Does Steam Cleaning Damage Grout? Grout is excellently porous so it can easily be discolored by constant foot traffic, spills, pet stains, etc – and trust us, it can get really dirty and ruin the overall look of tiles around your house. Even if you wanted to, it would take hand-killing work to clean grout manually. Steam cleaners, on the other hand, make light work of cleaning surfaces around the house. Therefore, it’s only natural for homeowners to wonder if it’s safe to use steam cleaners to clean grout without damaging it.
Absolutely! You can save enormous time and physical effort by using a steam cleaner to clean grout without damaging it. Steam cleaning is so effective because it can soften mildew and dirt layers on the grout so that it can easily be mopped away.
On the other hand, harsh cleaning chemicals may be the real threat as they can remove the grout seal in the process of cleaning so that the grout eventually starts to deteriorate. Thus, steam cleaning may be the best method yet for restoring grout. However, you need to do it the right way, or else it won’t be effective. In this article, we have provided answers to the whys, hows, and whats of grout maintenance. Read on to find out.
Why Does Grout Attract Dirt So Easily?
Grout gets dirty easily because its material composition makes it porous. Since it is used to fill the space between tiles, it is always at a lower level than the tiles, making it the natural place for spills and dirty matter to lodge in. And since it comprises sand, it easily attracts oils, minerals, pet urine, mold, and all sorts of grime, turning a dirty shade of brown in the long run. Since grout is always on a lower level than the tile, it’s fairly easy to clean tiles and miss the grout. Therefore, it would take focused cleaning to get to it.
Also, when spills happen on unsealed grout lines, the liquid can easily get trapped in the grout. If the spill is not cleaned up fast enough, it might bestow some of its colors on it, making it dirty over time. When food, liquid, ink, or oil seep into the grout, it becomes harder to restore it, making it necessary to use harsh chemicals which might further degrade it. That’s why it’s important to seal grout regularly to repel gunk.
Do Steam Cleaners Clean Grout Well?
There is a misconception that steam cleaning may damage grout. Well, in theory, 200F of hot steam blast may be enough to put a dent in your grout line. But anyone who has had hands-on experience would know that the opposite is, in fact, the case.
Steam cleaners work so well at cleaning tile grout because the steam blast penetrates the pores and liberates the embedded grime so that they can easily be mopped off. This is a far cry from the manual cleaning most people are accustomed to which is neither easy nor efficient when compared to steam cleaning.
Furthermore, many steam cleaners come with specialized tools which can be used to tackle dirty grout. The grout brush attachment, for example, that comes with many steam cleaners can be used to target grout lines for deep cleaning during routine maintenance of your floor. Steam cleaners are not only effective for cleaning grout, but they can also save you a lot of time and energy in the process.
How to Steam Clean Tile Floors and Grout
You must steam clean the right way to get the desired result. Steam cleaning grout lines is easy to do once you know what steps to take. So if you have a steam cleaner but didn’t know you could use it to clean grout, you’re in luck. Below, we have outlined the steps to take if you want to steam clean your tile grout correctly:
Step 1 – Make Sure the Tiles Are Clean
You don’t want dirt dropping into the grout lines as you steam clean, so your first task would be to clean up the tiles. By mopping the tiles clean, you not only remove dirt from the tiles but also remove loose grime on the surface of the grout, making it easy for the steam to penetrate. A clean tile is also beneficial to the steam cleaner because excess debris may clog the steam cleaner brush otherwise.
Step 2 – Set Up the Steam Cleaner
It’s quite easy to set up a steam cleaner. First, you have to fill the tank with water. If you don’t know how to go about it, look up your owner’s manual for instructions on how to do so correctly.
Many steam cleaners come with a brush attachment; it’s always a good idea to start with those first. Steam cleaners typically come with nylon-bristles brush attachments, which are great for removing dirt from the grout. Also, they are gentle enough to be used without hurting the grout. Only use the brass-bristle brush when you encounter tough stains, but do not apply excess pressure so that you damage the grout.
