Had one of these for two days and it's been on the go continually.
The Kärcher (pron. Kercher, with 'ch' as in Scottish 'loch') SC1402 is
second top in this company's UK domestic steam cleaner range. I chose
it chiefly because of the 'reserve tank' feature, which allows
periodic re-watering of the device without having to wait until the
boiler cools down first. Thus, continuous steam is assured.
I also chose the SC1402 because of the Kärcher brand name. All parts
of the unit are well designed and robustly built in the same way as is
a Volkswagen Golf. So, if you love that sort of thing, this cleaner
should immediately delight you.
My first job was defrosting the lower freezer section of the fridge.
Compared to our previous method of performing this tiresome task,
which involved a fan heater and a virtual lake on the kitchen floor,
SC1402 did the job in around a quarter of the time with far less mess.
The steam melted the ice in such a way that it soon lost its grip on
the refrigeration pipework and fell off in blocks, which were easy to
place in a handy basin. Any water left was sucked up with a wet 'n'
dry vac. Brilliant!
Fair chuffed, I changed tools to set about the lino.
SC1402 has an accessory called a 'floor tool', similar to those that
accompany cylinder vacs, but with steam holes along the centre in
between the bristles. This can be used on its own, but they advise
applying one of the tailored Terry cloths designed for the attachment,
an extra five of which were bundled 'free' by my supplier. You fold
one of these cloths lengthways, wrap it over the brush and secure it
with two top-mounted retaining clips.
While SC1402 made a fine job of cleaning the lino, due to the width of
the 'floor tool', it was hard to penetrate the sort of tight recesses
found in most kitchens. So I changed over to 'the hand tool' - a
smaller brush, but one that requires a different type of Terry cloth -
also supplied - with an elasticated top that easily slips over the
attachment. Yet even that was too wide for going between the cooker
and the sink unit. So I had to finish ye olde fashioned way with a
damp mop. The same problem followed in the bathroom, though less so
because there aren't so many recesses.
Otherwise I was impressed with the SC1402's floor cleaning ability. It
got all the dirt off with hardly any of the residual moisture that
invariably remains after mopping. Both floors dried much quicker than
usual. Plus of course - BIG BONUS - I didn't have to use bleach or
I shall end by listing some other steaming tasks and remarking on
SC1402's ability with regard to them.
1. Cleaning the WC = Excellent results - though bleach soaking is
still needed for stubborn stains on the porcelain.
2. Sinks, basins and drains = Will not remove limescale without
vinegar soaking first. Then it's quite easy. Using the 'power nozzle'
SC1402 also managed to unblock the kitchen sink. Amazing!
3. Shower = Brings chromework up lovely and the 'hand tool' - minus
Terry cloth - is great for scrubbing the tray. Meanwhile, using the
power nozzle at close range quickly cleans all the crud away from the
4. Worktops and cooker hobs = The Business! Hand tool with cloth plus
detail brush. Loosens dirt for speedy wiping with damp rag. Sterilises
5. Teddy Bears etc. = Great for freshening them up. They say that
steam kills bed bugs and dust mites. I cannot confirm this. But all
the teds smelled much fresher after steaming - and they seemed to
enjoy it as well, bless em.
6. Duvets, pillows & mattresses = Again, all smelled fresher after
steaming. The same can be said for chairs, cushions and curtains -
especially if, like us, you have a cat/dog. I also understand that
SC1402 does a sterling job on rabbit hutches, birdcages and kennels.
Though again I cannot confirm this.
So - what's the conclusion?
Well, at around £190 SC1402 isn't exactly cheap. There are less
expensive options available from about fifty quid upwards, but none,
as far as I know, that offers the reserve tank facility of the Kärcher
device under discussion. Whereas, if we're sticking to household brand
names, a comparable model to the SC1402 appears to be the Nilfisk-Alto
Steamtec 51H - albeit selling for around £35 more.
I bought SC1402 mainly because of the reserve tank facility, the
well-established Kärcher name and, no less, the favourable price
compared to the nearest competition. In every sense I can honestly say
that my expectations have been met. SC1402 is a joy to use and does
everything it claims on the box. Yet it won't remove all types of
grime well - like the tea stains on our stainless steel sink for
example, which had to scrubbed with a trusty Brillo pad as always.
Nevertheless, in terms of overall cleaning ability, user-friendliness
and downright feel-good factor I cannot recommend SC1402 highly
enough. Now I am raking around for other household items that would
benefit from a damned good steaming. In which regard, if you are a
hard pressed working mum, it seems that SC1402 might be perceived as a
most entertaining 'toy' by those members of the family who, at the
moment, don't help with chores as much as you'd like.
To describe the steam nozzle of SC1402 as akin to some
extra-terrestrial zapper that might be used by The Daleks or The
Cybermen would not be an understatement. Therefore, the implications
of this for 'lightening your load' should be pretty obvious.
Indeed, SC1402 has resurrected the boy in me. Absolutely!