Steam cleaners are very versatile and can be used to clean almost any surface. They use hot steam to sanitise surfaces and remove grime. They just use water, so you don’t need to buy any cleaning chemicals which could be expensive and harmful to your health.
Steam cleaners come in two types: cool steam cleaners which produce cool steam and dry steam cleaners which produce hot steam. Dry steam cleaners tend to be more efficient and effective, as the hot steam is better for cleaning and the machine will also use less water.
Advantages of steam cleaners
Steam cleaning has lots of advantages over traditional cleaning methods. Here are a few reasons to use a steam cleaner:
- Steam cleaners kill bacteria by using hot steam
- Steam can be used to dissolve or soften up tough substances like wax and chewing gum
- It’s useful for cleaning hard-to-access nooks and crannies
- Steam cleaning doesn’t use any harmful chemicals
Things to remember when using a steam cleaner
- It’s important to remember that steam cleaning doesn’t actually remove dirt, it just loosens it. This means you will still need to wipe surfaces with a cloth.
- You should also take care not to burn yourself when using a steam cleaner, as the hot steam can cause injuries if you’re not careful.
- Always check your steam cleaner’s instructions manual before using it on a new surface.
Different uses for steam cleaners
There are lots of possible uses for steam cleaners. Here are just a few common cleaning tasks you can do with a steam cleaner.
1. Cleaning your oven
Cleaning the oven is most peoples’ least favourite cleaning job. Removing baked-on food and grease can be very difficult, which is why many people put off doing this chore until they really have to.
While there are lots of oven cleaning sprays you can buy, they often use harmful chemicals that you wouldn’t want to get into your food. Using a steam cleaner that just uses water is a much safer way to clean your cooker.
When cleaning an oven or hob with a steam cleaner, you have to be careful where you spray the steam otherwise you might damage the inner machinery. For best results, use a steam cleaner with an attached brush tool and then finish the job with a cloth.
2. Cleaning tiled floors
The advantage to using a steam cleaner when cleaning a tiled bathroom or kitchen floor is that it can get in all the crevices a cloth would miss. This helps kills the bacteria that can easily develop on a kitchen or bathroom floor. Lots of steam cleaners come with a special floor cleaning head which will give you better results on a hard floor. Make sure you don’t spray steam on any one part of the floor for too long as too much exposure to steam can damage grout.
3. Cleaning windows
Steam cleaners are great for getting a streak-free finish when cleaning windows. Many steamers come with a squeegee specially designed for window cleaning. You should work from top to bottom and clean in different directions to prevent a striped finish.
4. Cleaning upholstery
If your steamer has an upholstery attachment you can use it to clean sofas and other upholstery. Make sure you move the steamer around constantly, otherwise you might soak the upholstery. If you have a dry steamer the heat will kill dust mites.
Steaming is also good for removing stains from upholstery. When steaming colour-dyed upholstery, make sure you test a small area first to check that the colours won’t run.
5. Cleaning carpets
A carpet cleaner is the best way to clean a carpet, but if you just have a small spot that needs cleaning, a steam cleaner is a good tool for the job. You can use a steam cleaner to remove a stain or soften up some sticky material from a carpet or rug. As with steam cleaning upholstery, you should test a small area first to check that the colours don’t run. You should also be careful, as some carpet materials are too delicate to be steam cleaned.
Which steam cleaner should you get?
For a roundup of the best cheap steam cleaners available in the UK, see this article.