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Are Steam Cleaners Worthwhile?



If you have ever browsed through late night TV programming, you will no doubt have stumbled upon one of those shopping channel adverts for steam cleaning devices, which would most likely be slotted in amongst all of the promotions for fitness equipment, digital cameras and bling-encrusted watches that would make even Del Boy wary;

Should you believe the hype?

Normally, steam cleaner adverts are quite well put together: much like the door-to-door vacuum cleaning demonstrations of old, they attempt to sell you the equipment by showing you how effectively the products can wipe the dirt out: but is this all just camera trickery, or are steam cleaners a useful addition to your cleaning arsenal?

As with all advertising, the depictions of steam cleaning on-screen may be edited cleverly to make the tasks appear effortless, however, bodies such as the ASA frequently regulate TV advertising to ensure that any claims which are deemed misleading can be addressed; so, whilst advertisers do their job to make you part with your money, they normally cannot get away with making any totally bogus statements or show you digitally enhanced cleaning footage which looks like it has been processed at Industrial Light and Magic;

A myriad of choices

The problem with this type of product is that there are so many models out there with varying specifications: factor in the wide range of surfaces and types of dirt that require cleaning in the average household and you may start to realize that a single unit may not be the answer to all of your cleaning problems;

In order to help you to decide whether or not a steam cleaner would be a useful purchase, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages that come with such a system:


  • Steam cleaning reduces the need to use harsh chemicals in the home.
  • This method of cleaning can help to reduce the spread of germs and mold in areas like your bathroom and kitchen.
  • Steam wands can minimize the amount of scrubbing required for challenging or hard-to-reach surfaces, such as grout lines, taps, toilets, and an array of fixtures and fittings.
  • Steam vapor has been shown to be effective at killing dust mites in bedding.


  • Not all units are created equal: some models will be more effective than others.
  • These gadgets can often be quite costly to purchase, compared with cheap scrubbing brushes and cleaning products.
  • For getting rid of old, stubborn dirt, chemicals can often be more effective than a steam cleaner, which is best at maintaining an already moderately clean home.
  • More compact units can require constant refilling with water and can take some time to heat up to the correct temperature.

If you do decide to take the plunge and purchase a steam cleaner, make sure to look up product reviews online to pick the best model for your needs and to see what other consumers have to say.