Shower grout is composed of a mixture of water, cement and sand, which means that it is naturally absorbent and porous. If left unsealed, it would soak up mildew and dirt, which could take a long time to remove. Fortunately, you can fix the problem easily by sealing the grout, which you can perform at least once every year to help keep mildew, mold and dirt at bay. Here are the steps to take to accomplish this task without breaking the bank.
1. Secure the things that you will need. You will be able to purchase new grout and sealer—either solvent or water-based—from the hardware store near you. Other items that you will need are a course scrub pad, pair of rubber cleaning gloves, clean towel, applicator bottle, roller wheel, bucket and sponge.
2. Apply the new grout and allow it to cure for about 2 to 3 days before applying the new sealer. After curing and before you apply the sealer, allow some ventilation in the bathroom and wear gloves. Dip the coarse scrub pad into a bucket of clean water, and then scrub it on the grout lines to remove debris and loose grout. Follow it up by wiping with a clean towel. Allow the grout to dry up for about the recommended amount of time indicated by the manufacturer.
3. Pour the sealer into the applicator bottle, filling it up completely to the top. Place the top of the roller wheel on the bottle and securely tighten it. Then, turn the bottle upside down so the roller wheel will be pointing towards the floor.
4. Roll the wheel through the center of the grout lines to saturate them completely with the sealer and just work in small sections, removing excess sealer from the tile surface with dry paper towels. Like the grout, allow the sealer to dry up for the recommended amount of time indicated by the manufacturer, which is usually 5-10 minutes. Then, completely remove standing sealer from the grout lines with dry paper towels.
Continue this process for the other small sections of grout lines until each of them are completely sealed.
5. Follow the previous step to apply a second coat of sealer, and then allow it to dry completely. The number of coats you want to apply depends on the number of coverage you desire. Take note that your seal is adequate when you see the water beading on the grout surface and unable to penetrate.
6. Before you use your shower, you should allow the seal to cure for the recommended amount of time indicated by the manufacturer.
More Useful Tips
When applying grout sealer in shower, make sure re-wet the tile surfaces where the seal dried and buff it off with dry paper towels. You can also use an applicator bottle that has a brush tip or even a small artist brush as alternative. When choosing a sealer, remember that solvent-based sealers are more durable, while water-based sealers are safer top use and dry faster. Also, take note that solvent-based sealers do not comply with volatile organic compound regulations in almost all regions.