Frequently Asked Questions
What is Gas Explosion Reticulation and why might it be important?
Gas explosion or “thermal” reticulation is a process that SpongaUSA uses to make the most porous, longest lasting, and best performing Grout Sponges. We start by placing by our proprietary, high-quality polyester foam “bun” in a very large vacuum pressure chamber. Air is evacuated from the chamber and then filled with an explosive gas mixture. The gas is ignited, and a controlled flame passes through the polyester foam, melting or opening the cell membranes to the optimal level. This process creates sponges that are soft, smooth and very long-lasting, while maintaining the integrity of polyester skeletal structure. The optimal number of open cells makes the sponges highly absorptive, to retain and release the maximum water, sand, and cement.
Gas explosion reticulation is important, because there are other, less effective (lower cost) processes such as chemical reticulation. Chemical reticulation does not provide as many open sponge cells, which means the sponges are not as absorptive and as such, less effective. And chemically reticulated sponges become less flexible, harder and do not last as long.
Why are there different sizes of SpongaUSA Premium Grout Sponges?
The simple answer is that our customers have asked for our sponges in different sizes. The vast majority of the Grout Sponges we produce are in Extra Large size (7.5” x 5.5” x 2”). But, we also produce the same high quality Sponges in Large size (6.5” x 4.5” x 2”) and Medium size (6” x 4” x 2”).
Why do you produce different types of Sponges? Won’t the Premium Grout Sponge meet all my needs?
The SpongaUSA Premium Grout Sponge can certainly be used in variety of applications, but over the years we had customers ask us for more specialized sponges. For a little more scrubbing power if/when grout might dry on a tile surface, we laminated our Premium Grout Sponge to a white nylon scrub pad. The sponge side is used in normal fashion to clean the grout and if needed, the scrub pad side can be used to help remove and dried grout.
As some Epoxy Grouts and Urethane Grouts can be a more difficult to remove from the surface tile, we also manufacture an Epoxy Grout sponge that is slightly textured or abrasive to help clean and remove these types of grout. Once the excess Epoxy Grout or Urethane Grout is removed from the surface of the tile, it is advisable to use a Premium Grout Sponge to assure a smooth well “tooled” grout joint. (Note: SpongaUSA Epoxy Grout Sponges are orange in color).
We manufacture a sponge to make the sealing process easier and more efficient. Our Sealer Sponges are designed to be even more absorptive than our Premium Grout Sponge, so they “hold”, drip free, the maximum amount of sealer, which means a larger tile, stone or grout surface can be sealed before the sponge needs to be refilled with sealer. With a gentle squeeze of the Sealer Sponge, the sealer is released and applied to the surface. To assure smooth, streak-free applications of topical sealers, our Sealer Sponges manufactured with the least texture and smoothest finish possible. (Note: SpongaUSA Sealer Sponges are teal in color).
Can I use a Grout Sponge to apply grout?
No, Grout Sponges are used to clean grout from the tile surface. The primary tool used to actually apply grout to tile joints is the grout float.
How is a Premium Grout Sponge used to clean newly installed grout?
Before using a grout sponge to remove grout from the tile surface, it is always to best use a high-quality grout float that will not only tightly pack the grout into the joint, but will also remove as much of the excess (residual) grout from the surface to the tile. Cleaning should begin after the grout develops a dry, skinned-over appearance…typically within 5 to 10 minutes. But, temperature, humidity and tile’s absorption rate all affect drying time. Do not let grout completely dry on the surface of the tile.
The Grout Sponge should be fully wetted, by submerged in bucket of clean water. Remove the Grout Sponge from the water and wring dry by hand to achieve a lightly dampened sponge. It is important to use as little water as possible when cleaning grout from surface of tile to assure consistent color and strong grout joints. Fortunately, SpongaUSA Grout Sponges are designed to be highly porous to retain and release water resulting in the most effective grout installation cleaning tool. Wipe the lightly dampened Grout Sponge diagonally across the tile surface, removing any excess grout. Avoid wiping in the same direction as the grout joints. After each wipe-down, rinse and wring out the sponge to prevent adding excess water to the tile surface or grout joints. The rinse water should be changed frequently. It is advisable to have multiple buckets of clean water. Finally, it is a good idea to use of a terrycloth or microfiber towel to polish, clean and dry the surface of the tile.
Why do you manufacture SpongaUSA Sponges in Greece?
We have years of manufacturing expertise, access to proprietary raw material and highly skilled labor expertise that allows us to produce the “World’s Greatest Grout Sponges”. For more information on our manufacturing expertise, please click here