Is a steam cleaner even worth it?
Many households and families have certainly already thought about buying a steam cleaner or steam mop. If you are to believe the advertising, steam cleaners are simply indispensable for cleaning at home. It is said that cleaning is very easy and hygienic. Further, the advertisement says that one can save thereby very much money, since one needs no more additional cleaning agents and therefore this kind of cleaning is also still environmental careful. The manufacturers can promise a lot. In this article, we will try to clarify whether this is really the case. The fact that dirt can be removed with steam is actually nothing new and has therefore been known for several decades. In the US alone, steam cleaners have been known for more than 15 years and therefore this is not really a new invention.
Steam cleaners and useful accessories
Although steam cleaners have been around in the country for quite some time, they didn’t really become established in the beginning. But that soon changed abruptly. Because suddenly there were steam cleaners on every shopping channel to buy and were very intensively advertised there. This made steam cleaners popular all of a sudden and it was said that they could be used to clean windows, floors or even car upholstery in no time at all. Shortly afterward the first steam irons were available. But only with the right accessories can a steam cleaner be used effectively and easily in the household. So if you want to buy a steam cleaner, you should definitely look out for a wide range of accessories. It should be included in any case: Nozzles with a brush attachment, spot jet nozzles, floor nozzle, microfibre cleaning cloths.
How to clean with a steam cleaner
In general, three factors can be identified for a good cleaning with a steam cleaner. The temperature, the condensation of the steam particles and the mechanical action of the steam blast. With a good quality steam cleaner, the steam is shot from the nozzle at up to 180 kilometers per hour onto the surface to be cleaned. This allows the dirt to be very easily removed mechanically. The steam temperature also plays a decisive role here. One can quite simply say here that the higher the steam temperature, the less mechanical energy has to be used to dissolve the dirt. The steam during cleaning is so fine here that it can easily get under the dirt and therefore reaches even the smallest crack and pore. When the steam now cools down again, it condenses to water and thus simply removes the dirt from the substrate. This means that other cleaning agents can be dispensed with.
Steam cleaners and the environment
The steam cleaners are advertised by the various manufacturers as very environmentally friendly by doing without any cleaners. In principle, this is true, because when cleaning with a steam cleaner you no longer have to use chemical cleaners in the household. Therefore such cleaning is also very well suitable for allergy sufferers. The water consumption of a steam cleaner also remains within tolerable limits. Up to 1,700 liters of steam are produced from one liter of water. Thus one can clean a relatively large surface in only one work step at once, without having to refill water. But not all experts share this opinion that a steam cleaner is very environmentally friendly. Although chemical cleaners are no longer needed, water must first be heated. In order to bring the water to a high temperature, it needs a lot of energy and this energy must first be generated. So it usually needs a lot of electricity to be able to use the steam cleaner. Therefore, the type of power generation also plays a role in connection with the environment and a steam cleaner. Here you should really only rely on high-quality equipment.
Steam and allergies
Advertisements often show that you can easily remove mites from your mattress with a steam cleaner. But it’s really not that simple and is therefore only a pure advertising promise. One would have to steam a place on the mattress for a very long time so that some mites die. Then however this place would be also totally wet and such a humidity does no mattress well. Large mark manufacturers such as Kärcher do not recruit therefore with such promises. Despite this fact, a steam cleaner can still be something for allergy sufferers. Since chemical cleaners can be dispensed with here, one does not need to worry as an allergy sufferer about any incompatibilities of certain substances in the cleaning agent.
Advantages for the family
Especially for families with children, a steam cleaner can be the right alternative. For children, in particular, it can make sense to do without chemical cleaners. Here no chemical residues of the cleaners remain on the surfaces after the cleaning and this benefits especially small children. By the renouncement of chemical cleaners, there are also no more colored bottles around in the household, which have an attracting effect on children. Thus one can effectively avoid that children confuse any cleaning bottles with drinks.
Steam cleaners and safety
For families with children, the safety of a steam cleaner is also of great interest here. Because the steam develops temperatures of up to 140 degrees Celsius and this can quickly lead to injuries in the case of a deficiency. When water is heated, it expands and the water container in the steam cleaner is also under pressure. Therefore, you should pay particular attention to the processing and safety of a steam cleaner. If the appliance is a good one, the steam pistol has an extra child safety lock and the water tank can only be opened when the pressure has reached a correspondingly low value. If the pressure is still too high, the water tank cannot be removed.
