Why Does The Tile Grout Turn Black?

When you moved into your home, chances are your tile looked new and fresh. After time, however, tile grout can turn black, making the entire area look dingy and dirty. Truth be told, this may not be a reflection on your cleaning habits. Tile grout turns black for a number of reasons. Regardless of why it’s discolored, can tile grout be restored to its original beauty?

Let’s find out a little bit more about what’s going on with that tile grout. Then let’s see if there’s something we can do about stains and unsightly tile surfaces.

Grout Turns Black – But Why?

Dirt is one likely reason why your tile grout looks black or dark. But why is your grout turning black if you wash your floors regularly? You can actually be contributing to the problem with frequent floor washing if you’re doing it in a particular manner. The porous grout joints can collect cleaning solution and dirt that is washed from tiles. Each time you clean your floors, another layer of cleaning solution and dirt builds up.

When you clean tiled surfaces, try to avoid using too much water or solution. Additionally, avoid discoloring your grout by using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners. To remove the film that remains after cleaning, immediately after the cleansing process has been completed, only use a small amount of water… but right away. All the daily cleaning in the world may not make a difference once the grout becomes permanently stained.

Mold and Grout

Mold can be responsible for black grout. In areas where there is moisture or high humidity, mold can develop. Though it can appear on kitchen backsplashes, it is most commonly found on bathroom floors and shower tiles. To avoid health risks, as quickly as possible, mold should be removed. After each shower, regularly wipe down the tiles to prevent mold from developing. Fix leaky faucets and shower heads and clean your shower weekly.

Grout Brightening Solutions

To improve the look of grout and tile, special cleaning solutions and tools are used by professionals. However, for daily and weekly tile and grout care, there are solutions available from your local store. Professional technicians may be needed, however, if a deeper cleaning solution/technique is required. High-pressure water and special cleansers are used by professionals to clean grout and stone. Ideally, to protect the floor from new stains, a clearcoat sealant will be used after a professional cleaning process.

In a worst-case scenario, to completely change the look of the flooring, permanently stained grout may be specially treated to establish a new color. Again, this is a professional service.

Though you may be keeping up with your weekly grout and tile cleaning, there are times when you simply can’t avoid grout stains. With a professional cleaning service, however, and the waterproof sealant/treatment that they can provide, you can once again enjoy a beautifully tiled area – and do so for an extended period of time.

The Professional Tile and Grout Cleaner

Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning does far more than just clean oriental rugs. In fact, we offer a great many services. Since 1918, Northern New Jersey has been relying on our trustworthy, reputable company to clean and repair carpets and rugs. Now we have expanded our services to include tile and grout, as well as other household surface processes. Contact us today if you have grout and/or tile that you’d like returned to its original beauty.

Which Types Of Rug Problems Can Professionals Fix?

The answer to the question of what types of rug problems can be remedied by professionals lies largely in the professionals themselves. Naturally, since you value your rug or carpet, you will want to choose the most reliable, reputable professional possible. But you want the process to be affordable, as well. Remember to do your homework by checking out reviews online. Particularly in this day and age, it’s easy to research a company before you entrust your valuables to them.

Now let’s take a look at some of the problems that may arise with a rug or carpet, and what can be done to make them presentable again.

Fringe Edgings That Are Worn

Part of the value of a handwoven rug can be found in its construction – specifically, the knots. Unfortunately, those knots can fall off after becoming loose through the years. What can happen next is that the rug starts unraveling. Untold foundation inches can be lost if this problem is left unresolved. Trying to reconnect the fringe or repair the edge yourself, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, can do less good and more harm. Machine stitching or hand stitching by a nonprofessional is not advised. In reality, knots can be loosened by this practice. That means that even more rug loss could be experienced.

Rather than trying to do it yourself, contact a professional rug repair expert.

Oxidizing Cleaners or Bleaches

To brighten up or clean your rug, never use hydrogen peroxide or other oxidizers or bleaches. The cotton fibers can deteriorate. Blot, rather than rub, any spill that you incur on your rug. Consult a cleaning specialist if you can’t get the stain out in that manner.

Beetles and Moths

Within a year, a rug can be completely eaten away by carpet beetles and moths. Pet urine or spills that have soaked into the cotton or wool are actually what these pests are after – not the fiber itself. How do you know if your rug has been feasted upon by beetles or moths? Watch for sticky webbing and lint. Additionally, white bare areas where you can see foundation showing through are telltale signs. For bug infestations, consult a professional for repair.

