April 20, 2022
TOP 10 CAUSES OF GROUT TURNING YELLOWHome and business owners and property managers have a common complaint about the grout in their showers and floors turning yellow. Testing can help determine what is causing the problem. Solutions will vary, depending on the cause. Here are the details.
1. ToiletriesShampoos, soaps, and other personal items used in showers contain chemicals that can cause discoloration, and hence, yellowing of grout. This is especially true of hair dyes and shampoos that contain coloring agents. Check the product labels to see whether products contain dyes, polymers, or other ingredients that may cause grout to turn yellow.
2. Body OilsSkin and hair oils contain many contaminants that can cause discoloration of not only grout but also tile. These body oils are what cause the familiar yellow stain, ring-around-the-collar.
3. Sealers and WaxesSealers and various waxes can contain polymers that can discolor over time and cause yellowing.
4. Grout TypeNumerous grout types are prone to yellowing. For example, white epoxy grouts are notorious for turning yellow.
5. Cleaning ProductsCertain cleaners, especially those that contain dyes, can cause discoloration of grout. Household bleach commonly discolors grout. Check the product labels to see whether products contain dyes, polymers, or other ingredients that may cause grout to turn yellow.
6. IronCertain water supplies contain iron. Water containing iron can deposit minerals on the grout that can oxidize and cause a yellow discoloration. If the water used to mix the grout during installation contained iron, this can also cause discoloration. Your professional stone and tile restoration technician can do a test to determine if your water supply and/or your grout contain iron. If your water supply contains iron, install a water filtration system.
7. Dirty WaterWater used to mop floors can rapidly get dirty. The dirt, oils, etc. will settle on the grout lines and cause a yellow cast. It is important to keep your mop head clean and change the mop water often.
8. Cigarette SmokeCigarette smoke can settle on grout lines, causing the grout to turn yellow. Obviously, smoking outdoors will eliminate further yellowing of grout, as well as walls, furniture, and household items.
9. Aerosol SpraysHairspray, air freshener, and other aerosol sprays can sometimes cause grout discoloration. Check the product labels to see whether products contain dyes, polymers, or other ingredients that may cause grout to turn yellow.
10. Bleed OverCertain tile types, such as white marble, contain iron. Iron from the tile can bleed into the grout and oxidize, causing the grout to turn yellow.
Recolor or Replace Yellowed Grout?A good professional cleaning can often remove contaminants that cause grout to turn yellow. Once your grout is completely clean, ask your professional stone and tile restoration technician to seal the grout with a good penetrating sealer. Be sure to take the necessary precautions, such as discontinuing the use of certain products, smoking outside, or installing a water filtration system, so that your grout will not turn yellow again.