How to Clean Marble Grout

This is a follow-up to our post “Don’t Take it for Granite. How to Avoid Damaging Fine Stone Surfaces.” I turned to no other than Dan Lundstedt, two-time winner of Sir Grouts’ “Top Franchise Award” (2009, 2010) for some professional advice on how to clean marble grout. Dan is a franchise owner of Sir Grout, an industry leader in grout and tile care.

Maid in Chicago:
What is grout and why is it so tricky to clean?

Dan: Grout is the porous material between tiles. In a shower, grout can absorb mineral deposits, soaps, etc. causing discoloration over time. Prolonged exposure to moisture also causes mold to form in the grout lines, which can be a difficult problem to remedy.

In floor tiles dirt often collects because the grout lines are lower
than the rest of the floor. When floors are mopped, this is where all of the dirty water pools. It is then absorbed by this porous surface leaving unsightly grout lines.

(“before” photo by Sir Grout)

(“after” photo by Sir Grout)

Maid in Chicago:
Maintenance is key to avoid discoloration and staining of grout. What type of cleaner do you recommend?

Dan: Stone should be maintained with a PH-neutral maintenance cleaning solution. Sir Grout’s brand (which you can purchase from me!) is formulated to work on all natural stone, grout, tile, and counter tops.  It is also soapless to prevent residual soap scum, and contains surfactants to help keep the surfaces cleaner longer between cleanings.

To clean shower tiles, wet a cleaning cloth with cleaning solution and wipe the surface. If you are fighting mold and discoloration, a soft toothbrush can be used, but don’t scrub the caulking since that will break the seal and cause more issues and possible water damage.

For marble floors I recommend using a microfiber mop rather than a sponge mop or string mop. Microfibers trap the dirt and prevent it from accumulating in the grout. Alternatively you can wrap a towel around a mop stick, or simply wipe the floors by hand with a towel.

Maid in Chicago:
When is it time to call a professional to clean the grout?

Dan: I like to use an analogy that stained grout is like a dirty sponge. It can be an uphill battle cleaning it because the cleaner tends to work on the surface area dirt. Customers sometimes tell me that after they have cleaned the grout it can appear dirty again after only a few weeks or months. This is due to the grout being more porous after being scrubbed and cleaned with chemicals. When it is poorly stained it is better to call a professional.

We have a process of steam cleaning the grout. Sir Grout steam cleans all grout lines to kill the mold and mildew, then replaces any grout if necessary. Once the grout surface is clean, we seal it with the company’s proprietary color sealant. These tinted sealants are stain, water, mold, and mildew resistant. They restore the original color and keep water from penetrating into the surface of the grout. This prevents future discoloration, leaks, and water damage.

Also, if you see grout cracking or falling out, it is definitely time to have a professional take a look at it.

Maid in Chicago:
Thanks Dan for your helpful information.

If you would like to purchase Sir Grout’s cleaning product or set up an appointment, please contact Dan:

Dan Lundstedt
Owner – Sir Grout and Tile Care
work: (847) 597-8171
cell: (847) 909-4479

To schedule a cleaning with Maid in Chicago or for a FREE quote, give us a call at (312) 829-9600. You can also visit our website and fill out our online form.