Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers

Grout ‘worms’? Lurking in a well-used shower

2 Comments

grout worm

Tiny larvae in a shower

15 years ago it seemed like a prank call when someone told us they had a problem with ‘grout worms’ in their shower, but now our service manager has taken a picture of what was likely lurking in the crevices of that shower and several others we’ve seen lately — tiny larvae that grow into little flies and thrive in the damp recesses of a well-used shower.

grout worm's shower

Breeding ground for mildew

When life gets away from us and routine cleaning with a PH Neutral cleaner isn’t done regularly, a shower can be a great breeding ground for mold and mildew. [It takes 3 things for mildew to thrive — a food source (soap scum and skin cells), water, and absence of light.] Many showers are poorly ventilated (or the fan is not used properly), and long showers and sporadic cleaning make them the perfect breeding ground for mildew and the tiny mites our caller was referring to as “grout worms.”

On the opposite extreme, we have also seen these larvae in over-cleaned grout lines. Each time bleach or some other overly harsh product is used, the pores of the grout open more, and mold and mildew are given an even better nesting place. This is why some people tell us that the more they clean, the more quickly mildew & other scum seems to develop. It’s because they are cleaning with a product that is too harsh for the grout, and they are actually eroding the cement in the grout.

Tile and grout are meant to last a long time, but, like all things, they have to be properly maintained. When you clean, do yourself, the environment, and your grout a favor and use a pH Neutral cleaner. It will make your grout last longer, do a better job of keeping away any “grout worms” and help your tile installation remain one of the trouble-free parts of your home. (Assuming it’s installed correctly in the first place, of course.)

Here’s to good installations and no more calls about “grout worms”  🙂

Author: Neuse Tile Service

We are second generation owners of a North Carolina business dedicated to quality tile and stone installations. Since 1964, the Neuse Tile team has worked very hard to maintain the quality and integrity that have been crucial to our business' success in the Triangle area. Specialty construction trades have changed and evolved over the years, and our certified installers are truly talented craftsmen. We are proud of our work, and are committed to doing everything we can to promote the proper installation of ceramic tile, to satisfy our customers, and to run a viable business. We are honored by the trust our customers place in us and look forward to serving this area with high quality tile installations for many years to come.

2 thoughts on “Grout ‘worms’? Lurking in a well-used shower

  1. Can you recommend some PH Neutral cleaners?

    • Thanks for asking! Most tile-specific maintenance lines have a pH Neutral cleaner. We use a lot of Aqua Mix’s Concentrated Tile and Grout cleaner, as well as their heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner for tougher jobs. It comes in a concentrate, so you can mix it as needed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s