To be honest I didn’t have much hope in the steam cleaner, I didn’t have many good reviews from friends that had them. A steam cleaner’s ability to clean is based upon on it’s heat and apparently without the need for any additional products. I wanted to try this out for myself, and I figured that if it didn’t perform as expected I could just return it.
I started off with a small cheap-ish one, this really was a waste of time- it look around five minutes to heat up and then the pressure would drop after five minutes, which indicated that the water was low. You then had to wait for what seemed to be forever to unscrew the blumin safety cap. Couldn’t be doing with it, especially when trying to do the kitchen floor grouting, that was more then a five minute job! With the small amount it did however do, I was impressed. The next morning I took it back and exchanged it for a larger 7 in 1 model which also steam mopped floors.
This was a dream to use compared to the last, and as it was in the sale it only cost £12 extra, it was £30 down from £50. It heated up so much quicker, all it took was 30 seconds! It also lasted longer then 5 minutes. I managed to complete two rounds of my kitchen floor grouting and it still had water to spare. Even when it did run out, it was so easy to replace and I didn’t have to wait 20 minutes for a safety cap to open.
The steam cleaner holds many miracle cleaning claims which, which I feel sometimes do not live up to expectation, below are some points for consideration;
Green Cleaning: I agree that the steam cleaner is more eco-friendly when used as directed, as it is advertised to be used without the need for additional cleaning products. However, I think when people use a steam cleaner they expect miracle results from just the cleaner itself- this isn’t going to happen. For example, I had to pre treat grouting with a cleaning product before using the steam cleaner. Despite this, it did make the job so much more effortless and it saved bundles of time! If your just topping up your cleaning on a regular basis I can see it working effectively, but for deeper cleaning I think it does need a little help with some additional products. It also uses less water than traditional cleaning methods such as mopping floors.
Quicker Cleaning: It may seem a bit of faff to get it out, fill it up and then wait for it to heat up, but for some cleaning jobs I really do think it is worth it. The steam cleaner does make cleaning less of an effort which saves you time compared to traditional methods, even with the prep sometimes needed for it. There is also a quicker drying drying time which I think is great, I generally dry surfaces with a cloth after cleaning to ensure no streaks are left behind, but with a steam cleaner there is no need. Just be careful to not over do it with the steam! As this will mean excess water.
Disinfection: I am not overly concerned of how disinfected my home is but I do appreciate that there may be a need for it. The steam cleaner is apparently great for this and can kill bacteria, bugs and viruses- may come in handy during the winter months! I think it will also be good for disinfecting things that may not get a regular clean such as your sofa or mattress, it certainly will be nice for a freshen up. I read somewhere that it can also kill bed mites and combats mold?! Yet to test but worth a go if you have any of these issues.
Better Indoor Air Quality: I am not an expert but if you do not use chemical cleaning products then I assume, you will have better air quality. This may be useful for some with certain health conditions?
No odour: Some of you may like that there is no odour but for me that is a negative. I love the fresh smell of cleaning after using products. You can actually buy liquid for your steam cleaner but it is rather expensive, and will only be compatible with some models. To be honest, I add ironing water, HOWEVER please do so with caution- it may damage your warranty. After reading up on some forums the general consensus is that it wont affect your machine, but be careful.
Water Capacity: When choosing a steam cleaner I would recommend looking for a bigger rather then smaller capacity for water, especially if the cleaner has a safety mechanism, as you may have to wait before being able to refill it. It will often tell you on the box of much cleaning time the cleaner will give you.
Heat Up Time: If you plan on using the steamer regularly with no fuss, then I would recommend looking for one with a max 30 second heat up time. If you are only going to be using it occasionally, or your more patient then me, this wont matter so much!
Cordless: I haven’t really looked into this, but if I wanted to upgrade my steam cleaner I would definitely look into getting a cordless one. I’m not sure of battery life etc- maybe you guys could give me some insight? But maybe worth a thought if you are planning on purchasing one.
My conclusion is that I would definitely recommend a steam cleaner but consider paying that little bit extra for one that that does a variety of jobs, often classed as 7 in 1 or even 10 in 1. I also preferred mine with a detachable large mop head. The first one I bought claimed to be able to be useful as a mop- no- the mop head was about the size of a digestive biscuit! Pfft. But if your limited on space and just want to pop in the cupboard then a small one is fine but just watch out for water capacity. Also guys, if you want to use it regularly then make sure you do use it regularly. A steam mop wont work well on a very dirty floor- its more of a freshen up and to keep up on regular cleaning. I will continue to use my steam cleaner and traditional cleaning methods- just test and play around to see what jobs are best with what. I hope this blog has helped, if you have any additional comments let me know,