Steam cleaners are useful home equipment for hygienic and chemical-free cleansing all through your property. However how do you get essentially the most out of them, and which attachments are finest for particular surfaces?
On this information, we’ll present you methods to finest use your steam cleaner and all of its attachments, to realize streak-free cleansing on all varieties of floor. Don’t overlook to take a look at our information to the best steam cleaners that will help you discover the right mannequin.
Steam cleaner varieties and attachments
Steam cleaners are available in varied styles and sizes that may broadly be divided into cylinder, mop and handheld cleaners. The latter are often the lightest and finest for spot cleansing, however haven’t any floor-cleaning capability. Some mop steam cleaners merely perform as mops that emit steam – however today, many additionally include a removable major unit that may be fitted with attachments for spot cleansing. These home equipment often have names similar to “x-in-1 steam cleaner”.
In the meantime, cylinder steam cleaners are bigger and include a hose – like cylinder vacuum cleaners. Albeit trickier to manoeuvre, most cylinder cleaners can be used for spot cleansing by attaching varied equipment to the hose or to accompanying extension sticks.
All three classes of steam cleaner usually include comparable attachments, together with small spherical and steel brushes; massive spherical, rectangular or triangular brush instruments; curved nozzles; scraper instruments; squeegees and mop heads (cylinder and mop cleaners solely). The mop heads usually include not less than one microfibre pad (though finest cleaners have a number of) and typically a carpet glider. An elasticated microfibre cowl is commonly included, appropriate for becoming over the squeegee or one of many massive brush instruments. However the place are these attachments finest put to make use of?
Flooring and carpets
Steam cleaners are appropriate for all sorts of sealed wooden and stone flooring – the varieties of surfaces that may resist water – whereas unsealed boards are more likely to warp and wish extra mild cleansing. Painted and/or varnished surfaces are unlikely to be appropriate for steam cleansing. If doubtful, it’s at all times finest to start out with a small space, and by no means preserve the mop head steaming in a single place for too lengthy to keep away from any potential harm.
In an effort to use a mop head safely and effectively, it must be fitted with a microfibre pad, usually connected utilizing a hook and loop system. These are often specific to a steam cleaner model, and their sizes can range even between completely different fashions, so it’s finest to buy any further ones out of your equipment producer. Earlier than steaming, you need to vacuum the ground, to clear up unfastened mud and particles.
For carpets, some cleaners include a carpet glider – a plastic body that matches over the mop head and connected microfibre pad, permitting the mop head to maneuver simply throughout the carpet. After steaming, your carpet could really feel barely moist and wish a while to dry.
A steam cleaner with a glider connected is finest used for a carpet refresh, to sanitise the floor, enhance color, and take away mud or gentle stains. For thorough cleansing, a specialist carpet cleaner is likely to be extra applicable.
Grouting, tiles and different ceramic surfaces
For tiled flooring, a steam cleaner floorhead works finest. However in the event you’re particularly trying to take away filth from grouting, then a smaller attachment can be required.
Some steam cleaners include a crevice brush, which is skinny and might be simply moved backwards and forwards within the groove between the tiles. Nevertheless, these brushes can typically bend out of practice after extra rigorous scrubbing.
A small spherical brush will work simply as nicely, and is extra proof against bending as a result of a higher variety of bristles. A element or a curved nozzle that merely blows out steam with out making floor contact is also helpful for grouting; nonetheless, it should solely take away superficial mud.
For tiled partitions, a big brush software or a squeegee with a microfibre cowl is finest, serving to to take away filth and polish the floor.
A brush software of any measurement is useful for different ceramic surfaces, similar to sinks and bathtubs, in addition to their faucet fittings. For lavatory bowls, a easy stream of scorching steam from a element nozzle with none floor contact could be essentially the most hygienic answer.
Mirrors, glass and bathe screens
Most steam cleaners include a squeegee software, which makes cleansing exhausting clear surfaces a lot simpler. However the measurement of the squeegee can range vastly, with some smaller than 100mm and others nearer to the 200mm mark. If steaming home windows is vital to you, I’d suggest preserving this in thoughts when selecting your cleaner.
Not all steam cleaners include a squeegee microfibre cowl – typically, the quilt is fitted to a unique software. However having a microfibre-covered squeegee might be helpful for preserving surfaces from turning into too moist, significantly if in case you have a steam cleaner that emits lots of water. In any other case, it’s finest to maintain a fabric close by for drying, to keep away from any streaks.
On rest room mirrors or bathe screens, cussed limescale might be difficult to remove with the ability of steam alone. It could be helpful to spray the floor with some vinegar or a glass-cleaning answer earlier than the steaming – or, afterwards, for a fast polish with a fabric, as soon as nearly all of cleaning soap scum and filth is eliminated.
Stovetops and ovens
Steam cleaners might be surprisingly environment friendly for eliminating oils with out the necessity for specialist stovetop or oven cleansing chemical compounds. Nevertheless, it’s at all times helpful to maintain a microfibre fabric or two close by. Essentially the most highly effective and environment friendly cleaners are typically (though not at all times) the wettest, and due to this fact more likely to go away your cooking space soaked in a layer of dirty water. You must also wipe away any spillages earlier than steaming a floor.
For ceramic hobs, it’s finest to make use of a scraper software – often made from plastic, with the steam directed down its flat sides. Utilizing brushes right here could scratch the floor, whereas element nozzles that merely blow out steam with out making any contact are unlikely to dislodge grease.
Though the scraper software is commonly advisable for cleansing the within of your oven door, in my assessments I’ve had extra success with the small spherical brush. For the scraper software to work, the grease nonetheless must be comparatively current reasonably than baked in – as oven grease usually is. For fuel stoves, the small spherical brush can be helpful for scraping away meals remnants.
Even higher at battling grease are steel brushes – just like small spherical brushes, however with steel bristles as an alternative of exhausting plastic ones. Nevertheless, these are more likely to scratch surfaces. In my assessments, I discovered them helpful for scraping grilles and different sturdy steel buildings, similar to barbecue or fuel hob grates.
Upholstery and textiles
Some steam cleaners are additionally appropriate for cleansing upholstery and even steaming your clothes. For finest outcomes, at all times vacuum any upholstery surfaces and use a lint curler to take away unfastened cloth residue and dirt from textiles.
For upholstery, a bigger software (or squeegee) with a microfibre fabric is required, to maintain the steam from direct contact with the floor. That is helpful for each defending the material and ensuring your furnishings doesn’t find yourself soaked. Nonetheless, your upholstery surfaces are more likely to retain not less than some moisture after steaming and can want time to dry.
Steam cleansing may also help sanitise and refresh the floor of your upholstery – together with mattresses – and take away some filth and lightweight staining. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely to eliminate cussed stains. As with carpet cleansing, a extra specialised answer could also be required right here.
Whereas it’s theoretically attainable to steam clothes with a steam cleaner, a lot of the cleaners I’ve examined are far too highly effective for this objective, both emitting an excessive amount of steam or water. It’s finest to do this out at a adequate distance and on much less delicate supplies first, after checking the care labelling of your clothes for warmth sensitivity. Nevertheless, a steam cleaner might be helpful for thicker, washable curtains that might be refreshed whereas nonetheless hanging in place.