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Steam Cleaners - A Beginner's Guide

April 2nd 2024

Steam cleaners have become very popular over the years and for very good reason! Want to learn more? Here is all you need to know about steam cleaners & why you might want to invest in one.

What is a Steam Cleaner?

A steam cleaner is a piece of equipment that uses - you guessed it - steam to deep clean a number of stains and surfaces around your home. It can be used to remove dirt, grease, soap, limescale around your living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen & more. You'll be able to use a steam cleaner on materials such as tiles, grout, carpet and other areas.

What Are The Benefits of Having a Steam Cleaner?

Having a steam cleaner has many benefits!

  • Quick heating time - You won't have to wait ages for the water in the steam cleaner to heat up. Steam cleaners take minutes to warm up so you can get your floors gleaming in no time.
  • Fast drying time - We all know the golden rule for when you've finished mopping the floor, leave it to dry before you walk over it again! With a steam cleaner, you won't have to worry about that as it has a fast drying time so your floors will be walkable again in no time. With carpets, however, you will need to wait a little bit longer.
  • Environmentally friendly - With steam cleaners, you won't have to waste money buying toxic cleaning products. All you'll need to do is add water to the tank and that's it! The steam from the water will be enough to remove stubborn stains & deep clean your surfaces and materials.

How to Use a Steam Cleaner

Using a steam cleaner is as easy as using any household cleaning equipment. Just follow these steps and you'll become a pro in no time.

  • Set up the equipment - Before you get started, make sure you refer to the manufacturers guide so you can ensure you set up the steam cleaner correctly. Depending on what surface or material you'll be cleaning, you'll need to add the right attachment for the specific cleaning job. Next, you'll need to add water to the tank before turning the equipment on. Once turned on, allow a few minutes for the water to heat up.
  • Clean the surface/material - Give the surface or material you're using the steam cleaner on a good wipe down & clean away any dirt or debris on the surface or material.
  • Test before you start - We know you'll want to get stuck in straightaway with the cleaning but before you do, test the steam cleaner on a small patch of your surface or material - preferably at the edge so that if you do damage anything, it won't be so visible. If there's no damage once you've done your patch test, you can then start your steam cleaning.
  • Start cleaning - After you've done your patch test & got the all clear, you can continue cleaning your oven, windows, mattress and more by steaming over small sections slowly. Place the cleaner's attachment over the material/surface and pull it towards you, picking up any stains as you move. Once you've completed the cleaning, give what you've cleaned a wipe down. If you find it isn't completely clean, repeat the steaming process.
  • Let it dry - Now you've got your item or surface all clean, you'll need to give it some time to dry. Depending on the materials, you can wait minutes but with thicker materials such as mattresses and carpets, you may have to wait around 4 hours or more for it to be completely dry.

When using your steam cleaner, be careful to not misplace the nozzle. Aim the attachments on the surface only to avoid any burns & please keep out of reach from children and pets!.

How to Look After Your Steam Cleaner

Just like all equipment, your steam cleaner will need looking after properly. Here are a few tips to keep your steam cleaner at it's best so you can get the most out of it for longer.

  • After use, give your steam cleaner a chance to cool down before safely storing it away in an upright position.
  • Don't leave water in tank. Expel of any water left in the tank to prevent dirt or other build up.
  • If you use tap water for your steam cleaner, over time you might see there is a mineral build up. Switching to distilled water can prevent this build up and keep the tank clean.
  • Before storing the steam cleaner away, give your steam cleaner a wipe down to remove dust & debris. You can also do this step before use if it hasn't been used in a while.
  • After a couple of uses, you'll need to check the steam cleaners filters. Be sure to regularly change the filters & also check the attachments, brushes and nozzles for any damages, replacing them if necessary.


Is steam cleaning really effective? - Yes! Because the steam cleaner works with really high temperatures, it makes those stubborn stains easier to lift so you can clean them away with little effort.

What should I not steam clean? - You cannot steam clean unsealed floors, cardboard, delicate fabrics like silk, porous surfaces such as brick or surfaces with water based paints.

Can I hire a steam cleaner from HSS? - Absolutely! We have a range of steam cleaners available for hire online or in store. Did you know you can also buy equipment from HSS? If you want to invest in a steam cleaner instead of hiring, you can buy a top quality steam cleaner from HSS that come from the popular brand, Karcher. Whether you're hiring or buying, check out our steam cleaner range here.

Get in Touch

For any steam cleaner related questions or queries, get in touch with our live chat experts who are on hand & happy to help or get in touch with your local HSS store.

About the Author

Samina Ahmed

Samina is a member of the E-commerce team. She has plenty of product knowledge & enjoys writing about all things DIY.

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