A steam cleaner is one of the most useful and practical accessories in your house because it allows you to completely sanitize your property and make it sparkling!
This buying guide will give you more information about these products, so you know how to choose a steam cleaner when you decide to buy one, so keep reading.
Steam cleaners are varied and they don’t cost a lot of money, not to mention that they don’t use harsh chemicals, so they are 100% environmentally friendly.
A steam cleaner uses the power of hot steam to clean virtually any type of surface, from hardwood floors, carpets, upholstery and even clothes.
There are several types of steam cleaners and the most popular ones are steam mops which can be used with just one hand and are ideal for residential properties.
For Residential Properties
Steam Mop: A steam mop is also lightweight, portable and easy to use, so you don’t have to go to the gym to be able to maneuver a steam mop. It usually has a small canister which fills with water and produces steam which is used to clean the floors, carpets, upholstery and even clothing items.
Handheld Steam Cleaners: There are also handheld steam cleaners which do exactly what you think they do – you can hold them with one hand and clean tight spaces such as hard-to-reach corners, the interior of your car, etc. In some cases, manufacturers sell a combination of steam mop and handheld device which can be detached and clean ceilings and other hardly accessible spaces.
For Commercial & Industrial Properties
Heavy duty steam cleaners: Lastly, there are also heavy duty steam cleaners which usually come with a large canister which fills with water. These are more suitable for large residential properties as well as commercial and industrial spaces such as warehouses and garages.
A canister-style steam cleaner gets filled with plenty of water (usually several gallons), it takes a while until it gets to the right temperature (about 10-15 minutes), but then you can use them to clean spaces of several hundred or even thousand square feet in one go.
Another great advantage of large steam cleaners is that they have more power than regular units, so they are better for thick carpets or for really messy places which need to be cleaned thoroughly. These devices don’t use chemicals either and they provide a safe and effective way of getting rid of dust, microbes, and allergens.
The power of a steam cleaner is important if you want the water to be boiled quickly and have your device ready for cleaning in about 30-60 seconds. Most manufacturers state the wattage of their devices and the higher this number, the better for you.
A large number of steam cleaners also have power settings you can choose from, depending on the surface you are cleaning. For example, you want to use less power when cleaning delicate upholstery items or thin carpets in comparison with those moments when you have to clean thick carpets or hardwood floors.
A steam mop usually comes with replaceable or washable cleaning heads which are designed to absorb most of the bacteria and dust from your floors and carpets while remaining chemical-free.
A good reason why steam mops are so popular and appreciated these days is that they are environmentally friendly, using just the power of good ol’ steam to clean your house, without using harsh cleaning products and substances. This makes a steam cleaner safer for kids, pets, people who have respiratory problems and the Mother Nature.
Most homeowners use a steam cleaner for a wide variety of surfaces such as hardwood floors, carpets, vinyl floors, kitchen floors, ceiling, furniture items, windows, doors, upholstery items, leather products and clothing items. Check out these creative uses of your steam cleaner.
Obviously, you want to read the instructions manual first before trying to steam clean your clothes on your own, but remember that steam cleaners are very versatile and this is one of the reasons why they are so popular.
You might be happy to find out that most steam cleaners, whether we are talking about steam mops or canister steam cleaners, come with multiple accessories which can be used for cleaning certain spaces.
For example, some of the tools included are perfect for cleaning stairs, narrow spaces, corners, under the furniture, upholstery items, and even clothes. You will eventually have to change the nozzle of the steam cleaner to use these accessories and perform a thorough cleaning process in your residential or commercial property.
If you want to save money, you can go for a 2 in 1 or 4 in 1 steam cleaner which basically incorporates multiple cleaning tools in a single steam-based appliance. By doing so, you don’t have to buy a handheld steam cleaner as a separate device and you save a lot of space in your house.
Manufacturers also include other types of accessories inside the package such as additional cleaning heads (or cleaning cloths), brushes, nozzles, a cup for filling the water tank, filters, and many other useful tools. Make sure that you check out what your package contains to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.
The size of the water tank is variable and it depends on various factors. Some steam mops are specifically designed to be portable and lightweight, so they basically feature small water tanks which allow you to use them for 10-15 or even 20 minutes on a high-power setting.
Other steam mops are larger and have bigger water tanks which makes them usable for more than 30-40 minutes. If you have a large house to clean, go for a steam mop with a more expansive water tank, otherwise settle for portable and lightweight options.
Keep in mind that the larger the water tank, the more it will take to heat it up, so for some units, you’ll eventually have to wait a couple of minutes for the steam mop to be ready for use.
Corded or Cordless
Like vacuum cleaners, there are cordless steam cleaners out there and they are ideal for people who hate cords and cables. These appliances come with rechargeable batteries and they are very portable, so you don’t have to keep in mind the cable when cleaning your house. You can freely move from one room to the other without plugging and unplugging your steam cleaner.
The good news is that the batteries are usually powerful enough to sustain a cleaning process of at least 20 minutes on a medium power steam setting. Basically, all that you have to do is to use the steam cleaner for 20 minutes, recharge it and then use it again if necessary.
The recharging periods vary from model to model, but it usually takes about 1-2 hours for a full charge. Some high-end steam mops have quick charge options (just like high end smartphones), so you can get up to 50% battery in one hour or less.
Bear in mind that cordless steam cleaners are a little bit heavier than regular ones because batteries tend to be heavy. In some cases, you will find two batteries in the package as well as a charging station. The idea is that you can use a battery to clean up your house while the other one gets charged. When the first one is depleted, you replace it with the second one and continue your cleaning process uninterrupted, saving lots of time.
If you opt for a corded version, the good news is that these products have long cords which can stretch up to 25 feet or more. You will press a button and the cord is automatically pulled into the unit when you finish your cleaning process.
A corded model is less expensive than a cordless model, not to mention that you can also use the steam cleaner whenever you want, without waiting for the battery to get charged. However, make sure you or your dog don’t trip on this long cord!
Price and Warranty
The price depends on various factors such as the power of the steam cleaner, accessories included, water tank, whether it is corded or cordless, etc. In most cases, a steam cleaner can be purchased for a price between $50 and up to $400 for a heavy duty model which can be used for commercial and industrial areas.
If you want a good all-rounder that can be used for your medium-sized house, you will probably have to take out about $100 or $200 from your pocket. Obviously, you also get a warranty policy from the manufacturer and this can range from one up to five or even seven years. The warranty will cover for manufacturing defects and other problems you might encounter with your device.
Here’s a video showing the benefits of using a steam cleaner:
Pick the Right Model
These are the basics of steam cleaners and what you can do now is to analyze your cleaning needs. Do you want a steam cleaner for your car? Do you have pets? Do you have a large house? Answering these questions is important to figure it out if you need a steam cleaner designed for houses with pets or you want a handheld unit to clean tight spaces.