A steam cleaner is not at all able to solve all cleaning problems overnight, as advertising sometimes portrays. It has its limitations, in some cases a rag and soap will be even more effective. But when used correctly with some types of surfaces and dirt, the steam cleaner really has no equal.
In the kitchen
The kitchen is one of the places where the benefits of a steam cleaner are most apparent. The reason is fat. The main part of kitchen dirt is fat droplets that settle on surfaces and absorb dirt. Cold frozen fat is washed off very reluctantly, even when using detergents. And to clean cracks, corrugated surfaces and recesses from fatty deposits is not an impossible task, but very troublesome.
Steam cleaner Polaris PSC 1102C STEAM Multidrive white
The steam cleaner in such cases really works like a magic wand. A jet of steam penetrates into the narrowest gaps, softening and washing away greasy dirt in seconds. It is best to do this with a spot nozzle with a brush.
But keep in mind – the dirt does not go anywhere, on the contrary, under the action of steam, it scatters in all directions, so at first it seems that the steam cleaner stains more than it cleans. However, this dirt is easily wiped off with a rag, and as a result, hard-to-reach places begin to look “like new”.
Oily soot that accumulates on the hood, ventilation grilles and surfaces near the stove is also well cleaned with a steam cleaner. The same small brush is used.
When cleaning surfaces, it is better to use a small nozzle with microfiber. Dried stains of various liquids are cleaned well – tea, coffee, compote.
A steam cleaner does an excellent job of removing mold, not only cleaning it, but also
However, on smooth surfaces, a steam cleaner does not have a clear advantage over a conventional damp cloth. A steam cleaner does not clean absorbent surfaces well. For example, wine stains on a wooden cutting board are much better treated with detergent.
But the steam cleaner fails against the burnt fat – the steam cleaner cannot remove the old soot from the walls of the oven, as well as clean the burnt pan. In these cases, one cannot do without mechanical action and special chemistry.
The tile with a steam cleaner is easy and quick to clean. On the other hand, tiles are generally easy to clean and it cannot be said that a steam cleaner somehow drastically simplifies or speeds up this procedure.
Tile joints are cleaned much worse than you might expect – this is affected by the porous structure of the grout. A jet of steam washes away some of the dirt, but some just drives into the pores, and it is not possible to completely clean the seams from stains.
Fingerprints on plumbing are removed with a one-touch steam cleaner – but only while the microfiber nozzle is clean. When the nozzle gets dirty, streaks will remain on the chrome surfaces.
With more serious pollution, things get worse. Lime deposits cannot be removed without the use of chemicals. And when pre-softening the deposits with acid cleaners, a hard sponge is in no way inferior in efficiency to a steam cleaner.
That’s what a steam cleaner is good for – it’s in removing dried soap smudges and wax stains.
Another “wow effect” of a steam cleaner is when cleaning fresh greasy stains from upholstered furniture. The child did not wash his hands after dinner with pies and climbed onto the sofa?
A steam cleaner will solve this problem quickly and easily. Nozzle with a medium brush, a few vigorous strokes on the fabric – the stain is gone.
In fairness, it should be noted that the steam cleaner does not remove greasy dirt from the upholstery, but simply drives it inside. But as a result, the furniture is “like new”.
It is useful to treat upholstered furniture with a steam cleaner not only to remove stains. Hot steam kills dust mites, which are common in upholstered furniture and often cause allergies. And, unlike other methods of killing dust mites, steam cleaning is completely eco-friendly.
In the fight against greasy stains on clothes, the steam cleaner is expectedly good. Often you do not even need to touch the fabric with a brush, just a jet of steam is enough. You just need to arrange the clothes so that only one layer of fabric is under the steam jet. Otherwise, having washed away the dirt from the first layer, the steam cleaner will drive it into the second.
A steam cleaner can not only remove stains, but also quickly refresh wrinkled clothes. It is enough to hang it on a coat hanger, treat it with a steam jet from 15–20 cm and leave it for a few minutes. This cannot be compared with full-fledged ironing, but it is suitable for quickly smoothing long-laying clothes.
However, you should be careful with clothes – delicate fabrics, lace, many synthetic fabrics cannot be processed with a steam cleaner. If in doubt, check the label of the item. If it has the “Do not steam” or “Delicate wash” icons on it, it is better to refuse to use steam.
For mopping, a wide floor nozzle with removable cloth covers is used.
On clean floors, cleaning the floor with a steam mop and a regular mop is comparable in time and labor costs. On heavily soiled floors, oddly enough, too. Although the steam mop cleans the dirty floor more effectively, the cover gets dirty quickly and must be washed thoroughly. With an ordinary mop using a detergent, the procedure does not even go faster. However, you can prepare a dozen covers in reserve, and then send them in bulk to the washing machine. This option already looks quite advantageous.
A steam mop is also noticeably more effective if the floor is generally clean, but there are dirty areas on it – dried jam stains, smeared plasticine, frozen drops of paraffin, etc.
In normal floor washing, each such stain will require thorough local cleaning using detergents. And in the case of a steam mop, it is enough to force the nozzle a couple of times over the stain.
Well, we must not forget that washing floors with a steam mop is much more environmentally friendly. Steam not only cleans the floor, but also disinfects it, and without the use of chemicals. This can be especially important if there is a small child in the house. On the floor cleaned with a steam mop, even babies can be safely let out.
When not to use a steam cleaner
Not all materials and surfaces are suitable for the use of a steam cleaner. Hot steam can damage polished furniture surfaces and waxed parquet. In general, you should be careful with many floor coverings – laminate and quick-install parquet can be washed with a steam mop, but you should refrain from cleaning the seams with a spot nozzle. Steam penetrating into the seams can cause the parquet or laminate to swell.
It is convenient to clean the cases of electrical appliances with a steam cleaner, but you should be extremely careful with electronics. Steam easily penetrates into all the cracks and can condense under the keyboard or under the display film, from where moisture cannot be removed without disassembling and drying the device.
Do not use the steam cleaner on appliances connected to the mains.
Do not use a steam cleaner on porous surfaces such as concrete, brick, plaster, and regular (non-washable) wallpaper. In these cases, a jet of steam can exacerbate the situation by driving dirt into the pores and making the stain more difficult to remove.
Do not attempt to steam clean protein stains. Stains from eggs, milk, blood, under the influence of steam will only become brighter and stronger.
A steam cleaner is not a “magic wand” that can cope with any dirt. What a steam cleaner really surpasses a rag with detergent is cleaning hard-to-reach places: cracks, grooves, corrugated surfaces. In other cases, a steam cleaner rarely makes work easier, but often allows you to abandon household chemicals. So for allergy sufferers, families with small children and just environmentalists, this device will be very useful.