Cleaning grouts has always been the last job to tackle in my household. Not that I am lazy, but I always dreaded that tiring job. You need to take a brush, kneel and start scrubbing. Hours may pass and you will not finish. So, I thought, what can help me deal with this mess?
Tile and grout cleaners that would clean the dirt on the tiles may help at first but I needed lasting results. Steam cleaning was the only logical option since water is the least harmful to tiles. Hot water will dissolve the debris accumulated in the grout. That is what I thought, at least. But, is it really that simple?
Do Steam Cleaners Really Clean The Grout?
Yes, they do. They are so efficient that you will forget about cleaning with only a brush, sponge, and water. However, they are not designed to do small jobs, they are ready to tackle heavy-duty jobs, and by that, I mean cleaning the bathroom tiles from bottom to floor, kitchen tiles, or tiles anywhere around your home.
They take time to heat the water, but that steam will loosen up the debris and dust stuck to your grouts and help you scrub them out. Even using the garment steamer on small surfaces will do the job. However, it is advisable to be careful with using the steam with grouts that can be damaged easily.
How To Steam Clean Grout – Step-By-Step Guide 2021
Cleaning grout with steam takes some preparation steps before starting to remove the dirt from those lines. First, you need to check the material that the grout lines are made of, as some of the materials will be easier to clean, and with some, you have to be careful when cleaning.
Another thing you need to have is the cleaning tools that any house should have. Prepare some hot water, and wiping towels. As for the steam, any steamer would assist you, but those handheld steamers will be the most convenient for use. Here is the list of the steps for cleaning grouts with steam.
Step 1: Vacuum The Grout
First, it is important to clean the grout surface with a broom or a vacuum cleaner. Grouts can hide dust that can mess with you when you start cleaning with water and steam. So, vacuum and sweep all the dust and debris from the surfaces before doing anything else.
For wall tiles, you can proceed to step 2 and clean them with a sponge, water, and mild detergent. The wall tiles can only have accumulated dust on them that can be removed with the sponge. The bigger problem for wall tiles is the grease on the kitchen tiles or mold on bathroom tiles.
Step 2: Clean Grout With Hot Water
Prepare the bucket with hot water, a mop, and a wiping towel. Mop the floor to remove the stains and debris from the tiles. This step is also important to loosen up the dirt stuck on the grout. Dry the tiles with the wiping towel.
For tiles on the wall, use the sponge and mild detergent as it is not possible to work with very hot water and the sponge. Clean as much as you can and then dry the wall tiles with the wiping towel. After cleaning the tiles, proceed to step three.
Step 3: Get The Steam Cleaner Ready
Prepare the steam cleaner for use according to its instructions. The most convenient are handheld steam cleaners because they are portable and lightweight. Use special attachments for cleaning the grouts or a nylon bristle brush if available with the steam cleaner. If not, use a toothbrush or a small hand brush.
Step 4: Start Steam Cleaning Grout
When you have a steamer and its attachments ready, you can start cleaning your grouts. A nylon bristle brush that can be attached to a steamer will remove loosened dirt from the grout, but if you find more stubborn dirt stuck to your grout lines, use the brass brush.
However, be careful when using the steamer and a brass brush to clean the grouts. Some steamer attachments can damage the tiles if you are not careful. The combination of hot water and brass brush will clean the grouts, but it can also damage the lines between tiles and crack them too.
Step 5: Steam Cleaning Again If Needed
When you go over several tiles and grouts, rinse the area with the sponge and see the result. Sometimes, you need to go over the same spot all over again. If the grout stays dirty after repeated action, use the brass brush to get rid of the stains.
If your stained grouts fight back, you may consider including chemicals in the process. Spray the cleaning solution, and follow the instruction on the packaging. Do not forget to rinse properly, and wipe it with the wiping towel.
Step 6: Seal The Grout
After you have cleaned your tiles and grouts, it is wise to consider sealing them. Cleaning the unsealed grout is possible but they are better to be sealed. The sealing process should be done at least once a year as it will protect your grouts from becoming too dirty or damaged.
You can choose between topical and penetrating sealers. Choose the best option for your tiles as these both have their downsides, but also good sides. When choosing the right one, pay attention to keep the shine and color of your tiles intact.
