by Liz Gonzales
Cleaning the grout out of a hard surface like tile or hardwood floor entails a much different process than when you clean a softer surface like a carpet or a rug.
Part of this process is using the right cleaning machine.
While most cleaning machines are able to clean both kinds of floors, it takes a special kind of cleaning machine to pick up grout.
Grout is a different kind of dirt particle that often cannot be removed by traditional means.
You cannot treat grout like any other kind of dirt.
Just going over the grout with any given cleaning machine will not get grout out.
In order to perfectly remove grout, you'll need to have the right cleaning machine in your hands and you will need to learn the right methods.
The methods will be covered later on, but for now, here are five featured cleaning machines that can make this process much easier.
Most hard floor cleaning machines only utilize one tank that combines water and cleaning solution. This can cause problems because after using it for a bit, you will find that you will be cleaning with water that might not be clean.
The FloorMate, by Hoover, solves this problem by containing two tanks, one for water that is ready to be used for cleaning and one that contains water from the cleaning process. This means you will not need to replace the tank frequently when using it. Very few hard floor cleaning machines contain this feature and it is very nice that the FloorMate has it.
Being able to be used on a diverse array of hard surfaces, the FloorMate is still effective and powerful. You can easily remove grout with it because it is so powerful, but it is not so powerful that it will damage surfaces.
For a cleaning machine that is so powerful yet versatile, the FloorMate contains one significant setback. It is very possible that it will stop working after prolonged use. This has to do with the motor inside of it, which tends to do too much work. If you are going to use the FloorMate, be sure to use it in short bursts.
A lot of hard surface cleaning machines can be difficult to maneuver because their heads are designed like a vacuum cleaner. This can be troublesome if you want to clean a lot of small spaces in a floor, where grout can develop.
The Spinwave, by Bissell, solves this by containing a swivel steering system that will allow you to get into those hard-to-reach areas. This can allow you to eliminate grout in places that you normally could not reach. This makes the Spinwave perfect for small rooms.
Floor cleaners that are tied down to one surface in their pads or brushes can be inconvenient at times. You don't always need to remove grout from the floor, after all. Fortunately, you can swap out the pads for the Spinwave, which contains both soft touch pads for minor stains and pads with a little bit of surface for eliminating grout. This is something that many hard floor mops do not possess and it is nice to see it with the Spinwave.
You will need to get used to emptying Spinwave's tank a lot when using it. It only has a capacity of 28 ounces and it does not have a separate tank for water that gets dirty from cleaning any given floor with it. This can get very irritating, considering that many hard floor cleaners contain separate tanks.
Hard surface flooring that not only contains grout but also contains other blemishes that are difficult to clean stand no chance against the Orb, by Oreck. Containing a floor buffer, it is much more powerful than any given hard floor cleaner.
A lot of floor cleaners similar to the Orb are often so powerful that they tend to scratch most surfaces. This is not an issue with the Orb. Although the drive oscillates at 175 RPMs just like most other machines of its kind does, its attached brush or pad will do all it can to clean floors perfectly without scratching them.
The Orb also has a 50 foot cord, which is very useful if you are using it in a large room. A lot of hard floor cleaners do not possess a cord that is so long and it is nice to see the Orb have something like this. You won't need to take the cord and put it in a different outlet to clean one part of the room or anything like that.
Because of the way it oscillates, the Orb is much different than other floor cleaners and this can be a challenge if you are not accustomed to using oscillating cleaners. Also, the pads that attach to the orbital drive are not included and they will need to be replaced occasionally. These are two things that lower its value a bit.
Very, very few hard floor cleaning machines are cordless. You are obviously very limited in where you can run your cleaner when the cleaner is bound to a cord, and probably the best thing about Homitt's floor cleaner is that it is cordless. This will give you a newfound sense of freedom when you are using it.
There are also times where you might want the floor cleaner to be a little shorter. Containing an adjustable rod, Homitt's floor cleaner solves that problem as well. This is an extremely creative feature and will allow you to reach small areas much easier.
Do not think that this takes away from the power of the cleaner, either. Homitt's floor cleaner can run at 120 RPMs and it is just as effective in getting out grout and other significant stains and blemishes as anything else.
Although it is cordless, Homitt's floor cleaner is not really designed for very large rooms. It will run for about 45 minutes or so on a full charge and it takes three whole hours to charge. You will also prepare to empty the water tank frequently as it is small and the water will get dirty very quickly.
Any given cordless vacuum or floor cleaner is much more useful than vacuums or floor cleaners that use a cord, but even these types of floor cleaners possess certain features that go above and beyond when it comes to their value.
Homitt's floor cleaner does this by containing three different brush heads. You can use these brush heads for not only floors, but for walls and other hard surfaces as well. This is perfect if you need something that can clean bathroom walls, which often contain a good amount of soap scum.
You will also get a lot of power out of Homitt's floor cleaner, as well. It spins at an impressive 260 RPM and is almost guaranteed to remove any kind of blemish from any kind of hard surface floor, wall, or even ceiling.
