Steam vacuum cleaners are a combination of two cleaning methods – steam cleaning and vacuuming. They use hot water to produce steam while simultaneously using suction to remove dirt and debris from carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces. These cleaners are known for their ability to kill germs and bacteria while providing a deep clean that traditional vacuums cannot match. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on steam vacuum cleaners, covering who they are for, what they can clean, how to use them, their pros and cons, alternatives, step-by-step instructions, comparisons, tips, and the best models.
Who Are Steam Vacuum Cleaners For?
Steam vacuum cleaners are ideal for homeowners who want to clean carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces in their homes thoroughly. They are also suitable for those with pets, as they can effectively remove pet hair and odors. Additionally, steam vacuum cleaners are great for people who suffer from allergies or asthma since they can help remove allergens such as dust mites, mold, and pollen.
What Can Steam Vacuum Cleaners Clean?
Steam vacuum cleaners are versatile machines that can clean several surfaces, including:
- Curtains and Drapes
- Area Rugs
- Hardwood Floors
- Tile and Grout
How To Use Steam Vacuum Cleaners
Using a steam vacuum cleaner is relatively easy. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use one:
- Fill the water tank with hot water per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Plug the machine into an electrical outlet and wait for it to heat up.
- Attach the appropriate cleaning tool (e.g., carpet brush, upholstery nozzle) to the hose.
- Turn the machine on and begin cleaning the surface, starting at the farthest point from the door and working your way backward.
- Move the cleaner slowly across the surface to allow the steam to penetrate the fibers, making sure to overlap each pass slightly.
- Use the suction function to remove the hot water and dirt from the surface.
- Empty the dirty water tank and refill the clean water tank as needed.
Pros and Cons of Steam Vacuum Cleaners
Like any cleaning method, steam vacuum cleaners have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of using these machines:
- Kills germs and bacteria
- Removes pet hair and odors
- Cleans deeply
- Can help alleviate allergies
- Eco-friendly since it only uses water
- Saves money on buying cleaning solutions
- Can be heavy and bulky
- Takes longer to use than traditional vacuums
- Not suitable for all surfaces (e.g., silk, unsealed hardwood floors)
- Expensive compared to traditional vacuums
Alternatives to Steam Vacuum Cleaners
While steam vacuum cleaners are effective, they may not be the best option for everyone. Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Traditional Vacuum Cleaners: These are lighter and less expensive than steam vacuum cleaners and work well on most surfaces.
- Portable Spot Cleaners: These are smaller and more affordable than steam vacuum cleaners and are perfect for spot cleaning carpets and upholstery.
- Professional Cleaning Services: Hiring a professional cleaning service is ideal for those who want a deep clean but do not want to invest in a machine or do the work themselves.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Using a Steam Vacuum Cleaner on Carpets
Using a steam vacuum cleaner on carpets requires specific steps to achieve the best results. Here’s how to do it:
- Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove loose dirt and debris.
- Pre-treat any stains with a suitable stain remover and let the solution sit for a few minutes.
- Fill the steam vacuum cleaner’s water tank with hot water and any recommended cleaning solution.
- Turn on the machine and wait for it to heat up.
- Begin cleaning the carpet, starting at the farthest point from the door and working your way backward.
- Overlap each pass slightly to ensure thorough cleaning.
- Use the suction function to remove the hot water and dirt from the carpet.
- Allow the carpet to dry thoroughly before walking on it.
Comparing Steam Vacuum Cleaners
There are several steam vacuum cleaners on the market. Here are some of the best models and their features:
|Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner||Dual DirtLifter power brushes, CleanShot Pretreater, EZ Clean Brush Roll Cover, Antibacterial Cleaning|
|Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner||SpinScrub Brush System, HeatForce Technology, Automatic Detergent Mixing, Quick Clean Mode|
|Shark Professional Lift-Away||Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, PoweredLift-Away Technology, HEPA filter, Dust-Away hard floor attachment|
Tips for Using Steam Vacuum Cleaners
Here are some tips to get the most out of your steam vacuum cleaner:
- Vacuum before using the steam vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and debris.
- Test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t damage the surface.
- Allow the surface to dry thoroughly before walking or sitting on it.
- Empty the dirty water tank frequently to ensure optimal suction.
- Clean the machine after each use to prevent buildup of dirt and debris.
The Best Steam Vacuum Cleaners
Here are some of the best steam vacuum cleaners currently available:
- Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro Full-Size Carpet Cleaner
- Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner
- Shark Professional Lift-Away
Each of these machines has its unique features that make them stand out from other steam vacuum cleaners.
Steam vacuum cleaners are an excellent investment for homeowners who want a deep clean for their carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces. They offer several benefits, including killing germs and bacteria, removing pet hair and odors, and helping alleviate allergies. However, they may not be suitable for all surfaces, and they are more expensive than traditional vacuums. Consider the pros and cons and alternatives before purchasing a steam vacuum cleaner.
- Can I use a steam vacuum cleaner on hardwood floors?
Yes, but only if the floors are sealed. Unsealed hardwood floors can be damaged by the steam and moisture.
- How often should I clean my carpets with a steam vacuum cleaner?
It depends on how much foot traffic your carpets receive. For high-traffic areas, it’s recommended to clean them every three months.
- Do I need to use a cleaning solution with my steam vacuum cleaner?
It depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. Some machines only use water, while others require a cleaning solution.
- Can I clean my car upholstery with a steam vacuum cleaner?
Yes, most steam vacuum cleaners come with attachments specifically designed for upholstery and can be used to clean car interiors.
- How long does it take for carpets to dry after using a steam vacuum cleaner?
It varies depending on the humidity level and temperature in your home but usually takes several hours.