Cleaning grouts can be one of the most unwilling tasks to do. Even the thought of doing it makes most of us panicky. Because most of the time, we end up with the conclusion that it is nearly impossible to clean out all the stubborn stains by me. Isn’t it?
But if you know the best technique for steam clean grout. Your time, effort, and sweat never wasted for sure. Do you want to know the secret to do it without any hassle?
There are so many methods you can find on the internet to clean grouts. But Steam cleaning grout is one of the most effective in the list. Using a steam cleaner is easy. It only takes around 30 minutes to clean your grout. If you feel curiosity, then read this entire guide on how to steam clean grout. I can promise you will not be disheartened anymore.
Staffs You Need to Steam Clean Grout
- Bucket, mop, broom, and sponges
- Steam cleaner with a grout brush attachment
Step by Step Guide for Steam Cleaning Your Grout
1. Clearing the Cleaning Site
Before you start cleaning grout, you need to clean your floor tiles first. If you clean the tiles first, it will prevent several interruptions while cleaning the grout later on.
- Clear Items that are non-steam-friendly. This will remove all the dirt, grit, gunk, and goo, which may contaminate surrounding items with steamed-off gunk. You can do this easily with a vacuum cleaner.
- Remove your delicate rugs, toothbrushes, and kitchen utensils aside if they are around the cleaning site.
- While cleaning floor tiles, sweep and damp-mop first. If you want to clean the walls, rinse using sponges with detergent.
2. Setting Up the Steam Cleaner
Now that you’ve cleaned the tiles, it’s time to set up the steam cleaner. Read the instructions below and set up your steam cleaner.
- Get some water and fill your steam cleaner with it. Turn on the unit and set it to “steam.” Typically, it takes a few minutes before it starts to steam. Check the manual guide if necessary.
- Attach the hose to the steam cleaner. Choose the brush size according to the type of tile and grout. Check the recommendations from the manufacturer.
- Start with the nylon-bristle brush as it is effective with most grout and deals no damage to the tile.
- For tough specks of dirt, change your brush type to brass-bristle. You should be careful with using this brush as it can damage the tile.
3. Steam Cleaning Grout
Turn on steam. It’s for the main action. Set the spray rate to the recommended value (Check manufacturer recommendations). Now Follow the instructions below to effectively clean grout.
- Clear Top to Bottom: Steam the higher areas first and work your way to the lower parts. Otherwise, loosened-up dirt from above will fall down, and you will have to redo the cleaning below.
- Cover Small Sections: Don’t work in random directions wildly. Work in an organized way. Cover one section at a time. Go slowly and let the steam break down the stubborn dirt and grime.
- Pick the Right Brush: To deep clean, scrub the pores with a nylon-bristle brush. It cleans deeper by its design. For exceptional stubborn dirt, use a brass bristle brush. Use this brush carefully as it can damage the grout. It’s an excellent trick to attach a microfiber cloth to the back two clips. It allows the steam to flow deep into the pores.
- Clean Brush Periodically: Examine the brush frequently. If the bristles turn thick with crud, clean it. Then continue again.
Be careful with the steam. The hot steam can cause a painful burn known as a scald. Keep your hand out of the way of the steam-stream.
4. Rinse & Repeat
After steam cleaning for a while, rinse or mop the steamed area. Here are some tips.
- Use plain water to rinse or mop the steamed area. You must use clean water. Otherwise, dirt from the water will find its way to the grout. You don’t want to get the grout to get dirty right after you cleaned it, do you?
- If the grout looks clean, then you congratulate yourself on successfully cleaning the grout. If you still see a dirty or discolored grout, then repeat the steaming process. Then rinse/mop again.
- Continue to rinse and repeat until you see a clean, sparkling grout.
- When the grout is clean, finish off by cleaning the entire section.
5. Sealing the Cleaned Grout
One amazing thing about steam cleaning is that it can be done on both unsealed or sealed grout. The process will not damage the sealer. After you’ve cleaned your grout, it’s better to seal it if it’s unsealed. You can seal it with a high-quality grout sealer.
