Grout won’t clean!!! | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Grout won’t clean!!!

EliteClean

New Member
Jul 17, 2018
17
7
3
Real Name
Brian Manwarren
609BBE89-7BA8-485D-BEAE-C13D3A990F62.jpeg
54BFEE20-DBFD-4E5D-9CF5-CF3C12BADBBD.jpeg
E7334E81-49B4-4822-8BB5-D1D24C574111.jpeg


The grout is cleaning up well except in the bathroom. I’m getting inconsistent results.

I’ve used grout master and a acid. I’ve scrubbed it with a floor machine and brush before hitting it with spinner.

The last pic shows how the grout line will go from black to grey back to grey.
 

Kevin Dumas

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2008
3,297
869
113
Binghamton, NY
Real Name
Kevin Dumas
That black is so even it looks like it might have been color sealed? at one time.
Sometimes you just cannot remove years of abuse.
 

EliteClean

New Member
Jul 17, 2018
17
7
3
Real Name
Brian Manwarren
That black is so even it looks like it might have been color sealed? at one time.
Sometimes you just cannot remove years of abuse.
It’s hard to convince the customer that tho. He says no color seal. What’s weird is it’s cleaning up fine in front of urinals but not in the high traffic and in stalls.
 

Robert86

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2016
2,641
1,403
113
33
Missoula, MT
Real Name
Robert Phillips
If you haven't already, try rinsing with hot water (if you're able to). A little heat might make the difference.

You can also try stripper. Maybe there is something on there that is keeping the black in. Stripper might soften it up.

If you have a grout brush then try giving just those spots some extra attention. If you have or can get a steel grout brush, then try that.

Have you tried scraping yet? Its miserable to scrape grout lines but sometimes thats all you can do. Try it and see what happens.


Try cleaning it up a couple more times and if its not getting any better then you've done all you can do. Years of mopping over unsealed grout can really mess up a floor.
 

MikeGaure

... ... ... ...
Premium VIP
Nov 23, 2015
8,105
4,469
113
Real Name
Mike
go to a corner or edge and use a grout tool tool score grout surface to see what kind of topical is on the grout
 

EliteClean

New Member
Jul 17, 2018
17
7
3
Real Name
Brian Manwarren
I did think about trying stripper... I go back Saturday morning and that’s my first test.

Like I said I first used GM... then let acid set on it for 10+ mins. Hit it with 175 weights and brush. Followed by 1500psi spinner.

Used hand tile brush around edges and around toilet couldn’t break through the black.

But you can see in other areas it’s coming clean. Makes me think of sealer but this guy swears nothing more then mopping has been done.
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium VIP
Sep 4, 2011
22,936
15,070
113
49
Pahrump, Nevada, United States
www.toddscleaningservice.com
Real Name
Todd Cottino
Business Location
United States
You’ve already cleaned those black grout lines with alkaline and acid cleaners and they are staying jet black like that? This makes me think of a job I did in the past.

I did a job one time in a million dollar house where the customer had several tiles replaced. There was a tile here and a tile there, probably about a dozen tiles throughout the house.

Well, when the contractor replaced the tiles he matched up the grout with the surrounding dirty grout. The grout was black so the contractor used black grout.

Fast forward to my arrival. I’m cleaning the tile and the grout is coming out beautifully. The grout was turning from black to white. Then I came to a tile that had been replaced. Of course the black grout stayed black. The customer wasn’t home unfortunately so I just kept going. When she got home she saw the dozen or so tiles with the black grout that stood out like a sore thumb. She was pissed at me and asked what I had done? She said I ruined her floor. I showed her how the guy had used black grout when he replaced the tile. She was still pissed at me and refused to pay. I even offered to put color seal on just those tiles but she wanted nothing to do with color seal.

Sorry to ramble on but my thinking is maybe some of the tiles have been replaced on the floor you are working on and the grout is actually black grout in the picture.
 

EliteClean

New Member
Jul 17, 2018
17
7
3
Real Name
Brian Manwarren
Would heat make any difference?
He said no grout work or sealing has been done only cleaning. Said last guys didn’t have a problem. I’m at a lost lol
 

Anderson

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2006
2,971
1,239
113
61
Belton Texas
skip the acid....

use alcaline rinse......

see if that doesnt even it out......

