Cleaning hard surface flooring in your home, especially if it is tile with grout lines, can be a miserable chore. Fortunately, the solution to the misery may be as simple as a good steam cleaner. These incredible little machines clean and sterilize surfaces with a minimum of effort and can make grout lines in tile surfaces shine like new.
Steam cleaners come in a variety of sizes, styles, and models. Choosing the best steam cleaner for your tile floors and grout can be confusing. Understanding what a steam cleaner is and how it can help you around the house are important pieces of information. Deciding how you want to use a steam cleaner will be a big part of your choice.
If using harsh chemicals to clean your hard surfaces concerns you, then a steam cleaner can be a blessing in disguise. Tough stains, sticky messes, and even mold are no problem for a steam cleaner. Grout can be brought back to life in an environmentally friendly manner.
What is a Steam Cleaner?
If you aren’t familiar with steam cleaners, you should be. Steam cleaners are a household appliance that generates live steam and is primarily used to clean hard surfaces. Some steam cleaners have attachments to allow cleaning of drapes and steaming garments and other special-purpose jobs.
Steam cleaners work by heating water in a small reservoir to a temperature near 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Jets direct the dry steam onto a microfiber pad that collects the dirt. Steam cleaners do not leave any residue on the surface and don’t use any chemical cleaner or disinfectant.
Live dry steam can kill about 99 percent of the bacteria and dust mites on the surface you are cleaning.
Steam is also useful in lifting some stains and removing sticky residues. Steam cleaners come in a variety of styles. Some steam cleaners resemble upright vacuum cleaners, others resemble canister style vacuum cleaners, and smaller models are handheld for portability.
The power to clean with water is not limited to steam cleaners. Several manufacturers of home cleaning equipment now offer vacuums that use water filtration instead of standard bags or bagless filtration. These water filtration vacuums excel in removing the allergens and other particulate matter than can cause misery for your family. You can learn more about water filtration vacuums in our list of Best Water Filtration Vacuums.
If you have a beautiful swimming pool, recommended reading: Best Above Ground Robotic Pool Cleaners.
Types of Steam Cleaners
Steam cleaners for home and household use come in three varieties. Deciding which is best for you requires an understanding of the differences in the three types. Steam cleaners typically are classified into three categories.
- Steam mops
- Cylinder Steam Cleaners
- Handheld steam cleaners
Most steam mops resemble an upright vacuum and operate in much the same fashion. Steam mops often feature swivel cleaning heads and special attachments to facilitate cleaning upholstery, smaller hard surface, and steaming garments.
The water tank and heater mount on the handle. Steam generation usually can happen in 15 to 30 seconds. However, the small tank size means that the steam mop needs refilling more often.
Cylinder Steam Cleaners
Cylinder steam cleaners resemble a canister vacuum. The water tank and heating unit reside in the canister to which a longer hose and wand are attached. The cleaning accessories fit onto the wand. Cylinder steam cleaners are heavier and bulkier than steam mops. The advantage is a bigger water tank size and less frequent refills. On the downside, these larger units can take up to 15 minutes to begin generating steam.
Handheld Steam Cleaners
If your cleaning needs are small and limited to spot cleaning or other smaller jobs, a handheld steam cleaner may fill the bill. These units are about the size of a garden watering can. The small water tank means more refilling if you are doing larger chores. The variety of accessories and tools provided with some handheld steam cleaners is limited.
What Should I look for in a Steam Cleaner?
When you start to shop for a steam cleaner, you should consider several factors. To make the best choice for your situation, you should consider the following.
- Size and Weight – If your home has multiple levels, size and weight can be an important factor. Moving a cylinder type steam cleaner up and down stairways, especially if it is full of water, can become exhausting.
- Ease of Use – Some steam cleaners are easier to use than others. If you intend to use your steam cleaner regularly, having to deal with a time consuming and tedious setup or cleaning routine can be a hurdle.
- Water Tank Size – A small compact steam cleaner may be just the thing if your home is smaller or you have a limited about of hard surface area to clean. That same small compact steam cleaner may not be as good an option if you have a large home with expansive amounts of hard flooring to clean. A bigger machine with a larger water tank is probably more efficient.
- Attachments and Accessories – If all you want to do is clean hard surface flooring, a wide array of attachments may not be of interest. However, if you want to clean grout lines, steam clean drapes or upholster, or clean countertops or other confined space hard surfaces, a good variety of accessories is a feature you will want to explore.
