Pressure-washers, floor machines and restroom machines can be valuable tools in a BSC’s arsenal when it comes to keeping grout clean. From brush attachments and portable steam cleaners to swing machines and ellipticals, contractors do what they can to make project work on tile and grout as efficient and productive as possible.

“Often, we use a spinner tool with a circular head on a pressure-washer that vacuums the dirty solution away,” Kersemeier says. “We’ve found that to be most effective but we still have to hand-brush and hand-detail.”

Mr. Clean, which cleans tiled bakery floors in supermarkets, uses an elliptical floor machine that is weighted so that the head is bouncing at the same time its brush is rotating, effectively scrubbing the grout.

“Once we strip the floor, we use either a commercial peroxide cleaner, which can be diluted to different strengths, or a citric acid d-limonene cleaner on the grout,” Wurm says. “In bakery departments, we usually use a d-limonene cleaner and let it dwell, then we use a   pressure washer that has a vacuum attached to it. It shoots water down into the grout then vacuums it away.”

Having the right machine for the right job is key to successful and efficient grout cleaning, he adds.

Some challenges are out of a BSC’s control; for instance, grout lines that are so small they are difficult to clean with most machines, Wurm says.

And be aware that there are different types of grout, McAlpin says.

“There’s sanded and non-sanded — and different grouts contain different levels of cement in the grout itself,” he says. “That can affect how the grout can be cleaned.”

Kersemeier advises caution to BSCs who are widening the scope of services to include floor project work.

“Cleaning tile and grout is a great add-on for money-making but it does include a lot of responsibility, so be cautious and educate your staff about what chemicals should be used on what floors,” he says.

Lisa Ridgely is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Contracting Profits.


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