Steam cleaners are one of the best ways of cleaning our homes and most households. Steam cleaning involves the use of hot water vapor to clean and disinfect various surfaces and items. Do you know how to use a steam cleaner or what can’t be steamed?
This article is going to expound more on the various cases where steam cleaners can be used and how to use them. The following are things covered in this article.
- Benefits of using steam cleaners
- Guides on using steam cleaners
- Things that can’t be steamed
- Steam cleaning tips and tricks
What Can Steam Cleaners Do for You?
Unlike the traditional cleaners that involved the use of chemicals, steam cleaners involve the use of hot water steam to clean and disinfect, hence safe for you and your family. However, a steam cleaner better than what you expected since it can do more for you.
Remove dust mites
Dust mites are known to be potential allergens in our homes. Usually, dust mites live in furniture, carpets, mattresses, and other things in our home. Steam cleaning clears dust mites out of these items thereby minimizing the risk of allergies.
Eliminate pet odors
Pets make a great companion in our homes, however, they make our homes have a bad smell or smell like a zoo.
Steam cleaners are effective in eliminating these unwanted pet odors, leaving the house smell fresh. Besides, they also kill fleas and their eggs and larva, thereby providing a healthy and happy life to your pet.
Prevent mold growth
Molds are another source of allergens and grow on moist and dirty surfaces. Steam cleaning helps in preventing mold growth.
The fact that steam cleaners use very hot steam to clean makes them very effective in cleaning.
The high temperatures aid in sanitizing the floor and other items as the hot steam is capable of killing germs and bacteria that can not be seen by naked eyes.
Unlike the traditional mop and bucket where after cleaning your hard floor takes a lot of time to dry, steam cleaning allows quick drying after cleaning your hard surfaces. This makes it ideal especially in busy places.
This is another great benefit of steam cleaners. Steam cleaners are designed for multiple usages, not just floors.
Generally, there are multiple attachments compatible with steam cleaners to allow you to clean almost everything in your home.
Steam cleaners can be used to clean floors, carpets, furniture, car interiors, windows, and more.
How to Clean Your Home with a Steam Cleaner?
As mentioned earlier, steam cleaners are designed for cleaning multiple items and things in our homes.
However, someone might wonder what are the exact things that can be cleaned with a steam cleaner as well as how to clean each of them. This video is exactly for you to learn how to clean your house.
The following are some of the things where you can use a steam cleaner and how to go about it.
To clean carpets and furniture
Carpets and furniture like leather couches are some of the major applications of steam cleaners in our homes. The following are the steps of cleaning carpets with a steam cleaner.
Step 1. Clear the room
The first step when cleaning the carpet is to remove everything in the room to create space for cleaning. Ensure that all the toys, furniture, and other items are removed from the carpet.
This is because steam cleaners are operated when pulling and pushing them on the carpet, therefore, if the room or carpet is not cleared you will have a hard time cleaning and will take most hours cleaning your carpet.
On the other hand, clear everything from the furniture before cleaning.
Step 2. Vacuum the carpet/furniture
This is the best and easiest way to remove loose particles, dirt, dust particles, food crumbs, and dead skin from the carpet.
For thorough cleaning, you should do it two times to eliminate all the particles trapped in the carpet or furniture as steam cleaning can not remove dirt and other particles trapped deep in the carpet fibers.
During the first round, move the vacuum cleaner in one direction, making sure that you move it slowly to pick as much dirt as possible.
During the second round, move the vacuum cleaner in the opposite direction. Also, ensure that you pick all the large particles including parasites if any.
Step 3. Treat the spot stains before steam cleaning
Spot stains are common things on our carpets and upholstered furniture, and removing these stains can be quite tough, thereby the need for treating the spot stains before steam cleaning the carpet.
Some of these stains include pet urine, wine spills, blood stains, coffee, and more. One of the simple ways to clean the spot stains involves the following:
Using an environmentally-friendly stain remover, blot a clean piece of cloth, especially made of microfiber.
