When it comes to cleaning grout, there are several options available to you. You can use a variety of chemicals, scrub it by hand, or even rent a power washer. However, there’s another less common but highly effective tool at your disposal: steam cleaning.
One of the most effective ways to steam clean grout is by using a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners work by using hot water and steam to clean surfaces. You’ll need to pre-treat tough stains and add a grout cleaning solution before the steam is able to loosen all the dirt and grime.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to steam clean grout.
- 1 1. Pre-Treat Tough Stains
- 2 2. Fill Your Steam Cleaner With Water
- 3 3. Add Grout Cleaning Solution
- 4 4. Attach the Grout Cleaning Attachment
- 5 5. Hold the Steam Cleaner Over the Grout Line and Turn It On
- 6 6. Wipe Away the Loosened Dirt and Grime
- 7 7. Rinse the Area With Clean Water
- 8 8. Dry the Area With a Towel
- 9 Troubleshooting the Cleaning Process
- 10 The Bottom Line
1. Pre-Treat Tough Stains
If you have any particularly stubborn stains, you may want to pre-treat them before steaming the entire area. To do this, apply your cleaning solution directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. This will give the solution time to break down the dirt and grime.
If you have mold stains, you can use a vinegar solution. Simply mix one part vinegar with one part water and apply it to the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes before proceeding to step two.
2. Fill Your Steam Cleaner With Water
The next step is to fill up your steam cleaner with water. You’ll need to consult your steam cleaner’s manual to see how much water it holds.
The type of water you should use also depends on your steam cleaner. Some require distilled water, while others can use tap water. However, it is generally recommended to use distilled water to steam clean any surface. It’s free of minerals and other impurities that can build up in the steam cleaner over time.
3. Add Grout Cleaning Solution
Once you’ve added the appropriate amount of water to your steam cleaner, it’s time to add a grout cleaning solution—if your steam cleaning manual calls for it. This will help loosen any dirt or grime that’s clinging to the surface.
There are several grout cleaning solutions available on the market. You can find them at your local hardware store or online.
However, if you prefer to make your own solution, mix equal parts water and white vinegar. For a stronger solution, mix one-part water with one-part muriatic acid. Just be sure to check if the steamer can handle the solution before you mix it in. If a steamer is not designed to take a solution, the cleaner could accidentally gum up the mechanisms.
4. Attach the Grout Cleaning Attachment
Most steam cleaners come with a variety of attachments, each designed for different surfaces and tasks. For cleaning grout, you’ll want to attach the grout cleaning attachment, supposing your model came with one.
This attachment is specifically designed to clean grout lines. It has a small, brush-like head that helps loosen dirt and grime. If your model didn’t come with a grout cleaning attachment, you could use the steam cleaner’s regular nozzle.
5. Hold the Steam Cleaner Over the Grout Line and Turn It On
Once you’ve got the grout cleaning attachment in place, it’s time to start steaming. Hold the steam cleaner over the grout line and turn it on.
The steam will loosen the dirt and grime, making it easy to wipe away. Just be sure to move the steam cleaner slowly so you don’t miss any spots. The most effective motion is usually from the top down. This way, the steam has a chance to penetrate the grout before you move on.
6. Wipe Away the Loosened Dirt and Grime
After you’ve steamed the entire grout line, it’s time to wipe away the dirt and grime. You can do this with a sponge or a rag.
For tougher stains, you may need to scrub the area with a brush. Just be sure to use a soft-bristled brush so you don’t damage the grout.
7. Rinse the Area With Clean Water
Once you’ve removed all the dirt and grime, rinse the area with clean water. This will remove any cleaning solution residue and help prevent streaks.
Hot water is usually best for this step. However, if you’re concerned about damaging the grout, you can use cool or lukewarm water instead.
8. Dry the Area With a Towel
Once you’ve rinsed the grout line, dry it off with a towel. It will help prevent mold and mildew from growing in the damp environment. It will also prevent spots and streaking, giving your grout line a clean, polished look.
That’s it! You’ve now successfully cleaned your grout line using a steam cleaner. Just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your grout will look good as new—maybe even better!
Troubleshooting the Cleaning Process
Did you run into any snags along the way? Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us.
Here are a few tips to help you troubleshoot common problems:
- If the steam cleaner isn’t removing all the dirt and grime, try using a stronger solution. You can mix equal parts water and white vinegar or one part water with one part muriatic acid. Just be sure to check if your steamer can handle the solution before you mix it in.
- If the grout is still looking dirty after you’ve steamed it, try scrubbing the area with a brush. Just be sure to use a soft-bristled brush so you don’t damage the grout.
- If you’re concerned about damaging the grout, you can use cool or lukewarm water instead of hot water. This will help prevent any potential damage.
The Bottom Line
Overall, steam cleaning is a great way to clean grout lines. It’s quick, easy, and effective. Plus, it’s gentle enough to use on most types of grout. Just remember the most important steps:
- Use distilled water
- Use the right attachment
- Hold the steamer close to the grout line
- Move slowly
You’ll be enjoying clean grout lines in no time!
If your grout line is looking dirty, give steam cleaning a try. You might be surprised at how well it works!