Does steam cleaning damage grout? This is the question many people often ask when it comes to cleaning tile floors. Cleaning the smoother surface of tiles is relatively easy, but it is not so for the grout of the tiles.
Overtime, the grout accumulates dirt, residual detergent, water stains, and lime scales, causing the grout to change its appearance into a dark and unattractive one as opposed to its initial white color.
Therefore, the dirt on grout requires additional time, aid, and labor to clean.
Here’s the good news, since the invention of steam cleaners, cleaning of grout has become very easy and does not require extra labor and/or cleaning agents.
Does Steam Cleaning Damage Grout?
Table of Contents
- 1 Does Steam Cleaning Damage Grout?
- 2 Cleaning Or Steam Cleaning Which Is Better?
- 3 How To Steam Clean Grout
- 3.1 Choose A Steam Cleaner For Cleaning The Grout
- 3.2 Clear The Area To Be Cleaned
- 3.3 Remove Dirt On The Surface Of The Tiles
- 3.4 Get Your Steam Cleaner Ready
- 3.5 Start Steam Cleaning The Grout
- 3.6 Rinse And Check
- 4 Conclusion
Steam cleaning does not damage grout. What damages grout are caustic agents and chemicals like acids and alkalis used for cleaning them.
Scrubbing grout harshly with metallic brushes can also cause damage to the grout. Therefore, steam cleaning grout is okay, unless the grout is old, wet, or poorly installed.
If you have a wet grout, ensure they dry before you steam cleaning. Grout drying time can be an average of 24 hours.
Cleaning Or Steam Cleaning Which Is Better?
The aftermath of chemical cleaning is characterized with a very caustic smell.
If someone around has respiratory or related issues, the tiles will require a few days of proper ventilation before the room can be safe health-wise. Additionally, chemical cleaning can be very expensive.
On the other hand, steam cleaning does not leave an odor behind. It does not require the use of any harsh or toxic chemicals.
Steam cleaning grout is very easy; it does not require the application of forced pressure and it can be done without professional assistance.
Steam cleaners effectively get rid of stains by using the heat of steam. Water vaporizes into steam at 100 degrees Celsius. Being a gas, the steam can reach higher degrees of temperature.
Therefore, steam is known as one of the most reliable and effective disinfectants. Conclusively, steam cleaning is safer than chemical cleaning.
So, for those asking if steam cleaning damages grout, it doesn’t. Steam cleaning is in fact, a very potent and safe way of getting rid of stubborn stains on grout and disinfecting your tile floor generally.
How To Steam Clean Grout
In masonry, grout is a thin mortar for filling spaces such as joints. So, in this case, grout is a paste-like mixture that is filled into the crevices between tiles and thereafter, hardens to hold tiles together.
Grout in most homes is made up of cement. Cement is a tough substance, and at the same time, a porous one. This implies that most conventional grouts have a high tendency to absorb stains.
Grout of tiles is more difficult to clean than the tiles which have a smooth surface. Dirt that is easily wiped off tiles, mostly accumulate in the grout of the tiles.
Overtime, the grout accumulates body oils, shed hair, dried urine droplets, mud, dried saliva, skin flakes, dead bugs, sand, microbes, the mineral from water (calcium), etc.
However, as we have mentioned earlier, steam cleaning will easily get rid of stains on grout without you having to apply forced pressure. Hence, the grout won’t be damaged. Here are the steps on how to steam clean grout:
Choose A Steam Cleaner For Cleaning The Grout
Not all steam cleaners are suitable for all cleaning cases. A big-sized-wheel steam cleaner can be suitable for your tile floor but not usable on your walls’ tiles.
A handheld and portable steam cleaner is obviously for small tasks; its small tank volume limits it from taking on larger tasks because you will frequently have to fill it again.
If you already have one of these types of steam cleaners, you might not need to purchase a new one to suit the application in which it is needed.
Check if the manufacturer sells accessories for peculiar cleaning cases, for example, scrub brushes for portable steam cleaners or extended hoses for big-sized models.
These are factors you should look out for when choosing a steam cleaner for grout
Capacity of Tank
If you need to tackle grout on a large area of your home, you have to choose a model with a bigger water tank so that you can have a longer working time without refilling the tank.
Area It Can Reach
Hefty steam cleaners are good for floor tiles but cannot reach wall tiles. Ensure you choose a model that has the ability to reach any area you intend to steam clean in your home.
Availability of Accessories
Accessories coming with a steam cleaner is an added advantage. Accessories have their precis use. Choose a brand that sells or include nozzles and brushes for grout.
Brass and stainless steel brushes can damage ceramic tiles, so if you have ceramic tiles in your home, you can choose nylon bristle brush instead.
The more accessories a steam cleaner has, the more adaptable it will be.
Clear The Area To Be Cleaned
Keep items that can be damaged by steam away from the area you intend to clean. Additionally, you might have to move all items away from the working area because steamed-off smut can splash and stain them.
So, keep away sensitive items like toothbrushes, kitchen utensils, and rugs. You should also prevent pets and kids from disturbing you when you commence steam cleaning.
Remove Dirt On The Surface Of The Tiles
This does not require any energy-draining effort; it is just a low-effort preparation for the main cleaning. It involves;
Vacuuming the Floor
Move your vacuum cleaner over the tiles to remove pet hair or dust so as to have a clean surface to start with.
Wiping Smut Away
In high-moisture areas like kitchen and bathroom, use a cloth to wipe off smut, grime, and gunk from the surface of the tiles. It is somewhat disturbing to pause to clean your steam brush just some seconds into the commencement of steam cleaning.
Get Your Steam Cleaner Ready
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on getting your steam cleaner ready. As directed, fill the tank with either tap or distilled water and allow it to heat up. Then, attach an accessory applicable in your case.
Start Steam Cleaning The Grout
Once the water you poured in the tank is heated up, you can begin steam cleaning grout. Steam clean topmost areas first before moving to lower areas.
If you do otherwise, loosed-up dirt could flow down to an area you have cleaned already, causing you to clean the area again.
Don’t just move randomly; clean small areas first and move slowly so that you can give the steam ample time to dissolve hardened crud on the grout.
Pay attention to the brush, if you are using one; when the bristles of the brush are ‘choked’ which crud, clean them to ensure efficient cleaning.
Rinse And Check
Rinse the steamed area by wiping it with a towel dipped in clean water. If the area is looking neat, great! However, if you still observe stains, steam clean the area again.
You can seal the grout after steaming it. Sealing grout can make it look good. Grout made of cement should be sealed at least once in a year. So, get sealants that are recommended for your style of tile and grout; they are easy to apply.
Cleaning your grout is easy but If you feel you can’t steam clean grout yourself, you can get quotes from professional cleaning companies in your locality.
Professional cleaning companies use industrial-grade and high-powered machines. Most times, the machines are mounted by a truck and include an inbuilt vacuum to reduce mess on the floor tiles.
Now you know steam cleaning does not damage grout. Steam cleaning gets rid of dirt on grout using high-pressure and superheated steam.
It does not use toxic chemicals; hence, the lining of grout cannot break or dissolve as in the case of chemical cleaning.
Steam cleaning grout is easier and cheaper to achieve; don’t dread it! Steam cleaning leaves your tiles looking brilliant; do it often, and don’t forget to keep away sensitive items.