Tile & Grout’s Nemesis – Wax
Here at Discover Carpet Care, Tile and grout cleaning has became one of our most requested services. More and more people are replacing carpet in their common areas such as living rooms, kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms. Whether it’s bright pastel colors or darker earthy tones, tile and grout can set off any home’s decor. Having said all of that we’re noticing a common trend that is causing some big problems and costly fix expenses for many of our clients.
What’s The Real Issue?
Wax comes in various forms and it does include some great protective properties. However, for tile and grout; ceramic or natural stone(aside from Saltillo) – it simply doesn’t belong on it and here is why! Over time wax will break down and it loses its shine. The thought is to apply more wax to restore the protective properties and shine that wax can give. The problem is that wax rarely breaks down evenly and usually breaks down in the heavier traffic areas the most. Let’s keep in mind that for wax to break down there has to be something breaking it down and that is where soiling becomes a big factor. This soiling should be removed but we’ve found that many people simply mop their tile floor and apply the wax again where it has lost its shine. There are a few cleaning products on the market such as Mop N Glo that give the tile a shine while cleaning at the same time. This mindset and practice actually makes the problem worse and the longer it goes on the harder it is to reverse, and it is more costly to fix too.
Wax Removal On Tile & Grout
Removing wax from tile and grout takes a very special process and it is often a very extensive process as well. In order to remove the wax we have to use what are called “stripping agents” that re-liquefy the wax so that it can be removed. Wax and products like Mop N Glo can take 2-3 stripping processes to completely remove and the most difficult part is removing the wax from the grout lines. It is very labor intensive and as mentioned requires the use of special products. What we’re really getting at is that removing the wax can be and is an expensive process to restore the tile and grout floor back the way that it needs to be.
What You’ve Been Waiting For – What Can Be Done?
Now that we’ve covered the issues with putting wax on tile and grout and why you shouldn’t do it. You may be wondering what can I do to protect my tile and grout after a professional tile and grout cleaning. Ceramic or man made tile doesn’t require any protection on the tile face itself but rather it is the grout lines that need protection. After having your tile and grout cleaned, we can apply a professional impregnating grout sealer. The protector we apply acts similar to how Scotchgard protects carpet. Just as the name suggests it actually absorbs into the grout line about 1/8th of an inch to offer a deeper level of protection. It protects against regular soiling and causes liquids to bead up on the grout line. This makes it easier for you to wipe up any messes or spills without worrying about the grout becoming stained. Another great benefit is that it simply keeps the grout cleaner longer.
For natural tile such as slate, limestone, and travertine – there are sealing products that we use specifically for these stones. In their case, we do need to protect the tile face as these natural stones absorb liquids easily and can more easily stain. We seal both the tile face and the grout lines after we clean natural stone. If you have a natural polished stone such as marble, granite, and some travertines, to restore the shine to these stones they need to be polished. That is a service that we do not currently provide but if you get in touch with us we can point you in the right direction.