Grout sealers basically come in two types: topical and penetrating. Both of them are different with their ups and downs. Remember that some sealers can affect the grout sheen and color. Look for the sealants that are recommended for your tile and grout. Cement-based grout needs sealing on a yearly basis by minimum. Sealing is very easy, and most amateurs will do it easily.
How to Choose a Steam Cleaner
On the market, you will find many varieties of options, such as Handheld, Steam Mops, Steam Vacuum, Cylinder, Commercial, and Multi-purpose Steam Cleaner. All are capable of heating the water in a boiling point in a few minutes and sustaining steam for various tasks.
1. General Steam Cleaner
All the steam cleaners are not compatible with all the cleaning activities. Some of the steam cleaners are floor-only and don’t function well with wall tiles. For example, it is not performing well on your bathroom wall tiles. The general-purpose steam cleaners won’t be able to satisfy you there.
2. Multipurpose steam cleaner
So, what to do! Well, there is a multipurpose steam cleaner for you. If you want to clean your bathroom tiles, these steam cleaners are essential. All types do not function well on bathtubs and shower tiles. You have to understand that. Multipurpose steam cleaner comes with various attachments for different surfaces. Thus, it provides you a better cleaning experience.
3. Portable handheld steam cleaner
There are also portable handheld models available. These models are well suited for smaller tasks. However, you have to stop frequently to fill up its small tank.
4. Rent a steam cleaner
You can either purchase a steam cleaner or rent one from home centers or rental outlets. Most rental units are compatible with tiles. It is not a wrong decision to rent a steam cleaner. But before you do, make sure you choose the right attachments for the steam cleaner. Here’s what you should be looking for when buying or renting a steam cleaner for grout.
- Reach: Heavy-duty steam cleaners have advantages when taking on more significant tasks. However, if you are looking to clean your wall tiles, it may not have enough reach. So, if you don’t want to face such an issue, choose the device that can reach everywhere you need it to.
- Tank Capacity: Looking to undertake a mass cleaning project? If yes, choose the model with a larger tank to avoid refilling frequently. Otherwise, select the portable handheld model for ease of use.
- Accessories: Steam cleaners come up with many attachments. Each of the attachments has its own specific uses. There are several types of brush attachments. Each of these brushes works differently with different tiles and grouts. The more accessories you have, the more versatile your cleaning. Nylon-bristle brushes are softer on your tiles and deal with no harm. Watch out for metal brushes. Using stainless steel and brass brushes can damage a ceramic tile. So be careful about that.
Hire a Professional for Steam Clean Grout
If you don’t like the DIY method, you can always go to a professional cleaning company. The professionals use high-powered industrial-grade machines. Most of the time, they come truck-mounted with a built-in vacuum.
Cleaning your grout with a steam cleaner is an effective way of getting glittering grouts. There are many methods on how to clean grout. But steam cleaning is much more convenient compared to traditional methods. With steam cleaning, you can forget about getting on your knees, sweeping the floors in an old manner whenever your grout gets dirty. Now, you know the easiest method to go for a steam clean grout.
Some Relative Questions Answered
Is Steam Cleaning Safe for grout?
Many people get intimidated by trying new methods. Their heads are loaded with different questions such as whether it’s safe or not, how hard it is, or is it the best way to do it?
To those who aren’t sure about this, I would like to inform you of something. The Tile Council of North America recommends using steam cleaners to clean your grouts. Unless your grout is not ancient and falling to pieces, you need not worry about damaging your grout or anything.
Why Does Grout Get Dirty?
Have you ever wondered why your tile grout gets dirty? You may have asked this question to yourself many times while on your knees cleaning your tile grout.
You know, when installing the tile, grout is forced between each tile to stabilize and fill in gaps. The grout is leveled lower. This is the reason why the tile can easily attract debris. As this between two tile spaces being alveolar so the sand and debris are easily absorbed by it. When this happens regularly, the grout gets dirty very quickly.
In showers and bathtubs, grime and the mold produce the moisture environment. After that, all gunk is absorbed by the grout and hardened by soap scum. Over time it becomes more difficult to remove.