How To Clean Grout With A Pressure Washer
Most of us have ceramic tiles on the walls of the bathroom and kitchen. Many have floor tiles as well. These tiles are usually secured to the wall or floor using grout, and this is visible between the tiles.
Over time the grout gets dirty, that’s because it’s porous and it’s a bit of a task to clean it. The usual way of cleaning grout is to apply a cleaning solution and use plenty of elbow grease with a brush. This takes time and lots of effort working in the most uncomfortable conditions.
Using a pressure washer to clean grout is a fast and easy way of getting the job done. But some preparation work is needed before getting started.
How To Prepare For Using A Pressure Washer Indoors
Pressure washers are usually used outdoors and outside they are perfectly safe and easy to use. Using a pressure washer indoors needs more careful planning. For instance, we wouldn’t recommend using a petrol-powered pressure washer indoors as they emit carbon monoxide from the exhausts.
Carbon monoxide is known as the invisible killer because you can’t hear it, see it or smell it. Also, petrol-powered pressure washers are generally much more powerful than electric-powered models and have the capability of causing untold damage. So we recommend only using an electric-powered pressure washer indoors.
Keeping Things Dry
No matter how careful you are, you will find water sprays all around the room. So we recommend covering cupboards (and any other items you want to keep dry) with plastic sheeting secured by masking tape. Masking tape gives a strong bond to hold things in place but is easily removed when finished without leaving unsightly marks behind.
Extra Towels For Absorbing Excess Water
No matter what precautions you take, water will splash onto and into places it shouldn’t. To help prevent a disaster keep a few towels handy to mop up any excess water.
The pressure washer needs a constant supply of water to clean the grout. Will your hose connector fit onto indoor taps? If not you need to get an indoor tap connector for the hose or run the hose into the house through an open window or door. If this is the case will the hose be long enough?
Electric Circuit Breaker
To prevent the risk of electrocution it’s recommended to use a Residual Current Device (RCD). This will cut the power if anything goes wrong, preventing you from electric shock and injury.
It is easy to get minute particles fly from whatever is being cleaned with a pressure washer, so we always recommend wearing eye protectors. The force that the water is under, could do serious damage and even cause blindness in some cases.
Check Grout For Damage
Take care that the grout is all intact as old or degraded grout will easily be dislodged by the force exerted by the pressure washer.
Pressure Washing Grout In 8 Easy Steps
Here’s a step by step guide to help you clean the grout in your home with a pressure washer. The first 4 steps are just general startup instructions for electric-powered pressure washers.
- Connect the hose to the inlet connector and the tap.
- Turn the water on.
- Press the trigger on the spray gun to remove any water or air from the system.
- Turn the washer switch to on while still pressing the trigger. Once the water is flowing freely, release the trigger so you can move on to step 5.
- Attach the black nozzle to the wand. This nozzle produces the least powerful force of water you don’t want to blast away the grout, just the dirt.
- Adjust the nozzle to the lowest spray (if you have this option) you can always increase the pressure later if you need to.
- Position yourself so that the nozzle is around 2 feet (60 cms) from the grout. This will save exerting too much pressure onto the grout and causing damage. You can adjust your position slightly closer if you need extra pressure, or further away for less pressure.
- Pull the trigger, start from the top of the wall and work your way to the bottom to allow all dirt to wash downwards. Keep the spray at a 45-degree angle and use long, sweeping passes horizontally over the stained grout.
General Grout Cleaning Tips
Here are a few general tips to clean grout stains and maintain a tidy home.
- Grout is a fairly soft material if you attack it too aggressively, it will wear away. Only give it a hard scrub or extra power if the stain is so stubborn it won’t come off any other way.
- For really stubborn stains use a cleaning solution first and allow time for it to work
- If your pressure washer allows, use hot water to clean grout, hot water will free dirt and stains easier than cold water.
- Grout is easier to clean if it’s done every week. Only use a pressure washer as a last resort.
Where Can A Pressure Washer Be Used To Clean Grout?
The applications for a pressure washer to clean grout are limited only by where the tiles are. Areas include:
- Kitchen walls
- Floor tiles
- Bathroom tiles
- Shower room tiles
- Ceramic floor tiles
- Anywhere ceramic tiles have been used.
Frequently Asked Questions
As long as you take care and don’t use a too powerful nozzle, using a pressure washer to clean grout is a great time saving and energy-saving solution.
You should not pressure wash anything that’s living. This includes humans, animals and plants. Pressure washer sprays are too strong to use safely on any of the above and can cause serious injury.
Pressure washers use cold water only. Power washers use heated water to clean. This is the main difference between them.
The best pressure washer for cleaning grout is always going to be an electric model, as they’re the least likely to cause damage to your grout. To see our top list of pressure washers, click here.