What to Use a Steam Cleaner For

Steam cleaners can be used on several surfaces, to blast away grime and sanitise without the use of chemicals.

This makes them really great tools for use throughout your home. When used correctly, they can kill up to 99.99% of bacteria and germs, as independently tested by Karcher.

They only use water, which means you aren’t using cleaning chemicals which can cause skin reactions and can be harmful to use around children and pets. It also makes for an eco-friendlier alternative.

Steam cleaners are available from Speedy Hire; book online and collect from your local depot. Once you have your hire product, you’ll want to make the most of it, so read on to see what you can (and can’t) clean with a steam cleaner.


Why should I steam clean?

Steam cleaning kills germs, viruses, bacteria, pests, and moulds. It uses hot vapour molecules, and the high heat is more beneficial than regular cleaning with a cloth or mop.

Since steam cleaning only uses water and no cleaning chemicals, it is safe to use around kids, pets, and cooking areas.

Always ensure you wear the right PPE for protection when working with all power tools and cleaning or decorating equipment.

Cover bare skin when using a steam cleaner, and wear eye protection and gloves to protect from any steam vapour released.

Always read and follow the manufacturer's guidelines before operating any equipment.


Common uses for a steam cleaner

Below are just some of the things you can steam clean in your home:

1. Carpets

Our first option is the one which is perhaps the most surprising, but if you aren’t steaming your carpets, then you’re likely allowing bacteria and germs to breed.

Carpets are notoriously tricky to clean, hence why many of us have made the switch to hard flooring. But if you’re in rented accommodation, or simply like the benefits of carpet, it is a job that needs doing.

Carpet cleaners are great for extracting stains and washing fibres, but a steam cleaner actually eliminates bacteria and germs. It can also help kill fleas and their eggs, and any other pests in the carpet.

Just use the appropriate attachment head, often called a carpet glider. The Karcher SG 4-4, available to hire from Speedy online, comes with all of the attachments you’d need.

So, use both a steamer and a carpet cleaner to clean your carpet throughout the year!


Hire the Karcher SG 4-4 today


2. Mattresses

Another notoriously tricky clean, and indeed something many of us may not even think of ever cleaning!

Using a carpet cleaner attachment means your mattress gets wet, and they are hard to dry as there are so many layers, and they are so thick. So, a steamer is a better choice.

Again, pests such as fleas and their eggs will be killed, as will bedbugs and dust mites. Dead skin and dirt will also be banished.

Vacuum it first, and treat any stains with a spot treatment, before steaming.


3. Upholstery

Curtains can be a pain to take up and down regularly to clean. So in between those annual washing machine visits, steam your curtains. This will get rid of dust and other debris which has built up and will also make them smell fresher.

Do the same with rugs which need cleaning, as steam cleaners can extract any surface stains. You may also want to give your sofa a clean, especially if you can’t remove its covers.

Before using a steam cleaner on upholstery, read your manufacturer's instructions to ensure steam can be used on the fabric, and try to do a spot test on an inconspicuous small area.


4. Sealed tiles & hardwood flooring

If you have tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, or hardwood floors in your living space, they can be steam cleaned.

A spray mop can clean these, but they generally have a habit of shifting most of the dirt around. A steam cleaner will actually banish the dirt, removing it, while only using steam and water to do the job.

This means no damage to your floor, and it is safer in food preparation areas or where there may be children and pets.


5. Grout

Use the nozzle attachment on your steam cleaner to clean tile grout. Grout can easily get dirty over time and is hard to clean without scrubbing with bleach and other harsh chemicals.

Many of us probably just resort to going over it with a grout pen to make it look whiter, but this is just trapping the dirt.

A steam cleaner can actually blast away the dirt, as well as using temperatures which mean your tiles and grout are left hygeinically clean. This is what you want in shower and kitchen areas around food.


6. Ovens

Nobody likes cleaning their oven. It is not something we do often, meaning grime and grease can build up.

Steam cleaning your oven will blast away dirt while using no chemicals. You don’t want to be using cleaning agents around a food area, so this is ideal. It can clean all the tricky areas, such as the fan, light, and side elements, as well as the shelves.


7. Shower screen tracks

Shower screens are really hard to keep on top of. All that water, plus having to climb into your shower or bath to clean them, means they can be neglected.

Use an ordinary glass cleaner on the screen, or a window vacuum to remove water after every shower. Then, a steam cleaner can clean the awkward parts around the screen too, such as the seals and hinges. Remove the rubber seal and blast it with steam for cleaning without the need for bleach or soaking it in hot water for hours.


8. Patio door & window tracks

Another neglected part of every home. A brush or hand cloth doesn't do the job well enough, or get into the tricky corners, so use the pressure of a steam cleaner instead.

This will be able to reach into those awkward corners, lifting the dirt and allowing you to move it along the tracks so it can be wiped away. This is a task you only need to do once or twice a year, so perfect if you're hiring a steam cleaner.


What can I NOT Steam clean?

Never use a steam cleaner on unsealed floors as it can cause them to melt, or on laminate flooring as it will cause the boards to swell. Steam cleaning can also melt plastic, so avoid cleaning appliances, kid's toys or similar.

Don’t use it on cold windows as the heat could shatter the glass. In fact, we’d avoid using steam on all glass as it is fragile.

Painted surfaces and anything fragile should also not be cleaned with steam cleaners.




Yes. Speedy Hire, the UK's leading tool hire company, have steam cleaners for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery, steam cleaner hire has never been easier.

Open a Speedy account today online or visit one of our depots to hire.

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