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Debate on the Use of Oxygen Bleach for Cleaning of Grout

Oxygen bleach works similarly to traditional chlorine bleach, in the sense that it kills bacteria and brightens white surfaces, but oxygen bleach has some very distinct advantages over its chlorine alternative. For instance, oxygen bleach is natural, and it can brighten surfaces without discoloring them.

If your floors look dirty because the tile grout is stained, you have some cleaning options. The first option is to clean the tile yourself by damp mopping with a bleach alternative. Make sure the powder dissolves completely and then mop as usual. I like this option because oxygen bleaches don't have fumes like chlorine bleach does and they aren't as risky with carpeting, fabrics, or pets.  If that doesn't work, apply the mix with a long-handled plastic bristle deck brush.  The extra brushing action will often do the job without making you get on your hands and knees to scrub.

The claim is Oxygen cleaner makes an effective cleaner for tile grout, and you need not worry about the product burning your skin or ruining your tiles.

But will oxygen cleaners clean colored grout without taking the color out?

When we hear bleach, we think of ruined clothes and orange spots on the carpet.Most consumers know of one kind of bleach–chlorine bleach. We use chlorine bleach in our laundry to whiten clothes. Chlorine bleach also serves as an excellent cleaner and disinfectant.  However, it can whiten things we don't want white. For colors oxygen bleaches work better. In most cases oxygen bleaches. can remove a stain and brighten colors without taking the color out of the clothes.

In most homes grout consists of cement mixture with some polymers added for elasticity. Similar to concrete much like your sidewalk, grout is durable but porous.  Chemicals can easily penetrate grout to discolor, lighten, or compromise its strength.  One must exercise caution even with oxygen bleach.

Should one never use oxygen bleach on colored grout? Never is a long time. I think you could use oxygen bleach providing you tested it first. Test it in an inconspicuous place. Let it dry. Make sure that it doesn't remove color from your grout before attacking a stain. You might even try it several times to make sure that the grout remains colorfast. I think the author's statement about repeated use makes sense. The oxygen bleach may not remove color the first time but might do so after repeated use.

You should be able to maintain properly sealed grout with mild cleaning supplies, and you could treat a stain here and there with an oxygen bleach.  For widespread and  deeply stained grout it is recommended a professional cleaning.

If your grout still looks bad, this brings us to the second option:  professional cleaning.  Because many people have built houses in the past ten years and are using more tile, and because more and more tile goes unsealed, the need for grout cleaning has become clear.

Luckily our team could assist you on this problem and make the job for you. We offer tile grout cleaning in addition to regular carpet cleaning services. See our page here:

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Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"

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