Dab the spot stain on the carpet to allow the stain to absorb the solution.
Leave it for about 15 minutes before starting to steam clean.
Step 4. Prepare the steam cleaner
After having treated the spot stains and eliminating the dust and dirt particles, then you can proceed to prepare your steam cleaner to get started.
This is done by filling the machine water tank with water, as instructed by the manufacturer in the user manual.
You can also add white vinegar or mild washing soap into the tank, to aid in removing the tough stains as water is not enough. This will also ensure that you get shining results. However, some machines have a detergent chamber.
Mount the water tank back to the steam cleaner and plug it into a power source. Let the water heat up to the recommended steam temperature. Note that 212°F is the recommended temperature to kill parasites.
Step 5. Steam clean the carpet and furniture
Begin to steam clean your carpet by running your machine from one corner to the other in a straight line.
Start from the farthest corner from the door and clean towards the door. Make sure that each run is left clean.
Repeat the same process while overlapping the immediate line from the previous run to ensure that you don’t leave any spot behind without cleaning it.
Step 6. Leave the carpet/furniture to dry
Unlike with the tile and hardwood floors, the steam cleaner does not remove all the moisture, especially from the carpet, therefore, the need to leave it to dry. Generally, extracting hot water from carpets requires up to 12 hours for all the moisture to dry.
To clean other upholstery
This is another group of items where a steam cleaner can be used. The following are the steps for cleaning these items.
Step 1. Vacuum the upholstery
The first thing to do while steam cleaning your couch, mattress, or any other upholstery is to vacuum the upholstery to remove dust, dirt, hair, allergens, and other particles.
Make sure that you vacuum all the parts, both front, and back while taking more time on any crevice, corner, or crack. Usually, some of this dirt can make your upholstery dirtier while steam cleaning.
Finally, ensure that you use the appropriate attachment on the vacuum.
Step 2. Treating the stains
Pretreating these stains before steam cleaning is very crucial. This ensures that even tough stains will be left clean. This step involves using a spot upholstery cleaner to spray the spot.
Then leave the spot cleaner to sit as it breaks the stains: this depends on the type of spot cleaner used. Finally, use a white clean cloth to blot the stain and the cleaner.
Step 3. Preconditioning the fabric
This step involves adding substances to the fabric that will enable easier steam cleaning.
Spray the soil emulsifier all over the upholstery and leave it to sit for some minutes to loosen the ground dirt in the fabric.
Then use an upholstery shampoo to spray a thin layer on the upholstery. Finally, brush the upholstery all over.
Step 4. Choose the right steamer cleaner
Generally, there are various types of steam cleaners designed to clean various materials.
Pick the right steamer to use with your upholstery, for instance, the Bissell 3624 upholstery cleaner, Which can clean stains on upholstery easily with a big water tank.
Step 5. Prepare the steam cleaner
This is done by filling the machine water tank with water, as instructed by the manufacturer in the user manual.
Mount the water tank back to the steam cleaner and plug it into a power source. Let the water heat up to the recommended steam temperature.
Step 6. Begin steaming the upholstery
Now you can start cleaning your item. switch on the machine and release the steam onto the mattress or pillow.
Then move the cleaner on top of the fabric to remove the excess water and cleaning agent.
Note that you should clean the fabric in small parts to completion before proceeding to the next part.
Step 7. Leave the cushion to dry
Finally, leave the mattress or pillow to dry. But you can use a fan, blow drier, or open windows to speed up the process.
To clean floorings, tile, and grout
The following is the step-by-step guide on how to clean your tile floor and grout using a steam cleaner.
Step 1. Sweep the floor
The first step involves sweeping the floor to remove loose dirt and debris that might be left behind by the steam cleaner.
You can use a dust mop or a broom. It is also good to damp-mop the tile floor.
On the other hand, for tile walls, remove the cobwebs on the corners and then use a sponge to clean the walls.
Step 2. Prepare the steam cleaner
This involves filling the machine water tank with water, as instructed by the manufacturer on the user manual.
