Safety is important when using a portable steam cleaner as it can reach high temperatures. A steam cleaner deep cleans and it is usually designed to be used without a detergent. Steam evaporates quickly, giving it an edge over other means of cleaning such as cleaning with water.
Even with the difference in types and models of portable steam cleaners, there are some tips that are applied to all of them.
- Always wear protective gloves, shoes when utilizing any type of steam cleaners.
- Use the steamer for only what it is designed to do which is cleaning.
- Use a portable steamer only on surfaces and materials that are sealed and can endure high heat and moisture.
- Be conscious of the weather temperature and the temperature variation that could cause brittle materials such as glass to break.
- Ensure you use the right accessory for the specific cleaning.
- Ensure that the accessory to are properly and securely attached
- Do not direct steam at plants, electrical fittings, or items.
- Be aware of what and where you are steaming as people can get scaled by the steam.
- Do not store damp clothes. Wash and dry all tools and clothes used for steam cleaning.
- Unplug the steamer before refilling( if electrical) with water and before changing attachments.
- If you have hard water, use distilled water instead.
What can you steam
There are several uses of the steam cleaner, some of which are;
- Cleaning and sterilizing the Floors
- Cleaning the Windows
- Cleaning the Mirrors
- Cleaning and sterilizing the Bathrooms
- For cleaning Tiles and grout
- For cleaning Kitchen surfaces
- Cleaning Ovens
- Carpets and upholstery( only with the right model and accessory)
- Defrosting freezers and cleaning the fridge
- Cleaning the ceiling fan
- Cleaning garden tools
There are three types of steam cleaners according to tasks and two types according to how they work. The three types of steam cleaners according to tasks are
- Handheld steam cleaners: Are used for smaller ones like tiles, showers, taps and also windows. It makes it easier to get to hard-to-reach areas.
- Steam mops: this will allow for small cleaning and large floors speedily without the need for a bucket. It works on tiles and stones.
- Cylinder steam cleaners: It looks like a cylinder vacuum cleaner and will set to work on floors, windows and grout using the tools that come with them. They have larger water tanks which would keep going for long before it needs a refill.
Types of steam cleaners according to how they use steam are:
- Cool steam cleaning machine: It produces steam without boiling the water. The steam contains more water.
- Dry steam cleaning machine: Makes steam from boiling water. The steam contains less water and it is very hot.
- Some steam cleaners can clean all types of hard flooring and even carpet, while some models can’t. You need to check to see what flooring the cleaner you choose would work with. Laminate and wood flooring requires a cleaner with variable steam control and laminate flooring need to be well laid to boot. Steam cleaners can be used to clean carpets, look for a carpet glider as an accessory with the model you are interested in.
- Flooring requires a mop pad obviously, for windows get a swab , for ovens get a brush or pad for scrubbing out the grease, for a grout use a brush, to get into the nook and cranny of a specific area a small nozzle is helpful.
- Most portable steam cleaners are designed to be used without detergent, so use it as it is. Some models otherwise can be used with detergent, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Steam cleaning is not a quick switch-on and goes like a vacuum cleaner. You’ll need to allow the water heat up before using, although several are fast in doing so.
Some items to avoid are:
- Cardboard products
- Delicate fabrics like silk
- Porous Walls
Tips to note when cleaning materialsUpholstery, mattresses, curtains and carpets:
- Use a dry steam cleaner and an upholstery attachment for the surface.
- For carpets you should use the steam cleaner only for spot cleaning, for a large space use a carpet cleaning machine.
- Test on the unnoticed area first to make sure the material you are cleaning would retain its color after the exercise.
- Keep the machine moving when cleaning curtains(and other materials)so you don’t soak the fabric.
- The steam kills dust and mites and removes stains from its surfaces.
Floor, Tiles, Ceramics and Metal fixtures
- Use a dry steam cleaner and a floor attachment for this cleaning.
- Keep the machine moving and avoid pressure on one area for too long.
- Steam kills germs, mold. and fungus
- You can use a handheld dry steam cleaner to clean the fridge and defrost the freezer.
- Drag from top to bottom in stripes
- Use a dry steam cleaner and a window attachment
- Lay a towel below the surface being cleaned to catch the water drip.
Check out the best vacuum cleaners here!