Stains and Damage From Pet Accidents

As just suggested, moths can be attracted by pet urine in your carpet or rug. Dye damage and severe fiber damage can be a result. To discourage moths from making a meal of your rug, clean accidents up immediately. This can help salvage your rug by avoiding fiber damage. If it’s too late, and the damage has been done, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning thoroughly cleans carpets and rugs, but we do so much more. If you have a beloved Oriental rug that appears worse for the wear, we can help. We specialize in the repair of rugs, not just in their cleaning. We also offer tile and grout services for your tiled surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. Contact one of our representatives today to find out more about the services we offer or to schedule an appointment.

Top Tips To Prevent Carpet Mold Growth After A Major Leak

Has your home been in a flood lately? Perhaps, rather than a flood, you experienced a major plumbing leak. Regardless, your carpet, and probably the padding beneath it, have become saturated. It’s unsightly, yes. But there’s a far more serious problem lurking.

Carpet mold growth.

What can be done to protect your family and restore your carpet?

What to Do about Water Damage

If you are a homeowner, you know how challenging and frustrating it can be to experience water damage. It can be the result of various situations or accidents including flooding, minor leaks, roof damage, or burst pipes. Because water damage can present numerous problems if left untreated, it is important to react immediately if your home has been flooded or water damaged. This applies, in particular, to your carpeting, were mold and mildew can hide.

Follow these steps after a major plumbing leak has occurred.

Get Rid of That Water!

Once again, time is of the essence. Whatever area of your home was affected by the leak, you must remove all of the water as soon as possible. A wet-dry vacuum can be of great assistance here, particularly with standing water. Additionally, you may wish to incorporate large fans, which will also can be helpful in the next step of the drying out process. Keep those fans going night and day because it’s going to take days to completely dry out the carpet.

The Entire Room Must Be Dried Out

After water damage, not only carpeting, but the entire room could be experiencing excessive moisture. That’s why, in addition to large fans, you’ll want to employ the services of a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier can help prevent mildew and mold from forming throughout the room, even in tight places.

Carpet and Floor Cleaning and Drying

So, you’ve removed the water, you’ve dried everything, and set up a dehumidifier. Unfortunately, water damage usually means that padding under the carpet needs to be replaced. Good steam cleaning might help salvage your carpet, but not the padding. Tear up the carpet, put down new padding, and then replace your freshly cleaned carpet.

Cleaning/Sanitizing Walls and Baseboards

This is an essential step and should never be neglected. Water affects more than just the carpeting. It can seep its way into baseboards and walls. All surfaces should be scrubbed and sanitized with a bleach mixture. Don’t get bleach on the carpeting!

Was the Furniture Damaged?

Your furniture sits on the carpeting that was water damaged. Check to see if any of that water found its way into your furniture. Wooden legs on furniture should be cleaned with a bleach mixture but any upholstery that came into contact with the water should be professionally cleaned. Again, the dehumidifier will assist in drying your furniture.

Remedying the Problem Efficiently

When it comes to wet-dry vacs, dehumidifiers, and large fans, not everyone has those in their closet. Renting them can be pricey and inconvenient. Enlisting the services of a professional rug restoration service is a good option for many homeowners. This way, the job is done correctly, thoroughly, and most likely guaranteed.

Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning does far more than clean and repair Oriental rugs. We offer wall-to-wall carpet cleaning, tile and grout restoration, and more. If your home has flooded, or you’ve experienced a severe leak, and your carpet has been saturated, call us today. Time is of the essence. We can help you assess the situation and recommend the best possible solution.

How To Protect Carpets During Holiday Parties

It’s that time of year again. Where did the summer go? Soon people’s minds will be turning to holiday parties and warm cozy moments with family and friends. Unfortunately for your rugs and carpets, disaster is right around the corner in part because of those holiday parties. With all of the drinking, celebratory eating, cheer, and merriment – especially the drinking – major stains can infiltrate your favorite rugs and carpeting. But, you could give your carpet in early Christmas present by using the tips listed below to protect carpets and rugs in your home.

Plans to Make before the Party

There a lot of plans that you want to start devising before party day arrives, but make sure you include your rugs and carpeting in those plans. A couple of days before the party, have a licensed professional clean your rugs and carpets. Yes, this gives your home a clean, presentable look for your company, but having your carpets cleaned also has a psychological basis. If your rugs and carpets are immaculate, your guests are more likely to try harder to avoid spills or dropping food.

Protective Covering

It wouldn’t hurt to make a small investment in some carpet covers or area rugs. The peace of mind that these carpet coverings will give you make them worth the cost. Unless someone is exceedingly careless, they can save your carpet.

Avoid Contact

If one particular carpet or rug is of major concern to you, discreetly block off that area and steer guests another way. If the rug can be moved, relocated to a different room for the party and lock the door. You can always tell your guests that you prefer they remove their shoes upon entry. This goes over okay with some people, but not others. But it’s your house, after all.

