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A car detailing job is not complete without steam cleaning the upholstery. Hot steam is a real miracle worker, as it kills bacteria without polluting your car with chemicals.
Here is our list of the 10 best steam cleaners for cars – both inside and outside!
Our Top List
1. McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System
The McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe steam system can be used to clean and sanitize just about any surface you can imagine. It naturally deep cleans with an on-demand steam control to blast dirt and grime away with its 4 bar pressure. It comes with 23 attachments allowing for this steamer to clean any surface within your car, or your home. You will only need to do one pass over a specific area and then wipe away.
- 64 oz. water tank provides 2 full hours of steam
- The water within the tank will heat up in about 12 minutes
- Comes with 23 different accessories fit for any job you need to tackle
There is no need to go over an area several times to ensure you have gotten all of the dirt. This model has a great value and is particularly good for cleaning the both the exterior and interior of cars. However, overall we still consider this portable cleaner to be an excellent purchase for any surface in and around your home.
- Accessories can be stored on the steam cleaner for easy access
- Effective enough where as you only have to steam an area once, then wipe
- The mop head is lightweight and easy to use
- The lightweight mop may not be appropriate for surfaces that need heavy scrubbing.
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The Dupray ONE Steam Cleaner is simple to use and efficient chemical-free cleaning that produces superior results. It heats up water to 303°F in just under 8 minutes. It is lightweight, portable, and comes with 16 accessories. It’s adjustable steam control allows for easy use in any area of your car and can easily be used just about anywhere in your home as well. A true investment in cleaning, this steam cleaner is an excellent value.
- 16 piece accessory kit included
- Comes with a childproof lock for safety
- Lightweight and portable
- Kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses
- Quick tank heat up to 303°F in a matter of minutes
- Adjustable steam power
The Dupray ONE Steam Cleaner has a wide variety of features and functionality. It may be a bit much for just steam cleaning your car. However, we believe the fact that it can clean and sanitize using only tap water is an amazing feature that is a rare find. In addition, this cleaner comes with a 3 year warranty adding even more value to this device. The fact that the Dupray ONE is easy set up and maintain, while providing the ability to achieve fantastic results in no time is well worth the purchase price.
- The product comes with a 3 year warranty
- Water tank uses regular tap water, no harsh chemicals
- This water tank heats up the water in around 8 minutes
- The water tank only lasts for about a hour’s worth of cleaning
- This tank is a little pricey, costing around $550
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The Dupray Hill Injection is a professional cleaning system that is very popular among car detailers. It has the ability to provide a long cleaning time, as it contains a dual tank system. This dual tank allows it to be refilled while it is still in use, making it perfect for car detailing. It has adjustable steam control and an integrated detergent tank for faster cleaning along with a unique function that will inject the water with an ecologic detergent for those tougher spots that need a little extra care.
- Adjustable steam control
- Heats water up to 347°F
- Comes with a 25 piece premium accessory kit
- The dual tank system allows for the ability to be refilled while still in use
- Integrated 20 oz. detergent tank for faster cleaning
- Heats up water in less than 8 minutes
This steam cleaner is sturdy, reliable and extremely easy to use. Due to it being a professional model, this cleaner may be a bit expensive for just cleaning a single car. However, if you are looking for a model that is extremely functional and can be used for any cleaning project you have, this steam cleaner is definitely the perfect buy for you.
- Commercial grade steamer, allowing for you the ability to tackle even your
- toughest jobs
- Digital interface making steam temperature, pressure and maintenance
- reminders easy to read
- Has unique function to inject a small amount of detergent into steam for a
- deeper clean
- This cleaner is a bit sizable which cause mobility to be a bit cumbersome
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The Dupray Neat is a lightweight and portable device that will help you easily deep clean your car without using harsh chemicals. The device uses only regular tap water, which is heated up to 275°F within 7 minutes. This steam cleaner was built with professional quality and provides about an hour’s worth of cleaning time for each tank full of water.
- Comes with an 18 piece accessory kit
- Retractable handle
- Steam lock for continuous steam cleaning action
- Built-in funnel for filling tank
- 54 oz. capacity tank provides up to 50 minutes of cleaning time
- Cleans without chemicals, use only tap water
Dupray Neat is our all time top steam cleaner overall if you include home cleaning, not just car cleaning. It is an excellent buy for the money and has a myriad of features that provide quick and easy cleaning for your car and home. It cleans well using only tap water, which is a bonus for anyone trying to not use chemicals in their cleaning.
