How to steam clean grout – Step-by-step guide 2021

by Mar 21, 2021Cleaning


Steam cleaning of the bathroom
Steam cleaning of the bathroom

Cleaning joints has always been the last job to tackle in my household. Not that I’m lazy, but I always dreaded the tiring job. You need to take a brush, kneel and start scrubbing. Hours can go by and you are not done. So I thought, what can help me tackle this mess?

Tiles and grout cleaners that clean dirt on the tiles might help at first, but I needed lasting results. Steam cleaning was the only logical option, as water is least harmful to tiles. Hot water dissolves dirt that has accumulated in the sealant. At least that’s what I thought. But is it really that simple?

Do steam cleaners really clean the grout?

Yes they do. They are so effective that you forget about cleaning with just a brush, sponge and water. However, they are not designed to do small jobs, they are ready to tackle heavy tasks, and by that I mean cleaning the bathroom tiles from floor to floor, kitchen tiles or tiles anywhere around your home.

They take time to heat the water, but that vapor loosens dirt and dust that is stuck in your joints and helps you scrub them out. Even using the steam on small surfaces will do the job. However, it is advisable to be careful when using the steam with joints that can be easily damaged.

How to steam clean grout – Step-by-step guide 2021

Cleaning the sealant with steam takes some preparation steps before you start removing dirt from these lines. First, check the material that the joint lines are made of, as some of the materials will be easier to clean and with some you will need to be careful when cleaning.

Another thing you need to have is the cleaning tools that every house should have. Prepare some warm water and wipe towels. In terms of steam, any steamer will help you, but the handheld steamers will be the most convenient to use. Here is the list of steps for cleaning joints with steam.

Steam cleaning of grout
Steam cleaning of grout

Step 1: Vacuum the grout

First, it is important to clean the grout surface with a broom or a vacuum cleaner. Joints can hide dust that can ruin you when you start cleaning with water and steam. So vacuum and sweep all the dust and dirt from the surfaces before doing anything else.

For wall tiles, go to step 2 and clean them with a sponge, water and a mild detergent. The wall tiles may only have accumulated dust on those that can be removed with the sponge. The biggest problem for wall tiles is grease on the kitchen tiles or mold on bathroom tiles.

Step 2: Clean the sealant with warm water

Prepare the bucket with warm water, a mop and a wiping towel. Mop the floor to remove stains and dirt from the tiles. This step is also important to loosen the dirt that is stuck in the sealant. Wipe the tiles with the wipe towel.

For tiles on the wall, use the sponge and the mild detergent, as it is not possible to work with very hot water and the sponge. Clean as much as you can, then wipe the wall tiles with the wipe towel. After cleaning the tiles, proceed to step three.

Step 3: Prepare the steam cleaner

Prepare the steam cleaner for use according to its instructions. The most practical are hand-held steam cleaners because they are portable and lightweight. Use special accessories for cleaning grout or a nylon brush if available with the steam cleaner. If not, use a toothbrush or a small hand brush.

Step 4: Start steam cleaning mortar

Once you have a steamer and its accessories ready, you can start cleaning your joints. A nylon brush that can be attached to a steamer removes loose dirt from grout, but if you find more stubborn dirt stuck in your grout lines, use the brass brush.

However, be careful when using the steamer and a brass brush to clean sealants. Some steamer equipment can damage the tiles if you are not careful. The combination of hot water and brass brush cleans sealants, but it can also damage the lines between tiles and crack them as well.

Step 5: Steam cleaning again if necessary

When going over several tiles and joints, rinse the area with the sponge and see the result. Sometimes you have to go over the same place again. If the sealant remains dirty after repeated action, use the brass brush to get rid of the stains.

If your colored joints are struggling back, you may want to consider including chemicals in the process. Spray the cleaning solution and follow the instructions on the packaging. Do not forget to rinse properly and wipe it with the wipe towel.

Step 6: Seal grout

Once you have cleaned your tiles and joints, it is wise to consider sealing them. Cleaning of the unsealed grout is possible, but they are better to seal. The sealing process should be performed at least once a year as it protects your sealants from becoming too dirty or damaged.

You can choose between topical and penetrating sealants. Choose the best solution for your tiles, as these both have their disadvantages, but also good sides. When choosing the right one, be sure to keep the tiles’ gloss and color intact.

