The household steam cleaner is an electric-powered floor appliance that heats water in its boiler under regulated pressure until the hot water vapor has been superheated to 250-300°F and ready for release through an attached hose and nozzle with a tiny hole. When water is converted into steam, its volume increases by a factor of 1600 times. Thus, a small amount of water produces a copious quantity of steam.
When pressurized, superheated steam hits a surface, it expands instantly, blasting dirt and grime, while dissolving them in a small amount of steam that liquefies on the surface for an easy wipe with a cloth. Upon release through the nozzle, the temperature of the steam is approximately 220°F, which is more than hot enough to kill bacteria, viruses, molds, and micro-organisms. Larger organisms, such as bed bugs, are killed by the superheated steam, too. After traveling, besides washing your garments, don’t forget to steam clean your luggage to destroy any bed bug, who might have hitched a ride home.
Steam is eco-friendly as only the power of hot steam is needed for cleaning without the need for any chemical or detergent. This makes steam particularly useful for cleaning children’s toys. Steam cleaning is most effective on smooth, hard surfaces where dirt, grime, and germs cannot hide. Tile floors and walls, kitchen and bath fixtures, and widow glass are ideal areas in the home for steam cleaning. Also use a steam cleaner to sanitize personal objects around the home such as toothbrushes.
Another great advantage of steam is that you can reach places where a brush or sponge cannot. Vents and returns, which often accumulate dirt, dust, pet hair, and allergens, can now be cleaned and sanitized. Kitchen and bathroom drains can be steamed. Imagine all of the crevices in a home or office that collect grime over time and are not cleaned by traditional methods.
There are many areas around and outside the home that can be steam cleaned, too. Use the steam cleaner to detail your car’s or RV’s interior – upholstery, dash, windows, door panels, etc. Steam clean the motor and wheels, but do not steam clean the body work. Use the steam cleaner on outdoor decks and furniture, not just to clean, but also for mold removal. Based upon your author’s personal experience, who has owned and used a steam cleaner for twenty years, you will steam clean every object within sight once you start.
Softer surfaces, such as upholstery, also can be steamed, but will require perhaps a little extra wiping to remove a stain. When used on bedding and mattresses to kill dust mites, it is recommended to steam first, which kills them, and then vacuum. The power of steam also can deodorize furniture and curtains in your home.
Grime or mold deep inside a softer material may be more difficult to reach with a steam cleaner. Examples would be mold entrenched inside grout or inside drywall. Wallpaper can or cannot be stripped from the wall depending on the adhesive used.
In closing, as a steam cleaner user of many years, I assure you that steam cleaning is highly effective in removing dirt and stains, and for killing bacteria, viruses, mold, dust mites, and spores. And it’s all natural, no harmful chemicals.