Restrooms play an important yet often understated role in a wide range of commercial properties. An unkempt-looking bathroom can offer up a poor reflection on the professionalism of the tenants as well as the property managers. Clean and pristine bathrooms are especially important in commercial retail areas, where customers are statistically less likely to return for repeat business to a shop or commercial property with unsanitary, unkempt, or visually unappealing restrooms.
Of course, a lot of commercial property restrooms have tile and grout floors that see a lot of use and abuse. This can stain the tiles, as well as badly discolor the grout lines. Cleaning them correctly will go a long way toward removing stains before they have a chances to set into the restroom’s tile and grout, as well as giving your commercial property’s bathrooms the professional appearance you and your tenants rely on.
Though properly maintaining a restroom’s tile and grout floors can be a little bit of a challenge. Let’s take a closer look at the things you can do to help maintain your commercial property’s restroom floors in the short and long term.
Why Are Tile & Grout Restroom Floors Difficult To Clean & Maintain?
So many contractors and commercial property developers choose tile and grout floors for their restrooms as they are waterproof as well as inexpensive. This also makes them ideal for floors in wet areas like restrooms. Not to mention they are also very versatile, allowing developers and designers to customize tile colors, sizes, and textures as well as the finished sheen. They are a great way to accent the visual styling cues of a property, while also being able to stand the test of time.
Though most floor tiles are made from either porcelain or ceramic, which might seem relatively easy to keep clean with alkaline, acidic, or pH-neutral floor cleaning products. They essentially break up and release unwanted debris from the tile’s non-porous surfaces. At the same time, floor tiles also tend to endure scrubbing without getting scratched, which allows them to maintain their chosen finish for a long time, without needing to be stripped and refinished.
Though commercial restroom tiles are not invincible. Lax cleaning and maintenance can leave them with certain stains that are very hard to remove without commercial-grade equipment and professional cleaning products.
Grout is far more challenging to clean and maintain than ceramic or porcelain bathroom floor tiles. Grout essentially serves as the flexible filler between each of the floor tiles. It can range in thickness from little more than a pencil line to as much as a finger width. The grout used on most commercial restroom floors is made from a precise mixture of water, cement, and a special type of sand.
Even when cured and hardened grout is significantly softer than tile and exceptionally porous. This means that bathroom floor grout can grab and hold moisture, grime, dirt, and unwanted microbes. Left unchecked for even a modest amount of time these impurities can stain the floor grout, trapping microbes and emitting unpleasant odors. In just a short amount of time, this can make your commercial property’s restrooms look unprofessional and smell unappealing.
Cleaning Restrooms To Prevent Smelly Floors
One of the problems with restroom floors is that they can sometimes start to smell bad before the floor even fully dries after mopping. This is because most mops are unable to draw dirt and impurities out of the grout. Especially if the floor is overly wet or is allowed to stay wet for a prolonged period of time. This essentially allows malodorous wet materials and unpleasant smelling microbes to saturate into the porous grout, which resides lower than the surface of the less permeable floor tiles.
This can be compounded by dirty mop water that holds a suspension of things like street soils, urine, grime, and whatever else in on a restroom floor, which essentially feeds bacteria and other microbes that give off foul bathroom odors. As time goes on, the presence of these bacteria and other grime can start to saturate the grout discoloration it in a way that simple bleach cannot refresh.
What Is The Best Method For Cleaning Bathroom Tile & Grout?
It helps to have a methodical plan laid out when cleaning commercial restroom tile and grout floors. This starts with a consistent routine of servicing the floors daily. Ideally, you want to give all the grout lines a heavy-duty scrubbing at least once a week to prevent the build-up of stains, mildew, and odors. Just make sure to always follow manufacturer instructions when using cleaning chemicals.
- Step One: Apply a correctly diluted solution to the floor and allow it to sit for three to five minutes.
- Step Two: Methodically scrub tiles and grout with a stiff brush or some type of non-metallic pad to release any stuck-on grime.
- Step Three: Carefully extract all traces of the cleaning solution and released grime using a commercial-grade wet/dry vacuum.
- Step Four: Rinse the floor with clean water and dry.
It’s best to use a pH-neutral chemical for daily cleanings, such as an alkaline product that is specifically formulated for grout scrubbing. If the grout in your bathrooms still needs more then you could switch to an acid-based cleaner the next time. Just note that acid-based floor cleaning solutions are not recommended for natural stone floors such as limestone marble, or travertine tile, as they can damage the stone tile’s natural finish.
Another “All-Natural” do-it-yourself solution to try involves a combination of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and a small amount of dishwashing detergent.
Using A No-Touch Cleaning For Tile & Grout Restroom Floors
Another way to clean tile and grout commercial bathroom floors is to use a special “No Touch” method. Though this is the sort of thing that does require a unique type of No-Touch Restroom Cleaning machine. It’s specifically designed to work quickly while also using fewer cleaning chemicals. Though it does require investing in the machine itself as well as training a member of your staff on how to use it correctly.
It starts with the technician applying a diluted amount of a special no-touch cleaning chemical to the entire restroom and allowing it to dwell on the surface of the tile and grout for a few minutes. At that point, the technician simply blasts grout lines with a high-pressure spray of freshwater. A special built-in grout brush can then be used for stubborn stains and soils. Afterward, the technician vacuums up the soiled cleaning solution, capturing soil and pathogens in the recovery tank.