Watch this video to see more about cleaning joints with steam.

Watch video: How to clean your sealant professionally

Steam cleaner with sealant

The usual attachments that come with a steam cleaner are the brushes. Of course, many other attachments will help you clean almost any part of your house, but the brushes are the best choice for your joints.

Brush of nylon brush

Nylon brushes are designed for detailed cleaning using steam. These brushes scrub any dirt that hides in the cracks or between your tiles. They are usually round in shape and come as standard steamer accessories.

This versatile accessory can be used to clean tiles and joints without having to worry about damaging them. This gentle brush goes over the surface and cleans dirt that is stuck on it. However, these need to be replaced occasionally as they tend to lose their effectiveness over time.

Brass brush

If you started by cleaning your joints using the nylon brush and did not manage to clean them well, you may need to switch to the brass brush. The brass brush is stronger and harder. It will tackle the stubborn stains more easily than the nylon brush.

Although the brass brush is more effective for cleaning, it is also much easier to damage the sealant with it. So it is best to be careful when using this brush. Only consider taking it when you are sure the brass brush is your last resort.

Can You Steam Epoxy Grout?

Epoxy grout is a material that lasts a long time and it is famous for being waterproof. Using epoxy with your bathroom tiles is a good choice as it resists mildew and the ugly black stains on them. However, they still attract dirt and need to be cleaned.

Cleaning epoxy grout is more difficult as it can be softened when exposed to heat. So it can be a challenge to use steam cleaners with epoxy sealant as the stains can lock and remain permanent on grout. So it is better to try cleaning epoxy with some alkaline cleaner and a nylon brush.

Will steam cleaner damage the sealant?

Bathroom cleaning with steam
Lady cleaning the bathroom tiles with steam

A steam cleaner uses the power of steam to loosen dirt that is stuck in the sealants. However, you may ask yourself if it will damage grout in the cleaning process. Ordinary water itself does not damage the sealant, as sealants can withstand exposure to water.

If you use a steam and nylon brush to scrub dirt, you can be sure that the only result is clean joints and not the damaged ones. Be careful when using the brass brush as it may damage the sealant if you put too much pressure when using it.

If you include the chemicals in your cleaning, be aware that certain chemicals can damage the lines between your tiles. If you use a special solution for cleaning joints, always follow the instructions on the label.

A common misconception that steam cleaning can damage the tiles often comes from the tile installation problems. The lines are not filled with sufficient sealant, or the mixture had too much water in it. Sometimes the steamed surface is damaged because the tiles are not sealed and crack.

Is steam cleaning mortar safe?

Steam cleaning mortar is safe as long as the tiles are installed correctly with a sufficient amount of sealant or if the tile pipes are sealed. The only danger can occur when using the steam cleaner. If you are not careful about using the appliance, you may get severe burns. Hopefully you will be careful while cleaning grout.

When steam cleaning the tiles, it is important to choose the steamer that is reliable and safe to use. Always follow the instructions for use of the steamer, as this appliance must be started and run correctly to avoid unnecessary accidents.

Professional steam cleaning mortar

Sometimes it’s just too much work to clean all these tiles and joints alone. But why torture yourself or give up on your joints. It might be a much better option to hire a professional team that will do all the hard work for you. Of course it will cost you some money, but I think it will be worth it.

But how do they do it? First, they have a team that cleans much faster than a single person. They will have a professional machine and may even use special cleaners that will be gentle on your tiles but still effective for cleaning.

The professional cleaning costs, but it is worth considering. The cleaning cost can vary depending on the size of the area covered with tiles and how much they are dirty.

Watch this video to see how tile cleaning is performed professionally.

Watch video: Best tile and grout cleaning miracle cleaning team

Steam cleaner sealant before and after

Steam cleaning joints is not an easy job, but it is much easier than just scrubbing it with the brush and water. The hot steam coming from the steamer loosens the grease that is stuck between the tiles and helps you clean it and restore the original clean sealant.

However, the tiles can be old and bite over time, and the grout just needs to be replaced. If steam cleaning or another cleaning trick works along with your tiles, consider renewing sealant or even the tiles. With new tiles you can 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 another cleaning trick that helped you restore the beauty of the tiles? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

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