Sometimes vacuuming just isn’t enough. They will get the surface dirt out of your carpet, but they will not clean it all the way through. In order to have the cleanest carpets possible, try one of the best steam cleaners available on the market.
If you are not familiar with steam cleaners for carpet or are overwhelmed with the number of options out there, never fear. We are here to provide you all the information you need to pick the right steam cleaner machine for your home and family. So, continue reading, and let’s get started talking about steam cleaners.
- What is a steam cleaner?
- Steam cleaner vs. vacuum cleaner
- Different types of steam cleaners
- What to look for in a steam cleaner
- Top 5 Best Steam Cleaner Reviews 2019 - Comparison Table
- How to use my steam cleaner?
- Final Words
What is a steam cleaner?
First of all, you need to know the definition and purpose of a steam cleaner for carpet. These handy machines come in a variety of sizes and models, but they all have one purpose: to clean your carpet or upholstery. And, actually steam cleaners can do more than that, many steam cleaners work on a variety of other surfaces in your home as well.
Steam cleaners use steam to clean your carpet and the rest of your home. However, how this steam varies—see our discussion of the different types of steam cleaners below. What’s great about steam cleaners, no matter which type you choose to use, is that they do not use chemicals to clean the surfaces of your home.
And, unlike carpet cleaners, they do not use water in the cleaning process. This makes them much more portable and reduces the risk of mold or mildew developing. It takes a long time for carpets that have been carpet cleaned to dry completely, and you may have to use fans to speed along the process. But, steam cleaned carpets dry much faster because steam evaporates are a quicker rate than water.
The steam that comes out of steam cleaners for tile is also quite powerful. It will often be able to peel wallpaper off of your walls, or even remove chewing gum. Steam cleaners for grout even help you clean in between the tiles of your home.
Clearly, steam cleaners are versatile machines that can perform a lot of functions in your home. If you are interested in learning even more about steam cleaners for carpet and receiving a list of our top five picks for the top steam cleaners around, then continue reading this article.
Steam cleaner vs. vacuum cleaner
Despite the similarity in their names, steam cleaners and vacuum cleaners are not the same thing. They will both clean your carpet and other types of flooring, but the mechanism with which they perform this task is completely different.
Vacuum cleaners clean by using air suction to pull dirt and debris into dirt collection bins or bags. On the other hand, steam cleaners use steam to loosen dirt and debris from surfaces, but they do not actually remove it. So, when you use a steam cleaner, you will need to go back over the steam cleaned area with a rag to remove all of the loosened dirt.
Some of the other main differences between a vacuum cleaner and a steam cleaner are as follows:
- Vacuum cleaners are not as dangerous as steam cleaners. If you get your skin with the steam, it can cause painful burns. Vacuum cleaners do not carry this risk.
- Steam cleaners for car are much more versatile than vacuum cleaners. They will work on a variety of surfaces, while vacuum cleaners will typically only work on carpet and hard floors—and may upholstery.
- Steam cleaners clean much deeper into carpet and other materials than a vacuum cleaner. However, because steam cleaners are usually smaller than vacuum cleaners or carpet cleaners, you should only use them for spot cleaning on larger surfaces like carpets.
- In general, steam cleaners are less expensive than vacuum cleaners. And, they are much less expensive than carpet cleaners. This difference in price does not extend to professional carpet steam cleaners, which tend to be much more expensive than regular consumer models.
Different types of steam cleaners
There are two main types of steam cleaners: cool steam and dry steam. The cool steam carpet cleaners do still use steam to clean the surfaces of your home. However, they make their steam without boiling water. Cool steam cleaners for grout are recommended if you have children, or if you are worried about getting burned from the machine. Because the steam is cool, it is not as dangerous to use this type of steam cleaner for cars as it is the dry steam cleaners.
Dry steam cleaners are the more traditional type of steam cleaner for carpets. These products make their steam by boiling water. There is not as much water in the steam from these products are there is in the cool steam cleaner. But, dry steam cleaners are the dangerous type of steam cleaners. We do not recommend these products for homes with young children.
Steam cleaners for carpet can also come in two different sizes: upright or handheld. Handheld steamers for cleaning fit into your hand without any trouble. They are not heavy. Also, they are super portable. For a handheld steamer for cleaning, all you have to do is keep water in the tank and you are ready to go. Just know that the water tank will be much smaller than those on the larger upright steam cleaners.
Upright steam cleaners look very similar to upright vacuum cleaners. These products are much less portable. However, because they are bigger, they can steam clean more area in a single sitting. Also, upright steam cleaners for cars will run longer on a single tank of water, where you will have to put more water in a handheld steamer for cleaning often.
