Last Updated on July 25, 2023
Steam cleaners are powerful cleaning tools that utilise hot steam to clean and sanitise a vast array of surfaces within your home or workplace. As an eco-friendly and versatile alternative to traditional chemical-based cleaning methods, many people have made the switch to steam cleaning in order to achieve a deeper clean with fewer irritants. By understanding how to use a steam cleaner effectively, you can make your cleaning routine substantially more efficient, all while reducing the need for harsh chemicals.
Before you set out to use a steam cleaner, it’s essential to understand how these devices work. Steam cleaners generate high-heat steam through their internal boilers, which can then be directed onto various surfaces through different cleaning attachments. By adjusting steam pressure and heat settings, users can customise the cleaning process to suit virtually any surface – from grime-busting on stubborn kitchen tiles to delicate steaming of upholstery. As you familiarise yourself with the capabilities and limitations of your steam cleaner, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle various cleaning tasks with ease.
- Steam cleaners offer an eco-friendly, versatile alternative to traditional chemical cleaning methods.
- Familiarising yourself with the steam cleaner’s settings and attachments allows for effective and efficient cleaning across various surfaces.
- Proper care and maintenance of your steam cleaner contribute to the longevity and effectiveness of the device.
Understanding Steam Cleaners
Steam cleaners are an effective and eco-friendly way to clean various surfaces in your home. They use steam to break down dirt, grime, and stains, making it easier to wipe away or vacuum up. In this section, we will discuss the types of steam cleaners and how steam cleaning works.
Types of Steam Cleaners
There are primarily two types of steam cleaners: handheld steam cleaners and cylinder steam cleaners.
Handheld Steam Cleaners: These compact and portable cleaners are perfect for small cleaning tasks, such as spot cleaning upholstery or removing stains from carpets. Handheld steam cleaners are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, making them a popular choice for quick clean-ups around the house.
Cylinder Steam Cleaners: These cleaners are larger and more powerful than handheld models. Cylinder steam cleaners generally come with a range of attachments for different tasks, such as mopping floors or cleaning grout. They are ideal for tackling larger cleaning projects, like deep-cleaning carpets or sanitising entire rooms.
How Steam Cleaning Works
Steam cleaning uses the power of hot water vapour to break down dirt and grime on various surfaces. Here’s a brief overview of the steam cleaning process:
- Water is heated inside the steam cleaner to create steam which is then pressurised.
- The pressurised steam is released through a nozzle or an attachment suited for the specific cleaning task.
- The hot steam loosens dirt, grime, and stains, making them easier to remove.
- A cloth or cleaning pad is typically used to wipe away the loosened dirt, while some steam cleaners also have built-in vacuum features to suck up the debris.
Steam cleaners not only effectively remove stubborn dirt and stains but also help to kill bacteria, germs, and allergens. This makes them a great option for creating a healthier living environment.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines while using a steam cleaner. Regular maintenance, like checking for any blockages in the nozzle and proper storage, will ensure your steam cleaner remains efficient and effective for a long time.
Benefits of Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is an efficient and eco-friendly method for deep cleaning various surfaces in your home. Using the power of steam, it effectively lifts and removes dirt, grime, debris, and dust without the need for harsh chemicals. Here’s what makes steam cleaning such an appealing option for homeowners.
Firstly, steam cleaning is an excellent way to sanitise and disinfect surfaces. The high temperature of the steam from boiling water eliminates bacteria, mites, and even bed bugs, providing a safer environment for your family. This is particularly beneficial for allergy sufferers, as it helps reduce dust mites and other airborne irritants.
Moreover, steam cleaning can be used on a wide range of surfaces, from vinyl and laminate flooring to hardwood and kitchen appliances. This versatile approach saves time and effort, as you can use one tool for multiple cleaning tasks. Just be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid damaging your surfaces.
In addition to being effective at eliminating dirt and grime, steam cleaning also helps to remove unwanted odours from carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics. The hot steam penetrates deep into fibres, breaking down the organic matter that causes unpleasant smells. As a bonus, steam cleaning can even help remove wrinkles from certain fabrics, making it a great option for refreshing curtains and soft furnishings.
Lastly, steam cleaning is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cleaning methods, as it doesn’t rely on chemicals or other pollutants. Instead, it utilises the natural power of water to effectively clean surfaces, making it a sustainable and environmentally responsible choice for your household.
In conclusion, steam cleaning offers numerous benefits, from deep cleaning and sanitising surfaces to removing odours and wrinkles. With its versatile applications and eco-friendly approach, it’s no wonder steam cleaning is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners looking for an effective, safe, and environmentally responsible way to clean their homes.
