possible to clean grout?

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Old 05-15-11, 05:16 AM
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possible to clean grout?

We bought this house about 3 years ago & I put in a new American Standard (Champion 4) toilet about 1.5 years ago.
The blue dye from parts on the flush valve leaked and ran out of the toilet and stained my (white) tile floor & grout. I removed the toilet and cleaned it all up, and was able to clean the walls, molding and floor tiles. Now I'll try & clean up the grout lines- what would you suggest I try to use to clean that up? I'm pretty sure it's regular sanded grout, off-white color, that probably hasn't been sealed in years.
Thanks
 

Last edited by stickshift; 06-13-11 at 08:17 AM. Reason: removed unnecessary information
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  #2  
Old 05-15-11, 05:25 AM
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Probably the best toilet out there. Question is, how did it leak on your floor?? Improper installation? Too small a wax ring? Bowl to tank fasteners loose?? Not your normal activity for a toilet.
Are you using one of those in tank sanitizer pucks? They, likewise will stain unbelievably. I just don't think the blue on the flapper could eek out enough "dye" to damage the floor.
You may be able to use a weak bleach solution and chase it with water, using an old toothbrush to force it into the grout line.
Oh, BTW, use of those in tank sanitizer pucks will void the warranty. :NO NO NO:
 
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Old 05-15-11, 09:51 AM
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I agree with Chandler on both counts...

Plastics fibers like polyester and nylon are dyed to make carpet pile, but plastic parts that are the same colour throughout are pigmented. That is, the colour of a BLUE plastic telephone comes from tiny blue particles inside the plastic the phone is molded from. It's those particles that make the plastic blue in colour. Ditto for all other colours. Transparent and transluscent coloured plastics simply have less pigment in them. If the pigment particles were to somehow got out of the plastic, you'd be able to clean them up with a vaccuum cleaner.

I'd also use bleach to remove the blue staining from toilet bowl cleaners. Maybe start with a weak solution (1 part bleach, 10 parts water) and see if it's effective if left for a long time on the stain. That is, apply the bleach solution and cover with wax paper to prevent it from drying out. Check for progress every so often.
 
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Old 05-16-11, 10:02 AM
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Thanks to both for your input, and I should have been more explicit: we NEVER use any colored cleaner or those 'pucks' for the tank (it would void the warranty anyway). It was NOT an improper installation- it worked flawlessly for 1.5 years until now. The wax ring is not too small, the bolts are not leaking.
I contacted the manufacturer and explained the issue to them; they didn't even let me finish explaining the problem to them & immediately volunteered to send me replacement kits for the flush valve & fill valve. This made me curious enough to ask them if it was a manufacturer defect and a problem that others had complained about, but she didn't acknowledge that . That's fine with me, as long as the replacement parts don't do the same thing a year from now.
In the meantime, I experimented using a baking soda/water mixture on some areas, and white vinegar on others. Both seemed to do well, but there is still some residual faint blue on some of the white grout lines. Next weekend I'll repeat the same treatment when I have more scrubbing time.
Thanks for the input.
 
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Old 05-16-11, 09:44 PM
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they didn't even let me finish explaining the problem to them & immediately volunteered to send me replacement kits for the flush valve & fill valve. This made me curious enough to ask them if it was a manufacturer defect and a problem that others had complained about, but she didn't acknowledge that .
If that happened to me, then that would likely be the first thought to cross my mind.

But, the thought that would stay in my mind is that American Standard is taking a cue from Moen and Delta. It's seen these companies grow by leaps and bounds despite their "lifetime warranties". And, it's dawned on American Standard that the reason people are buying Moen and Delta is because of that lifetime warranty. So, I expect that American Standard is now jumping on the lifetime warranty bandwagon too, and that's why they were he11 bent to send you a free replacement part asap.

Or, at least, the "increase market share motive" rings louder in my ear than the "cover up factory defect" motive. Inspect the new part. See if it's any different than the old part. That'll tell you.

And, uum, try using bleach.
 
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Old 05-17-11, 05:06 AM
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Face it, what did it cost them to send you replacement parts?? I mean real cost. $2? You get a warm and fuzzy feeling about their customer service, and will remember that when you go to replace your bath faucets, or recommend to a friend. It is a good marketing strategy. Price Pfister has done the same for me and really quick, too. Delta is a little on the questiony side and is slow, but it comes in eventually. Hans Grohe is another almost overnight replacement company. I boogered up a part once and wanted to buy it from them. Nope, free, shipped overnight. Of course the shower unit cost several hundred bucks, so it wasn't cheap stuff.
 
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Old 06-11-11, 11:15 AM
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I don't disagree with anything you said Chandler, but I also have both eyes open & fully understand their marketing strategy. Either way, they sent me replacement parts that look & function slightly differently than the original ones, so we'll wait & see how these ones work in the long run.
As far as removing the blue coloring from the white sanded grout- I tried regular vinegar and some baking soda on a small test area and it worked pretty darn well. But is it 'safe' to use on sanded grout? Can I use this to clean the grout, then seal it again when I'm done?
Thanks
 
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Old 06-13-11, 07:48 AM
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Once light colored grouts get stained, it's darn near impossible to completely remove the stain. White is a tough color. Acids like vinegar will weaken the grout over time and you should avoid their usage when possible. After using acids you should flush the area with clean water several times to get rid of any remaining acid.

Other possible solutions to your problem are using a grout colorant, or removing and replacing the grout.
 
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Old 06-24-11, 10:31 AM
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You can also try an oxygen bleach (i.e. Oxy Clean). I have some ceramic in the master bath and the grout was horribly dirty. I tried the bleach, vinegar, baking soda, etc... and none really worked all that well. Someone suggested the oxy clean so I tried it. It worked very well.

Mix it with hot water and let is set on the grout for a while. If it starts to dry up, simply mop some more on. After it sets get a stiff bristled brush (not steel) and scrub the grout lines thoroughly.
 
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