What to look for in a steam cleaner
If you are ready to invest in a great steam cleaner, then you need to know what to look for in the top products. Your preferences for the following factors will be completely personal. But, you will need to keep all of these features in mind as you decide on the type of steam cleaner for carpet you want to purchase.
Like vacuums, steam cleaner’s handheld, and upright steam cleaners come with different amounts of accessories. Some of the most professional carpet steam cleaners or steam cleaners for cars come with a large number of accessories. But, if you are getting an entry-level steam cleaner, if may only have one or two accessory options.
The most common accessories are different types of nozzles and wants. These could be in the form of steam jets, mops, squeegees, brushes, and nozzles. The top tier steam cleaners for carpet also include a measuring cup and microfiber pads or towels. You may also find products that include carrying case or storage options for all of the accessories.
The number of accessories you need with your steam cleaner for grout will vary based on how you plan on using the product. If you will only be using it in very specific situations, like to clean up spills or clean upholstery, then you probably only need one or two accessories with your purchase. Yet, if you plan on using the steam cleaner as a multi-purpose machine, then many accessories will likely be the best.
Because the size of steam cleaners for carpets varies greatly, so will the size of the water tank. Water tank size is important. The larger the water tank, the more cleaning power you have without have to refill.
Also, the larger steam cleaners tend to be more powerful. Therefore, if you purchase a steam cleaner for cars with a larger water tank, it will likely be bigger overall and more powerful than a product with a smaller water tank.
One thing to keep in mind is that the larger steam cleaners are not going to be very portable. These will be large machines, that will likely not be able to be used outside of your home. If you need an extremely portable steam cleaner, then you should try a steam cleaner handheld and just prepare for the smaller water tank.
Steam cleaners have a tank body and use a hose with a cleaning head to do the cleaning of your home’s surfaces. The length of the product’s hose will vary. Some steam cleaners will even come with hose extensions to help you reach the hard to get to areas.
You should consider where you plan on using the steam cleaner for carpets. If you will exclusively be using it on the floor or lower areas of your home, then you only need a hose that is a good length for you to handle. However, if you will need the steam cleaner for wall or window cleaning, then you may want to consider a product with a long hose—or at least a product that comes with hose extensions.
Power cord length
There are not really any cordless steam cleaner for tile options available at the moment. So, you will need to plug in the steam cleaner to a wall outlet. If you have a larger home, or if you will need to move the steam cleaner around a lot, you should look for a product with a long power cord.
Weight is another very important consideration for any appliance that you push. You will need to be able to move the machine easily around your home. Also, if you have a house with multiple floors, you will want to purchase a product that you can carry up and down the stairs.
It is important to consider the strength of everyone who will be using the steam cleaner. If you want your children to be able to clean up messes, then you need to find a product that they can easily handle. It doesn’t do you any good to purchase a steam cleaner that only you can use.
In general, handheld steamers for cleaning will be lighter than upright steam cleaners. Handheld steamers for cleaning are designed to be carried, so are built to be lightweight. On the other hand, upright steam cleaners are more powerful, and will therefore be heavier.
As with any appliance, the final consideration you need to address before you purchase a steam cleaner for carpet is your budget. We mentioned above that steam cleaners tend to be more affordable than vacuums. This is true. However, you will still need to look for a product that you can afford.
While most steam cleaners fall in the $100-$200 range, you can find professional carpet steam cleaners that go for much more. We recommend writing down your budget and looking for a product that falls into the correct range and will give you the most for your money.
Top 5 Best Steam Cleaner Reviews 2019 - Comparison Table
Power cord length
#1 Editor’s Choice
Steam jet nozzle, Two Extension wands, Mop head, Two Microfiber pads, Water funnel, Measuring cup, Squeegee, Triangle Brush, Five Nylon utility brushes, Brass utility brush, Scrub pad
Tough stain brush tool, Trial sized formulas
Measuring cup, Funnel, Ironing brush cloth, Bent nozzle, Nylon brush, Window squeegee, Straight nozzle, Ironing brush, Extension hose
Wallpaper steamer, Assorted brushes, Jet nozzle, Funnel, Extension tubes, Window/tile squeegee, Large cleaning tool and towel
Rectangular floor tool, Three Microfiber pads, Window tool, Two Extension tubes, Lance, Microfiber cloth, Triangular tool, Triangular tool microfiber bonnet, Five nylon brushes, Brass brush, Addfresh fragrance disc
#1 McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Cleaner
McCulloch’s MC1275 Heavy-Duty Cleaner uses pressurized steam to create some heavy duty cleaning in your home, car, and garage. McCulloch believes in their product so much that they back it with a two year hassle-free warranty.