Check this video to see more about cleaning the grouts with steam.
Steam Cleaner With Grout Attachments
The usual attachments that come with a steam cleaner are the brushes. Of course, many other attachments will help you clean just about any part of your house, but the brushes are the best choice for your grouts.
Nylon Bristle Brush
Nylon brushes are designed for detailed cleaning with the help of steam. These brushes will scrub out all the dirt hiding in the crevices or between your tiles. They are usually round in shape and come as the standard steamer accessory.
This versatile attachment can be used for cleaning the tiles and grouts without worrying that it will damage them. This gentle bristle brush goes over the surface and cleans the debris stuck on it. However, these have to be replaced occasionally as they tend to lose their efficiency over time.
If you started steam cleaning your grouts using the nylon brush and you did not manage to clean them well, maybe you should switch to the brass brush. The brass brush is stronger and harsher. It will tackle the stubborn stains easier than the nylon brush.
Even though the brass brush is more efficient in cleaning, it is also much easier to damage the grout with it. So, it is best to be careful with using this brush. Consider taking it only when you are confident that the brass brush is your last option.
Can You Steam Clean Epoxy Grout?
Epoxy grout is a material that will last for a long and it is famous for being waterproof. Using epoxy with your bathroom tiles is a great choice as it will resist mildew and those ugly black stains on them. However, they still attract dirt and need to be cleaned.
Cleaning epoxy grout is trickier as it may be softened when exposed to heat. So using the steam cleaners with epoxy grout may be challenging as the stains can be locked and stay permanent on the grout. So, it is better to try cleaning epoxy with some alkaline cleaner and a nylon brush.
Will Steam Cleaner Damage The Grout?
A steam cleaner uses the power of steam to loosen up the dirt stuck in the grouts. However, you may ask yourself if it will damage the grout in the cleaning process. The plain water itself will not damage the grout as the grouts can resist water exposure.
If you use steam and nylon bristle brush to scrub the dirt, you can be sure that the only result will be clean grouts and not the damaged ones. Be careful with using the brass brush as it can damage the grout if you put too much pressure when using it.
If you include the chemicals in the cleaning, you must be aware that certain chemicals can damage the lines between your tiles. If you are using a special solution made for cleaning grouts, make sure to always follow the instructions on the label.
A common misconception that steam cleaning can damage the tile lines is often coming from the tile installation problems. The lines are not filled with enough grout or the mixture had too much water in it. Sometimes the steamed surface damages because the tiles are not sealed and cracks.
Is Steam Cleaning Grout Safe?
Steam cleaning grout is safe as long as the tiles are installed properly with enough amount of grout or if the tile lines are sealed. The only danger can come from using the steam cleaner. If you are not careful with using the appliance, you may get serious burns. Hopefully, you will be cautious while cleaning the grouts.
When steam cleaning the tiles, it is vital to choose the steamer that is reliable and safe to use. Always follow instructions for using the steamer, as this appliance needs to be started and run properly in order to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Professional Steam Cleaning Grout
Sometimes, it is just too much work to clean all those tiles and grouts on your own. But why torture yourself or give up on your grouts. It is perhaps a much better option to hire a professional team that will do all that hard job for you. Of course, it will cost you some money, but I believe it will be worth it.
But how do they do it? First, they have a team that will clean much faster than a single person. They will have a professional machine and maybe even use special cleaning agents that will be gentle to your tiles but still efficient in cleaning.
The professional cleaning costs, but it is worth considering it. The cleaning price can vary depending on the size of the area covered with tiles and how much they are dirty.
Check this video to see how is tile cleaning done professionally.
Steam Clean Grout Before And After
Steam cleaning grouts is not an easy job, but it is way easier than just scrubbing it with the brush and water. The hot steam coming from the steamer will loosen up the grease stuck between the tiles and help you clean it and restore the original clean grout color.
However, the tiles can be old and bitten by time, and the grout just needs to be replaced. If steam cleaning or any other cleaning trick works with your tiles, consider renewing the grouts or even the tiles. With new tiles, you may take your steamer and take better care of your grout and tiles.
How do you clean your tiles and grout lines? Do you choose steam cleaning or some other cleaning trick that helped you restore the tiles’ beauty? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!