Over time, the tile joints darken and reveal mold that is visually unsightly because it gives the bathroom a neglected appearance. To remedy this, there are not a thousand and one solutions: you have to go through the “cleaning” box.
Why and under what conditions should you clean tile joints?
As part of bathroom hygiene, regular cleaning of tile joints is essential. Household products, humidity and dirt are all factors contributing to the degradation of the joint. Result: the room becomes unsightly and a bad smell may even emerge.
It is also important to underline that a bad condition of the seals weakens the sealing of the walls or the floors. Risks of infiltration occur leading to the detachment of the tiles in the long term.
Thanks to a suitable cleaning, it is possible to avoid these inconveniences. In addition, it contributes to the longevity of the seals and avoids changing them regularly, which can cause a loss of time and a loss of money.
The different products and methods that work: the pros and cons
In the range of natural cleaning solutions, the use of vinegar is one of the most common techniques. Before starting the cleaning, it is very important to wear household gloves and above all to ventilate the room. Then in a bowl, add two thirds of white vinegar mixed with a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Dip a toothbrush in this mixture and scrub the joints. Rinse off after an hour. This method is certainly ecological but it does not eliminate all traces if the seals are really too dirty.
Same for the bicarbonate which is a simple and natural technique but not very effective when it comes to joints that are too scaled up. For this process, mix four tablespoons of baking soda with ten tablespoons of white vinegar. Pour into a spray bottle and spray the entire area to be cleaned. After 24 hours, spray again to moisten, scrub and rinse.
Big words, big remedies: if the level of dirt is high, the use of bleach will be inevitable. Mix the product with warm water and scrub all the tiles. Then rinse with clean water. With this product, all traces are easily removed, but it has the disadvantage of being quite chemical. So don’t abuse it.
As a last resort: redo the joints of your bathroom step by step
In the case of joints that are too damaged, renovation is necessary. With the help of a tile scraper, remove the old seal then vacuum to remove the residue and finish cleaning by passing a damp cloth. After acquiring ready-to-use joint mortar from a DIY store, mix the powder with water until you obtain a homogeneous and flexible texture. Follow the doses recommended by the manufacturer.
Then fill the spaces between the tiles with the product using a trowel. Use a rubber squeegee to smooth out the joints.
After letting it dry for a while, take a damp sponge and clean the tiles, removing the excess product. Pass a dry cloth. Before you can wash your tiles with plenty of water, you will have to wait between 24 to 48 hours.
A few tips for protecting your tile joints over the long term
You now have clean, smooth tile that looks nice. To protect this part over the long term, the use of sealant is recommended. You can find it at DIY stores. It costs around 15 € for 250 ml. Apply the product to the entire tile using a wide brush. The ideal is to make up to 3 layers but in this case, it is necessary to respect a drying time of about thirty minutes between each layer.
Keeping tile joints clean prevents the bathroom from looking sloppy. From natural solutions to more drastic methods, everything is good to preserve the state of the joint.