Steam cleaning tips and tricks
[Updated 1 June 2020]No matter what you are cleaning, most of the time, applying heat is going to be the best option for getting the job done. Whether you are cleaning your floors or your dishes, heat will solve many cleaning woes. Buying a steam cleaner can be an intimidating purchase. While there are steam cleaners for nearly any budget, it may seem like a lot to spend on something you only use to do one or two jobs around the house.
Thankfully, steam cleaners bring a lot of advantages and are good for more than cleaning your bathroom and kitchen floors.
A cleaner clean
The steam from a steam cleaner is helpful. The heat can penetrate dirt and grime and help you get your home clean with significantly less effort, but the advantages do not end there.
Steam cleaning is extremely eco-friendly. Instead of worrying about the dangers that come with mixing chemicals and what could be toxic for your children and pets, a steam cleaner uses only water. While the steam from the hot water can be dangerous, you do not need to worry about making a call to poison control.
Not only can you avoid chemicals, heat can disinfect just as well or better than the chemicals you are used to using around the house.
Additionally, the areas you are cleaning will stay cleaner. Often, after getting an area wet and cleaning it with chemicals, you are forced to wait until the area dries. Even once it seems dry, any remaining moisture will attract all the dirt you were trying to remove in the first place. Steam cleaned areas dry quickly, reducing the chances of re-soiling the area.
More than floors
Floors may be the first things that come to mind when you think about using a steam cleaner, but many steam cleaners do much more than floors. Steam cleaners can be used to clean areas such as:
Tile and grout
You may have already thought about the tile on your floors, but what about the tile in your shower? A steam cleaner can help remove dirt, grime and soap scum from your shower walls.
Everyone looks forward to the cookout season, but cleaning the grill is a dreaded part of that task. After the BBQ is a great time to break out the steam cleaner to help loosen meat juice and other sticky particles that have been cooked onto the grill.
Be sure to take Fluffy out, of course. But your steam cleaner is a great tool to get anything that has gotten caked on to the cage. If you are getting a new pet, this is also a great way to disinfect the cage between pets so that your new critter has a clean new home.
When was the last time you cleaned your mattress? You may have rotated it or flipped it over, but all of the sweat and other gross stuff is still in there. You can use your steam cleaner to kill any bacteria or mold that may be lurking in your mattress.
It seems like manufacturers make car seats, high chairs and other baby accessories with so many nooks and crannies that it is impossible to ever get them completely clean, forcing you to replace what you could have cleaned. Time to get out the steam cleaner! Your steam cleaner can loosen all of the juice and jam from your baby’s high chair, so it looks new (and isn’t so sticky).
Detail the car
The job that used to take hours over the weekend can be done more easily with your steam cleaner. Not only is it good for the dash and other areas of the car, similar to your mattress, but you can also use your steam cleaner to loosen the gummy bear that melted into your backseat, as well.
Stove and oven
This is a chore no one enjoys. You may have heard of the dangers of using the self-cleaning feature on your oven (especially if you have small pets in your home). You may have also been frustrated at how ineffective it is at getting the job done. Time to break out the steam cleaner! The same work that your steam cleaner did on the grill last summer is what you will see on your stove, oven, microwave and range hood. All the grease and grime that built up over the weeks and months will be easy to wipe away with your steam cleaner.
What about the really gross stuff?
There are some areas where you might be hesitant to use the steam cleaner. There may be a stain that was baked into the backseat of the car by the sun and you are worried that the steam cleaner will take ti from bad to worse. Thankfully, the steam cleaner will heat the mess in a more productive way.
The heat and steam from a steam cleaner help loosen dirt and stains so that you can wipe them away; rather than making the stain permanent.
As long as the surface is safe for using the steam cleaner; you can use it to clean nearly any type of mess, no matter how gross. Keep in mind, that while the steam cleaner will do an excellent job loosening the dirt, you will still need to wipe it away, so gather up some rags or paper towels so you are ready to wipe away all the old messes.
Your steam cleaner may work so well that it seems like magic. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind.
- Steam cleaners loosen dirt, but unless you wipe the dirt away, the dirt will still be there. While it may be frustrating to have to wipe the area, the steam cleaner gets you from your first step to your last much faster than traditional methods.
- It may go without saying, but steam cleaners produce a lot of hot, powerful steam. If you are not careful, the steam can lead to severe burns. Pay careful attention to how you handle the cleaner. And what children or pets may be in the area you are cleaning.
- Remember to follow the instructions that come with your steam cleaner. There may be variations between your cleaner and a tip or trick you read about online.
- If you are uncertain how a new area will react to steam cleaning; test a small area before you tackle the larger project.
- While steam cleaners are versatile, some items are off-limits, such as painted walls, unfinished floors, and musical instruments.
- If you have hard water in your home, you should get distilled water for your steamer. The minerals in hard water can deteriorate the steamer, causing it to wear out faster.
- If you want to use your steam cleaner to clean your windows, make sure the class is not cold. If you attempt to use your steam cleaner on cold glass, the glass will crack.
A versatile tool for any home
Steam cleaners can help you reduce the time (and labor) you spend cleaning your home. While a steam cleaner may not solve all of your cleaning woes; it can give you more time to dedicate to the things you would rather be doing.