The Difference Between Steam and Chemical Grout/Tile Cleaning

Keeping clean tile and grout can make a difference in the overall look of a great space. The soils, dirt, grime, and spills create marks and patches on the grout joints of the tile floor, and subsequently make the entire floor look dirty and unattractive.

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Therefore, it is very necessary to protect, maintain, and preserve the tiles and keep them looking great, and for a hygienic environment.

Grout used between tiles is a mixture of Portland cement, color, and sand. Mold, mildew, dirt, and lime scale between the joints of the wall tiles particularly in washrooms can cause grout sealing problems and unhealthy conditions. If not properly maintained by sealing and cleaning grout will become discolored and full of mold and mildew.

Cleaning ceramic tile floors is easier than cleaning hardwood floors, but it can still be a challenge.

1. You can clean your tiles and grout by using a steam cleaner :

The advantage of a steam cleaner is that it kills germs and bacteria while cleaning your grout. A steam cleaner offers pressurized steam at about 180 degrees Celsius as compared to boiling water that has a temperature of a 100 degrees Celsius. Steam at the mentioned temperature of 180 degrees has very low moisture content, usually less than five percent, and is known as vaporized steam.  These steam cleaning machines can clean tile and grout a lot quicker than you can ever do by yourself. Also these steam cleaning systems do a better job of cleaning and sanitizing your tile and grout better then you can ever do by hand. This helps to keep the grout clean for a very long time.

This is one of the most effective systems for cleaning grout.

NOTE: You have to seal the grout after having steam-cleaned the grout.

 2. Chemical grout/tile cleaner? – (not such a good idea):

These days you can find an increasing number of cleaning agents. But, rather than spend money buying cleaning chemicals, that are not healthy for your family and can damage the grout, you can use a few homemade formulations. That will help you do an effective cleaning of grout and tile.

a) Vinegar is a great chemical for cleaning grout as it can penetrate deeper into the surface. Vinegar, being acidic in nature works well for such tasks. Only two disadvantages: it smells and it may widen the pores in the grout, making it easier for dirt and stain to settle down there.
b) Make a paste of baking soda and a bit of water to clean the grout with. Spray or dab the cleaner onto a small length of grout and scrub with a stiff brush. Scrubbing in small circles rather than straight up and down will remove more debris from the grout. Rinse well with water and mop up and remaining moisture with a sponge or paper

However, if the tile and grout have been neglected for too long a period of time and hasn’t come completely clean, the next step is to try a commercial tile and grout cleaner. Try to find a cleanser that is pH balanced so that the chemicals in the product won’t erode the grout.

For heavy duty stains, use even stronger products such as oxygen bleach powder, hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach.

When your tile grout is completely clean, and only then, keep it looking fresh and new by applying a coat or two of grout sealer.