Ceramic tiles are durable, come in a variety of patterns, types, and colors and easily adapt to any living space. One of the downsides to ceramic tiles grout, though. It tends to get very dirty very quickly and it’s one of the most demanding cleaning tasks there is.
Fortunately, there are modern tools out there to help make this task much simpler: Steam cleaners! Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss how to use a steam cleaner for grout to effectively clean it and make it shine.
Cleaning Your Grout is a Complicated Task
We can all agree that cleaning up the grime, grease, and dirt out of your grout it not only unpleasant to look at, but it’s also one of the most difficult cleaning tasks there is.
If you’ve ever cleaned your grout, you know how a clean grout radically shifts the appearance of the walls and floors.
Of course, the way most people achieve a clean grout is by using small brushes and tons of severe cleaning chemicals. Some of these abrasive chemicals will even erode the grout and discolor sections of it.
If you’ve ever cleaned your grout, there’s no need to explain why this task is so difficult to achieve and why it oftentimes makes a huge mess. However, you won’t need to worry long, as we will teach you all about using a steam cleaner for your dirty grout and why it’s the best way to obtain exceptional results.
Purchasing a Steam Cleaner is a Smart Decision
If you’ve ever watched grout-cleaning videos using a steam cleaner, you know how satisfying it actually is. And if you’re someone who really wants to have their tiles looking perfectly clean, you know you can’t go wrong with a steam cleaner.
Not only is a steam cleaner more efficient, but it’s also environmentally friendly and mess-free, and it makes it much simpler to restore your grout to its original color.
The high heat, gentle pressure and low moisture on a steam cleaner, will force dirt out of the grout and bring it to your tile’s surface, where it is later wiped away with a mop or other cleaning tools you prefer. And guess what? You can even purchase a steam cleaner with an extraction feature built-in.
Steam cleaning your grout means there’s no need to be on your knees scrubbing the floors as you would see in an old-fashioned film. All you need is to use 2 extension tubes, and some operators will function in a standing position on floors and ceilings as well.
Steam Cleaners are Power Tools
That’s right. Steam cleaners can powerfully and efficiently clean your grout. They make the work much easier and quicker to an otherwise arm-killing and tedious job.
A steam cleaner will heat water to over 200° F and have handy nozzles that specifically direct steam blasts onto the grout. Depending on the model, some nozzles include brass brushes or special nylon designed for grout cleaning and scrubbing while steaming.
After you’re done steaming, this creates a dirty pool of water and grime you can easily mop, rinse, or extract.
Why Does Grout Get Dirty So Quickly?
You may have asked yourself this question while on your knees about a dozen times. The truth is, when installed, the tile grout was forced between each tile which helps stabilize and level the tiles.
Cleaning tile? A piece of cake. But the grout is not only leveled lower than the tile, but it is also much more porous and absorbs all sorts of debris and sand into it daily. Yes, it happens every single day.
In showers and tubs, for instance, this goo is hardened by mineral scale, soap scum, and grime in general, as well as mold resulting from the moist environment.
On tile flooring in other areas of the home, grime in grout will generally consist of embedded dirt and may even contain detergent debris.
Due to the porous nature of grout, this gunk will work itself into the pores and, over time, progressively become more difficult to remove with regular cleaning.
Sometimes, even scrubbing forcefully with sturdy brushes and using machines and powerful cleaners may not produce the satisfactory results you may have hoped for. Steam cleaning, on the other hand, remains to be the most effective because it uses the power of steam and scrubbing without the need for hazardous detergents and chemicals.
How to Choose a Steam Cleaner
If you’re on the market for a brand new steam cleaner, you will find tons of options and designs. You can get a general-purpose steam cleaner that heats water past its boiling point in no time and maintains the steam running for 30 minutes approximately.
If you’re looking for a bathroom wall tile steam cleaner, make sure you purchase a multi-purpose, canister steam cleaner. It’s important you note that several steam cleaners are floor-only and will not function well in bathtub or shower tiles. Multi-purpose steam cleaners will count on attachments for different surface cleaning.
You can even rent steam cleaners at home centers and other rental outlets. Note that most rental cleaners are suitable for tile, however, be sure to ask the rental store to ensure you count on the right brushes for grout cleaning.
List of Tools & Supplies Needed for Steam Cleaning Grout
Step by Step for Steam Cleaning Grout
1. Clean the Tiles First
You didn’t think you could start directly on the grout, did you? Honest mistake.
The best thing to do is start by cleaning a specific area where you will later steam clean. This will ensure you get rid of all the grit, dirt, goo, and gunk that will frustrate your steam cleaning endeavor later on.
Plus, excess soap scum or dirt can clog up the cleaner’s brush.
If you’re cleaning floor tiles, sweep and damp-mop first. If it’s walls you’re interested in cleaning, sponge-clean them using gentle detergent and rinse.
2. Set Up the Steam Cleaner
It’s time to fill it up!
- Grab some water and fill the steam cleaner.
- Turn the unit on and set it to “steam” as per the instructions. It will typically take a few minutes to start creating steam.
- As directed in the instructions, attach the hose to the cleaner. Make sure you choose an appropriate brush size depending on your tile type and grout, always following the recommendations from the manufacturer.
- Start with the nylon-bristle brush. It will effectively remove most grout and prevent damage to the tile.
- For hard and willful dirt, change to a brass-bristle brush; be aware that these brushes might easily damage the tile in some way.
3. Scrubbing & Steaming
- Turn the steam on and set it on the recommended spray rate.
- Practice back and forth strokes directly on the grout to scrub it.
- It’s important that you work one section at a time. Once it’s completely clean, move on to the next area and do the same.
- If you’re scrubbing walls, make sure you work from the top down. This ensures the dirty water runs downward and not into cleaned areas.
4. Rinse & Repeat
- Once you finish a specific area, stop scrubbing to mop/rinse the clean section.
- It is essential to clean up dirty water. You don’t want it to settle back into the grout and dry.
- Continue to refill and reheat the steam as needed.
- Continue the process until you achieve a sparkling grout.
- Finish off by cleaning the entire area.
How to Seal Cleaned GroutThe great thing about steam cleaning grout is that it can be done on unsealed and sealed grout and will not damage the sealer.
As soon as you’ve cleaned and restored your grout and it’s looking great, it’s best to keep it this way by sealing it with a superb grout sealer.
These will come in two types: topical and penetrating. Both have their ups and downs, so be sure to compare your options corresponding to your tile type. Keep in mind that some sealers may affect the sheen and color of the grout. Read the instructions thoroughly to choose the most fitting sealer for you.
Getting a steam cleaner to work on your dirty grouts is not only an effective way to achieve sparkling grout, but it’s also much more convenient compared to traditional methods.
Forget getting on your knees and scrubbing the floors in a Cinderella-like scene. Now, you can easily rent or purchase a steam cleaner for grouts and get the job done in less than a few hours. Go for it!