Mount the water tank back to the steam cleaner and plug it into a power source.
Let the water heat up to the recommended steam temperature. Also, mount a piece of microfiber cloth to the head of the steam cleaner.
Finally, plug the machine into the wall outlet.
Step 3. Start cleaning
Switch on the steam cleaner and allow the cleaner to release the steam via the cloth attachment. Then move the machine over the tiles forth and back, just like mopping.
Step 4. Unplug the cleaner
Unplug the machine from the outlet and change the cloth attachment. Then plug it back in and turn it on to heat the water again to clean the tiles on the walls.
Step 5. Clean the walls
This is done the same way as cleaning the tile floors.
Step 6. Unplug the cleaner again
Now unplug your machine from the wall outlet. Then remove the cloth attachment from the head of the steam cleaner.
Step 7. Leave the floor to dry
Finally, leave the tile floor to dry for about 10 – 20 minutes.
To clean kitchen appliance
Using a steam cleaner to clean your kitchen appliances is a green, easier, and faster way to do your chores.
Generally, there are multiple appliances where a steam cleaner can be used including microwave, fridge, and stainless steel appliances. Cleaning them involves very few steps unlike cleaning other things like carpets.
First, prepare your steam cleaner by filling the water tank and plugging it into the wall outlet.
Then turn it on and release the steam onto the appliances. The steam breaks up the dirt and food.
Finally, use a clean cloth to wipe your appliance clean. No scrubbing is required.
To clean the door, walls, and windows
Doors, walls, and windows can also be cleaned using a steam cleaner. However, it is good to be more careful when cleaning the windows, first assess them whether they can withstand the steam or they will get damaged especially when cleaned during a cold day. The following are the steps for cleaning them.
Step 1. Vacuum
Vacuum the doors, walls, and windows to remove dust and dirt attached to them. For the windows, lay a towel beneath the windows to absorb the water as it drips from the windows.
Step 2. Prepare the steam cleaner
Preparing the steam cleaner involves filling the water tank with water as recommended by the manufacturer, attaching the proper attachment including hose, pads, or wands. Then plug in the cleaner and switch it on.
Step 3. Do the cleaning
Finally, after the steam is well heated, begin your cleaning process. For the walls and doors, cleaning should be done in small sections to ensure thorough cleaning. Start from the top and move the cleaner downwards.
Repeat this process until the whole wall/door is fully clean. For the windows, clean the whole window starting from the top moving to the bottom until you clean it fully.
Step 4. Wipe the window
After doing the steam cleaning to completion, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the window. This should be done horizontally beginning from the top downwards. On the other hand, leave the door/wall to dry.
To clean jewelry
Cleaning your jewelry using a steam cleaner also involves very few steps and within a minute you are done cleaning it.
Generally, there are steam cleaners designed for cleaning jewelry and comes with a tray for placing your jewelry while steam cleaning. So you just prepare your cleaner as directed by the manufacturer, and then place your ring on the cleaning tray.
Finally, turn the cleaner on to release steam onto the ring for a few seconds. You can wait for the ring to dry or use a clean dry microfiber cloth to wipe.
To clean cars
This is another application of steam cleaners in our homes. The following are the steps of how to detail an auto using a steam cleaner.
Step 1. Vacuum the car interiors
This involves vacuuming upholstery, mats, and carpets thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner to remove debris and small dirt.
Step 2. Use a steam lance to vacuum
Generally, there are places where the vacuum won’t reach, therefore, for a thorough cleaning, use a steam lance to reach those places to remove dust, debris, and dirt. Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe the excess moisture.
Step 3. Steam clean the car seats
Use the triangular tool on the steam cleaner alongside a microfiber cloth to steam clean the car seats, with the pressure setting being minimum or medium. However, you can remove the microfiber cloth for very dirty seats. Dry the excess moisture with a clean microfiber cloth.
Step 4. Steam clean the windows
Steaming the window can be done using a window squeegee attachment or by spraying the steam directly and then wiping the moisture using a microfiber cloth.
