Many people use steam cleaners to clean dense stains on their glass surfaces, floor tile and grout, upholstery, kitchen appliances, car exteriors and more. Floor steam mops are devices with in-built boilers and steamers that produce dry or wet steam using ordinary tap water. While they enable you to clean stubborn stains and dirt without the use of harsh chemicals, they may not be suitable for certain surfaces.
In this article, we shall focus on why you should not use a floor steam mop on floor tile and grout. There are better products available on the market that have been formulated keeping the structure of tile and grout. These products are science-backed and tile-and-grout-approved. One the best floor tile and grout cleaners today are pFOkUS products. They have been formulated in the laboratories after years of research. But, first, let us understand why exactly a floor steam cleaner is not advisable.
How do Steam Mops Work?
Steam cleaners turn ordinary tap water into a steam vapor. The hot vapor is capable of disorienting the bonds of dense stains, thereby making it easier for you to remove them. Steam cleaners have internal boilers that heat water to 225 degrees Fahrenheit to convert it into a hot vapor. Some floor steam mops are known to heat water as high as 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Are Steam Mops Worth It?
You may think that investing in a floor steam cleaner or a mop makes sense as it reduces your need to buy costly harsh chemicals repeatedly. It is a common perception that steam at high degrees will thoroughly clean and sanitize your floor tile and grout. But, to answer the question whether steam mops really sanitize, you will have to understand the structure of tile and grout.
Using Steam Cleaners on Floor Tile:
Floor tile is generally made from natural stone, non-natural stone or vitrified tile. Out of these, natural stone like marble, granite, slate, limestone and such others are porous surfaces. They are generally sealed with epoxy/resin sealers to make them water-resistant. When you use a floor steam mop, the high temperature steam loosens the bonds of the topical sealant and removes it. Once the sealant is spoiled, the porous surface absorbs the steam easily. This high temperature steam easily kills the germs and mold breeding inside, but it also stays inside.
Once it enters steam cools, it turns into water and remains inside the pores of natural stone tile. This moisture/water again provides excellent breeding grounds for germs. Another problem with using steam cleaners on sealed natural stone tile is that the tile loses its sealant and becomes vulnerable to further stain absorption.
Using steam cleaners on non-natural stone tile or vitrified tile may not prove to be as disastrous as using them on natural stone tile, but they are still effective in removing the top sealant coat.
Using Steam Cleaners on Grout
Just like natural stone tile, grout is made from a mix of cement and sand, and is porous too. The steam enters the pores of the grout, kills the germs inside, but remains inside. On entering the pores, it cools down and turns into moisture/water. It makes the grout wet at the root level, thereby making it vulnerable to further mold or stain formation.
The heat from a floor steam mop also removes the grout sealant and makes the surface vulnerable to chips, stains and mold.
How are pFOkUS Cleaners Better for Cleaning Floor Tile and Grout?
pFOkUS – one of the leading tile, grout, stone, glass and brick restoration product manufacturing companies, has designed all of the products in a laboratory after years of research. Below we have mentioned all our cleaners and their advantages.
Imperia Deep Clean – a Deep Penetrating Natural Stone, Ceramic and Porcelain Tile and Grout Cleaner:
pFOkUS’ Imperia Deep Clean is a powerful, robust and deep-penetrative cleaner that offers all the functions a steam cleaner would provide. It penetrates the porous surfaces and removes the dirt, germs and mold from the root. While cleaning your shower, floor and countertop, you will also sanitize and prep the surface by removing all the stubborn stains, mold and existing sealers from the root. The best part about this cleaner is that it is formed on an alkaline base.
Once Imperia Deep Clean has been used to clean the floor tile and grout from the root, the grout should be sealed with Caponi. It is a pigmented grout sealing system that is built on a rock-solid 2-part solvent titanium resin/epoxy foundation. The titanium ensures that it never pops from the surface. Grout that is cleaned using Imperia Deep Clean should be sealed with Caponi to ensure its beauty and hygiene forever.
Once you have deep-cleaned and sealed your grout and tile using pFOkUS products, you can use pFOkUS maintenance products like Valore Maintenance and Imperia Maintenance to remove the superfluous stains that settle on the surface. Of these two, Valore Maintenance is infused with 6.97% H2O2 at the root level .It is a stronger maintenance cleaner. Both the cleaners can be used as light daily maintenance cleaners for daily cleaning. They do not harm the top sealant coat.
Now, if you use a floor steam mop to clean such a sealed and protected floor tile and grout, the heat will damage the sealant and make the flooring vulnerable to staining again.
This is the reason why you should use only high-quality and premium floor cleaners for your floor. You can use a steam cleaner to clean your floor tile and grout, only if you intend to re-seal them immediately after they dry.