Tile Cleaning problem ?

Hello,
Have a shower stall I am having trouble cleaning some of the tile.
All the spray products available do a great job on the tile faces, and even most of the grout between them.
But for the corners, and some of the tile edges, it's another story. Some is grout, and apparently some was lightly sealed with a Silicone/RTV.
Stays black no matter what product I've tried. And, I've tried a zillion of them, including Chlorox.
Really don't want to rip out the old, black, grout or Silicone, and re-do.
Anmy product(s) that really works for this kind of thing ?
Thanks, Bob
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I wonder if the problem might be that they sealed it. Silicone also attracts mildew. I always avoid silicone caulking in tubs for that reason.
There's nothing better than bleach for mildew. The special mildew sprays are no more than a scam, adding 30 cents worth of bleach to a bottle of water and charging $5 for it.
I've had good luck with tub dinginess using an acid cleaner by Zep, from HD.
If bleach doesn't make the black fade in a matter of minutes then you're dealing with something other than mildew. It's hard to tell the appearance from your description. You refer to grout *or* silicone. In the corners I assume there's caulking, maybe silicone, which probably needs to be scraped out and redone.
| Hello, | | Have a shower stall I am having trouble cleaning some of the tile. | | All the spray products available do a great job on the tile faces, and | even most of the grout between them. | | But for the corners, and some of the tile edges, it's another story. | Some is grout, and apparently some was lightly sealed with a Silicone/RTV. | | Stays black no matter what product I've tried. | And, I've tried a zillion of them, including Chlorox. | | Really don't want to rip out the old, black, grout or Silicone, and re-do. | | Anmy product(s) that really works for this kind of thing ? | | Thanks, | Bob | | --- | This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active. | http://www.avast.com |
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My guess is the silicone is discolored and has absorbed some of the black from the mold/mildew. If that is the case, nothing will get rid of it.
Clean it out and consider using epoxy grout. It is easier to clean and does not absorb. It does cost a bit more, but worth it for a bathroom, IMO.
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I own a small apartment block, and I clean mildew off of silicone caulk all the time.
If the mildew is on the grout, you're best bet is to use phosphoric acid to dissolve the surface of the grout until the grout is clean, and then use a grout sealer to seal the surface of the grout so that it doesn't come back.
If the mildew isn't too bad on the silicone itself, you can clean it up by mixing Borax (which you can find in the laundry detergent aisle of any supermarket) with bleach to make a thick slurry. Use a large spoon to scoop up that slurry and hold it near the silicone and then a small spoon to spread the slurry over the silicone. Then, cover that with Saran Wrap or any cling wrap for a few days. When you remove the cling wrap, the silicone caulk should be white as Manitoba snow.
Now, in the above instructions, you'll get the same cleaning effect regardless of whether you use Borax or any powder since the active ingredient is the bleach. However, my experience is that using Borax makes for a stickier slurry that will stick to vertical surfaces much better.
Also, if the silicone is really badly mildewed, the above procedure will only lighten the mildew, and you'll still have brown stains on the silicone. In that case, the only option is to replace the silicone.
It's common to have people who have replaced the silicone around their tub find that the new silicone caulk won't stick. The reason why they're having a problem is because they haven't removed the old silicone caulk COMPLETELY. So, what they're trying to do is get the new silicone to stick to a very thin film of old silicone caulk that is still on the tub and tile. THE BEST WAY to remove the old silicone is to:
1. Cut off as much as possible with a single edge razor blade gripped in the jaws of a pair of needle nose style locking pliers.
2. Apply "Silicone-Be-Gone" silicone caulk remover which you should be able to buy in the caulking aisle of any hardware store or home center. Silicone-Be-Gone is nothing more than gelled mineral spirits. It does not DISSOLVE the silicone caulk, but causes it to swell and become quite soft so that it can be more effectively removed by mechanical means.
3. Scrape off as much of the swollen silicone with the razor scraper described in Step #1.
4. Repeat Step #2 and then scrub the area with a green Scotchbrite pad of the kind sold in grocery stores as pot scrubbers. (If you have a plastic tub or shower pan, use the white Scotchbrite pads for delicate scrubbing. The white Scotchbrite pads don't have any abrasives impregnated into the nylon fibers from which the Scotchbrite pad is made.
Silicone-Be-Gone will emuslify in water, causing the water to turn whitish. If you've removed all of the old silicone from the tub and tile, the new silicone caulk will stick to both the tub and tile like chewing gum to the underside of a church pew.
And that's it. Clean as much of the mildew off the grout as you can with phosphoric acid, which you can buy as a toilet bowl cleaner from any home center of place that sells janitorial supplies. Then clean the silicone as best you can with a borax/bleach slurry or remove it entirely using Silicone-Be-Gone and replace it.
--
nestork


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Oren wrote: ...

yeah...
unfortunately a lot of people will caulk or seal over mold/mildew and think that will kill it and it will magically disappear.
you have to get rid of the old layer of caulk or sealer if bleach will not get rid of the mold/mildew. if the mold/mildew is down in cracks in the grout then it needs to be cleaned out well before it is regrouted. use the right kind of grout for the application, some grouts can be epoxy or have rubberlike stuff added to them to make them more water repellent.
after regrouting i'd seal the area with a compatible product.
plus after each use wipe it down with the towel so it dries more easily. saves a lot of BS later.
songbird
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