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Cleaning Tile Floors Without Chemicals

November 5, 2013  —  Written by Julia 

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This post is sponsored by Wagner.
Yesterday, we showed you the finished hall half bath. A lot of work went into the quick makeover and the results left us with a fresh looking and feeling space.  The only things we didn’t get to were swapping out the faucet (we’ll find the perfect one soon) and addressing the tile floors that are mostly under the new area rug now:

When we install hardwood floors on our first floor, they will most likely continue into this room since there isn’t humidity from a shower or bath that could harm them like a typical bathroom.  Although we weren’t ready to rip out this tile, I didn’t want to leave a practically new room with the floors in their current state.

Just…dirty?  Smudge-y?  I have cleaned them multiple times since moving in, but they have continued looking dull.  We’ve partnered with Wagner recently and they sent us a variety of products to try out over the next couple months, including a steamer!

This steamer came with a lot of attachments for obvious things like removing wallpaper (we lucked out in not having to deal with that task in this home), but also a few other attachments to clean things I never thought of using a steamer to clean: A grimy barbeque grill, a stovetop, bathroom fixtures, and this large cleaning brush that is ideal for cleaning tile without using any chemicals.  Oh tile. We have a lot of you.

In the manual, there was a small chart that gave hints about how much water to add to produce steam for a given amount of time.  Since the bathroom was small, I opted to pour just 16oz in which resulted in about a 15 minute steam time (it can go for as long as 45 minutes before you need to refill it) which turned out to be perfect.

After you add the water, and turn it on, a red and green light will come on. The red light turns off when it’s ready to steam–which took less than 5 minutes. I decided to steam myself out of the room starting in the far corner behind the toilet and working my way out.
There’s a trigger to hold to let out powerful steam:
And I occasionally released it to scrub, scrub, scrub a little bit, especially in the grout lines.
The whole bathroom took less than 15 minutes to do (although I have a LOT more tile to tackle in the house).  It also came with a squeegee attachment for windows and tile, but the Idaho air is so dry, the floor had already started drying by itself before I finished.
The results may not be astonishing in photos to you, but are very apparent to us.  They are richer and shinier and most importantly–cleaner. And it was so nice to not break out any chemicals for cleaning either. I can’t wait to try it on our tile…countertops. Oy! I am not sure I want to know what color that grout is supposed to be.  (Who tiles kitchen countertops?!)
 
Special thanks to Wagner who sponsored this post and sent us their 915 On-Demand Power Steamer to try out.  They didn’t tell us which products to use or what to say, that’s all me.  

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What do you think?

  1. Daniel says:

    Awesome. I will apply it for my house. Love this blog.

  2. Who tiles kitchen countertops? EVERYONE, in the 90s!

  3. I’d love to hear a follow up after you’ve used the Wagner steamer a few more times. I realize you’re being paid to use the product but sometimes it’s nice to know an honest opinion.
    I’ve had one for 2 years now and have never had it do any of the amazing things it claims to do. Didn’t clean my kitchen cabinets, didn’t get my grout clean, didn’t help take down wallpaper. Nothin’! Such a waste of money.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Don’t knock tiled countertops, they used to be so in! I remember thinking the kitchen from Home Alone was so top notch. http://hookedonhouses.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/kitchen-counter-512×384.jpg

  5. Mel says:

    I am new to your blog and am excited to look around. I recently cleaned my 17 year old tiles and grout with a mixture of lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and water and the grout that is 17 years old came almost back to white. I was flabbergasted at how clean they came up, I have tried steam cleaning in the past and it didn’t clean the grout much at all.

  6. Have you considered painting the grout as an interim solution? Or potentially painting the kitchen counter title?

  7. Scully says:

    I love using my steamer, and clean using my Shark steamer on my kitchen ceramic tile all the time Unfortunately, the floating tile and grout we installed in two of our bathrooms tells us NOT to use our steamer. I am actually kind of still at a loss at what we can use, so I mostly just “dust” it. For your readers — if you know what was installed, check with the manufacturer on cleaning instructions, because who would have thought that there would be a tile product where that is not recommended?

  8. Kelly says:

    That’s great! Did you have any problems with the steam around your painted trim/panelling (like when you were scrubbing around the toilet in that corner?) Thanks!

  9. Cassie A. says:

    Wow! Looks much better. What a great method. I need one of these. LOL

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