom sink, a handheld detail grout brush is appropriate. For larger surfaces, however, such as shower walls or other similar locations, a motorized detail grout brush is often more appropriate.
A number of chemicals are also often used as a form of grout cleaning equipment. Though hot water extractors and detail grout brushes are often extremely effective at removing dirt and grime from grout, they typically are not as successful in eliminating the stains that the dirt may have left behind. Typically, chemicals are placed on grout stains, and are allowed to soak into the grout. After a substantial period of time has passed, the chemicals are removed using a mop or towel. Using the right kinds of grout cleaning chemicals may be able to return grout back to its original appearance.
Water-free grout cleaning is also often recommended. As the name suggests, this is a form of cleaning that does not require the use of water. In this process, a dry chemical powder is typically sprinkled over the surface that is to be cleaned. Once the powder has soaked into the grout for the appropriate period of time, a mechanical brush is used to work all dirt and grime out of the grout. The remaining powder can then be vacuumed or brushed away.