- Comes with 2 year warranty on the system
- Lifetime on steam cleaner boiler
- Cleans with only tap water, no harmful chemicals needed
- Does not include a thermometer, so it is difficult to verify temperature of
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The PureClean XL rolling steam cleaner comes with 18 pieces of heavy-duty attachments and can be used indoors or outdoors. It has an all-natural cleaning system that allows a total of 45 minutes of continuous cleaning time. This cleaner comes with an extra long power cord, making it perfect for detailing the interior of your car. Perfect for deep cleaning, this cleaner is easy to assemble and simple to use.
- Compact design for easy storage
- 18 Accessories included
- Extra long power cord
- 45 minutes of cleaning time per tank of water
- Heats up water in under 10 minutes
- Powerful 1500 watt steam mop offers high-pressure steam
We consider the PureClean XL to be a great buy for cleaning your car or anywhere else. With its lightweight and portable stature, this cleaner is easy to use and offers a great value. It’s powerful steam cleaner for the low purchase price..
- Comes with an 8 year warranty
- Long extendable 16 feet cord to clean large surface areas
- Lightweight and offers easy usability
- The hose length is a bit small and may be a hinderance during some cleaning
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The Sargent Steam Cleaner Cleaning System is a high pressure, vapor steamer machine that superior cleaning without any harsh chemicals. It is a heavy-duty cleaner, yet extremely portable making it perfect for cleaning out the inside of the car or anywhere else. This revolutionary system comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and has an expected life span of around 20 years. The design is extremely user-friendly while not compromising portability or storage space.
- Water heats up to 298°F
- Comes with accessory attachments
- Can clean multiple surfaces
- User-friendly design
- High Pressure
- Heavy Duty
This easy to use cleaning system is an excellent buy for cleaning your car, or anywhere else. It uses high pressure steam so that no harsh chemicals are necessary. This heavy duty machine will last up to 20 years and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. Due to the professional nature of this model, it comes at an high price. However, we love this model and if we look at customer ratings, we see very few people who were not extremely happy with this cleaner.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Life span of up to 20 years
- No chemicals needed
- Some of the accessory items are not very flexible and may hinder cleaning in
- some areas
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The McCulloch MC1275 is a chemical-free pressurized steam cleaner that works on multiple surfaces. It is backed by a 2 year hassle-free warranty. Features include a large capacity tank, heat up time of 8 minutes, and provides up to 45 minutes of continuous steam. This purchase also comes with 18 accessories to add versatility to its cleaning capabilities. The extra-long power cord and 9 foot long steam hose provide additional maneuverability to get to those hard to reach places with little fuss.
- Steam Lock Switch
- Powerful Jet Nozzle
- 18 Accessories/Attachments
- Cleans Multiple Surfaces
- Large Water Tank
- 8 Minute Heat Up Time
- 45 Minutes of Continuous Steam
- Heats water up to 200°F
This easy to use and extremely versatile steam cleaner is a great value for the low-medium purchase price. It does not require any chemicals for cleaning, as all cleaning is done with 1500 watts of steam power. The MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner is ideal for detailing cars or any other vehicle. Its steam-control switch provides control over the amount of steam coming from the unit. The cleaner features a storage compartment for many of its 18 attachments and offers convenience and mobility for better overall cleaning.
- Comes with a 2 year warranty
- 9 foot long hose
- Extended 15 foot power cord
- Storage compartment on cleaner for attachments
- The accessories that come with this cleaner may not be durable
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The Wagner 915 Steam Cleaner provided chemical-free steam cleaning that works for many surfaces, including cleaning your vehicle. It reaches a temperature of 212°F and can hold up to 48 ounces of water. This allows the cleaner to run steam continuously for 45 minutes. This cleaner is easy to use, includes a variety of attachments and can even be used to removed wallpaper.
- Holds up to 48 oz. of water
- Heats up to 212°F in under 10 minutes
- Chemical free way to clean
- Up to 45 minutes of run time
- Locking trigger offers ability for continuous or intermittent steam
- Fully portable wheel design
This Wagner Spraytech on-demand steam cleaner is an excellent buy for the money. It comes at a lower price than its newer brother (our #1) yet provides a good amount of value for anyone who is looking for a product to make cleaning easier. Whether cleaning the interior of your car or trying to clear up mold in your bathroom, this steam cleaner has the capacity to clean either and everything in between. It is versatile, easy to use and very durable way to keep your car and home looking clean and fresh.
