An important part of having kitchen floors that shine is making sure that the grout is clean. This can be a difficult and tedious task. You may be wondering if you can use your steam cleaner to clean the floor grout. We have thoroughly researched this question and have found some answers!
Steam cleaners are not only able to clean floor grout, but they are also now one of the most popular methods for cleaning grout! To deep clean with a floor steam cleaner, follow these steps:
- Sweep away loose debris
- Apply pre-steam solution
- Mop or steam clean tile
- Switch to the brush attachment to clean the grout
- Reseal or seal grout as needed
There is quite a variety of steam cleaners available and differing opinions on what cleaning solutions to use in them. Keep reading as we discuss what type of steam cleaner you should use for grout and best practices for getting your floor looking its best!
Does Steam Cleaning Damage Tile Floors?
While you might worry that the high temperatures steam cleaners use will damage tile floors, in most cases, it is safe to use in cleaning most tiled flooring.
Use the steamer on a low setting for concrete, marble, or unglazed tile due to the porous nature of this type of material. For best results, most manufacturers recommend testing a small, hidden area first.
Steamers work best with porcelain and ceramic tile and floors as these are usually mortared into the subfloor. Use a steam cleaner even on the cracked or damaged tile of this type as long as the steamer is passed over continuously, not lingering on any weak areas. Any glazed floors also will hold up well to any temperature of steam.
How Do You Clean Dirty Floor Grout?
Use a steam cleaner to make a difficult job easier. Though methods vary, there are some common steps and tips that most manufacturers and cleaning experts recommend.
Sweep Away Loose Debris
Steam cleaners usually don't have suction. They aren't for picking up dirt and debris. Sweep or vacuum the floor first to avoid pushing dirt around.
Click here to see this popular sweeper on Amazon.
Apply Pre-Steam Solution
For lightly soiled grout or floor grout that still has a good seal on it, you may not need to apply any product to the grout. Most steam cleaners are strong enough to loosen and disinfect. For deeper cleaning on heavily soiled or unsealed grout, you may choose to pre-treat with a homemade or store-bought solution.
Apply the grout cleaner following the directions on the package. Most grout cleaners and treatments should be allowed to soak for at least 15 minutes after application.
Click here to see this grout cleaner on Amazon.
Mop Or Steam Clean Tile
We recommend mopping before cleaning the grout. This is done so that dirt and debris left behind after vacuuming or sweeping are not pounded into the grout by the steamer. Allow the floor to dry before beginning the grout cleaning as excess moisture can cause grout to fail.
Switch To a Brush Attachment To Clean Grout
For grout, a circular brush or a thin horizontal brush is best. Use the brush attachment and run the steamer along the lines of the grout going in one direction. If needed, take a dry mop attachment or cloth draped over an attachment and dry the grout in the same direction so that any remaining debris can be collected at one end of the floor. Many experts recommend starting at the cleanest part of your floor and finishing with the heavier soiled areas.
Click here to see these attachments for steam cleaning grout on Amazon.
Reseal Or Seal Grout As Needed
A step that is skipped by most is resealing or sealing the grout. Once you have done all the work of getting your grout as clean as possible, you will want to make sure it is protected for the future. Making sure your grout is properly sealed is an important final step to a complete grout cleaning. It will ensure that your grout stays clean and will last much longer.
Once dry, test your grout seal by dropping a few drops of water. If the water seeps in instead of remaining puddled on top, then you will want to apply a new seal. Apply following the package instructions for best results. For the best performing grout, reseal your grout at least once a year.
Click here to see this grout sealer on Amazon!
What Is The Best Steam Cleaner For Grout?
The best steam cleaner for grout is vapor steamer. A steamer that has a larger canister and provides a continuous stream of vapor is also preferable, depending on the size of the tiled floor area in your home. Lastly, choose a steamer that has an attachment for grout cleaning to get the best cleaning possible.
Does Karcher Steam Cleaner Clean Grout?
A Karcher Steam Cleaner is one of the best types of steam cleaners around! Its canister design enables it to provide a continuous flow of vapor that is great for really tough jobs. It also comes with attachments specially designed for tile and grout. Its main mop attachment makes it a win for everyday cleaning as well.
Click here to see the Karcher Easy Fix Steam Cleaner.
Can I Put Vinegar In My Karcher Steam Cleaner?
We do not recommend vinegar in your Karcher Steam Cleaner. Like most steam cleaners, they are made to operate in such a way to achieve the cleanest result without additives or chemicals. The manufacturer's instructions specifically state not to add anything to the water for the Easy Fix Steam Cleaner.
What Can I Put In My Steam Cleaner?
There are many opinions and tips as to what should be put in your steam cleaner. Many cleaners recommend using vinegar or other substances in steam cleaners. We recommend consulting the owner's manual before adding any substances not sold by the manufacturer to your machine.
Can I Put Vinegar In Any Steam Cleaner?
Though using vinegar in steam cleaners may seem like a popular solution among the cleaning community, doing so in your home can often void the warranty for your steam cleaner. Most steamers will operate very well with distilled water only.
If you prefer to use vinegar in a solution, use it as a pre-soak before you begin your grout cleaning.
Can I Put Hydrogen Peroxide In My Steam Cleaner?
Hydrogen peroxide is abrasive and is considered to be a debriding agent. While you may be able to use this to clean parts and attachments of the steam cleaner, many warranties also warn against its use. Consult your user manual before adding this to your steam cleaner.
You may want to use hydrogen peroxide due to its disinfecting characteristics. Steam cleaners are great at this! They reach over 200 degrees and are over 99% effective at eradicating viruses and germs with tap water only.
If you are looking to use hydrogen peroxide as a whitening ingredient, then like vinegar, this can be used in a pre-steam solution.
Can You Use A Steam Mop To Clean Grout?
Steam mops can be a lower-cost alternative to a canister-style vapor steamer. Choose one that can flip up or down so that you can precisely clean your grout lines.
This unique Bissel steam mop provides the best of both worlds when wanting to mop the tile and clean your grout with the same machine.
Click here to see this Power Fresh steam mop on Amazon.
Will A Shark Steam Mop Clean Grout?
A shark steam mop is a great option for everyday cleaning. For cleaning grout, choose a steam mop that has precision accessories for getting into small crevices. Though Shark does manufacture a great mop for hard floors, it does not come with the best accessories for deep grout cleaning.
Click here to see this Shark Hardwood Cleaning system on Amazon.
Can I put Detergent In My Shark Steam Mop?
Like using vinegar, another popular idea is to put detergent in a steam mop. One of the promotion points of the Shark steam mop is that it does not need any additional chemicals or solutions to clean. Introducing detergent to your floor steamer can damage the mop head and will cause your floor to show footprints and appear dirty soon after cleaning.
Put Grout Cleaning And Maintenance On Your Calendar
Now that you know that you can use a steam cleaner to get your grout to a brilliant white, mark your calendar! Most professionals and cleaning experts recommend grout maintenance and deep cleaning once a year to as often as twice a year for high traffic areas. Maintaining a grout care schedule will extend the life and health of your grout, and ensure you have a great-looking floor for years to come.
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