Please, have a good look at results of grout cleaning.
All that happened here was machine-cleaning and removal of existing silicone joints. This particular shower should never look so good after a first day of work… This grade of “clean” can only be achieved by the use of proper dirt extraction equipment. When you see a sentence in my quotation – ‘machine-cleaning to grout’ – this is what I mean by that. What you see is what you get.
Sometimes clients look at me funny as I prepare all my machinery to clean a single shower. I understand it must look like getting a cannon to kill a fly… I’m actually quite sick, having to repeat myself all the time – THERE IS NO CLEANING OF POROUS MATERIALS WITH A SCRUBBING BRUSH. No matter how funny it looks, heavy equipment is absolutely necessary for any size job.
Besides, grout preparation isn’t about cleaning, but mostly about rinsing. Leaving well-stuck dirt behind is much less harmful to sealer coat than a cocktail of chemicals left in the grout. Grout has to be chemically neutral for sealer application. Yeah, I know that rinsing a shower is not a big deal. How about tiled dining or kitchen floor with tiles butted to a carpet? I can pour a bathtub of water under pressure without getting a drop on a carpet. That’s what separates me from a majority of other grout restorers – proper equipment.
I am reluctant to accept cleaning jobs as such. Why? Well, if you’ve got a really good look at the presented photos you’ll notice that the grout on the right photo isn’t 100% spotless and evenly coloured. The only way old grout will have a uniform colour is if we colour-seal it (think of it as painting grout). That’s why I only accept cleaning jobs under one condition – absolutely zero responsibility for the results of cleaning. The amount of work and material usage is absolutely the same when things get amazingly clean and not that clean at all. If someone wants to cut the cost by doing colour-sealing themselves, it’s their risk.
Moreover, there are absolutely zero rules with dirty grout. What you see in the photos is “heaven and hell” kind of difference. It doesn’t mean that we can achieve this kind of result every time. Sometimes a white grout showing light yellowish discolouration remains discoloured after washing. If bleaching helps- hurrah! Your gain. If not, the cleaning cost is the same.
That’s why I do prefer to quote for full restoration: cleaning + colour sealing. This way the result becomes a constant, not a variable…
On the other hand, if cleaning is all you want, you can be sure that things cleaned by me just cannot get any cleaner. Even if the final result isn’t perfect you can be sure that I did remove all the dirt that could’ve been removed. Water-blasting in comparison to hand-scrubbing is like sanding by hand and with a belt sander. If a water-blaster cannot get rid of a stain, this stain is there to stay.
Similar rules apply to my steam cleaning. Anything that can be cleaned becomes clean when I’m done. Again, there’s a huge difference between commercial steamers and domestic ones. Domestic steamer releases steam right after the water reaches boiling point. By the time the steam passes through hoses and the mop-part, it’ll be somewhere around 70 degrees at best. The working temperature of my steamer is 175 degrees to be exact. Moreover, you want to blast things with steam not get them warm and wet. Remember that grout pores are microscopic. The only way to remove dirt from grout pores is water or steam under pressure. To build up a decent amount of pressure in a boiler the steam won’t be released from a commercial type of steamer before it reaches minimum 175 degrees Celsius.