Does Steam Cleaning Grout Work?

Grout on your tiled floors or countertops will get dirty over time. Although there is a variety of cleaning products specifically designed for cleaning dirty grout, a steam cleaner works well to remove the dirt and grime. Cleaning your grout with steam not only restores its appearance, but disinfects the surface.

Effects of Dirty Grout

When grout gets dirty it is an aesthetic problem at first; but the problem can get more severe if left untreated. Dirty and discoloured grout can become mouldy. When mould forms, the grout is weakened and will eventually erode. Furthermore, if the grout is unsealed, dirt, mould spores and other grime can actually permeate the grout and grow underneath the tiles.

Benefits of Steam Cleaning Grout

Steam is a natural, non-toxic way to get your grout clean. The intense heat from the steam effectively lifts dirt and grime from the grout, as well as kill mould and mildew that may be growing. A steam cleaner uses minimal moisture, high heat and light pressure to force dirt and grime from the grout. The dirt and grime is brought to the surface where it is easily wiped off. The grout is also sanitised from the hot steam temperature. In addition, steam cleaning doesn't require to you to be on your hands and knees, forcefully scrubbing dirty grout for hours to get it clean. Furthermore, it obviates harsh chemicals from which you must protect your hands and lungs.

How to Clean

Sweep or vacuum the surface to remove loose dirt and debris. Fill the steamer with water and allow it heat up. Run the steamer slowly over the grout lines, moving forward rather than sideways across the grout. Go over each joint as necessary until the joint is clean. Have a dry rag handy to wipe over the grout line after steam cleaning it to remove the loosened dirt.


Steam cleaning grout is effective, but certain safety precautions must be taken. Always read the manual included with your steamer prior to using the machine. The manual will have specific instructions on how to operate and use the steamer. This will vary among machines, so it's imperative to know how to handle to the model you are using. The extreme temperature can cause burns. Never touch the nozzle where steam is discharged. Avoid holding the steamer in one place for more than five seconds or you can damage the surface. Instead, keep the steamer moving slowly at all times.

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About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.