- Well made with brass fittings and solid construction
- Chemical-free cleaning
- Steam pressure can some times be intermittent
Final Verdict & Review
When you compare all of the items on the list, the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe steam system provides you with the best overall value for its medium purchase price. It provides the ability to clean several surfaces with its included 23 accessory package. Once preparation has been completed, the MC1385 allows you to clean for two full hours before having to refill the tank; less time cleaning and more time having fun and relaxing.
Its strength allows for a natural deep clean, where you only have to pass over an area one time to gain the desired results. There is no need to go over an area several times with this steam cleaner. You can be sure that you have gotten all of the dirt and grime up with just one swipe.
For its medium price, it offers a fantastic value because it’s versatile and good to clean your car as well as all areas of your home.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Steam Cleaners for Cars: A Buying Guide
What to look for in a car steamer
All of the best steam cleaners have a rust-resistant boiler that is extremely durable. Many sub-par cleaners will have a plastic boiler. The plastic takes longer to heat the water and is more prone to mold and cracking. Those cleaners that have a stainless steel or aluminum boiler will provide you with the best results when cleaning your car. Also, don’t forget to use a vacuum cleaner for car detailing to make the job complete.
You will also want to look for a boiler that features a continuous-fill. Without this feature, it can take up to 30 minutes for the machine to cool down before additional water is able to be added to the boiler. On top of that 30 minutes, you will need to wait additional time for the water to be heated; which usually takes 8-10 minutes. For those of you who are looking for a product that will cut down your cleaning time, using a steamer with a continuous-fill boiler would be the best feature for your steamer.
Hot steam can be extremely dangerous and lead to 2nd-degree burns. Therefore, features like a pressure gauge and safety cap are vital components for your steam cleaner. A pressure gauge tells you when the boiler cap can be removed safely as well as when the machine is ready to begin the cleaning process again. A safety cap with a release valve permits the steam to escape the machine prior to the cap being removed.
Locking steam triggers keep the steam button in a “down” position without you having to manually hold in down on a constant basis. In addition, the locking trigger should have variable controls. These will enable you to get a more exact pressure for the task at hand. When cleaning the interior of your car, especially, different pressures will be needed for different areas to avoid just blowing dirt and debris around.
An extension hose and nozzles, plus a long cord. The best steam cleaners have long extension hoses and nozzles to help you clean hard-to-reach places, plus a long power cord that lets you move around freely.
Look for attachments and accessories to be included with your steam cleaner purchase. These accessories will come in handy when you are cleaning hard to reach spaces, or if you decide to take a stab at cleaning something other than your car’s interior; such as walls, appliances, grills, and floors. Having the right attachment for the job at your disposal will save you stress unnecessary stress and tons of time.
What to know before you make your purchase
Before making the trek to the store to pick out your steam cleaner, it is best to determine exactly what your expectations are regarding this little device. Are you hoping to use it only for the trunk of your hatchback? Or were you thinking more along the lines of cleaning your entire full sizes SUV from front to back?
Knowing the size of your intended cleaning jobs will ensure that you choose the right machine for the job at hand. If you have to cover more ground, you should be looking at those models that contain larger canisters which offer longer continuous cleaning times. For smaller jobs that will only be a couple of minutes, you will definitely be able to get away with a smaller vapor cleaner that is not as big a blow to your budget.
It is also vital to consider how and where you will store the steamer when it is not in use. Are there storage options included for the hoses, plugs, and accessories? Or will you need to figure a way to keep those items at bay? What are the overall dimensions of the cleaner? Make sure the machine and all of its accessories have a home for when you are not using the device. In addition, ensure that you are able to comfortably move the machine within your car with minimal effort for a more convenient and less stressful cleaning day.
As with any new machine, it is always best to read the instructions carefully and thoroughly, particularly when it comes to devices that involve anything that could be harmful to you or someone else, such as steam. Even if you have owned and operated a steam cleaner before, you must remember that not all equipment is the same. The smallest difference between two devices has the potential to cause harm. Reviewing all the instructions and watching any online videos about the cleaner you have purchased can be extremely helpful and prevent unnecessary accidents.
One last thing to remember
Some people do not always have realistic intentions when purchasing new devices such as steam cleaners. It is important to keep in mind that steam cleaners are just like any other machine or tool. There are various grades and models to accommodate a variety of different needs and it is up to you to find the right tool for the job. Thus, consumers need to bear this in mind when choosing their device. Making a purchase based on one specific feature or price alone may not turn out to be exactly what you had hoped or expected. The way to avoid any frustration or disappointment is to do your due diligence about the brands and models you are considering to purchase. Taking the time to do the proper research and to determine exactly what your expectations are will prevent the feeling of buyer’s remorse.
Other Products We Considered
The Steam Cleaner Master editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.