8 Are You Using Your Steam Cleaner Properly?

There are a lot of steam cleaners on the market. From basic to over the top, they all do the same thing. They clean your home without having to use chemical cleaners.  But not all are created equally.  The decision to buy one that comes with no additional tools or one that comes with 15 different attachments is a completely personal decision and one that does not impact that operation of your machine.  The single most important factor that you should look for in a steam cleaner is the temperature it is heating the water to.  

Did you know that the majority of steam cleaners on the market do not heat the water to a temperature that is going to eliminate bacteria and germs. Look for a steam cleaner that is goes beyond 100C/212F. If you are thinking your steam cleaner is going to sterilize for you then it needs to hit 121C/250F. Most on the market do not do that, in fact most are not going to go beyond 100C/212F.

Buying a steam cleaner is an easy first step to chemical free cleaning but are you using it properly? 

You can't use just any old water in your steam cleaner. You need to use distilled water otherwise the minerals in regular water will leave residue build up in your steam cleaner rendering it in-effective. I have had this happen to me before. It isn't pretty. The steam pores become clogged so the steam doesn't come out evenly, if it comes out at all. My old one because less of a steamer and more of a wet cold mop.

Just because it doesn't smell like something doesn't mean it is not working. This is hard for some people to get past. Joe being one of those people. Clean doesn't have a smell so don't add soap, cleaners or essential oils to the water in your steam cleaner in an attempt to smell something. It is just going to ruin your steam cleaner.

Wash the cleaning pad to ensure steam can get through. I have noticed a huge difference depending on how clean the cleaning pad is. Yes, there are a few times where I forget to clean it after I use it so when I go to use it the next time I just flip it over and away I go. But that isn't really as effective. It will still clean but the steam will have a harder time getting through the pad making you and the machine having to work harder. 

Do you have a steam mop? How do you keep it operating efficiently?

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photo credit: Rubbermaid Products via photopin cc


  1. Great tips Jen. I'm actually getting a steam cleaner to review. I had no idea you needed to use distilled water!

    1. I had no idea with my first one either!

  2. Thanks Jen! I need a steam cleaner! :)

  3. Very good details. I have a steam cleaner in a closet somewhere. I confess I've gotten too busy to use it as much as I should... I really should check the temp, shouldn't I?

    1. I didn't even realize that they wouldn't get hot enough until I read something online a few years ago.

  4. Great advice! I don't have a steam cleaner, but I'll keep these tips in mind for sure :)

  5. Fortunately, I mostly have wood floors. For the other stuff, I hire an eco-steam company :) I'm lucky if I get around to sweeping the floors. LOL

  6. I have two steam cleaners - a hand held one and one for floors - I just love them! People are amazed at what the floor steamer picks up after I've washed the floor with a mop (sometimes I just have to mop first - like when the dog brings in mud after visiting the ravine :( )