Most cleaning contractors recommend daily mopping of tile floors as the most rudimentary way to attack and prevent the staining of grout.

“For daily cleaning we use a normal neutral pH cleaner. In the restroom use a disinfectant cleaner. Nothing with a high peroxide or d-limonene,” Wurm says.

Scrubbing is a great way to provide a deeper cleaning for grout. In most buildings, it isn’t needed daily — except perhaps in a foundry or other heavy industrial environment — but in high-traffic facilities such as schools, healthcare and retail, weekly scrubbing is recommended, McAlpin says. Office building floors should be scrubbed at least once a month.

“Typically we scrub with a very mild acidic product, because we’re mopping every day with a neutral cleaner or a cleaner that has an above neutral pH and part of what we do when we clean is we bring that pH level back down to neutral by using a slightly acidic product,” he says.

Some stains or odor problems require a bit more elbow grease to take care of. There are plenty of chemicals on the market that are made specifically for tile and grout cleaning. Kersemeier reminds BSCs to choose the chemical not based just on the flooring type but also on the soil type.

“People don’t always understand that tile and grout cleaning is different in a kitchen or foodservice application than it is in a restroom or industrial application,” Kersemeier says. “It’s all about what you’re trying to remove from the tile and grout.”

Enzyme-based cleaners are popular in foodservice settings, where as degreasers work well in manufacturing environments. Healthcare applications may require a special disinfectant, while schools may require green cleaners.

Common tools for spot work include hand-held detail brushes and larger heavy-duty scrub brushes that fit on to mop handles.

Another trouble spot that may require special attention are the base tiles where the floors meet the walls and in corners.

“Those areas always seem to get dirty. We use a small steam cleaner with a brush attachment,” Wurm says. “It works really well along the grout edges.”

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