A steam mop as a household helper
Most advertising for a steam cleaner revolves around the versatility of cleaning. You can use steam to clean all kinds of surfaces such as parquet, laminate, tiles or even in the kitchen. The use of steam can also be very advantageous when ironing laundry. With the right accessories, you can clean almost any surface in the household today. The cleaning effect depends however here often on the used equipment and its used microfiber cloths.
Steam cleaner Cleaning tips
With a few cleaning tips and a good steam cleaner, you can achieve very good cleaning results today. In any case, the microfibre cloth should be changed and cleaned regularly. If you want to clean a floor made of laminate or parquet, you should make sure that you can adjust the amount of steam emitted continuously. Stainless steel fittings and surfaces also require appropriate accessories. In the bathroom, it is recommended to use so-called point jet nozzles and a brush attachment. For stainless steel surfaces, the nozzles should be covered with plush velour. With many mark manufacturers, an extensive accessory is even standard.
Window cleaning and glued floors
When cleaning a windowpane, it is important to note that the water vapor condenses quickly on the pane. If the dirty water now runs down, this can quickly dirty the window sill or even the carpet. Even if you have glued floors in your own four walls, you should be careful here. Because the hot steam can not only dissolve dirt here but also in bad cases the adhesive of the floor is also dissolved. With PVC floors, the hot steam can also cause discoloration of the surface.
Steam Cleaners are Great
A clean apartment not only looks better but is also important for your own well-being. But do you sometimes have the feeling that carpets or floors become superficially clean despite all your efforts, but not deep clean? A steam cleaner should help here. In contrast to high-pressure cleaners, steamers work with slightly lower temperatures and lower water pressure. The hot steam, usually about 250°F hot, dissolves stubborn and above all greasy dirt from floors, home textiles, and furniture. Also, bacteria and germs can be defeated by hot water vapor.
What can steam cleaners be used for?
Steam cleaners are really versatile. You can use it to clean floors, upholstered furniture, and even windows!
Steamers are available in various designs. The most fashionable are handy steam brooms, which hardly differ in appearance from a conventional broom or mop. They are primarily intended to make floors easy to clean. A further type connects a steam cleaner with a vacuum cleaner. Dirt is loosened and then sucked in directly. Small steam ducks should steam off furniture and, for example, clean the sofa or armchair pore-deep. Floor steamers are somewhat larger and consist of a large water container and a steam nozzle.
The working method
Steam cleaners work with steam and pressure. A tank is filled with water, which is heated to at least 200 degrees. It then evaporates. The steam dissolves dirt from the floor or from textile fabrics. The pressure also lifts the dirt and presses it out of the surface. In this way, it can be absorbed.
Advantages of steam cleaners
Cleaning with hot steam can have some advantages:
- With just one appliance you can clean many surfaces such as floors, windows, kitchen worktops, and even furniture.
- The steam removes grease, lime, and dirt.
- Hygienic cleaning is possible without chemicals and without great effort. You do not need any additional cleaning agents.
- The water vapor also binds dust instead of whirling it up. Cleaning with steam is therefore also recommended for house dust allergy sufferers.
Things to consider
If you want to clean your apartment thoroughly with a steam cleaner, there are a few things to consider when buying:
- To avoid scalding, the cleaner should have a separate refill tank or work as a continuous flow heater.
- Pay attention to technical seals of approval
- The cleaner should be suitable for the surface you want to clean. The larger the surface, the larger the steam mop should be.
Pay attention to the steam temperature. Small ducks often work with rather low temperatures of 100 degrees – if the humidity hits the fabric, it has usually already cooled down to 80 degrees. If you want to clean the fabric hygienically, you should rather opt for a steamer with higher working temperatures.
The higher the pressure, the better dirt can be removed. However, not all materials can withstand the maximum pressure. Prefer pressure cleaners whose pressure can be regulated.
Steam cleaners are suitable for almost all surfaces – but not for unsealed floors. Parquet and oiled wood floors and cork floors should, therefore, be cleaned in the traditional way.
Here are some more cleaning tips!