Where Can I Set My Drink?

Food and drink will end up on any surface if a guest does not find a table. That means carpets, rugs, furniture, etc. If you’re a little short on tables, run over to your nearest thrift store and pick up a couple. These tables can be set up in areas where people are most likely to congregate and have the sole purpose of being there for nothing more than setting down food and drinks.

Keep Watch!

Granted, you’ve got enough to do playing host or hostess. But you’re going to be moving your way around the room anyways, so while you’re doing it, gently persuade your guests to place their food and drinks in appropriate areas – particularly if they are already putting it somewhere it shouldn’t be. Grab a big garbage bag as the party starts to wind down and discard half-finished food, take half-filled drinks to the kitchen, etc. This will help avoid spills and stains.

At Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning, we know all too well that accidents happen, even during the best of times. Since 1918, we’ve been cleaning (and repairing) northern New Jersey’s carpets and rugs. Let us work with you to bring an old rug or carpet back to life, restore newness to a soiled or damaged carpet or rug, treat a rug that you wish to put in storage with moth deterrent, repair a damaged area,  etc. We have numerous services with which to serve you. Contact Reilly’s today if you’d like to find out what we can do for your rug or carpet.

Cleaning Your Grout And Tiles And Restoring Their Shine

Even though the tiles in your bathroom, kitchen, etc. may still look presentable, if the grout between them is nasty, the entire area looks bad. Almost anything that grout comes into contact with – spills, oils, grime, grease – will be absorbed. That’s because it’s like a giant sponge; it’s porous. This could apply to foyer floor mud stains, kitchen cooking splatters, bathroom mildew, and more. But, it is possible to restore your grout and tiles to like-new condition.

Take a look at the following suggestions as to how to make your floor tiles sparkle and your kitchen and bathroom tiles shine.

Tile Cleaning

Ceramic, porcelain, and most other tile types can be cleaned easily with dish soap and warm water. Keep in mind, although it is used pretty commonly, vinegar (even when it’s diluted) is very acidic. Too strong of a cleaning solution, even vinegar, can etch stone tiles, damage and weaken the grout, and more. Rather, mix a gentle solution of dish soap and water and spray it on the desired area. All you need to do then is wipe it off with a damp cloth or microfiber.

Bathroom Tile Steam Cleaning

It can be exceedingly difficult to remove soap scum and that’s usually what’s on the surface of bathroom tiles, in addition to debris and surface dirt. Here’s a little hint that should help with bathroom tile cleansing. Before you actually start the cleaning process, spray the shower walls and tiled floors with your chosen surface cleaner. Now, for about five minutes, crank up that hot water and let the steam really build up. After that five minutes, wait 20 more for the steam and the cleanser to react. Once you wipe the tiles down with your clean cloth, you’ll be amazed at how easy the process was and how clean your tiles are.

Grout Line Scrubbing

Now that the tiles are clean, let’s pay attention to the grout lines. Grout can be made from various mixes. Stain resistance is boosted in today’s grout because it includes polymers and latex. Traditionally, cement and sand were used to make grout. The latter is very porous and will stain easily. The two best tools for this job are going to be patience and water. Let’s begin…

  • With hot water, spray the grout.
  • Use a grout brush or stiff bristle brush to lift any grime or dirt on the surface.
  • Particularly effective are steam cleaners. Directly to the grout, apply steam.
  • Now, in a circular motion, use your scrub brush.
  • With a rag, blot away any moisture.
  • You will have new-looking grout when it dries.

Why does water work so well? It’s particularly safe and gentle for grout because it has a neutral pH of seven. You can’t say the same for acidic cleaners which have a pH around two. Bleach and other highly alkaline cleaners have a pH at about 12, so those should be applied very sparingly (if at all).

For Stubborn Stains In Grout

If you’re still not happy with the look of your grout, repeating the process with more elbow grease may work. For really stubborn stains, many have had success with the Magic Eraser. They wear away fast though, when using them on grout, so you’ll want to buy a box of them.

In addition to cleaning northern New Jersey’s carpets and rugs since 1918, we also specialize in tile and grout cleaning. In fact, Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning offers a slew of special services. Contact one of our representatives today if you’d like to discuss which services apply to you.

Beware Of These Thanksgiving Meal Stains

My, how time flies. The holidays are upon us yet again. There will be family, friends, presents, parties, drinking, and more food than one should ever consume. Unfortunately, some of that food can take the Thanksgiving holiday (for example) and turn it upside down. No one is particularly thankful for Thanksgiving meal stains on rugs and in carpeting. Is there a way to rescue the holidays and your carpet from the stains that can result from food and drinks?