- Cost – Cost is always a factor. Finding the right combination of features to fit your needs at a cost that is within your budget can be a challenge.
Our Top 6 Picks for the Best Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout
To help you find that right combination of features and price, we have put together this list of our top six picks for the best steam cleaner for tile floors and grout. There are many options in steam mops, cylinder steam cleaners, and handheld steam cleaners on the market. We looked at features, prices, and customer reviews to make our recommendations.
|Name||Item Weight||Shipping Weight||Dimensions||Manufacturer|
|BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop||8.3 lbs.||11.6 lbs.||11.6 x 7.1 x 28.6 in.||Bissell|
|Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner||9 lbs.||16.7 lbs.||16 x 15 x 14 in.||Dupray|
|PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner||2.2 lbs.||5.35 lbs.||85.8 x 88.2 x 86.6 in.||PurSteam|
|Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam||4.8lbs.||13.2 lbs.||12 x 12 x 51.2 in.||SharkNinja|
|Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1||2.2 lbs.||8.35 lbs.||24.2 x 9.3 x 8 in.||PurSteam|
|McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Cleaner||13 lbs.||22 lbs.||13.1 x 13.3 x 19.1 in.||McCulloch|
Best Steam Mop for Tile Floors and Grout – BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner
Bissel is well known for its cleaning appliances. The Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop is no exception and brings all the features and cleaning power for which anyone could ask. For the price, the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop is our choice as the Best Steam Mop for Tile Floors and Grout. But don’t be misled. This Bissell Steam Mop ups the ante with a host of other features as well.
- 2-year limited warranty
- Onboard heater
- 30 second warmup time
- 23-foot power cord
- Heater ready light
- 12-inch cleaning width
- 16 oz. tank capacity
- Swivel cleaning head
- Variable steam control
- Microfiber pads
- Weighs 6 lbs.
- Flip down easy scrubber
- Digital controls make settings easy
- 1500 watts of power get the unit operating quickly
- Can be used with fragrance disks
- Excellent on grout lines in floor tile
- No handheld option
- Good only for sealed hardwood and ceramic floors.
If you only need to clean hard surface flooring, then you can beat the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop. This steam mop is light and versatile, making it easy to use. The job the Bissell PowerFresh steam mop does on grout can’t be beaten short of much more expensive and complex machines.
Best Cylinder Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout – Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Multipurpose Heavy-Duty Steamer
Dupray focuses on two products, steam cleaners, and steam irons. That focus makes them experts in the field of steam appliances for the home and industry. The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Multipurpose Heavy-Duty Steamer makes almost every list you can find of Best Steam Cleaners. Our list is no exception and the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner garners the Best Cylinder Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout spot.
Beyond the capabilities of the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner to clean and disinfect all types of hard surfaces, the multipurpose uses of the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner and the huge number of accessories and tools that come standard make this machine an outstanding buy if you have larger areas and more need to steam cleaning.
- Weighs 9 lbs.
- 3-foot extension tube
- Six-foot six-inch flexible hose
- Up to 50 psi of steam pressure
- 54-ounce water tank
- 7 minutes to steam production
- 2-year warranty on the machine
- Lifetime warranty on the boiler
- Rectangular floor tool
- Microfiber pads
- Window tool
- Steam lance
- Microfiber cloth
- Triangular tool
- Triangular microfiber bonnet
- Five nylon brushes
- 1 brash brush
- 16-foot power cord
- Quick heat time for a cylinder style steam cleaner
- Integrated funnel for water fill
- Lightweight and portable for a cylinder steam cleaner
- Lots of accessories for cleaning all types of surfaces
- The steam lance is perfect for cleaning grout lines
- Some of the tools feel very thin and cheap
- The extension wand is a little short
- The handle can get hot when doing longer cleaning jobs.
For larger homes or homes with big expanses of hard surface flooring, the Dupray NEAT Steam Cleaner is a perfect solution. The large water tank, quick heat-up time, and the convenience of a cylinder style steam cleaner are enough to convince anyone. Those features and the low price make this our choice for the Best Cylinder Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout.
Best Handheld Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout – PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner
The PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner is a perfect choice if you have limited areas of hard surface to clean. The PurSteam handheld steam cleaner excels at cleaning grout lines between ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles. With the included accessories, you can steam and clean hard to reach areas, spot clean carpets, and upholstery, and steam your garments for a fresh and wrinkle-free look.
