Steam cleaners are a fantastic investment, and once you have one you will wonder what you ever did without it. However, when you are first looking into buying one it is easy to become absolutely overwhelmed about which one you should get.
They all seem to have different temperatures, different pressure, different capacity, some are portable handheld things while others seem to be larger than the average home vacuum cleaner, and that’s before you even start to look at things like the accessories kit.
What Sort Of Steam Cleaner Do You Need?
In order to make sure that you are going to be getting one of the best steam cleaners you need to have a pretty clear understanding about what you will want to be using it for. Although many have multiple use, for most they really have one of three primary uses. They are either handheld, which is ideal for cleaning smaller areas such as bathroom sinks and showers, portable units, which means they are great for car detailing or furniture, and the third option is variations on a mop, which obviously are just perfect for getting floors squeaky clean.
You will be able to find steam cleaners that have so many attachments that they can theoretically do everything, but they are often going to be quite bulky, so even though they might have a long flexible tube attachment that allows you access to your shower, you will probably find them a little more difficult to use in some situations that if you went with a model that is really specially designed for what you need.
There is also the fourth type of steamer which is specifically for clothing, however this tends to be more of a garment press that will replace your iron rather than clean your clothes for the most part.
A Cold Weather Tip
Did you know that you can use your steam cleaner to clean windows and mirrors? Did you know that if you apply the vapor from boiling water directly to glass that is close to frozen it will shatter? If you are cleaning your bathroom or car during winter, heat the area up first, and aim steam at the glass from a few inches away in order to slowly bring the glass up to a suitable temperature and minimize the risk of cracks or shattering glass.
Use a squeegee to scrape condensation down the glass, making sure to wipe the squeegee dry regularly. This helps to maintain a streak-free finish.
Greasy Fingerprints On Stainless Steel Appliances
Anyone who has stainless steel appliances knows that they look absolutely stunning, when they’re clean, but they pick up greasy fingerprints so easily! What’s worse, is that it is incredibly difficult to remove fingerprints from them once they’re settled. This is where a steam cleaner can be invaluable.
Using a microfiber cloth or an appropriate attachment as the manufacturer recommends, you can use your machine to lift the grease off and the cloth attachment will absorb the dirt. In some cases, a little scrubbing may be required, but for most cases it will be just as easy as if you were wiping down with a cloth.
Sanitize A Mattress
Whether you are worried about bedbugs, mites, or just want to ensure your bed is really clean from anything gross, and smelling good, then your steam cleaner may just become your new best friend. Bedbugs are killed when heat of only 130°F (55°C) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553552/. As your steam cleaners generally operate at between 150° and 300° Fahrenheit (66 -149° Celsius) it is pretty reasonable to assume that you’re going to be killing off anything that wanted to try and live in your mattress.
Obviously, this is also something that is good to do if there is a headlice outbreak at school when you have school aged children.
The other advantage is being able to remove odors, urine or menstrual stains, or even just that coffee mark from when you had breakfast in bed and your tray got knocked over. You may not need to do it every time you change your sheets, but every six months will help you sleep much better.
If you have a memory foam mattress, you’ll need to consult your manufacturers instructions as to what is possible. With the vast majority of mattresses, you won’t strike any problems, just make sure that you don’t saturate the mattress while you’re cleaning it.
Don’t use a high heat on your floors if they are oiled or waxed, but for most flooring types, hot steam is perfect to get ingrained dirt lifted and still leave your floors nearly dry afterwards. There is, of course, some concern with laminated floors, as if they haven’t been glued down well they may not withstand the heat, and if you have a marble floor this would be another reason to avoid this style of mop.
Refreshing Clothes, Curtains and Upholstery
While you still need to wash your clothing, if you just need a quick refresh of any fabric, your garment steamer, or the attachment is just the thing. Not only can this help remove wrinkles and creases, but it also helps remove any odors (particularly cigarette smoke).
In addition, particularly for upholstery whether in your car or in your home, this type of deep-clean can kill bugs and mites, including fleas, making it a fantastic option to use if you have just purchased something secondhand or if you have had a flea outbreak in spring.