Where Does the Dirt Go When You Steam Clean? A Comprehensive Guide

When vacuuming your furniture or floors doesn’t seem to get them looking spick and span, it might be time to rethink your cleaning strategy.

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

It’s worth keeping in mind that the dirt doesn’t go anywhere. It remains in the area once it’s been disintegrated by your steam cleaner. With that in mind, you have to clean up the loosened grime once you’ve steam cleaned the area. To capture the loose grime and dirt, use a steam cleaner with a microfiber cloth absorption pad or mop attachment. As you do so, allow the high-heat moisture to dry up.

However, without an absorption pad, you’ll need to use a microfiber cloth to wipe the excess moisture. Some steam cleaner manufacturers suggest wiping the surface before it dries. In the end, you have free rein to vacuum the surface after using a steam mop. It’s particularly suited for carpets and other layered surfaces.

Enter: A vapor steam cleaner.

By solely relying on heat and water with no harsh chemicals, this handy tool can clean various types of surfaces, leaving them spotless.

This begs the question: Where odes the dirt go when you steam clean?

In a nutshell, the dirt doesn’t “go anywhere.” Instead, it’s broken down by the heat from the water vapor but remains in the machine. To get rid of loosened grime and dirt, you’ll need to vacuum it, use a steam mop, or wet cloth. Moreover, the ability of a steam cleaner to leave surfaces spotless revolves around heat. In this guide, we’ll explore more about what happens to the dirt when you steam clean.

How Does a Steam Cleaner Work?

Most people believe that a steam cleaner “sucks up” dirt, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Steam cleaning uses heat from the water vapor to disintegrate the grime and dirt that doesn’t go anywhere. Therefore, a steam cleaner depends on the amount of heat it can produce as a result of hot water extraction.

A steam cleaner operates at a high temperature, which means you’ll need to consider different factors in this regard. With less than a gallon of water, a vapor steam cleaner can generate low moisture vapor that heats the surface on which it comes in contact. Coupled with mild agitation, the heat from the vapor disintegrates the grime and dirt. Furthermore, steam cleaning kills harmful bacteria, allergens, dust mites, mildew, staph and mold.

It might make you believe that the heat it generates kills the bacteria but that’s not the case. Instead, a steam cleaner that produces low moisture vapor won’t effectively kill these germs and bacteria due to insufficient heat. Likewise, it won’t emulsify grease or oil. Given that a small quantity of water is used, a steam cleaner doesn’t leave a mess. Additionally, a wealth of portable steam cleaners operates relatively silent. That ushers in the flexibility and convenience to steam clean your home as you deem fit without worrying about disturbing the members of your household.

Popular Uses of Steam Cleaners

A steam cleaner is the epitome of versatility as it comes in handy for a boatload of cleaning purposes. While most people rely on a steam cleaner to sanitize their floors, here are other uses.

Clean Tile Grout

You can steam clean the grout between the tiles that hold them in their position. The grout usually becomes filthy after a while. With a steam cleaner, you can blast away dirt, gunk, and stains in a jiffy.

Wipe Ceiling Fans

Let’s face it. Cleaning ceiling fans is no easy feat, particularly if you have a phobia of heights. Fortunately, most steam cleaners come with a long wand or handle. That allows you to use the proper attachment like a diamond brush. Once you attach a clean microfiber cloth to the brush and slowly glide the cleaner across the blades of your fan, you’re good to go.

Clean Light Switches and Door Knobs

A steam cleaner operates at a high temperature that ranges from 170°F to 200°F, making them effective at sanitizing neglected surfaces such as your doorknobs and light switches. With this handy machine, you can get the job done in minutes.

All you have to do is connect a small tool that can function on non-flat surfaces and in small spaces. However, you’ll need to use low moisture when you’re cleaning light switches to prevent electrocution.

Clean Grills

Backyard grilling with friends and family when summer rolls around is a fun outdoor activity. However, the daunting part comes around when it’s time to clean the grill after the party. Typically, you might have to rely on chemicals to get the job done. However, if you have a steam cleaner, you can use a small brush attachment. If you’re attempting to clean old gunk, a BBQ grill cleaner coupled with your steam cleaner will work like a charm.

Clean an Oven

Your steam cleaner can effectively steam clean your oven. Just like your grill, the oven has stuck and old gunk as well. Without using harsh chemicals, you can permanently get rid of the muck. As a result, you’ll have improved indoor air quality. The brush attachment will also be useful for this purpose.

Disinfect Pet Cages

With a steam cleaner, you can conveniently sanitize pet cages without relying on harmful chemicals. Your steam cleaner can promptly disinfect the area. Additionally, a small attachment for the wires coupled with a bigger brush to steam clean the base can come in handy.

Spruce up Your Outdoor Furniture

Your outdoor furniture has the most exposure to the elements, dirt, debris and animal excretions. Your upholstery steam cleaner can be a lifesaver in effectively getting the fabric and cushions spick and span. It comes with a jet nozzle to blast the dirt. For detailing, we recommend using a smaller brush.

Eliminate Fridge Gunk

You can also use a steam cleaner to disinfect and clean your fridge and get rid of odors. It can kill germs and keep your food and beverages free of bacteria. It will be highly effective if you frequently deal with spillages. A small round brush will help you reach the otherwise inaccessible corners and crevices. Opt for the bigger attachment for the base and sides of your fridge.

Clean your Baseboard

Typically, baseboards don’t get the attention they need. If you’re using a steam cleaner for your floors, a small nylon brush will care for your baseboard as you can glide it over. Besides stain removal, steam cleaning will get rid of grime from baseboards.

Sanitize your Toilets

Cleaning your toilet frequently entails back-breaking elbow grease using bleach and other harsh chemicals. The fumes that these powerful cleaning solutions emit make you gasp out of the bathroom. However, you can use your steam cleaner to disinfect your toilet and those difficult-to-reach places. Use the small jet nozzle to get the job done.

Where Does the Dirt Go When You Steam Clean
Source: Pexels

Things to Keep in Mind When Using a Steam Cleaner

  • Ensure you use your unit only on surfaces that are compatible with high-heat moisture.
  • Steer clear of temperature variations that can break glass or porcelain.
  • Tread carefully when using your steam cleaner on light switches to prevent the risk of electrocution.
  • Turn off your freezer, fridge, and other appliances before you use your steam cleaner on them.
  • Avoid steaming porous surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Let’s delve into the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on steam cleaning.

1. Will a steam cleaner leave surfaces wet?

A dry vapor steam cleaner will hardly leave a damp residue. That’s because it uses low-moisture vapor with 5% water. Resultantly, the surface dries quickly with the high heat of a dry vapor steam cleaner to leave it dry.

2. Does steam cleaning get rid of stains?

Yes! Steam cleaning effectively lifts stains and removes grease, grime and dirt. It also disinfects surfaces to eradicate bacteria and germs. A steam cleaner can also handle most allergens and pathogens.

3. Should you use vinegar in a steam cleaner?

Vinegar is a highly effective cleaning agent and can come in handy in steam cleaning your hardwood, linoleum and tile floors. It works best with a steam mop whereby it enhances the cleaning power while killing bacteria and germs.

Bottom Line

A steam cleaner is a highly effective and versatile appliance that can be used on various surfaces around your home. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the dirt doesn’t go anywhere after you steam clean an area which is why we recommend vacuuming the area afterward. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you can wipe the area.

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