Do Steam Cleaners Really Work on Tile Grout?

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning tile grout may not be high on your list of things to do, but once grout lines become blurred with dirt and grime, putting the task off much longer is difficult. Fortunately, the task doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. Rather than using harsh chemicals and hours of intense manual labour, use a steam cleaner instead to clean dirty tile grout.

Steam Cleaners

A commercial steam cleaner is a good tool to clean tile grout. Although it still involves a bit of physical labour, it's less intensive than cleaning with a degreaser and bristle brush. A wide range of steam cleaners are on the market; a smaller to mid-size machine will work well to clean grout.

How It Cleans

Steam cleaners use high temperature water vapour and water pressure to dislodge dirt and build-up on grout. The temperature of the water also aids in disinfecting the area.

Types of Grout

Two basic types of grout are used: sanded or unsanded. Both types can be steam cleaned. The difference between the two lies in the size of grout line needed. Grout lines of less than 1/8 inch need unsanded grout whereas joints greater than 1/8 inch need the sanded variety.

Grout Colors

Grout comes in a range of colours, and when choosing one, the approach is more important than the hue. The contrasting approach pairs a white grout with black tile, for example. The harmonising approach pairs a similar grout colour with the same colour as the tile, and neutral uses a shade of grey or white with any tile choice. A neutral grout -- grey in particular -- will show less wear and dirt and minimise the need for frequent cleaning.

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About the Author

Stephanie Green is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. Her work has been published in various lifestyle and trade publications, covering parenting, gardening and human-interest stories. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.