While daily mopping with a cleaner or disinfectant is key to keeping grout clean, sometimes it’s just not enough. For high-traffic or restrooms plagued by persistent urine odors, BSCs may need to consider a more aggressive treatment.

“When you walk into a restroom, it shouldn’t smell like anything; it should smell clean,” says Wurm. “If you have to use deodorant in a bathroom, it means you’re not cleaning properly. You need to use a good disinfectant cleaner and allow it to dwell on the floor for appropriate lengths of time — and I think that’s the biggest odor-prevention mistake: not allowing chemicals a sufficient dwell time on grout.”

A vast majority of the time, the odor in restroom grout is going to be caused by urine. Because grout is so porous, it may take multiple applications before an enzymatic cleaner, disinfectant or odor-eliminator effectively kills odor.

“You have to be aggressive if there is an odor problem — and sometimes they’ve been left untouched for a little while, so you could do it daily or weekly depending on the amount of traffic in that particular area,” Kersemeier says.


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