Step 5. Use a microfiber cloth
This step involves using a microfiber cloth and the triangular attachment to steam clean the ceilings, side panels, and headliners.
Step 6. Finally, steam clean carpets and mats.
It is also done using the triangular tool. For thorough cleaning, move the tool forward in a slow motion all over the carpets and mats.
To clean glass and mirrors
This can be done with a squeegee attachment or use a clean microfiber cloth.
Step 1. Get the steam cleaner prepared.
Fill the water tank, plug it into the wall outlet, attach the squeegee if available.
Step 2. Using the low setting, release the steam towards the mirror from top to bottom.
Note that for cold days or the winter season, it is good to pre-heat the panes before steaming, by steaming beforehand.
Step 3. Use the squeegee to wipe off moisture while the steam is off.
This should also be done from top to bottom. In case the water drops are not completely removed, you can use a clean dry microfiber to wipe them.
Steam Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Remember the following notes and warning to prevent any potential risk or damage.
Clear all the items around
Steam cleaning involves spraying the steam and pulling and pushing the steam cleaner over the place where you are cleaning, therefore, for an easy, quick, and thorough cleaning, you should remove everything around as well as preventing damage to the surrounding things.
Do a thorough vacuum
Steam cleaners are not designed to vacuum. Always do a thorough vacuum to remove all the loose dust and dirt particles as well as the locked particles. Also, vacuum helps in opening the fibers for better penetration of steam and soap.
Pre-treat the tough stains
It is very normal for a home upholstery to have tough stains. Before beginning to steam clean your upholstery, make sure that you pretreat these stains for easy cleaning.
Moving slowly ensures that the area is left clean without leaving any spot unattended.
Add a recommended soap or detergent
Generally, there are instances where it is advisable to add a cleaning detergent to the water. Water only is not capable of removing very tough stains, therefore the need for adding a cleaning detergent.
However, you should use only the recommended detergents.
What Can Not Be Steamed?
Generally, steam cleaners are designed to clean almost everything in our homes. However, very high temperatures can damage various surfaces and this limits the application of steam cleaners.
Things prone to damage when exposed to moisture, heat, or high temperatures, including cardboard and water-based paint, should not be steamed. The following are some of the things that can’t be steam cleaned.
All electrical devices designed to be kept free from water should not be steam cleaned, including computers, TV’s, and more.
Furniture and floors made from bamboo should not be steamed as bamboo gets damaged when exposed to hot water.
These are those items in our households with delicate surfaces including plastics, papers, and silks.
Porous things like bricks, marble, and stucco should also not be steamed.
Paintings and wallpapers
These items are other don’ts for steaming, otherwise, they would be damaged by water steam.
Is steam cleaning effective?
Yes, steam cleaning is highly effective. Steam cleaning is one of the best and safe methods of cleaning for most of your household items.
Steam cleaning involves the use of hot water vapor to break down dirt while disinfecting the surface.
The use of zero chemicals makes it very effective not forgetting its sanitizing capability.
How do steam cleaners work?
Steam cleaners work by the use of hot water vapor and high pressure.
Once the steam cleaner is turned on, water in the water tank is heated to very high temperatures and changed to vapor.
Then the vapor is released at high pressure and directed onto the surface where the hot steam blasts the surface breaking down and loosening ground dirt while killing germs and bacteria due to the high temperatures.
Then the steam cleaner is moved over the surface to suck the moisture and dirt leaving the surface clean and sanitized.
Can you put disinfectant in a steam cleaner?
Generally, a steam cleaner does the work of disinfecting, therefore, there is no need to add a disinfectant.
Where does the dirt go when you steam clean?
The work of steam cleaners is to blast the dirt to loosen it but the dirt is left on the surface. Usually, the dirt is absorbed in the cloth bonnet, wiped out using an absorbent material, or removed using a vacuum cleaner.
In conclusion, steam cleaners are very effective and efficient devices for handling the cleaning duties in our homes. The above article has explained most of the cases where steam cleaners can be used at home, as well as how to use them for each case.