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A grout steam cleaner can provide great results without resorting to harsh chemicals. When selecting a steam cleaner, you will need to consider performance factors such as temperature and water pressure. You should get a tank large enough to handle your cleaning tasks, and you should get a sturdy, reliable machine. Cleaning grout is a single specialized job, but you might be looking for a versatile steam cleaner that has extra features for handling other tasks as well. Price is likely to be a factor, possibly one of the most important.
Steam cleaners use pressurized steam to lift dirt and wash it away. For this to be effective, your steam cleaner needs plenty of heat and pressure. Smaller models, especially the handheld jug models, might lack the power needed to clean mildew and grease from your grout. Look for a machine with steam pressure of about 50 pounds per square inch (3.4 bar). Temperature is less important than pressure, but hotter steam will give you better results.
Another problem with a handheld grout steam cleaner is capacity. These machines run out of water within five to 10 minutes. Stopping repeatedly to refill and reheat the water will make the job take much longer. Canister-style machines, on the other hand, can hold much more water, allowing them to be used continuously for much longer — an hour, in some cases.
Heat up time is another factor to consider. After the tank is full, your grout steam cleaner will take five to 15 minutes to heat up before you can begin cleaning. A short heat-up time might not be worth paying extra, but when comparing similarly priced models, this could be the deciding factor.
Some grout steam cleaners spray constantly when turned on. A better option is a cleaner with a trigger that sprays only when you are ready. Not only is this a neater option, but it will conserve water, extending your cleaning time between refills.
Many steam cleaners come with attachments or features that allow them to handle a variety of cleaning tasks. When cleaning grout, you will be unlikely to use any attachment other than a tight nozzle. Take a moment to consider whether these features are likely to be used before you end up paying for more machine than you need.
Prices vary in the extreme, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. There are exceptions, of course, but you might expect higher performance with higher prices, with handheld steamers at one end of the spectrum and heavy duty professional models at the other. If you’re like most consumers and only occasionally use your grout steam cleaner, a simple canister-style grout steam cleaner with good pressure should suit your needs.
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