The small size of the PurSteam Handheld steam cleaner belies its capabilities and usefulness around the home. The features and the versatility of this handheld steam cleaner far exceed what you would expect for the price you will pay to have one of these in your home. The PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner gets the spot as the Best Handheld Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout.
- Produces superheated dry steam
- 30 percent more steam than competing handheld steam cleaners
- Easily eliminates grease, grime, mold, stains and bed bugs
- No harsh or toxic chemicals
- Easy to use handheld design
- 10-foot power cord
- Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
- Multipurpose cleaning
- 3 – 4 minutes to steam production
- Nine-piece accessory tool kit
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- Pressurized steam
- Can be used on some fabrics and wallpapers
- Very small water tank limits cleaning time
- Rather short power cord
If your needs for a steam cleaner are limited to cleaning grout lines, small areas, or spot cleaning, a handheld steam cleaner is a good answer. The PurSteam Handheld Steam Cleaner is a wise choice and should meet your needs and more.
Best Combination Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout – Shark Lift-Away Pro S3973D
Shark has one of the best reputations in the business for designing and building quality vacuum cleaners. Their entry into the steam cleaner market maintains that reputation. The innovative adaptation of their Lift-Away technology to the steam mop category gets it a well-deserved place on our list.
Combining the features of a steam mop with a handheld steam cleaner in one unit, Shark is ahead of the competition in several ways. When you combine the features and convenience of the Shark Lift-Away Pro and the reputation you get with the Shark name, this steam mop/handheld steam cleaner merits the distinction of the Best Combination Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout.
- Three setting intelligent steam control
- Intelli-Mop head with steam blaster technology
- Touch-free pad technology
- Direct steam channeling system
- Double-sided dirt grip pads
- Triangle scrubber tool
- Lift-Away technology that allows you to convert to a handheld steam cleaner
- 3-foot accessory hose
- Garment steamer tool
- Above floor pocket tool
- Weighs 4.8 lbs.
- 18-foot power cord
- 7.4 oz. tank
- Steam blaster technology for tough stains and stubborn spots
- Convenient Lift-Away technology makes this machine versatile
- The long power cord is efficient
- Three setting intelligent steam control
- Relatively expensive
- Small tank
If you are a pet lover and your family shares a home with four-legged family members, one of your concerns may be pet hair and pet dander. Shark’s TruePet line of vacuums designed with patented technology for removing pet hair and dander may also interest you. You can find more information about the vacuums that excel at pet hair and dander control in our Best Shark Vacuum for Pet Hair article.
Some users complain about the price, but we factored in the cost of owning both a steam mop and a handheld steam cleaner. The Shark Lift-Away Pro gives you all the functionality of a steam mop and the convenience of a handheld steam cleaner in one package.
Best All-Around Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout – PurSteam System ThermaPro 10 in 1
PurSteam makes another appearance on our best steam cleaners for tile floors and grout as the best all-around steam cleaner. Featuring a 10 in 1 system, the PurSteam ThermaPro can perform almost any cleaning task in the home efficiently and effectively. The fact that it has a lift-away feature that allows the unit to function as a handheld steam cleaner is a bonus.
From the price standpoint, the PurSteam System ThermaPro 10 in 1 is also a standout. You won’t find a combo steam mop with these kinds of features for this price. For all-around cleaning and general-purpose use, the PurSteam System ThermaPro 10 in 1 gets on our list as the best all-around steam cleaner for tile floors and grout.
- 11.5 oz tank
- 2o foot power cord
- Weights 2.2 lbs.
- Manual steam controls
- Microfiber pads
- Lift away handheld option
- Flexible hose
- Window squeegee tool
- Steam lance tool
- Bent nozzle tool
- Assorted nylon brushes
- 10 in 1 cleaning system
- No harsh chemicals to achieve a high level of cleaning and disinfecting
- Good Assortment of accessory cleaning tools
- 30 seconds to steam
- Uses more power than comparable machines
If you have moderate to light needs for a floor tile and grout cleaner, the PurSteam ThermaPro is a good choice. The lift-Away option to use this unit as a handheld steamer overcomes some of its shortcomings and makes it a versatile steam cleaner to have in your home. For the features you get and the convenience, this is a good all-around steam cleaner.
Best Ultimate Steam Cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout – McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Cleaner with 23 Accessories
If budget is not one of your considerations and steam cleaning to remove allergens, mold, mildew, stains, germs, and bacteria from your environment, then the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Cleaner will be a sure winner on your list. It makes our list as the best ultimate steam cleaner for Tile Floors and Grout.