Preparing to Use a Steam Cleaner
Choose the Right Steam Cleaner
Before getting started, it’s essential to select the appropriate steam cleaner for your cleaning needs. There are various types of steam cleaners available in the market, including handheld steamers, steam mops, and multifunction steam cleaners. Handheld steamers are suitable for small areas, whereas steam mops are ideal for cleaning floors, and multifunction steam cleaners can be used for a wide variety of cleaning tasks. Research different models and read reviews on websites like Amazon to find the best one for your requirements.
Gather Necessary Accessories
Once you have chosen the right steam cleaner, gather all the necessary accessories:
Nozzles and brushes: Steam cleaners typically come with various attachments such as nozzles and brushes designed for specific surfaces like glass, floors, or windows. Ensure you have all the necessary attachments at hand before starting.
Soft cloth or rag: Keep a soft cloth or rag nearby to wipe away excess moisture or dirt that may be loosened during the cleaning process.
Mop heads and carpet glider: If you are using a steam mop, make sure you have replacement mop heads available and a carpet glider attachment for cleaning carpets and rugs.
Distilled water: It is recommended to use distilled water in the steam cleaner’s tank to prevent limescale build-up and prolong the life of your appliance.
Now that you have your steam cleaner and all the necessary accessories, follow these steps:
Fill the tank: Pour distilled water into the steam cleaner’s tank until it reaches the maximum fill line. Avoid overfilling, as this may lead to water leakage.
Attach the appropriate attachment: Select the correct nozzle, brush, or mop head for the surface you are about to clean. Attach it securely to the main unit.
Prep the surface: Remove any loose debris or dust from the surface with a vacuum, broom, or soft cloth. For highly soiled areas, you may want to pre-treat them with a gentle cleaning solution.
Safety check: Before turning on the steam cleaner, ensure the power cord is not damaged and the device is placed on a stable surface away from any flammable materials or fragile items like antiques.
Plug in your steam cleaner, and allow it a few minutes to heat up. Once it has reached the optimal temperature, you are now ready to steam clean your chosen surface. Remember always to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for different surfaces and the recommended cleaning techniques for the best results. Happy cleaning!
Steam Cleaning Various Surfaces
Steam cleaners are versatile tools that can be used to clean and sanitise a variety of surfaces in your home and even your car. They utilise high-pressure steam to loosen dirt, grease, and stubborn residues, making them an environmentally friendly alternative to using harsh chemicals. In this section, we’ll cover how to use a steam cleaner on carpets and rugs, hard floors, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, and windows and glass surfaces.
Cleaning Carpets and Rugs
To steam clean carpets and rugs, start by vacuuming the area thoroughly to remove any loose dirt and debris. Next, fill your steam cleaner with tap water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set the temperature to the appropriate level for the fabric, as delicate fabrics may require a lower temperature.
Move the steam cleaner slowly over the carpet or rug, ensuring that the steam penetrates deep into the fibres. This will help to loosen dirt and kill bacteria lurking within. After steam cleaning, allow the carpet or rug to dry completely before walking on it or replacing furniture.
Cleaning Hard Floors
Steam cleaners can be used on various hard floor surfaces, from tiles and grout to laminate and sealed hardwood floors. To prevent warping or damage, avoid using a steam cleaner on unsealed wood or porous surfaces like plywood.
Before steam cleaning, sweep or vacuum the floor to eliminate any loose dirt. Fill your steam cleaner with tap water, and attach the appropriate floor cleaning accessory. Use a steady back-and-forth motion to clean the surface, with care taken to avoid excessive moisture on more delicate materials like laminate.
For tiles and grout, consider using a handheld steam cleaner with a small brush attachment to target discolouration and mould effectively.
Cleaning Kitchen and Bathroom
A steam cleaner is the perfect tool for tackling grease, residue, and bacteria in your kitchen and bathroom. To steam clean appliances and countertops, use a handheld steam cleaner with a soft brush or cloth attachment. This method can be used on various surfaces, including rubber, metal, and even painted surfaces provided you use a low temperature and light pressure.
For bathroom tiles, grout, and fixtures, use the steam cleaner with a brush attachment to remove soap scum, mildew, and other residues.
Cleaning Windows and Glass Surfaces
Steam cleaning is an effective way to clean windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces without leaving streaks or residue. To clean windows and glass surfaces, first, attach a squeegee or window cleaning accessory to your steam cleaner. Fill the tank with tap water, and upon reaching the appropriate temperature, gently glide the squeegee across the surface in a smooth, continuous motion. After steam cleaning, use a clean microfibre cloth to wipe away any remaining moisture.
