If your tile floor has lost its luster, it may be time to restore it with professional cleaning. Even if you sweep and mop your floor often, it can still get drab with age. That's because tile and grout are porous and dirt seeps deep inside. Grout holds onto grime and becomes dirty and discolored. Even if you spent all day on your hands and knees scrubbing the grout lines, you probably couldn't restore your floor as well as a professional cleaner can with specialty equipment. This is how the process works.
Floor Is Vacuumed First
The first step is to remove loose dirt from the floor by sweeping and vacuuming it. This is also something you should always do before you mop your tile floor. Adding water to dirt or sand makes a muddy solution that seeps into the tile and grout. Cleaning the floor first ensures that you'll get the best results when mopping or steam cleaning. The cleaning company will go over your floor first with a powerful vacuum to get your floor ready for the next step.
Next, a cleaning solution is applied using equipment that forces water into the grout and then sucks it out. It is similar to power washing your floor except the water is pulled back out and into the equipment. The operator passes the cleaning wand over every inch of your floor to ensure even cleaning. In high traffic areas, it may be necessary to use an electric grout brush to scrub dirt and grime out of the grout lines. When the cleaner is finished washing your floor, he or she may place fans in the room to speed up the drying process.
Sealing The Floor
To keep your floor clean for as long as possible, you may want the cleaning service to seal the grout and tile after cleaning it. A seal coat is like a thin coat of clear wax that keeps dirt from seeping into the floor. Spills will bead up so you can clean them before they stain. Sealing helps maintain the bright color of the grout for longer too. In addition to sealing, you may want your floor to be buffed. This makes it shiny and lustrous. Your floor will look like it's new.
Once your floor has been restored to its natural beauty, you'll want to maintain it properly so the shine and bright color lasts. You can do this by protecting the coating. Sweep sand and grit daily, so it doesn't grind away the top coat when you walk on the floor. Avoid using bleach and other harsh chemicals that could eat away at the coating. When you mop your floor, just use water. If you add soap, be sure to rinse the floor well so there is no cloudy soap scum left behind to dull the shine.