McCulloch has re-thought the cylinder steam cleaner and sets a new standard for features and power. There is no doubt that this exceptional steam cleaner will exceed most homeowners’ expectations. The price may be well above other steam cleaners on the market but there is no denying that the McCulloch MC1385 is well worth the price.
- 1500 watts of power
- 64-ounce water tank
- 12 minutes to steam
- 120 minutes of steam time
- Variable Steam Control
- Weighs 13 lbs.
- 18-foot power cord
- 10-foot flexible hose
- 2-year warranty
- Jet nozzle for cleaning grout lines and narrow spaces
- Angled nozzle for closer and tighter spots
- Triangle brush tool
- Large brush tool
- Floor mop tool
- 5 nylon utility brushes
- 5 brass brushes
- 5 round brushes
- 5 round scrub pads
- Fill cup
- Scraper tool
- Tool Storage bag
- Extension wand
- UP to 58 PSI steam pressure
- Onboard tool storage
- Large wheels for easy maneuverability
- Very strong steam power
- Large tank
- Long hose and wand for extra reach
- Convenient and easy to use
- Louder than some other machines
If powerful cleaning is your main consideration, the McCulloch MC1385 should be at the top of your list. Its wide array of tools and accessories to its large water tank and exceptional steam time, the McCulloch is a virtual cleaning super machine. The price may be well above the other steam cleaners on our list, but we expect that for the ultimate steam cleaner.
For Tile Floors and Grout: The advantages of Cleaning with Steam
There are many ways to clean the tile floors of your home. Most include a huge amount of physical labor and to achieve any kind of disinfecting of the surfaces. Steam cleaning is eco-friendly. The steam does the work of killing germs and other pathogens without the need for chemicals. For this reason, many people with allergies to many chemical products prefer using steam to clean their homes.
Unlike mopping, steam cleaning of hard surface flooring leaves an almost instantly dry surface. The temperature of the steam causes very rapid evaporation and leaves no lingering dampness or residue on the surfaces that you clean.
Steam is also effective at softening and loosening substances that usually require manual scrubbing or scraping. Items such as chewing gum, glue, wax, and the grime that build up on grout lines between tile seem to lift when exposed to steam magically.
If less work, more cleanliness, and a higher level of disinfection are attractive to you, then steam cleaning on your hard surfaces is a solution.
How to best use your Steam Cleaner
Using a steam cleaner is not like vacuuming or mopping. There are some techniques and tips that will help you get the most out of your steam cleaner.
- You should use your steam cleaner only on the surfaces listed in the manufacturer’s recommendations. You should also check the manufacturer’s suggestions for your hard surface flooring(ceramic tile, bamboo, hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, linoleum, etc) to make sure that the material will resist damage from the steam cleaning.
- For best results with your steam cleaner, especially steam mops, vacuum or sweep up all the loose debris on the floor.
- Use clean mop pads and change them whenever soil build-up is noticeable. Dirty mop pads don’t clean, they smear the wet dirt around the floor.
- Seal grout lines before using a steam cleaner. If the grout lines are very dirty or stained, you may need to consult a flooring specialist before trying to steam clean the grout.
Things to avoid when using a steam cleaner
Remember, your steam cleaner is producing live steam at a very high temperature. The steam can cause severe burns, not just to you, but also to anything else that may be susceptible to high temperatures. The steam can damage any material that can burn or melt. Some flooring material should not be exposed to live steam.
Some tools and extension hoses may become extremely hot when used. Take care when touching or handling these tools. If you need to set the tool or hose down, make sure that the steam will not damage the surface on which it is resting.
Anytime you are using water with an electrical appliance, you must be cautious about electrical shock. Wear shoes always when using your steam cleaner, and it is best if a GFCI circuit protects the outlet into which you plug the power cord.
Follow all the manufacturer’s safety recommendations and instructions for using your steam cleaner.
Make it shine
A steam cleaner can be an efficient and effective tool for keeping your home spotless. The advantage of steam in cleaning and disinfecting without using harsh or dangerous chemicals is a huge advantage and attractive to many people. I hope that this guide and list of the best steam cleaners for tile floors and grout make your decision on which steam cleaner best fits your needs easier. Hopefully, our suggestions and information will be the first step in your quest to make your home shine.