Steam cleaners are claimed to revolutionise cleaning by virtually eliminating the need for cleaning products and in the first place for chemicals. They are also claimed to make cleaning quicker, easier and simpler by the power of steam which can be used on virtually all floors - including carpets - and surfaces. But are they really as effective as they claim to be? And do they really eliminate the need for chemicals?
Lab Tests Not Promising
Results of a lab test by Which? showed steam cleaners and their effectiveness in a whole different light. Of 28 tested models, only six were to become Best Buys. Furthermore, some were found to make cleaning even more difficult than by hand, while other models were leaving lots of water.
Does this mean steam cleaners are a waste of money? Not at all. But it depends greatly on your needs and of course, the model.
Even with the Best Steam Cleaner, You Will Still Need Chemicals
Steam cleaners can be used to clean anything from hard surfaces and carpets to windows and even kitchen appliances including oven. However, there are a few things that cannot and mustn’t be cleaned by a steam cleaner. Examples include wood, marble, brick, silk and other materials that can be damaged by steam or water. As a result, even the best steam cleaners that can effectively deal with the most stubborn dirt, grease and grime don’t eliminate the need for chemicals entirely. But they can reduce the amount needed considerably.
Steam Kills 99% of Harmful Bacteria but Steam Cleaners May Not
Even though steam cleaners don’t involve the use of any chemicals, they promise to kill 99% of the harmful bacteria. Theoretically, they do because most organisms can’t survive exposure to steam but in reality, steam cleaners may not kill all the germs including the most dangerous ones. This can occur due to improper use, inadequate temperature or/and insufficient period of time the device was applied to one spot.
A steam cleaner can without a doubt be very useful to have at hand. But you will probably still need some chemicals to effectively clean your home. If you’re considering to buy a steam cleaner just because you don’t want to use chemical cleaning products (or at least reduce their amounts), it may also be worth to try all-natural alternatives both to buy and DIY at home. And believe it or not but they can be just as effective - if not even more so - than their conventional counterparts without being harmful to either human health or the environment.
If you have decided to buy a steam cleaner anyway, you are highly recommended to take some time to think what do you really need before starting to look for the best model at the best price. Also, be sure to read official tests and user reviews, especially if you are having difficulties deciding which one to choose.