Controversial Truths: Does Steam Cleaning Damage Grout?

Steam cleaning can damage grout, and it may cause the grout to weaken and crack over time. When using a steam cleaner to clean grout, it’s essential to use lower pressure and avoid using high temperatures, as this can erode and damage the grout.

Grout is a crucial component in tiles as it joins them together, making sure they remain sturdy. Many homeowners opt for steam cleaning to remove dirt and grime from tile surfaces, as it is an effective and efficient cleaning method.

However, these high-temperature cleaners may damage the grout between the tiles, causing it to crack, discolor or even disintegrate if inappropriate cleaning practices are followed. While steam cleaning can be a safe and effective cleaning method for tiled surfaces, it should be used judiciously and with care, and other alternative cleaning methods should always be considered if it might damage your grout.

The Science Behind Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is becoming a popular and effective way to clean grout. Grout, which is the mixture of sand, cement, and water, can become dirty and stained over time. But with steam cleaning, the grout can be restored to its original state.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the science behind steam cleaning and why it’s a preferred method for cleaning grout.

How Steam Cleaning Works

Steam cleaning works by using high-pressure hot water vapor to clean and sanitize surfaces. The temperature of the water vapor is high enough to break down dirt and stains, making it easier to clean and remove. The high-pressure steam also penetrates the porous surface of the grout, killing bacteria and germs that may be present.

Steam cleaning is an eco-friendly and effective way to clean and sanitize surfaces without the use of harsh chemicals.

Benefits Of Steam Cleaning (I.E., No Harsh Chemicals)

  • Steam cleaning is a safe and eco-friendly way to clean
  • It does not require the use of harsh chemicals, which can be harmful to the environment and humans
  • It is effective in removing dirt and stains from grout
  • It sanitizes surfaces, killing bacteria and germs
  • Steam cleaning saves time and money by eliminating the need to purchase and use cleaning chemicals

Studies That Have Shown Steam Cleaning To Be Effective

According to a study conducted by the university of arizona, steam cleaning was 97% effective in removing bacteria from surfaces. Another study conducted by the university of california found that steam cleaning was effective in killing dust mites and their eggs.

These studies demonstrate that steam cleaning is not only an effective way to clean grout, but it is also a safe and eco-friendly method.

Steam cleaning is a safe and effective way to clean and sanitize grout. The high-pressure hot water vapor not only removes dirt and stains, but it also kills bacteria and germs. With no harsh chemicals required, steam cleaning is an eco-friendly and affordable option for homeowners and businesses alike.

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What Grout Is Made Of

Do you have grout in your home? Did you install tiles recently? One of the main concerns you may have is whether or not steam cleaning can damage grout. Understanding what grout is made of is the first step to determine the proper cleaning methods.

Keep reading to learn more about grout and why it is crucial to keep this material clean and maintained.

Composition Of Grout

Grout is a material commonly used to fill the gaps between tiles. Grout is composed of cement, sand, and water, and sometimes includes additional additives to improve its properties. These additives could include latex or polymer, making grout more flexible, water-resistant, or mold-resistant.

How Grout Differs From Tile

It is crucial to understand that grout and tile are two separate materials. Tile is typically made of clay or stone that is fired in a high-temperature kiln. On the other hand, grout is made using a mixture of cement, sand, and water.

Tile and grout may be installed together, but they are two different materials with different properties requiring different cleaning methods.

Importance Of Keeping Grout Clean And Maintained

Grout is porous, and any dirt or grime can quickly penetrate the surface, making it challenging to remove. A build-up of dirt and grime on grout not only looks unsightly, but it may also cause damage over time. For example, grime can wear down the surface of grout, leading to further damage and discoloration.

Moreover, it may also attract mold and mildew, which can cause harm to your health. Therefore, regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep your grout looking new, fresh and intact.

Fancy knowing more about how to keep your tiles clean and shiny? Look up the following articles on our website – “tips for cleaning your tile floors” and “eco-friendly ways to clean tiles. “

Potential Damage From Steam Cleaning

Potential Risks Of Using Steam Cleaning On Grout

Grout is the material between and around the tiles that is prone to staining and deterioration over time. Steam cleaning is a popular way to clean grout, but is it safe? Here are some potential risks to consider:

  • Steam cleaning can lead to grout discoloration or damage, especially if the grout is already weakened. The high temperature and pressure can cause the grout to break down, leading to cracks and gaps that allow moisture to seep in.
  • Chemical reactions between the cleaning agent used in steam cleaning and the grout material can also cause damage. The wrong cleaning solution can lead to grout deterioration, color fading or discoloration.
  • The vapor from steam cleaning can enter into the tiny spaces between the grout and the tiles. In case of prolonged steam exposure, this can cause the tiles to lift or detach from their base or the grout.
  • Steam cleaning can also be harmful to some types of grout. If the grout seal has deteriorated, the steam could remove the remaining sealant causing it to become exposed, making it weak and prone to further damage.
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Common Problems That Can Occur

Although steam cleaning is generally a good way to clean grout effectively, it can cause some issues, which are mentioned below.