Remember, steam cleaning is a versatile and eco-friendly method for tackling various cleaning tasks throughout your home. By using the appropriate attachments and techniques, you can ensure your home is clean and sanitised without the need for harsh chemicals or excessive elbow grease.
Caring for Your Steam Cleaner
A steam cleaner can be a valuable tool in your arsenal for tackling household chores, from deep cleaning ovens to disinfecting surfaces. To ensure its longevity and performance, proper care and maintenance are essential. This section will provide you with some friendly tips on how to keep your steam cleaner in top shape.
Maintenance Tips for Your Steam Cleaner
Check and clean attachments: After each use, take a moment to inspect the microfiber cloth, scraper, and other attachments. Remove any debris and give them a gentle wash with warm water and mild detergent. This will help maintain their effectiveness and prolong their life.
Empty and rinse the water tank: To prevent any build-up of limescale or dirt, empty the water tank after each use and give it a good rinse with clean water. This not only helps keep your steam cleaner efficient but also ensures a consistent and high-quality steam output, which is essential for proper disinfection.
Dry the steam cleaner thoroughly: To prevent the growth of mould and bacteria, it is important to allow your steam cleaner to dry completely after each use. Remove the microfiber cloth and leave the steam cleaner in a well-ventilated area to speed up drying time.
Use cheap and natural cleaning solutions: While many steam cleaner models don’t require the use of any cleaning agents, for those that do, consider using inexpensive and eco-friendly alternatives such as baking soda and vinegar. These household staples are safe and effective for tackling a wide range of cleaning tasks whilst being gentle on your appliance.
Store your steam cleaner properly: When not in use, store your steam cleaner in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated space. This will help prolong its life and keep it ready for your next household chore.
By following these simple maintenance tips, you can ensure your steam cleaner remains a reliable and efficient tool for deep cleaning and disinfecting your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I clean windows with a steam cleaner?
To clean windows with a steam cleaner, follow these steps:
- Attach the window squeegee attachment and adjust the steam output to medium.
- Start at the top and work your way down, applying steam to a small area of the window.
- Swipe the squeegee down smoothly, removing condensation and dirt.
- Wipe the squeegee blade with a clean cloth between passes to avoid streaks.
- Continue this process, working your way across the window.
What are the steps to steam clean clothes?
Steam cleaning clothes can be done with these steps:
- Hang your garment vertically on a hanger or steamer stand.
- Fill the steam cleaner’s water tank with distilled water and turn it on.
- Wait for the steam cleaner to heat up and produce steam.
- Hold the steam cleaner’s nozzle a few inches away from the garment and press the steam button.
- Move the steam cleaner vertically along the garment, releasing wrinkles as you go.
What is the process for steam cleaning furniture?
To steam clean furniture, you should:
- Attach a small brush or upholstery attachment to the steam cleaner.
- Vacuum the furniture to remove loose debris before steam cleaning.
- Test the steam cleaner on a hidden area of the furniture to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.
- Start steam cleaning at the top of the furniture and work your way down.
- Gently scrub the fabric with the brush or attachment while applying steam.
- Blot excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth and let the furniture air dry completely.
How can I use a Bissell steam cleaner on a sofa?
Using a Bissell steam cleaner on a sofa involves these steps:
- Fill the water tank and attach the hose with the proper upholstery tool.
- Pre-treat any stubborn stains with a suitable upholstery cleaner.
- Turn on the steam cleaner and adjust the steam output as suggested in the user manual.
- Apply steam to the sofa, working on one small section at a time.
- Use the upholstery tool to gently agitate the fabric and lift dirt.
- Dab any excess moisture with a microfiber cloth and allow the sofa to air dry.
What is the method for using a Karcher steam cleaner on carpets?
A Karcher steam cleaner can be used on carpets by:
- Vacuuming the carpet thoroughly before steam cleaning.
- Attaching the carpet glider or brush attachment to the steam cleaner, as per the user manual.
- Adjusting the steam output to the recommended setting for carpets.
- Starting at one corner of the room and moving the steam cleaner slowly over the carpet.
- Working in overlapping rows to ensure even steam distribution.
- Letting the carpet dry completely before walking on it or moving furniture back.
Are there any surfaces to avoid using a steam cleaner on?
Avoid using a steam cleaner on the following surfaces:
- Unsealed wood, as it can cause warping or damage the finish.
- Laminate floors, as the steam can weaken the adhesive and cause the flooring to lift.
- Delicate fabrics, like silk or thin leather, as the high heat can cause damage or discolouration.
- Electronic devices, switches and outlets, as steam can cause short circuits or other damage.
- Painted surfaces, as the steam may remove or damage the paint.