How Does A Steam Cleaner Work?

If you don’t know how a steam cleaner works, then this is the article for you. Whether you are looking into a handheld steam cleaner, a multi-purpose canister steam cleaner, or even just a simple steam mop, we will show you how the best steam cleaners out there operate and do what they do! In this article we will go over several things, from how steamers are filled, how much power is required, heat up times, and much more. By the end of this post we promise you will be a step ahead when it comes to knowing what to look for in a steam cleaner.

How Does A Steam Cleaner Work?How Does A Steam Cleaner Work?

You probably know this by now (we hope) that steam is created by boiling water until it reaches around 200° Fahrenheit. The water then becomes steam and builds up within the steam cleaners boil so it becomes a pressurized steam. This is why you will here many steam cleaners boasting various pressures of steam. Typically the lower end units will not produce as much pressure as some very expensive units. The good thing about this is that the pressure from the steam doesn’t account for how much it will clean. What really matters is that your steam cleaner just produces steam so don’t worry  about pressure when it comes to these tools.

How Do You Use A Steam Cleaner?Filling A McCulloch MC-1275 Steam Cleaner

Although you should always refer to your steam cleaners manual, the operation of them is fairly simple. Before you ever fill your steam cleaner you should always make sure that unit is turned off and not plugged in to any electrical outlet. Typically a clean and filtered water or distilled water is used when filling up your steam cleaner. Depending on how your steam cleaner is manufactured, there may be different ways to fill it. Most products typically include a funnel and measuring cup in order for you to properly fill the unit.  Once the tank has been filled to its capacity, you will have to be sure that the boiler is sealed very tight in order not to lose any pressure or risk water boiling out. Once the unit is sealed you can plug it in to an outlet and turn on the device.

After your steam cleaner is turned on, all you have to do is wait for the boiler to do its work and prepare the steam. This does vary from product to product as some may take up to 12 minutes and others as little as 2 minutes. In general, the smaller the device is, the less time it will take to boil.

Steam is transferred from the boiler through a hose which you will probably have a cleaning tool attached to. These cleaning tools can vary from nylon scrub brushes, brass brushes, triangle brushes, steam mops, and the list goes on. The great thing about steam cleaners is that once your water is boiled and pressurized, it will constantly be producing more steam for you to use. You won’t have to worry about waiting for more steam to be created. Once you get it going that’s it until your boiler exhausts all the water. After you have run out of steam you will most likely need to wait 20-30 minutes before you fill your steam cleaner again. Be sure to always release any remaining steam through the nozzle before you open the boiler again. Remember that the steam is over 200° Fahrenheit so you do not want to be burned!

What Can You Steam Clean?

We really do think the options are limitless when it comes to all the things you can steam clean. The real question we have is what can’t you steam clean? Other then worries of excessive steam causing moisture and then creating mold or mildew buildup (this would take a lot of steam) we can’t really think of anything you can’t steam clean. However, enjoy these few ideas below. If you are looking for some live steam cleaning demonstrations, head over to our YouTube channel and watch us steam clean all sorts of things.

Steam Cleaning Ideas

  • Windows Steam literally melts gunk and grime off windows. The best window cleaner ever hands down, is steam.
  • Bathroom – A lot of people tend to go for bleach when cleaning a bathroom. However, next time you clean your bathroom, try a steam cleaner! Disinfect your toilet bowls and get to the hard to reach areas with the special attachments included with most devices.
  • Clothing – If you’ve got some stinky clothes that you just need to freshen up a bit, grab the steamer. They are not only great for deodorizing clothes but you can literally steam out wrinkles in seconds. Forget ironing your clothes every morning, all you need is a bit of steam and your clothes will be completely wrinkle and odor free.
  • Auto Detailing – Are you an auto-enthusiast? If you are then you probably already own a steam cleaner, but if not you need to get on the wagon. Forget the acid-wheel cleaners, harsh degreasers, and ammonia-filled window cleaners. You can literally detail every bit of your car with steam. If you are looking to steam clean your engine but don’t want to pay those detailers who you think may have scratched your car the last time you took it to them, then getting one of these amazing products may be for you. Clean every speck of your car with steam, from the door jambs to your brand new leather or vinyl seats. If you have a lingering odor in your car from sold old spilled milk, hit the area with steam and wipe it up with an old towel and voila! You now have a sparkling clean, odorless vehicle.

Here’s another idea from our YouTube Channel. How To Steam Clean Your Kitchen Tile Grout.


So now that we’ve covered a bit on what kinds of things you can steam clean, we want to know what you think! Please leave a comment below and let us know what kind of steam cleaning ideas you have. Be sure to always check back for new posts and updates on what we’re up to. We are going to be posting a ton of videos and focus on really showing what the power of steam can do. Stay tuned!

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