If not properly maintained by sealing and cleaning grout will become discolored and full of mold and mildew. The best way to clean out grout that is already filled with dirt and gunk is to use a steam extraction method. |
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. This is steam cleaning with hot steam, detergents, water pressure and vacuum extraction. Steam extraction machines dislodge the dirt packed in the tiny grout holes and lifts them out once and for all
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.
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 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.
Evaluation 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.
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