There are three main kinds of steam cleaner: the mop, the handheld steam cleaner, and – the most heavyweight of the three – the cylinder. The handheld steam cleaner is probably the most convenient and common of the three, so we are going to give that a section of its own. In this section, we help you decide whether a mop-based steam cleaner or a cylinder steam cleaner may also be worth your while considering.
Some general considerations first of all:
There are steam cleaners on the market that come with a range of swappable heads. These allow for more focused and specialized cleaning on particular kinds of surface, and for particular kinds of stains. When shopping around, keep in mind that if you have unusual surfaces in your house, there may well be a special head or other attachment to help you get it sparkling. More effectively.
Different machines come with different cloths, some more durable than others. These removable cloths are often machine-washable, but the time will definitely come when they need to be replaced. It might be worth spending a bit more early on to avoid the inconvenience and cost brought with cheaper cloths later down the line.
Most of us find ourselves pushed for space when it comes to storing our cleaning products. A steam cleaner with a smaller tank can therefore be a big temptation when we deciding on a machine. But as convenient as a smaller tanked machine is from the point of view of storage, a larger tank really can make all the difference during a big clean up. A small tank might have you returning to the tap after as little as ten minutes. If you’re planning on a big clean, you might prefer a larger tank, which will have you steam cleaning your house for as much as half an hour without interruption.
Obviously the more powerful the device the harder the steam is going to hit your surfaces and furnishings. Higher temperatures will also bring a more thorough and hygienic clean. At the same time, if your home contains delicate materials, fabrics, or woods, you will need to keep an eye on the pressure you are putting them. Cleaning with a steam cleaner is always a careful balance between getting the job done and protecting your possession against too thorough cleaning!
If you’re investing in a steam cleaner to clean your carpets, keep in mind that while it can be used to handle individual stains or to give the carpet a bit of a spruce up, there is not yet a household steam cleaner that can measure up to a dedicated carpet cleaner as far as giving a thorough and professional clean is concerned.
Mop steam cleaners are upright, and store the water they turn into steam in their long handles. The mop steam cleaner is the best option for cleaning floors. If you have tiled, wood, or lino surfaces, this is a conveniently handled device that will get your floor spotless.
Cylinder steam cleaners are the most heavyweight option, which obviously has an impact in terms of storage. They are however also the most flexible. A cylinder steam cleaner is likely to come with a variety of heads, nozzles and attachments. It can also be used for cleaning anything from upholstery, to oven doors, to kitchen surfaces, floors, taps and grouting.