All steam cleaners are basically designed to do the same job, that is they are designed to lift dirt and grime while sanitising, without th need for chemicals. However, they can still vastly vary from one another. So what differences should you look out for?
The pressure generated within the boiler directly effects the performance of your steam cleaner. The higher the pressure the more powerful the cleaner. A higher bar pressure creates hotter steam which more effectively dislodges dirt and grime and kills bacteria and mould. For faster, better cleaning choose a model with at least 3.5 bar and preferably 4 bar pressure or more.
A mini-steamer or a steam-mop with a capacity of one or two cups will need to make several trips to the tap before it can clean an average family home. Full-size steam cleaners have a boiler with a capacity greater than 1.5 litres and will provide at least 1-1.5 hours of uninterrupted steam: That is enough to clean the floors, bathroom and kitchen surfaces in an average home. Larger homes or businesses should consider a 3 or 4 litre model, or one with automatic refilling and a reservoir tank.
A good steam cleaner comes equipped with a range of practical accessories to clean your whole home including small, hard-to-get-at crevices. Ensure the model you choose has tools specifically designed to clean floors, walls, ceilings, glass, sinks, bathroom and kitchen. Some brush-nozzles will wear out over time, check that replacements are readily available and reasonably priced.
Some models offer an optional professional iron attachment. This type of iron will give you high performance steam ironing, is up to 6 times more powerful than a domestic iron and can cut your ironing time in half. Use a professional steam iron just once and you will never want to use your old one again.
While steam cleaners will loosen dirt and grease, a cloth is generally needed to collect the mess. However, with the Steam Vacuum you collect while you steam, not only what the steam has dislodged but the deep down dirt that may otherwise have settled in the pores and crevices of the area you are cleaning. The result: An Even Better Clean
It is important to check the safety features of the appliance that you are purchasing.
Just as important is the need to check that the appliances has Australian Standards Approval. If you purchase an appliance from overseas that does not have Australian Standards Approval and you have a problem with it, not only is it difficult to get service, but if it damages your home you might not be covered by your insurance policy.
A pressure relief valve or safety filler cap, a thermo dry boiler switch with water out light or signal, and a thermo back-up switch (should all else fail) are all important safety features.
In addition, adjustable steam volume allows you to confidently clean delicate surfaces and a drain located at the bottom of the steam cleaner makes for easy cleaning of the boiler.