If you’ve clocked too many hours with an old toothbrush and your dirty tiles, grout steam cleaners are probably sounding pretty good right about now. They usually come with a base unit on wheels that holds the water, and then a nozzle with a hose that puts the power of steam right in your hand. All that’s required on your part is to direct the wand where you want the steam to go. But do they really work as well as the professional-grade cleaners, and can you get your grout lines looking like new again?
Steam is often brought in as the big gun when other methods of cleaning don’t work. The pressurized nature of a good steam cleaner makes it an ideal choice for something like grout, that seems to attract and absorb dirt, grime, and mildew. It’s simply the nature of the beast, because home builders use tile in areas that are going to see a lot of use, and a lot of wetness. While the tiles may be impervious to things like water, the grout that goes between them is anything but, which is why it gives grief to so many people when it comes time for cleaning.
Grout steam cleaners claim that you can get rid of your grout quickly and easily by simply spraying the grout lines with pressurized steam. There are tons of real world examples showing people spraying their grout and having the dirty water shoot out from between the tiles. It’s a pretty convincing performance.
Why It’s Hard to Make Steam Cleaners
A lot of people have had a lot of trouble with steam cleaning systems over the years. This is because it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make, even though it doesn’t seem like rocket science. The problems arise from having to heat the water to such a high temperature, and then letting the unit cool down when you’re done using it. When metal and plastic get hot and then cold, again and again, their molecules expand and contract, leading to mechanical breakdown. A company has to be savvy enough to use parts and materials that can take abuse, while also keeping their costs down so they can make a profit.
Grout steam cleaners are not as expensive as you might be thinking. Good quality units clock in at about $100 and should last a few years, so you’re getting good value here, considering the time and labor saved. When you consider that it would be several hundred or even over $1000 for a professional steam cleaning device, these are really not hard on the wallet or pocketbook.
Compared to other ways of cleaning your grout, these machines should make your life easier. No elbow grease is necessary, as they use the power of pressurized steam to do all of the heavy lifting. It may seem counter-intuitive to use a water-based solution to a water-caused problem like mold and grime, but the temperature of the water and the pressure that it comes out at makes the difference.
Grout steam cleaners get in between the grout lines, and work to blast away the dirt. The proof is watching the dirt get blasted out. You can see the dirty trail of water left by the steam getting off all of that built up residue. When you use a room temperature solution, like a chemical or a grout scrubber, you are tackling the grout on its level, which is why there’s so much struggle. But when you elevate that temperature to the level of steam, you are immediately introducing a change of environment, and shaking up the status quo. The good steam cleaners out there will include a little brush on the end, so after it heats up the mess it easily whisks it away, or you can gently scrub stubborn spots until they succumb.
Where Have You Been All My Life?
Just about the only thing you’ll regret about getting a grout steam cleaner is that you didn’t get one sooner. They quickly endear themselves to you, and you’ll find that you can’t get through a Cleaning Day without it. Some people use theirs to go around and get everything loosened up so they can go back and wipe it all up, while others use it after they clean to sanitize things and make sure they’re spick-and-span.
Final Grout Steam Cleaners Review
Grout steam cleaners can be your dirty little secret (pun intended). No one has to know that you bring out this puppy when it’s time to get your grout clean. Let people assume you spend tiresome hours detailing each grout line. But the sooner you start using one the better, because it means less fooling out with other methods that flat out don’t work, and less money spent on chemicals and scrubbers that require you to put a lot of effort and energy into.
There are two grout steam cleaners that have earned our recommendation. The SteamFast SF-275 SteamMax Steam Cleaner and the McCulloch MC-1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner. They are both essentially the same product, just a different color and different branding. They’re both roughly the same price, and they both get strong reviews. The great part is that they’re not just for cleaning grout, and you’ll probably spend half the first day finding things around the house to blast with them.