How To Use A Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners are becoming ever more popular due to their efficacy in not only cleaning but also sanitising a wide variety of different surfaces. From refreshing carpets to removing grease from countertops, the steam cleaner has a multitude of uses when used correctly. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take the make the most of your steam cleaner in different situations.

Steam Cleaning Industrial Carpets

Steam cleaners are fantastic at removing set-in carpet dirt that a vacuum cleaner simply can’t touch, but before tackling these stains you need to undertake some preparatory work first.

  • Move all of your furniture out of reach of the steam cleaner, especially wooden pieces, and give the carpet a thorough vacuuming to remove debris.


  • Next, fill your steam cleaner with the recommended water and cleaning solution ratio and allow the heat and pressure to build. Never be tempted to add more, as excessive cleaning solution can damage both the carpet and your cleaner. If you’ve gone for steam cleaner hire, this can be an extremely expensive mistake indeed.


  • Starting in the farthest corner, work in clean straight lines with the steam cleaner, trying not to step over washed carpet too much.


  • Once you have finished check the carpet for a build-up of excess cleaning product and repeat the process with plain water if necessary. Leave the carpet to dry and open all windows to allow any fumes to escape.


Steam Cleaning Tiles

Many steam cleaners – particularly Kärcher steam cleaners – come with a variety of attachments and nozzles specifically designed to help you clean different surfaces.


  • If you have large amounts of grease deposits on your tiling then spiral scourers and microfiber cloths should be attached to your steamer before beginning.


  • Then simply take as many passes as required to remove any dirt, mildew and grime on your tiles, taking care to replace the attachments if they become sodden with soiling.


  • If your steam cleaner doesn’t come with a scourer or microfiber attachment then steam cleaning your tiles may only loosen the dirt with the initial pass. A second pass will then be required with a cloth to mop up the liquefied residue which has been lifted from your tiling by the steam cleaner.


  • Grouting should be targeted specifically with a detail nozzle, or at very least the most precise setting your team cleaner allows. Kärcher steam cleaners come with a small brush to allow for single pass cleaning, but again if your cleaner does not then you will need to go over the grouting with a cloth to rub it dry.


  • If your grouting is made of silicone you should only pass it briefly to avoid damage.


Sanitising Surfaces


  • Whether your surface is hard or soft, porous or non-porous, the first thing you need to decide is does this area need to be sanitised or disinfected.


  • To disinfect is to attempt the total eradication of germs and bacteria and often requires chemical product, whereas sanitisation simply reduces them to non-harmful levels. Steam cleaners which use dry steam – a super-heated steam containing little water content – often provide the best method of sanitisation.


  • Any areas of untreated wood or concrete should be masked or avoided entirely, and your initial task should be to remove any debris from your hard surface. Whether this is a worktop or a kitchen floor, sanitising with dry steam works best when loose materials have been removed.


  • You should also spot test your steam cleaner before beginning, especially on laminate floors, as the high temperatures used can cause poorly lain laminate to peel.


  • Once you have begun simply cover each area of the floor or counter you are attempting to sanitise, taking care never to linger in one particular area – especially on laminate flooring and with silicone or plastic fittings.


  • For difficult areas such as hob fittings or edges, use detail nozzles followed by a sanitised cloth to wipe over once finished.


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