Steam cleaners offer an effective and environmentally friendly way of cleaning many surfaces, including hardwood floors and tiles. On this page, we cover some of our favorite while listing practical advantages & issues.
Steam cleaning is useful for safe, chemical-free steam cleaning around your home and is great for sanitizing baths and tidying up messes. Are bed bugs a problem for you? With a steamer, you can get rid of these easily, too!
Last update on 2022-06-15 at 02:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to look for in all-purpose steam cleaners
Better steam cleaners are usually canister-style models that include a variety of attachments to let you handle a range of grimy surfaces. Certain floor steamers are not designed to be employed on bath flooring, however.
Attachments. You’ll want to ensure the unit comes with a variety of attachments. Looks a variety of spray nozzles, mop heads, and scrubbing nozzles. The more you get the better.
High-pressure steam. Most boilers generate streams of steam with temperatures of around 200°F and pressures of up to 58 psi. Hotter and more forceful streams will let you move faster over a given treatment area.
Boiler volume. Units with bigger tanks have more water available, which means you can devote more of your time to actual cleaning instead of boiler refills.
Pricing. Professional-grade units are typically more economical to operate over the long run and come with longer warranties. However, these can be much costlier at the start.
McCulloch MC1385 High-Pressure Steam Cleaner
This big canister model should be on your shortlist if you are maintaining a large property, for has the capacity to handle all household steaming jobs
With its trim profile, it can be wheeled wherever powerful, highly-pressurized steam is needed. You can be confident of reaching most corners due to the extra-length power cords, hoses, and extensions.
A wide range of useful attachments are included, including angled and jet nozzles, triangular and large brushes, nylon and brass utility brushes, 2 each of round brushes and scrub pads, 2 extension wands, steam mop and bristle attachments, scrubbing and microfiber pads, scraper, squeegee, fill cup, and a storage bag plus netting.
Some 12 minutes after powering up, the boiler generates pressurized steam with temperatures reaching beyond 200°F. This is hotter than the output of most general-purpose models.
With up to 120 minutes of continuous output available, the handle does get warm in extended usage. The tank with its awkward opening was also somewhat tricky to refill, a funnel should be included to help avoid spills.
McCulloch’s MC1385 offers loads of pressurized steam and many useful accessories. This is a well-designed system that makes quicker work of both small and large jobs, making it our pick for the best all-purpose steam cleaner.
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner
This compact canister model weighs around 10 pounds and has the capacity to handle a wide range of tasks due to its robust build, variety of useful attachments, and good design.
A lock switch enables nonstop steaming, with no need to continually depress the trigger. The 48-ounce water tank requires fewer refills while providing as much as 45 minutes of steaming.
One good thing about this low-profile model is that it is easier to move around than a larger canister steamer. The body is compact enough that you can simply roll it to wherever it is required. Otherwise, the extra-long hose should do the trick.
Among the best aspects of this package is the wide variety of useful attachments included, such as a carry handle, steam mop attachment, jet nozzle, 2 extensions, 2 microfiber pads, 5 nylon brushes, corner, and brass brush, scrubbing pad, squeegee, filling funnel, and measuring cup.
Another good thing about this design is that it takes only 8 minutes to produce continuous high-pressure steam, which is faster than that of larger-capacity models. However, it is not possible to control output temperatures, unlike with more advanced industrial models.
McCulloch’s MC1275 is a good-quality all-purpose steamer that is great for cleaning tiled floors as well as a range of cleaning jobs around the home.
Wagner On-Demand 915 Power Steamer
This compact steamer produces streams of highly pressurized heated vapor that can undo most of the grungy stuff infesting grout in baths with tile floor. The wand directs stream right where it is most needed, the on-demand steam control was easy to use.
Its wheeled base weighs about 16 pounds and can be moved just about anywhere. However, we missed having a water level indicator that shows the remaining volume. Once the water runs out, the thermal reset mechanism thankfully turn offs the boiler.
There are 8 attachments in total, including a jet nozzle and two extensions, steam plate, squeegee, steam mop attachment, and floor brush, fill cup, and filling funnel. A long 8-foot hose attachment makes for quick work while covering larger areas.
The boiler generates steam for around 45 minutes, which can be extended some more by judicious releases of steam using the trigger. The tank does need to be refilled more often than the largest units with big tanks.
Wagner’s 915 has its issues in terms of monitoring remaining water levels but is otherwise great for tidying up stained tiled floors and messy counters.
Vapamore MR-75 Portable Handheld Steam Cleaner
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This lightweight plastic unit weighs under 4 pounds and features a build that is robust enough for portable use. The user only must fill-up the boiler then power on to start producing steam. All parts can be conveniently stored in a closet after each job.