GM and all alcalines are usually a little more forgiving on these tile jobs
 

MikeGaure

... ... ... ...
Premium VIP
Nov 23, 2015
8,105
4,469
113
Real Name
Mike
lot of damage regardless look at the base tiles tons of efflorescence. i had a job recently grout lines were all super light grey almost. actual grout after proper cleaning with acid was a moca color
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,985
1,256
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
I did think about trying stripper... I go back Saturday morning and that’s my first test.

Like I said I first used GM... then let acid set on it for 10+ mins. Hit it with 175 weights and brush. Followed by 1500psi spinner.

Used hand tile brush around edges and around toilet couldn’t break through the black.

But you can see in other areas it’s coming clean. Makes me think of sealer but this guy swears nothing more then mopping has been done.
Did you rinse between chemicals? Apply GM and then rinse. Then apply an acid.
See if the acid fizzes.
If you just put acid over GM then the acid was neutralized by the alkalinity of GM.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Genoa2878

EliteClean

New Member
Jul 17, 2018
17
7
3
Real Name
Brian Manwarren
Did you rinse between chemicals? Apply GM and then rinse. Then apply an acid.
See if the acid fizzes.
If you just put acid over GM then the acid was neutralized by the alkalinity of GM.
Yes I hit it with a spinner before putting acid down. I am going to go with acid first.
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,985
1,256
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
Yes I hit it with a spinner before putting acid down. I am going to go with acid first.
This is why I always test a couple of spots in different places. I carry an acid, alkali and diluted stripper and razor blades in my demo bag.
Please share your update when you go back
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,985
1,256
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
School of Hard knocks
If you're doing any kind of volume it's inevitable.
I did a VCT strip that took 7 full strips and then hand scraping with razor scraper to get all the wax off.
I've had grout that wouldn't clean. Acid, alk, stripper, bleach, nothing.
Try scraping the black with a pocket screwdriver and see if you can get down to new grout.
It could be stained for real.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scott W

crash1big

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2011
4,258
2,007
113
Illinois
Real Name
Marlan Brown
Business Location
United States
It might be that the tile was inconsistently sealed or that it wore off in the traffic areas. At any rate do the best you can and don't take the owners word for it. They will say anything to make it look like your fault. "the last guys didn't have a problem"? Why did you get called then?
 

Johnny Bravo

Hacking my way though life, one room at a time.
Apr 25, 2011
24,137
8,677
113
San Pedro, Ca
TheJohnnyOnTheSpot.Com
Real Name
John Sheridan
Business Location
United States
You’ve already cleaned those black grout lines with alkaline and acid cleaners and they are staying jet black like that? This makes me think of a job I did in the past.

I did a job one time in a million dollar house where the customer had several tiles replaced. There was a tile here and a tile there, probably about a dozen tiles throughout the house.

Well, when the contractor replaced the tiles he matched up the grout with the surrounding dirty grout. The grout was black so the contractor used black grout.

Fast forward to my arrival. I’m cleaning the tile and the grout is coming out beautifully. The grout was turning from black to white. Then I came to a tile that had been replaced. Of course the black grout stayed black. The customer wasn’t home unfortunately so I just kept going. When she got home she saw the dozen or so tiles with the black grout that stood out like a sore thumb. She was pissed at me and asked what I had done? She said I ruined her floor. I showed her how the guy had used black grout when he replaced the tile. She was still pissed at me and refused to pay. I even offered to put color seal on just those tiles but she wanted nothing to do with color seal.

Sorry to ramble on but my thinking is maybe some of the tiles have been replaced on the floor you are working on and the grout is actually black grout in the picture.

So the customer never paid you?
 

Pinosan

Premium VIP
Nov 22, 2011
10,672
3,969
113
California
allpointscarpetcare.com
Real Name
Martin Sanchez
Business Location
United States
Por el amor de dios!!! try stripper. it works as degreaser as well and you can address to possible issues here. color sealer or heavy duty grease. what are the surroundings? is this a warehouse? do they work with heavy duty machinery or industrial equipment? is this a dentist office? too many factors to take in consideration before you even start cleaning those surfaces. Good luck.