You must be wondering whether to get a steam cleaner, if you have heard about how well these units clean and disinfect fragile areas.
Reviewed here is the Vapamore MR-75 Amico Portable Hand Held Steam Cleaner. This model offers an environment-friendly means of cleansing interior and outside surfaces. Parents will take to it quickly, for it can sanitize baths and degrease counters without toxic chemicals. If bed bugs are a chronic challenge, it will help eradicate those pests as well.
With this steamer, it is easy to get things in shape naturally and at a sensible cost. A range of accessories can be attached for specialized tasks around the home or shop. But, boiler capacity and steam pressure were both reduced to make the design lighter and more affordable as well.
Does this handy unit offer a decent trade-off between portability and efficiency, or is there one compromise too many? We report how it goes and what we liked or not.
- 1000-Watt heating element
- 210˚F steam temperature
- Handy portable design
- Cleans and disinfects without toxic chemicals
- Dissolves grease stains and grimy dirt
- Removes molds and mildew
- Eradicates bed bugs and dust mites
- Only 3.5 pounds in weight
- Wide range of accessories included
Steaming is particularly effective on floor and wall surfaces as well as rugs and carpets. It is also good for draped fabrics, bath tiles, sticky stuff on counter tops, etc.
Bed bugs when present can spread fast and be a challenge. Steam heated to temperatures of over 200°F will readily kill these pests on contact, even as the hot streams sanitize the surroundings.
Other places where steam cleaning works nicely include:
- Carpets and rugs
- Mattresses and box springs
- Sofas and other upholstered seats
- Gaps and seams in furniture
- Floor boards and headboards
- Assorted moldings like crowns
As a natural cleaning, degreasing, and pest eradication method, steaming costs less than most other methods and is effective in a variety of household jobs.
The quality features of this model are easy to see and experience.
Wide nozzles. Slimmer tips have to go through the same area more times, which can lead to missed applications as you tire faster. The wider nozzle attachments ensure that this will be less likely.
Very hot steam. The boiler produces vapors with temperatures of at least 200°F. These very hot streams will enable you to make quicker passes that kill all bed bugs and dust mites caught in their path.
Decent boiler volume. A bigger tank can store more water for ready use, giving you more time to clean between each refill. A compact model like this has less capacity than bigger industrial units, but will be easier to move around to various sites.
Wide range of accessories. A huge number of attachments come with the package. A hose and its connector, tool adapter, jet nozzle, and a scraper accessory are standard. There is also a set of straight, grout, medium-duty, and large nylon brushes, small and large brass and stainless-steel brushes, steamer fabric and squeegee. Three cotton covers, a measuring cup, a carrying case and an accessory bag round out the package.
Service. Professional steam cleaners are more serviceable over time, however they are more expensive. This portable unit performs reliably enough on the occasional task and should last more than a few years.
Cost. If you think you will be handling a number of bug infestations in the next few years, do consider a larger unit. Professional-grade models can be more economical to operate in the long run.
Vapamore’s compact model weighs just over three pounds. It may not be tiny enough to slip into your pockets, but it is easy to store in a cabinet once you are done. The unit and its many accessories fit readily into the supplied cases, for quick transfers.
We rather liked the solid construction. The housing may be mostly made of plastics, but the rest of the hardware seemed sturdy and of good fit for a lightweight model.
Simple controls and operation are in keeping with its minimalist purpose. Users only have to deal with the tank cap and boiler switch. You will only have to fill the tank then switch on the boiler before triggering steam.
In this case, it seems there is an inconvenience or two to be dealt with. The Amico’s compact but relatively powerful boiler can output pressurized streams of vapor at 43 PSI, with temperatures reaching 200 degrees at the nozzle end.
These are minimum effective specifications, to be sure. But we still liked how fast steam was generated, just four minutes after the unit was filled and switched on. Larger models rarely work as fast, even pricier and more powerful premium designs.
The big issue here is that the tank stores only a cup or less of water, which is sufficient for 10 minutes of steaming at a time. We do wish the unit could hold more water between each refill. You will be constantly waiting for the housing to cool off before the tank can be refilled, while pausing again for things to start boiling in another few minutes.
In handling bed bugs, you will need to be methodical and slow in treating every suspect crack or gap. Water will have to be constantly replenished when treating bigger infestations.
Tip: The terrycloth used when treating fabrics covers the nozzle rather tightly. But, a washcloth secured with rubber bands can work just as well.
Vapamore’s MR-75 Portable Hand Held Steam Cleaner is a small but easy-to-use model that offers steam with enough volume and heat to clean and disinfect most trouble spots. It is also great for eliminating bed bugs wherever you find them. You will be trading time and volume for powerful yet portable operation, though.
The small-capacity tank can be a bit of a letdown at times. But for simple and effective cleaning, degreasing, and pest elimination without caustic chemicals, it is a reasonably-priced steamer that can be handy on smaller jobs.