Household steam-cleaning machines are used to clean everything from ovens, floors, carpets, vents, walls, upholstery, blinds, glass, stove tops, shower stalls and bathroom fixtures. Steam can be used to clean cars, boats, campers or just about any solid surface. Steam uses no chemicals but relies on heat to kill bacteria and dislodge particles. The heat of most steamers is sufficient to dissolve grease and oil products and to melt wax. Using a steam cleaner is also easy.
Fill the water tank of the steamer with water. Some steamers are large enough to have their own wheels; others are intended for hand-held use.
Turn on the steamer and allow it to heat up (this is usually quite fast, but different models may have different start-up times).
Place the wand end of the steamer against the object you want to clean. Steamers are particularly good for homeowners with tile floors and counters where the tiles have a textured quality. Texture means an uneven surface and dirt and grime are hidden in the dips and pores of such surfaces. Hot steam drives the dirt out of the pores.
Pick up the grease, wax, dirt or debris, using a built in bonnet-type absorbent cloth attached to the steamer wand. If your steamer doesn't come with a bonnet, use an absorbent cloth and wipe up the mess that the steamer loosens from the object's surface.
Apply steam to upholstery, carpet, hardwood and other surfaces in much the same manner. Have absorbent towels ready to pick up the dirt. Check your fabric labels for dye stability or test-clean in a discreet location of the furniture or rug to make sure you get the results you want.
Remove all loose debris from your floor or countertop before steaming. Using a vacuum will reduce the grit and allow your floors and other surfaces to remain cleaner, longer.
- Remove all loose debris from your floor or countertop before steaming. Using a vacuum will reduce the grit and allow your floors and other surfaces to remain cleaner, longer.
F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.