Numerous attachments are part of the package. There are a hose and its hose connector, a jet nozzle, tool adapter, and a scraper. Other accessories include a group of big nylon and medium brushes as well as straight and grout brushes, dual sizes of stainless-steel and brass brushes, as well as a squeegee and even a steam mop attachment.
Rounding out the set are 3 cotton covers, a measuring cup, a carry case, plus a convenient accessory bag.
This small but moderately powerful unit generates pressurized steam at 43 PSI with temperatures of at least 200°F. We were impressed with how quickly steam is produced, which usually happens only 4 minutes or so after the tank is filled and the boiler powered on.
The problem is the tiny water capacity. It is good for only 10 minutes of steam cleaning at any one time. On large jobs, users will be waiting some minutes after the steam runs out for things to cool down before the tank can be safely opened for refilling. They will then need to wait for another few minutes as the boiler generates the next load.
This compact steamer should suit users with smaller homes to maintain, although the reduced water volume will be inconvenient for the biggest jobs. The Vapamore MR-75 is an easy-to-use handheld steam cleaner with the capacity to clean and disinfect the majority of trouble spots around most homes.
Steamfast SF-275 Canister Steam Cleaner
Like with other low-profile canister models, the compact base can be rolled to wherever it is needed. Its housing features solid construction that weighs just over 15 pounds.
The user only needs to fill up the 48-ounce tank with water, power up the unit, then trigger the convenient steam-control switch for up to 45 minutes of on-demand steaming action. The 12-foot-long power cord might not provide sufficient reach between larger rooms, though.
In the package is a range of 17 attachments, including a jet nozzle, wand extension, a medium corner brush, short and long nylon as well as brass utility brushes, a scrub pad, steam mop attachment.
The model can produce a steam temperature of around 200°F, which flays away a lot of gunk and eliminates most pests with proper application. Hot pressurized vapors are generated in 8 minutes once the boiler has been filled and the power switched on.
Depending on the amount of work at hand, the small capacity should serve the majority of steaming tasks in most households. The tank holds about 45 ounces of water, which allows for around 45 minutes of continuous steaming.
A larger capacity would have enabled longer steaming sessions before the next refill. The user will have to pause as the boiler cools before more water can be added, at which point he will need to wait again for the steaming operation to resume.
Still, Steamfast’s SF-275 is a reasonably-priced steamer that will let you readily handle the toughest stains found on the tiled floors and counters of regular-sized baths and kitchens.
With the jet power of an all-purpose steam cleaner on tap, you are likely to go hunting around your home for things to tidy up with streams of forceful steam.
McCulloch’s MC1385 is indeed expensive, but this big steamer can do just about all household steaming jobs. The wide range of attachments will let you handle any general-purpose or specialized job around the house or shop. Its robust capacity is particularly useful for covering huge swathes of stained tile flooring, making it our pick for the best all-purpose steam cleaner.
Vapamore’s MR-75 Amico trades tank volume and steaming time for better portability but without compromising pressure and heat, allowing for a lighter design. For quick and simple, chemical-free cleaning and pest eradication, this is a reasonably-priced and lightweight model that is a fit for smaller jobs.
What are some advantages to steam cleaning?
Over the long run, the grout in tiled floors, walls, and black splashes tend to get slimy with stains. As scum embeds in the pores, it progressively hardens and becomes difficult to clean with conventional methods. Even forceful scrubbing using powerful detergents might not be up to the task.
Steaming does involve more effort than manual scouring, but it is more affordable and easier than redoing tiled floors. Steaming also works on laminate floors when applied carefully with a steam mop attachment. Laminates can take the occasional spill, but too much dampness over time will eventually damage their layered interiors.
Do note that the high-pressure vapors generated by commercial carpet steam cleaners can penetrate past lines and through the layers of laminates. Steam mopping is a safer alternative for such flooring. The small amounts of water left behind do not affect laminate floors as quickly as the copious amounts produced by industrial units.
You have likely heard of steam being used to eliminate bed bugs. Long exposure to a steam temperature of no less than 120°F will kill every one of these pests. As a natural technique, steaming is usually less costly than other eradication methods and as noted, it is useful in many household tasks. Steam cleaning works best on specific hard surfaces, including moldings, mattresses and box springs, sofas and other upholstery, area rugs and carpets, floorboards and headboards, and furniture with seams and cracks.
Steamer cleaners provide the sanitizing power of heated, high-pressure steam wherever it is needed around the home or shop.