If you know ahead of time what stains are the worst, it may help you avert a holiday disaster – at least where carpet and rug stains are concerned. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders when it comes to foods that threaten to stain your floor coverings this holiday season.

(Remember that having your carpet treated with stain resistant products is a great way to start the holidays.)

Red, Red Wine

This may be the title of a song, but there’s nothing catchy or fun about red wine stains in your carpet. Similar to cranberry stains (see below). They pose serious issues for your rugs and carpet because they can leave permanent marks due to the fact that they are tannin based. First things first – you’ll want to blot up the stain immediately. It’s important that the absorbent pad or cloth you use is as clean, spotless, and white as possible. Be careful what kind of cleaning agents you use as well. Make sure they’re safe for your carpet.


As just suggested, the red wine and cranberry that you will enjoy during Thanksgiving dinner will not be enjoyed if it makes its way into your carpet. Indelible and unmistakable bright red stains will be left behind by these tannin-based substances, potentially ruining rugs and carpets. As soon as you possibly can, treat cranberry stains. If you don’t, the stain will be set into the fabric forever.


One of the most delicious parts of Thanksgiving is the dessert – pumpkin pie. As much as you may be looking forward to it, your carpets and rugs are not! The stains left behind by pumpkin can be fierce. If pumpkin pie is dropped onto your carpets, because it’s a solid, you want to scrape up as much as you can, right away. Only then, to avoid the stain spreading, should you apply your cleaning agent. Avoid at all costs forcing the stain deeper into the fibers of your rug or carpet by pushing it down into the floor covering with rubbing.


Gravy boats are nice, but they tend to drip. And what spills from these containers is a mixture of grease and protein. When it comes to removing gravy stains, the best way to deal with them is to use something that will remove grease stains. Here is one method:

  • In a cup, mix 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap and warm water.
  • While the mix is still warm, dip a cloth into it and, onto the grease stain, apply light pressure.
  • For about five minutes, let the solution work on the spill.
  • Now blot the stain using a clean cloth.

The sooner this process is executed, the better your results will likely be.


Butter may be better, but when it comes to your carpet, it can be a real problem. In most American households, you’ll find butter on the table, particularly during the holidays. As soon as possible, treat rug and carpet stains that are a result of dropped butter. The same solution that you used to clean up gravy will work best on spilled butter. Make sure that you rinse the area once it’s been cleaned in both cases.

If the holidays end up leaving your rug or carpet in messy disarray, call the experts at Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning. We can restore your beautiful floor covering so that it is once again something to be thankful for and proud of.

Are Your Flooded Carpets Starting To Smell?

After the Flood

One of the most important things you can do after a flood is to act immediately. The first step in carpet cleaning post-flood will involve drying the carpet. The best method here is with a dry or wet vacuum. Professional water damage restoration services can be exceedingly useful here. That way, restoration can be done by carpet specialists who know exactly what to watch for and what to do.

Chances are, your carpet wasn’t the only thing that got wet in the flood. The padding was likely saturated as well. To thoroughly restore a dry carpet, you will have to pull it up and remove the padding. Unfortunately, it’s best to discard the padding. Replace the material that goes under your carpet with new padding, then you can reinstall the dried out carpet.

Large fans can greatly speed the drying process, after which a dehumidifier is recommended. Dehumidifiers and large fans are specialized equipment and will probably be part of the arsenal used by a professional, should you call one in.

Now What About That Smell?

The smell of mold and mildew is relatively unmistakable. Even after the carpet has completely dried, the smell of mildew can remain and must be removed. Once again, a professional carpet cleaner knows exactly what to do. But you could try to steam clean your carpet, if you feel comfortable doing so. If the smell still remains, it may be your furniture, walls, or baseboards creating it. The walls and baseboards will have to be cleansed with soap and water, and the furniture upholstery professionally cleaned.

After a flood, always inspect a room thoroughly, and that means pulling up the carpeting. Mold and mildew can hide very easily.

How Long Does the Drying Process Take?

To fully dry and restore your home, depending on how effective your drying methods are, it can take between three and five days. A better and faster job can probably be done by water restoration experts because they have the equipment, techniques, and the know-how to speed up the process. Go online and do a little research to find out who is affordable, reputable, and effective.

Better yet, we can suggest a professional carpet restoration service who has proven themselves in the northern New Jersey area, starting back in 1918.

Count on Riley’s

Riley’s Oriental Rug Cleaning can help you determine whether or not rugs or carpets that have been in a flooded area are salvageable. If they are, you can trust us to restore their life and beauty once again. We can also assist with tiled surfaces that no longer appear shiny and new. If you’ve experienced a flood and need carpeting assessed and/or cleaned, contact us today. We’re ready to help.