Like all steam cleaners for carpets, the MC1275 does not use harsh chemicals to clean your home. Instead, it will naturally clean tile, grout, granite, sealed wood, laminate, appliances, grills, cars, and, of course, all fabric or upholstery. And, you can’t go wrong with their eighteen included accessories, 15.7 foot power cord, nine foot hose, and 48-oz. water tank. This is as close as you can get to a professional carpet steam cleaner for the money.
#2 Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B
Bissell is a huge name in the vacuum industry, so it makes sense that they would know how to make a wonderful steam cleaner. The Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner, 1400B is also called the Littlegreen. This portable steam cleaner handheld is idea for spot cleaning.
It does not come with a lot of accessories. And, it has a fairly small water tank. But, for portability and flexibility, it cannot be beat. Plus, Bissell includes trial sizes of their carpet cleaner solutions with this product, so you can experience the Bissell cleaning difference. For a product that combines steam and carpet cleaning, you can’t beat the Bissell 1400B.
#3 PurSteam World’s Best Steamers
PurSteam World’s Best Steamers are called that for a reason. This is one of the best known handheld steamers for cleaning available. It comes with nine accessories, includes heavy-duty attachments. Even though it is little, this steam cleaner will get jobs done of any size of mess level.Plus, the PurSteam World’s Best Steamer heats up in only three or four minutes. This is a dry steam machine, so be careful when using it as the steam will be extremely hot. However, the lightweight and portable nature of this steam cleaner still make it one of the top performers on this list.
#4 Wagner Spraytech 0282014 815 Steam Cleaner
Wagner Spraytech has made a very cool looking steam cleaner with their 0282014 815 Steam Cleaner. This product is yellow and black and looks very like a canister vacuum. And, in fact, you can pull the 0282014 815 Steam Cleaner around on the floor as you would a canister vacuum.
Like the PurSteam World’s Best Steamer above, the 0282014 815 Steam Cleaner is a dry steam machine. It will heat up to 212-degrees when cleaning. This produces a lot of cleaning power, but it also makes extremely hot steam that you have to be careful about when using the product.
#5 Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
Finally, we have the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner. For the most unusual looking steam cleaner for cars, you will want to try this product. Its body is a perfect square. But, that unusual shape gives you much more cleaning time per tank—fifty minutes in fact.
Also, Dupray offers a two year warranty on their product, so your purchase will be protected. There are not that many accessories included with this steam cleaner for carpets, but the Neat Steam Cleaner still does its job well.
How to use my steam cleaner?
How you use your steam cleaner will depend on what type of steam cleaner you’ve purchased. The first step for all products is to put water in the water tank. And, if applicable, you will also need to put carpet cleaner solution in the correct location on the machine as well.
There are some more steps that are similar between handheld and upright steam cleaners. We’ve listed them below.
- Always use shoes when using your steam cleaner. You don’t want to get the steam—especially the steam from the hot steam products—on your bare feet. Also, wearing goggles and clothes covering is a good idea for safety.
- Read your manual and ensure that you only use your steam cleaner for what it is designed to do.
- Once the water tank is filled, you are ready to attach any accessories you need and plug in the machine.
- Make sure to keep the rest of the accessories in an accessible location so that you can easily change them if you need to clean in a different location.
- Begin cleaning. You should only use the steam cleaner for small, spot cleaning on carpets. Leave the cleaning of an entire carpet to the carpet cleaners.
- As you are cleaning, only point the nozzle at the spot that needs to be cleaned. Dry steam cleaners produce very hot steam, which can cause burns or kill plants. So, a good rule of thumb is to never point the cleaning hose at somewhere you wouldn’t want to get steam on it.
- Once you are done cleaning up the area, make sure to wipe it down with a clean rag or towel. This will remove the dirt that the steam cleaner has dredged up from the carpet. And, then unplug the machine and put it back in its storage location. It is always better to store the steam cleaner for carpet with all of its accessories in its own location. That way nothing gets lost and you don’t have to look for it every time you need to clean something.
If your home is prone to spills or stains, or if you have old furniture and upholstery that needs cleaning, then you need the best steam cleaner you can find. These handy appliances are ideal for spot cleaning and cleaning up specific areas in your home. They will not leave chemicals or huge wet spots like carpet cleaners and they are more effective at cleaning some messes than vacuums.
Because they are such a versatile cleaning tool, every home should have a steam cleaner for carpet as part of their appliance arsenal. You will be amazed at how clean you can keep your home with these little machines. Try a steam cleaner today. You won’t be sorry.