In at least two ways it is similar to grout: black mold and mildew will grow on it, and you attack both of these problems the same way. These things aren't just unsightly, they're also a health risk. Best clean it off. |
The grout around your tiles, and possibly around your tub and sink, is a mortar-like compound of water, sand, and cement. It dries quickly and becomes rock-hard. It usually comes in white, but it can be stained almost any color.
The other stuff that looks like grout and can even go over grout to seal out moisture is called caulk, or caulking compound. You can tell the difference between this and grout because it has the consistency of toothpaste when you apply it, and it never dries quite as hard as grout. It comes in either small tubes or in the form of long cartridge inserts that load into metal caulking guns
You will be cleaning mold and mildew less if your bathroom, kitchen, and anyplace else where tile combines with moisture, is equipped with an exhaust fan that takes the moisture out of the air.
If, after cleaning, the mold returns quickly, you may have more than just a surface mold problem. The mold may be embedded behind the tile and grout. You need to take a look, either by removing some tiles or cutting through an adjoining wall. Extensive mold is going to require some extensive work, so best call in a mold removal expert.
The same caution applies to caulk. If mold is building up with some frequency, inspect it for breaks – the mold could be coming from underneath, and the caulking should be removed.
There is another problem related to cleaning grout, particularly appropriate to those people who have children or have visiting friends or relatives who aren't too bright. This is the problem of color stains on grout – such things as ink, crayons, hair dye, blood, etc. To clean crayon from grout, you can try using lighter fluid, turpentine, or mineral spirits, being careful not to inspect your work closely by the light of a lit match afterward. However, it would be safer, and probably more effective, just to chip out the damaged sections of grout and replace it with new – or use a grout stain to hide it.
For more idea on cleaning a grout, check out links below:
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