The one glaring issue when it comes to Homitt's floor cleaner is that it does not cover a lot of area. Unlike most other floor cleaners, it takes the form of a brush and it seems to resemble a mop. This makes it a little more difficult to clean a large room and it seems like it is designed more for small areas than large areas.
Remember that there is a much different process to cleaning hard floors and grout than there is with most other floors.
First, you need to understand what causes grout in the first place.
Grout is calcium buildup that is caused by a combination of the particles of hard water that stands for a long time and usually a cleaning substance, most commonly soap.
This is why some refer to grout as "soap scum."
But there is a major difference between soap scum and grout.
Calcium and lime deposits combine with standing water and soap particles to create soap scum.
The reason why it is easy to remove soap scum is because it is shallow and no deposits have worked their way into the blemish.
Calcium and lime deposits have already worked its way deep into the surface and have combined with standing water to create grout. This is what makes it much more difficult to clean.
Now that you know the difference, what are some things you can do to remove grout?
The first thing you need to understand is that removing grout is a process, not a task.
This is especially true if you want to clean out grout permanently.
Make sure that the cleaner you use can remove both calcium as well as lime deposits. Many will remove one or the other but you need to make sure that both are covered.
You should also dedicate cleaning off the grout two to three times per day. This will loosen the calcium and lime from the area where grout has developed.
After that, it is all a matter of scrubbing or going over the grout with a floor cleaner.
Buying a grout cleaning machine or a hard floor cleaning machine sight unseen is never a good idea.
It is a much better idea to understand what you need in a grout cleaning machine by analyzing what they offer because no grout cleaning machine is the same.
Here are a few things that you should consider when buying a grout cleaning machine.
There are a lot of blemishes that a floor encounters than only grout.
You have stains, scuff marks, and other things that you need to think about when it comes to a grout cleaning machine or a hard floor cleaning machine.
If you get a grout cleaning machine that specializes in grout but nothing else and you are tasked with removing other blemishes from other hard floors, you will have a difficult time.
Some floor cleaners are cordless, and this should be a factor in your decision on a grout cleaning machine.
Cordless floor cleaners are really good for rooms where you need to move around a lot. They tend to be very easy to maneuver as well and they can be very helpful in tight spaces.
However, cordless grout cleaning machines are often very petite and are not designed for large areas where you might be encountering the most grout.
Nearly any given grout cleaning machine or hard floor cleaning machine contains a water tank so that they can clean their surfaces.
Most of these machines contain one big water tank and some contain more than one water tank. This can make a slight difference in your cleaning experience.
Cleaners with one tank are usually a bit more powerful than those with more than one tank, but you can typically use the ones with more than one tank for a longer time because one tank contains clean water and one contains the water that gets dirty from cleaning.
This makes a little bit of a difference.
A: Doing this requires you to do two things. First, you need to clean the surface of the grout significantly. Second, do all you can to eliminate the sources of the calcium and lime that caused the grout to develop in the first place. When you eliminate grout at the source, you will prevent it from developing again.
A: Deep cleaning tile grout will require you to use the right solutions and materials. You need to use a cleaner that can not only remove calcium and lime, but also attacks what causes the calcium and lime to never develop again. This is the only way you can deep clean tile grout. It takes a lot more time and effort than simply scrubbing.
A: Steam cleaning floor tile grout requires you to go over the area very carefully and for a very long time. Steam cleaners often clean the surface of areas, not what is under the surface which is where the source of floor tile grout grows and thrives. Remember that grout is part of the surface of a tile as well as something that develops inside of tiles.
A: Vinegar contains substances that can dissolve lime and calcium, but it does its job too well. Vinegar can also affect the foundation of your tile and this can damage your tile. So the unfortunate answer to this is yes. Resist the temptation to use vinegar for your grout.
A: Everybody wants this answer to be yes, because it would be very easy to go over any given floor that has been affected by mold to eliminate it. But unfortunately, the answer is no. Steam cleaners may eliminate mold on the surface, but the mold will keep coming back. In order to eliminate mold, you need to eliminate the source of the mold and prevent it from growing.
There are many floor cleaning machines that specialize in eliminating grout that are available, and the trick to making sure you have the right one in your hands is to determine exactly what your needs are and how your cleaning machine of choice will satisfy the need.
Resist the temptation to buy the most popular grout removing floor cleaning machine. Take your time and understand the features of each one you come across this way you can do all you can to choose a cleaning machine that is right for you.
It is not easy to cycle through the many options that you have when it comes to a grout cleaning machine, but if you make the right choice, you will have the right machine in your hands.
About Liz Gonzales
Liz lives in a suburb in New York city.
Both of her parents are the art professors at Sate University of New York.
As such, Liz grew up with all kinds of art objects, portraits, and books laying around the home.
Liz met up with Linea through another friend in some kind of online art forum. There great minds sparkled to take their passions onto the next level @ linea.io.