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What are the Best Tips for Steam Cleaning Grout?

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  • Written By: Henry Gaudet
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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Steam cleaning grout can remove dirt and mildew easily with only a few simple pointers for guidance. Pressurized steam lifts out dirt and sterilizes surfaces using only water, meaning that no chemical residues are left behind. By following the manufacturer’s directions, cleaning surfaces in manageable portions from top to bottom and following up with a good sealant, grout can be made and kept clean.

The first challenge in steam cleaning grout is acquiring a steam cleaner. The machines are not cheap and, for some people, the cost might be prohibitive. Steam cleaning grout is not usually required very often, and the expense of a steam cleaner might be hard to justify. In many cases, it makes more sense to rent a machine rather than to purchase one.

Before steam cleaning grout and other household surfaces, take the time to read the machine’s instructions. The instructions for filling it, the required heating time and spraying will be especially important. Cleaning with steam comes with the potential for causing burns, so look closely at safety advice in the instructions as well.

Clear the surfaces that will be steam cleaned. A quick scrub of the area being cleaned will remove light surface dirt and help the steam cleaning go to faster. Mop floors and clean walls and counters with a sponge and warm water before you begin steam cleaning grout.

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If cleaning a tile floor, begin at the corner furthest from the door. Concentrate the spray on the grout, cleaning one line at a time. Work in sections of about 2 square feet (0.6 square meters), completely cleaning one area before moving on to the next. Finish with the section directly in front of the door to avoid the need to walk over the newly cleaned surface.

Walls are cleaned in a similar manner, one section at a time. Begin at the top corner to prevent dirt from running into previously cleaned sections. Kitchen counters and backsplashes are also cleaned section by section, but be aware that kitchen grease, dirt and oil can be quite stubborn, and progress is likely to be slow.

While steam cleaning grout, the pressurized steam will loosen dirt trapped in the grout. Keep a towel nearby to wipe up dirt and water collecting on the tiles. This will also help to prevent streaking on the tiles.

For the best results, a sealer can be applied after steam cleaning grout. Without a good sealant, the grout will become grimy again before long. When a sealant is not being used, wiping the grout with a mild vinegar and water solution can offer some protection and keep the grout white longer.

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