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Let's talk steam cleaners!

ScoopKona

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Here's an area where I know y'all are a fountain of wisdom. I recently bought an Oreck steamer because I had a gift card that was due to expire.

I like it, but I'm still returning it. Here's why -- the marketing on the box claims it's IDEAL for steaming drapes, cabinet doors and similar. But there is no removable anything, and cleaning vertical surfaces requires hefting the four-foot unit and cleaning upside down. This means water doesn't feed into the boiling mechanism, which means I've got maybe 10 seconds of vertical cleaning before I need to invert, fill, and start over.

Annoying.

So while it works as advertised on floors (and even on vertical surfaces), it's a bother to use on anything not at ground level. So out it goes.

So, who's got the best steamer? As usual, I'm not looking for "budget" or "best value." Just what's best.
 

spirits

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Elbow grease and good soap

I have a steam cleaner we bought from Costco many years ago. Used it on our old wall to wall carpet a lot when our boys were young. Do not use it so much since we got hardwood floors upstairs. Now our son who has a dog seems to be borrowing it more and more often :D . Holding off on cleaning our downstairs carpet since it is only 5 years old and once cleaned then it gets dirty even faster. I am glad we have it but use it as sparingly as possible. We will drag it out someday soon to do the stairs going downstairs and then it will rest until needed. A great workhorse for big jobs like my car carpet.
For kitchen cabinets I find vinegar and water works mostly well. And soap and elbow grease once a year for deep cleaning.
In other words I think a steam cleaner is not meant to clean vertical surfaces. I can see it steaming out wrinkles but not for deep cleaning. Am I missing something?
 

ScoopKona

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In other words I think a steam cleaner is not meant to clean vertical surfaces. I can see it steaming out wrinkles but not for deep cleaning. Am I missing something?

Grease on gas grills, the cabinets directly over the stove, the above-stove microwave, the blinds on the sliding glass doors, fingerprints on the garage doors, sinks, faucets, countertops -- the steamer works very well on all of these, and reduces the need for chemicals.

In fact, the steamer cleaned the microwave in a way that nothing else has -- simple green, orange cleaner, industrial degreaser, etc.
 

MuranoJo

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Also interested to know if you find one which tackles what Scoop describes.
Got a unit as a gift several years ago which claimed to tackle all of the above, and it was a piece of junk.
 

ScoopKona

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For instance, yesterday I took the steamer to the gas range.

While I'm hardly a slob, there was crusted-on stuff that I was literally afraid to try to remove with a scubbie and scouring powder for fear of taking the finish off my P.O.S. GE range.

I hit it with the steam cleaner and it looked like new in a matter of 15 minutes. However, it involved me having to hold the thing like a Rambo holding a machine gun in order to put the business end in all the little nooks and crevises.


Really surprised there isn't a steamer guru here.
 

rickandcindy23

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My steamer is a DeWalt. It's okay, does clean as well as I thought. Rick laughs when I use it in the bathroom because the area is so small, I come out of the bathroom with sweat dripping off of me.
 

Elan

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I looked into this about a year ago. Pretty much decided the only units I'd likely be happy with were commercial units, which get expensive in a hurry. I did bookmark this site:

http://refreshyourhome.com/
 

IngridN

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I just purchased and used for the first time, a hand-held steam cleaner (doesn't seem to have a brand name on it) at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $30. Used it for cleaning the bathroom vanity and am pleased with the results. I am trying to get away from using chemicals and the steam cleaner did just as good a job, if not better. I don't have the hang yet for properly dispensing the steam. Am anxious to use it on the stove next week.

I am really interested in this thread as I would love to find a good one to clean the shower. I have asthma triggered by chemicals, therefore am unable to really clean the shower and it always looks grungy :( .

I also purchased a Shark for use on my kitchen and entry way hardwood floors. Will report back next week on how well it works.

Ingrid
 

rickandcindy23

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I also purchased a Shark for use on my kitchen and entry way hardwood floors. Will report back next week on how well it works.

My sister has one of these and loves it. Hers vacuums and then mops with steam. She uses it twice a week and says it's cut her mopping time in half, no streaks, and her floor always looks so clean. She couldn't believe her husband spent so little on it.

The steamer did an okay job on the shower. I like the DeWalt, but I admit I don't get it out of the closet as much as I did in the beginning. I forget about it.
 

NWL

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I purchased a Bissel steam cleaner a few years back to clean my carpets on a regular basis (2dogs and a cat). It came with a bunch of attachments that I have yet to use, but sound like it's what you're looking for. They no longer make the model I bought, but here's a link for the newer version:

http://www.bissell.com/lift-off-coupon/?icid=hs201201_2_LODC

Cheers!
 

ScoopKona

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I purchased a Bissel steam cleaner a few years back to clean my carpets on a regular basis (2dogs and a cat). It came with a bunch of attachments that I have yet to use, but sound like it's what you're looking for. They no longer make the model I bought, but here's a link for the newer version:

http://www.bissell.com/lift-off-coupon/?icid=hs201201_2_LODC

Cheers!

That's overkill. I don't have any carpet in the house. (Hate the stuff.)

