So, you’ve bought yourself a nice new steam cleaner – now what?
You might have envisioned cleaning just floors and worktops, but you’ve actually brought a goliath workhorse home that’s capable of many deep cleaning jobs.
There are a number of applications for your steam cleaner that you may not have realized, so today we are going to share a few of our favourites just to give you a taste of what that steam cleaner can really do.
What can you clean with a steam cleaner? With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
We’ve compiled 10 steam cleaning hacks for you that will help you to unlock the potential of the deceptively simple-seeming steam cleaner. Some of these applications you might be aware of but a few of them will come as a surprise, and are handy indeed.
1. Steam to Melt the Ice Away
Getting rid of built-up ice out of your freezer is definitely a chore—until now. Hot steam from a steam cleaner can help you to defrost your freezer in record time.
Instead of having to unplug it and wait many hours, open the freezer door and place a plastic bin inside for catching the ice that’s about to start falling quickly. Apply a little steam into your freezer and watch the ice melt away, and the interior compartments look like new again.
2. Disinfecting the Dispenser
While you’re at the freezer you might as well take advantage of your time and disinfect the ice and water dispenser. Your steam cleaner is of great use here, getting that hot steam inside so that you can effectively clean out the mould and mildew that starts building up and after a thorough wiping a little more steam can help to disinfect it, too.
3. Death to Dust Mites – Deep Cleaning Your Mattress
Nobody wants to share a bed with bed bugs and dust mites – they’re just plain nasty. Thankfully, with the power of steam, you can destroy these unwelcome guests, without chemical sprays.
Vacuum the mattress thoroughly first so that you can get all the dirt and debris out of the way and then apply a wide head or an upholstery attachment that will have been included with a good multi purpose steam cleaner.
Give it a good once-over with your steam cleaner and set some fans nearby to dry it up nicely. It should merely be a little damp so it won’t take too long. You can use this method on a memory foam mattress or conventional spring mattress.
4. Get your Grill Ready for the Summer
Cleaning a grill is often a nightmare enough that many of us (though we won’t admit it), often skip the task whenever possible and just hope that the fire keeps everything sterilized. Extra flavour, right? A much more sanitary solution is to pre-treat some of the toughest areas with your favourite BBQ grill cleaner and to pop a brush attachment on your steam cleaner.
Use the cleaner to go over the individual wires in the grill lattice and after that, you can go after the tough bits. Before you know it that grill will be sparkly, ready for the summer, and sans any ‘extra flavours’ that you honestly didn’t want anyway.
5. Clean that Tricky Grout
Those lines in between tiles filled with grout are the perfect place for dirt to cling to, and is notoriously hard to clean, with many scrubbing to exhausting and making little progress beyond loosening up the occasional time. With your steam cleaner, you once again have an edge and grout attachments can be purchased for many cleaner models, allowing you to blast the dirt away between those otherwise difficult lines.
6. Steam Clean Your Extractor
You can use your steam cleaner for a bit of hard-to-reach dusting that your bathroom or kitchen extractor fan sorely needs. This technique means that you don’t need to climb on a shaky ladder for such a small payoff, as all you need to do is attach the wand fitting with a small brush, such as a diamond variety, and cover that brush with some thin cloth.
Kitchen extractor fans can become clogged with creating as they extract cooking gases out of the air, and bathroom extractors can also build up a lot of dirt because steam and dust gather on the blades. Glide your steamer across those fan covers, then remove the cover and clean the blades.
7. Deep Clean and De-wrinkle your Clothing
Irons are so ‘yesterday’s news when you have your trusty steam cleaner. If you don’t have a clothes-specific attachment (and double-check, because many steamers DO) then you can simply apply an upholstery head instead and de-wrinkle your clothes while the heat is disinfecting them.
Just think of it as back-friendly ironing without all the setup fuss. No need to stand hunched over an ironing-board battling with heavily creased clothing, as your steam cleaner can double as a garment steamer – high-five!
8. Disinfect those Toddler Toys
Kids get a lot of mileage out of their toys, and can do a lot of exploring with their mouths – selecting the right cleaners has to be done very carefully. Many cleaners employ chemicals that you don’t want anywhere near your child and this is an area where your steam cleaner can be quite the godsend.
We recommend using distilled water for this, as it’s about as pure as you can get and less of a chemical and mineral worry than tap water but tap is okay in a pinch. Your steam cleaner can get about 99 per cent of the bacteria, just clean slowly and thoroughly and you’ll soon find the job well-done.
9. Sanitize a Pet Cage
Pet cages can be notoriously hard to get properly cleaned. You spray and you scrub but there always seems to be that light scent o’ pet that reminds you that there are massive spots that have been missed. While you can’t always clean as thoroughly as you like, you can change the rules of the game with your steam cleaner.
For cage wire, you can use a smaller brush for heat-sanitizing and for the base of your cage, just go to a larger brush and blast away. The heat will make it a bit aromatic but after you’ve cleaned it and given it a good rinse that cage will smell better than it has in a long time.
10. Steam Cleaner to Remove Wallpaper
You might not know it, but one way to remove wallpaper with a lot less cursing and a lot less effort is by getting yourself a ‘steam pad’ attachment. A steam pad is essentially a flat-plate surface that ensures your steam is evenly distributed over a larger space when applied to a surface. Slowly saturate an area and then try peeling back that wallpaper.
It’s almost like peeling new stickers off from a kid’s sticker set, just get your fingernails barely under to secure a grip, peel, and place (in this case, into the bin!). This little hack will definitely save you from some headaches.
11. Steam Clean a Very Dirty Oven
Probably the most hated appliance to clean in a home is the oven – because it’s a lot of work. The glass door, the grill, baking tray, and interior shell take burnt-on grease to another level. And if you’re lucky enough to own a double oven, then you’re in for double the cleaning.
Forget the harsh oven cleaners and Brillo pads. A steam cleaner with nothing but the power of high-pressure hot water to soften and clean off solidified grease and dirt.
12. Cooker Hobs Cleaning with Steam
Keeping your glass ceramic or induction hob reflective and free of burnt on marks is a daily struggle. The last thing you want to do is scratch the glass or remove important markings with the use of abrasive scrubbing pads. Well, save yourself from a ton of elbow grease and keep your hob in mint condition by using a steam cleaner to gently lift away burnt-on food.
Make sure your hob has cooled before cleaning. Use a detailed nozzle and set the steam cleaner to high heat. Place the nozzle bristles against the mark your want to remove and blast away, rubbing the brush across the loosen and removing the burnt-on food.
Some final words on steam clean versatility
Now that we’ve broken out of the box to unlock your steam cleaner’s full potential the rest is going to be up to you. There are other applications still, just waiting to be discovered, such as deep carpet cleans, baseboard steam-strikes, faux-plant cleaning, or touching up the outdoor furniture before your next BBQ. Just get creative and remember that you’re just working with superheated water here.
No need to add any chemicals, just take advantage of that purified, heated water and be sure to try out the different head attachments. Odds are, if you can reach it, your steam cleaner can get it clean!