Step 3 – Steam Clean Grout
You can now start steaming the grout lines, scrubbing with back and forth motion as you go. Do not try to cover a large area too quickly but rather, work on the freshly steamed patches until it’s clean enough. For walls, it’s good practice to start from the top and work your way to the bottom.
Step 4 – Mop as You Go
When you finish steaming and scrubbing a small section until you’re happy, use a mop to clean the area so the washed-off slurry doesn’t recombine with the grout when it gets dry – if you let it. Rinse and mop small areas as you go and repeat this process until the whole floor is sparkling clean.
What Is The Best Grout Cleaner to Buy?
Best Overall: Rejuvenate Grout Deep Cleaner
Rejuvenate Grout Deep Cleaner is a bio-enzymatic cleaner, meaning that it can break down and instantly extract organic pet stains, food, spills, oils, and all kinds of organic matter from grout. Its unique formula makes it strong enough for professional use, and gentle enough for home use. You can use a squirt bottle to spray the grout lines directly, then wait for the enzymes to work on the grout (about 15 minutes). Mop the grout to reveal sparkling clean grout. It’s as simple as that.
Alternatively, you can use the Click n Clean-on grout spray mop which you can use for faster and more effective application of Rejuvenate Grout Deep cleaner.
Why We Like It
- Compatible With Click n Clean for easier, more efficient cleaning.
- Powerful bio-enzymatic formula.
- Can also be used commercially.
- Can also be used for hardwood laminate floors.
- You don’t need to wear a mask, open windows, and take other extreme measures.
Best Gel: Soft Scrub With Bleach Cleaner Gel
Soft Scrub With Bleach Cleaner Gel is one of the most effective grout cleaners on the market. It is not watery but rather has a gelly consistency which you can apply along the grout line. The manufacturer describes it as non-abrasive, but this powerful gel can get dirty grout back to its original color in as little as one minute. For grout that hasn’t been bleached in years, you may need to give more time to work.
To use it, simply apply an appropriate amount to a damp sponge, then apply it to the grout line. It can also be used to clean countertops, showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets.
Why We Like It
- The non-abrasive formula is gentle on grout
- Can be used on numerous other surfaces
- Easy to use
Best For Natural Stones: Granite Gold Grout Cleaner
The stones around the grout lines can get hurt if you use abrasive chemicals. The best way to clean grout while preserving the look of your natural stone tile is by using a cleaner with a unique stone care formulation like Granite Gold’s grout-cleaning formula. It works great for porcelain, tile, stone, glass, ceramic, and colored grout. Its unique formula gives a deep clean, making your grout brighter and cleaner with every use.
You can use it without wearing masks or gloves. Its non-toxic formula makes it safe for cleaning food preparation areas – just make sure to rinse the surface thoroughly. What’s more? It doesn’t bleach, so it’s perfect for restoring the original color of colored grout.
Why We Like It
- Gentle on the stone surrounding grout
- Deep-cleans and restores grout to its original color
- Non-toxic and safe for food preparation areas
- Can be used for numerous stone surfaces
Do You Need to Reseal Grout After Steam Cleaning?
Anyone who has spent time cleaning grout even with a steam cleaner would know that it’s a time consuming task – one which you would not want to repeat until at least a year later. Therefore, you must protect the freshly cleaned grout from immediately absorbing new dirt, and wasting your effort. Therefore, your next line of action after cleaning grout would be to reseal it.
Since the cleaning process removes all the grout seal (or you wouldn’t be able to clean it), it would be necessary to reseal it after cleaning.
Summary on Does Steam Cleaning Damage Grout?
If you were wondering if steam cleaning can damage grout, now you know that not only can it clean grout, but it is also the fastest, most convenient method for cleaning grout. Knowing how to use a steam cleaner can save you a lot of time and effort; the right cleaning products can also give you an edge. Logically, combining steam cleaning with the right cleaning product can give you an unfair advantage for cleaning grout in your home. And we hope you found this post helpful in that regard.