  • The water pressure in a steam cleaner can be too high for some types of grout. This high-pressure water can cause the grout to erode or break apart, leaving gaps between the tiles.
  • Grout can also become stained by the cleaning solution, causing discoloration or fading of the grout.
  • If the steam cleaner is not used correctly, it can lead to the accumulation of moisture between the tiles and the grout, which can cause mold or mildew to develop.
  • The high temperature of the steam can loosen the adhesive that is used to hold the tiles in place. When steam cleaning is not done with care, tiles can become loose and fall off.

How Steam Cleaning Can Affect Different Types Of Grout

Depending on the type of grout including unsanded vs sanded, and epoxy vs cement grout, steam cleaning can have varying degrees of effect.

  • Unsanded grout can be more prone to etching and damage due to steam cleaning as it is made of fine particles, whereas sanded grout is more durable and less likely to be affected.
  • Epoxy grout, which is made of a blend of resin and filler, can withstand high temperatures and pressure, which makes it less likely to break down during steam cleaning. Cement grout, on the other hand, can be more easily damaged by steam cleaning.
  • In the case of delicate or antique tiles, steam cleaning should not be done as they can be easily damaged, and marring can affect the integrity of their artistic value.

Overall, it’s important to be cautious when using steam cleaning on grout to avoid causing damage. Always read the instructions for steam cleaning that are provided with the tool and use a cleaning agent that is suitable for your grout type to ensure optimal results and longevity.

Alternative Methods For Cleaning Grout

Grout is the often-overlooked element that makes the beauty of an interior pop, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. While the conventional methods include scrubbing, there is the belief that steam cleaning grout is every homeowner’s best bet, as it’s efficient and fast.

However, some people have concerns over steam cleaning damaging their grout. In this blog post, we’d discuss alternative methods that us homeowners can use for cleaning grout.

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Methods That Can Be Used Instead Of Steam Cleaning

While steam cleaning remains one of the top methods for homeowners in cleaning grout, some alternatives exist that you can explore. Here are a few examples:

  • Vinegar and baking soda: Vinegar functions decently when it comes to the cleaning of grout. It’s an acid that helps break down the stains, which makes it an excellent choice for tile grout cleaning. Combine it with baking soda, and you’ll see how effective it is.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Professionals use this method to remove the toughest of grout stains. It’s very effective, though, before applying it directly, mix it with water as it can lighten the color of the grout.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of These Methods

Every cleaning method has its benefits and drawbacks. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of the cleaning methods:

Vinegar And Baking Soda


  • No chemicals; it’s cost-effective and safe
  • Efficient at cleaning tiles and grout
  • Kills germs, mold, and bacteria


  • If not diluted to the right quantity, it could smell, and the color of your grout may change.
  • Not suitable for highly porous materials as vinegar can damage them

Hydrogen Peroxide


  • Can remove even the toughest grout stains
  • It’s affordable, safe, and environmentally friendly
  • Kills germs, mold, and bacteria


  • Damages colored grouts by lightening them
  • Very dangerous if not diluted properly

Importance Of Regular Grout Maintenance

Grout requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Regular cleaning would prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria that can damage it. To maintain grout, please clean it often using a soft brush and a clean rag or mop. If you do this, you’ll not have to worry about using stronger chemicals to clean it in the future, which saves you both time and money.

The key to a clean grout lies in applying these alternative cleaning methods and ensuring proper and regular grout maintenance. By doing this, you can have grout that is shiny and exciting to look at, now and forever.


After taking into consideration all the information presented in this blog post, it is safe to say that steam cleaning does not damage grout. However, it is important to note that the quality of the steam cleaner and the level of pressure used can impact the outcome.

Therefore, it is crucial to use a high-quality steam cleaner with the appropriate attachments and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, it is recommended to use a grout sealer to protect the grout after cleaning. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the grout can also aid in preserving its appearance and durability.

Overall, steam cleaning is an effective and efficient method for cleaning grout without causing any damage, but it should be done with proper care and attention.

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