Hard floors and countertops, plumbing fixtures, blinds, etc.
 

pranas

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I bought an Italian made steam cleaning machine about 14 years ago. It looks like a large canister vacuum cleaner. Cost over $500 but was worth it. It actually can sanitize as it cleans. My house really smells fresh with out any chemicals. It does a wonderful job on vertical and horizontal areas. My floors are wood and stone so I have not used it to clean a large carpeted area. I bought a similar looking but much smaller and fairly cheap shark machine to do small quick jobs that do not need the power of my bigger machine.
 

Passepartout

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We have one of the aforementioned Bissel units. It isn't a steamer. Just (semi) hot water. Does OK on the carpet, but not as good as a commercial truck mounted unit. OTOH, for the occasional dog-spot or other boo-boo, it beats calling the pro's.

Scoop- for the microwave, I just put a Pyrex measuring cup about half full of water in it and boil for 3-4 minutes. That seems to soften anything in ours so it can be easily wiped out.

Jim
 

Elan

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I've got a Shark steam mop for our hardwood floors. Works fine for that. Better than anything else we've tried.
 

IngridN

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Good to know that the Shark works great on hardwood. I also have a Bissell or Hoover steam cleaner purchased 10+ years ago mainly for carpet. I don't recall if it has other attachments, but it is a PITA to haul out and my floors don't get cleaned nearly as often as they should. I have been thinking about getting another steam cleaner for carpets, but then, the carpets really need replacing and when we do, it will be hardwood floors in most of the house.

Ingrid
 

carl2591

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I have a steam cleaner we bought from Costco many years ago. Used it on our old wall to wall carpet a lot when our boys were young. Do not use it so much since we got hardwood floors upstairs. Now our son who has a dog seems to be borrowing it more and more often :D . Holding off on cleaning our downstairs carpet since it is only 5 years old and once cleaned then it gets dirty even faster. I am glad we have it but use it as sparingly as possible. We will drag it out someday soon to do the stairs going downstairs and then it will rest until needed. A great workhorse for big jobs like my car carpet.
For kitchen cabinets I find vinegar and water works mostly well. And soap and elbow grease once a year for deep cleaning.
In other words I think a steam cleaner is not meant to clean vertical surfaces. I can see it steaming out wrinkles but not for deep cleaning. Am I missing something?



""Holding off on cleaning our downstairs carpet since it is only 5 years old and once cleaned then it gets dirty even faster. ."" :hysterical:


Owning a professional carpet cleaning company i have to LOL when i hear or see this kind of statement. why...


There are "cheap" carpet cleaning companies using low cost products that strip off what is left of the factory applies carpet protection & can leave a sticky residue behind after cleaning causing the carpet to re-soil faster. The same is true with the DIY carpet cleaner you rent at home depot or Lowes home improvement.

When a true professional company does the job the carpet will stay cleaner looking longer for several reasons. Just like any company when you are getting a higher price for your service, you can spend more time doing a better job unlike the low cost cleaners that have to do a lot more jobs.

I know of a guy that worked at a local carpet cleaning company that went by my brothers first name, stanley. He told me they were doing 7-9 jobs a days. We spend a hour or more doing a small job that in the same time they other guys are doing 2 jobs. (30 min to clean 3 rooms and hall) Fast is not better in carpet cleaning as you need time to make sure the cleaning agents work and you take the time to do a good job, especially on heavy soiled carpets, which is when most people decide to have it cleaned. :doh:


The product used tend to be more environmental friendly while doing a good job of cleaning the soil out of the carpet. The products we use are a "green" polymer based encapsulation cleaning agent that surrounds any remaining soil that drys very brittle and during vacuuming shatters and removes easily while also coating the carpet fiber with a carpet protectant products that help prevent resoiling as well.

do your self a favor and dont wait. You may find out that by waiting you have voided the warrenty as most new carpet manf. requires a professional cleaning using HWE, (hot water extraction) method at least once every 2 yrs or the warrenty is void.

find out at CRI.org or find your paper work and look online for your self.

climbing off soap box now and moving on...

happy new year.
 

stmartinfan

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I don't have a steam cleaner but would like one, because a friend says hers is great for cleaning her stainless refrigerator and other appliances. She just sprays and wipes down and no fingerprints.
 

spirits

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Are we talking 2 types of cleaners?

My age may be showing :eek: but when I think of a steam cleaner I think of the large appliance used mainly for shampooing rugs. That is the type I own and when we bought it many years ago it was because we could control the amount and type of cleaning product used. We did not want to put a lot of chemicals into the carpet and by and large it has worked well for us
However I think most people here are referring to the portable steamers used for hard surfaces such as floors and appliances. I have had no experience with them although I suspect the cheap ones will not perform as well as the professional ones. I do not use them but would be interested in people who like them tell how it has made their lives easier.
PS. When we had our cork floors installed last year the young installer told me his wife used her floor steamer on the cork floors in their own house. 3 months later when he was visiting as a followup I asked about the cleaner. Apparently his wife does not use it too much anymore because it took too long and she had 2 toddlers to run after. ;)
I mostly use a bucket of water and vinegar for my floors and really really wring out the mop/cloth. This method was suggested by my hardwood floor installer and it works well for me.
 
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