Handheld Steam Cleanter to clean grout - which one?

annemouseJanuary 3, 2012

I am considering to buy a handheld steam cleaner to clean the grout in the shower and on kitchen floors. Our shower floor is basketweave marble and since I cannot use anything harsh on it I was wondering if a steamer is the answer? Does anyone have any recommendations? Or doesn't it work at all? Thanks.

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Any steam nozzle is a good one. Any steam spray is good. Any steam device is good. Which steamer is not the thing to focus on. They are all good.

If you splashed boiling hot water on an area of tile it would also work, to some extent, but not with the same effect as steam for several seconds. You could try that just to see what effect extremely hot water has. It will have an effect. Once the water cools down a bit it loses its efficacy. You have to wipe up and put more boiling water on the area. A small area at a time.

Spraying steam on areas the size of a quarter works better that boiling water, because you can keep spraying on an area for several seconds. This works the grime off. It's like a laser. On the worst spots, add a drop of bleach to the spot while you are steaming it. Fantastic results.

Once you have a steamer you don't need to buy bottled products. For this reason you will almost never see ads about steamers. The big boys sell product in a bottle. Detergents and soap.

Steam works well because a few seconds of steam is a lot more heat energy focused on the area you are working on. Heat energy is what breaks down some of the complex organic substances that make up grime and smeary dirt. Try boiling water first.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Thanks, davidro1, for your advice. I bought a handheld steam cleaner and the grout in shower and kitchen look like new again.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:13PM
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This is one of the most pleasing posts, to me. After six weeks of you took the time to find the thread and post. Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 8:07PM
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And I'm glad to hear that a steam cleaner does a great job. We haven't even completed our reno yet and I'm starting to stress about how I'll be able to keep it looking like new!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Jean Bo

Wow I'm sold I too have a marble floor in shower and I have been using dollar store bathroom spray cleaner cause nothing got rid of the pink mold in the grout. So I would spray, scrub, and wash off quickly. But I might have to do this several times - pain! SOLD!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 10:07AM
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annemouse, which handheld steamer did you buy? I use a steam mop on my tiled floors and it works wonderfully on the tiles and somewhat on the grout but it's not a deep grout cleaning that my 10 year old kitchen grout needs. Steam and alcohol are my two favorite cleaners :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 4:14AM
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We spray off our shower walls and tile after each use with clear cold water and and squeege, too. So there was no real soap scum to deal with and the shower looked fine from a distance. But after the shower was in use for half a year or so that pinkish algae started to build up on the grout and the best way to remove that without using bleach was the Magic Eraser. But I was hesistant to use that too rigorous or often because it is somewhat abrasive. Also, that pink algae came back each time after a week or so.
After davidro1's recommendation to go for steam I ordered the Steamfast Sidekick Portable Steam Cleaner from Costco. First, I used it with the steam nozzle only. The pink stuff vanished, but was not totally gone. Then, I used the the softer nylon brush attachement which took care of everything. All in all I guess I spent about half an hour cleaning the shower floor grout lines (many, because we have basketweave). But that was worth it, because even after a month the pinkish stuff has not returned yet.
For the kitchen grout lines I also used the nylon brush attachement, but needed some dishwashing liquid on the oily stains that I could not get rid off using the Magic Eraser or anything else including bleach so far.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Just be careful and don't do what I did. I used the steamer on all the "grout" around the tub and realized after it had essentially melted what I had just steamed that I had confused grout and caulk.

Do not use a steamer on caulk. You will destroy it in record time.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Debbi Branka

So if you WANT to get rid of the caulk on the nasty shower doors (where the mold has grown underneath the caulk and you can't get it out), then the steamer might be a good idea??

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:43AM
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