Removing contamination from grouted floors and areas, especially microbial contamination, presents a serious problem for cleaning professionals.
This is because grouting tends to be softer and more porous than surrounding tiles and the "grout line" is invariably lower than the tiles making it more difficult to clean.
Consequently, successfully removing contamination from grouted floors and areas has traditionally been dependent on the skill of the cleaning technician, the amount of time allotted for this time consuming task, and the cleaning systems used.
There are a limited number of investigations on the qualitative clean ability of grout areas. However, Dr. Jay Glasel, founder of Global Scientific Consulting LLC, in Farmington, CT has just completed and published the results of such a study. His investigation examined different cleaning methods and how well they removed contaminants from grout areas.
To conduct the test, the researchers first determined how much bacterial contamination was present in the grout areas. Two grout areas were then cleaned using similar cleaning chemicals: one with a new microfiber flat mop and the other with a 500 psi, high-flow fluid-extraction system, also known as a spray-and-vac cleaning system.
And the results? According to Dr. Glasel, "the data presented shows that spray-and-vac cleaning is by far the most effective cleaning method for removing microbial contamination from? grouted floor [areas]. Cleaning with the [microfiber] mops left 30 times more soil than cleaning with the spray-and-vac system."
Interestingly, these results are very similar to studies on floor surfaces recently conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, with the University of Arizona. In both studies, the spray-and-vac system was found to clean these areas more thoroughly, effectively, and hygienically.