Domestic steam cleaners?

How do they work.... do they just blow steam, or is there also a suction action to removed the dissolved dirt? Is one worth having?
--
Tony Williams.

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On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 08:40:40 +0100, Tony Williams
Steam +a mist of hot water droplets.

No, but some of them can be used with an absorbent pad applicator.

Not really, IMHO
Women like them because you can freshen up fabrics like curtains and carpets, but to my mind they just leave them slightly damp making the colours more contrasty, when they dry out, it's back to square one.
DG
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On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 09:45:49 +0100, Andrew McKay

It well might :-)
I would generally agree that on the small hand held machines that the performance is limited, and probably the temperature.
The larger machines produce steam at over 130 degrees and will certainly remove baked on grease on a hob. More to the point, we tend to use ours most days on the hob which prevents any significant build up in the first place.
I've used ours on the inside of the AGA oven doors (aluminium) of the hotter ovens and this easily cleans off what little deposit is there.
I don't consider that cleaning the range is a pleasurable job at any time, but this is quick and ready to go and does not require the use of caustic or abrasive chemicals.
.andy
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I'll endorse that - perhaps the best use of our Polti 3000 is cleaning grime off the cooker and bathroom.
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David Longley

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David Longley wrote:

I'll second that - steam cleaners are well capable of removing oven crud. Bit too well I find - rest of kitchen/me ended up covered in speckles of said crud. Very handy when my youngest cat was a kitten and we had a period before the adult flea killer could be used. Steam over the carpets/furniture (with care)/cat bedding (but NOT the cat!) every couple of weeks and it killed not only adult fleas, but the eggs, which breaks the cycle rather effectively.
Velvet
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I purchased a Industrial Jiffy Steamer last week from http://www.laundrysupplies.com
We own a small commercial cleaning business and will use it on curtains in catering halls, etc... NOt sure what the "domestic models" cost, but this one was under $250.00 and is made of corrosion proof stainless steel with dual temp guages. You might want to have a look at it.
-P.G.
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Errrm, I had ( past tense) an Earlex steam generator for stripping wallpaper. I came with a set of accessories for steam cleaning and all that was necessary to clean an oven was to direct a jet of steam at the muck and brush in some detergent (Fairy liquid).
I also used it to steam clean a Land Rover chassis and engine. It worked perfectly at shifting encrusted oily deposits.
Then my wife lent it to one of the children and I haven't seen it since.
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On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 08:40:40 +0100, Tony Williams

You can get either steam generation only or combined with a suction action.
Take a look at www.polti.com for information. They make steam only, (Vaporetto) and with suction (Vaporetto Lecoaspira). In effect, the suction option provides a wet/dry cleaner as well.
We have a Vaporetto 3000, and that gets used pretty much daily in various ways. There are a whole range of accessories that come with it, ranging from a simple steam jet to various kinds of brush and accessories that will take various kinds of cloth.
Depending on the application, the general technique is to steam something and wipe with a cloth rather than to convey huge amounts of steam and then water. In that sense, I am not sure how useful the suction function would be, since that would probably require much more wetting of the surfaces.
We find that it does a good and fast job on kitchen surfaces including worktops, tiles and cupboards. It's also very effective for bathrooms, especially the chinaware and tiles and the shower screen. Cleaning windows is another good application.
We also bought the professional iron to go with ours. The quality of ordinary steam irons seems to have dropped markedly over the last few years but this one is a pleasure to use (if ironing ever is a pleasure). The power for the sole plate is fed from the main machine and is a neat solution. Having the steam coming from a separate generator means that the iron does not cool producing it. The volume of steam produced also means less pressing down and the whole procedure is much faster.
Finally, if you take a churn of milk it will make great capuccino for the entire road. Just kidding on that one :-)
This is one of the more expensive machines, and I can't vouch for the more entry level models which may not have the capacity and therefor take longer to use.....
.andy
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We've got a Goblin steamer, it was used loads till the hose blew - I really must get around to getting a new one. It produced a good jet of steam which was used for all sorts of cleaning purposes.
It doesn't have suction but has a fitting for attaching cloths which soak up the muck. We never bothered buying new cloths but used squares of old towels instead. In this mode it worked very well at cleaning the sofa suite which is beginning to look decidedly grubby again.
Matt
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I'll just reply to this last post, but thanks for the other replies and opinions.
We have an asthmatic in the family and I was attracted to the idea of killing moulds and dust mites in hard to reach places.
I think we might buy a little one, just as a taster to try on (say) the shower and around the kitchen. If it looks worth it then we might later go for a serious one.
Thanks,
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It was also the possible avoidance of chemical cleaners, which seem to have become industrial strength these days. We long ago stopped using spray cleaners, especially those spray-on oven cleaners containing caustic. What a stupid thing to be allowed to sell.... something that sprays caustic into an enclosed space.
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Polti do some of the best and seem to be the originals.
The Aspira series seem to be the ones you want - these are both steam cleaners and vacuum using water as a filter to get rid of the mites.
We have the 3000 Lux, which is just the steam cleaner. Note, they are about 100 pounds cheaper in Italy. Over there, Gaggia, who make the best espresso machines (similar technology), are becoming a major competitor to Polti.
--
David Longley

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On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 08:40:40 +0100, Tony Williams wrote:

Just bought a Earlex Steam Cleaner (primarily for stripping wallpaper) but it came in very handy for removing dried emulsion paint* from the carpet! Used the Earlex to steam the paint, and my Numatic George to vacuum up the resulting mess.
A (cheap) winning combination of tools!
*Guess who walked it through the house on their trainers? :)
Steve
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