There are many ways to clean. Some are better than others. Some take less effort but do just as good of a job. The trick to finding the best method is finding what works for you in your home and not incorporating rituals that aren’t as effective as you might believe.
Ketia Daniel is the founder of BHM Cleaning Co. and our cleaning expert at BestReviews. She is also a cleaning influencer. Daniel said a steam cleaner is a great appliance because “it can break down stubborn and stuck on messes.” We’ve sprinkled other bits of her wisdom and tips throughout this article to give you everything you need to know about steam cleaners.
A steam cleaner uses water and heat to provide a remarkable deep clean with little effort. According to Daniel, using a steam cleaner “cuts down cleaning time due to it being able to break down stains, grease, bacteria and more.”
Every steam cleaner has a reservoir of water. The larger the reservoir, the longer you can clean without refilling, but the heavier the cleaner will be. The water is heated until it turns into steam. The rapidly expanding steam is the same force that powers steam engines. However, with a steam cleaner, the vapor is channeled out through a nozzle, a brush, a cleaning pad or some other attachment. The force of the steam loosens dirt and grime, while the high temperature kills dust mites, mold and bacteria.
While a steam cleaner is excellent for cleaning, not all surfaces can withstand heat and vapor. In general, Daniel said you should never use a steam cleaner on porous surfaces, such as natural stone and natural marble. She also said unsealed wood and thin plastic surfaces cannot endure the heat, pressure and moisture of a steam cleaner. While steam cleaning may work for spot cleaning, Daniel does not recommend it for large carpeted areas.
When it comes to using steam cleaners, Daniel offered the following three tips:
A. According to Daniel, “Steam cleaners are great for lifting stubborn dirt off of your floors. I see steam cleaning as more of a before and after you mop method. Not only does it lift dirt, but it can get rid of streaks that a mop may leave behind and even sanitize due to the steam that comes from a steam mop.”
A. “Steam cleaners are great for marble, laminate, tile and wood,” Daniel said.
This comprehensive cleaning set comes with 23 accessories, making it adaptable to a wide variety of cleaning situations. The large capacity tank holds 64 ounces of water and heats up in 12 minutes.
The Symphony is a pet-friendly model that includes disposable pads for messes that are better thrown away. It also comes with washable microfiber pads for everyday use. A portion of your purchase is donated to the Bissell Pet Foundation.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
This is the model that our expert favors. It is tough on stains but gentle on floors. It has three steam modes for different levels of cleaning and powerful headlights to reveal hidden debris. The rotating pads provide up to two times better stain removal than standard steam mops.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in maneuverability, this lightweight model is a solid choice. It only weighs 6 pounds and features a triangular mop head to get into those hard-to-reach areas.
Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s
The two-sided steam pocket pads on this model offer twice the cleaning of typical mops. The cleaner comes with one quick-release rectangular cleaning head and one quick-release triangular one for versatility.
Where to buy: Sold by Staples
Individuals who crave value will like this model from Hoover. It has 10 multipurpose tools and a removable handheld steamer for easier above-floor cleaning.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.