The functions of modern vacuum cleaners have long gone beyond dry dusting. With the help of devices equipped with an aqua system or a steam generator, you can wash floors, clean carpets and textiles with high quality, and collect spilled liquid. Models of vacuum cleaners can vary significantly in price, depending on the set of functions.
Steam cleaner device
The main distinguishing feature of vacuum cleaners with a steam cleaner is the presence of a container for preparing steam. It can be made of steel or a special aluminum alloy. Appliances with steel boilers are cheaper. But steel heats up rather slowly and quickly overgrows with a scale from the inside. More expensive vacuum cleaners with aluminum boilers heat up much faster. And their most important advantage is that scale practically does not stick to smooth aluminum walls.
One of the main criteria for choosing a vacuum cleaner with a steam cleaner is the volume of the water tank. Household models, as a rule, can hold from 0.4 to 2 liters. Vacuum cleaners with a small volume of the boiler are light and maneuverable, they heat up quickly. But the filled water is enough for 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted operation. Devices with a tank volume of 2 liters can work without interruption for up to 50 minutes and are ideal for general cleaning.
Efficient cleaning of different surfaces and materials is ensured by interchangeable nozzles. Usually, three varieties are included in the standard package: the main brush, the nozzle for upholstered furniture and the slotted one. Other cleaning elements can be purchased, depending on the needs.
Types of nozzles and their application
|Surface type||Nozzle type||Application features|
|Ceramic and stone tile floors||Floor brush||Heavily soiled surfaces with fatty deposits will need to be treated several times|
|Mirrors, glass||Window cleaner||Cleans all glass surfaces quickly and without streaks.|
|Natural wood and laminate floors||Napkin for the floor||The napkin is attached to the main nozzle. Terry cloth gently cleans wood and laminate floors, makes steam effect is softer.|
|Cabinet furniture||Terry cloth||When cleaning lacquered products, do not work for a long time ferry to the same place|
|Textile, clothing||Nozzle for textiles||Steam treatment refreshes and smoothes curtains, clothes and other textiles, eliminates unpleasant odors absorbed into the fabric|
Vacuum cleaner steam cleaner can be used to care for indoor plants. For this, a special spray gun is used. Steaming moistens the leaves and the air around the plants, which benefits all indoor plants. Spray steam at a distance of at least 20 cm from the plants. Hot steam can disinfect the soil for indoor flowers or seedlings.
Preparing the vacuum cleaner for work
In order for the steam generator to come into working condition, you will have to wait a few minutes until the water boils. Heating is produced by a spiral, which is built into the walls of a metal container. The heating time depends not only on the volume of the tank but also on the power of the device. The heater power in household vacuum cleaners ranges from 1100 to 2300 W, and the heating time is from 3 to 10 minutes. The exact parameters for each model are indicated in the technical specifications of the device. You can reduce the time required to heat water by pouring already heated liquid into the tank. This will be relevant for large volumes of work (for example, during general cleaning) when you have to add water to the steam generator several times. It is not recommended to pour more liquid into the tank than the maximum volume specified in the technical specifications of the vacuum cleaner. If the container is filled to the brim, the steam output will be too wet, which will result in excessive wetting of furniture upholstery, carpets or other objects to be cleaned.
What objects can be cleaned with steam
A steam cleaner with a vacuum cleaner function can be used for most materials and surfaces in the apartment. But there are also certain limitations.
- Parquet and wooden products treated with oil wax. Such surfaces should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner. Hot steam will dissolve the wax, spots of uneven color will appear on the surface of the product.
- Genuine leather, velor, silk fabrics. Use steam to clean these materials with great care. Exposure to moisture and high temperatures can lead to deformation of leather and textiles, discoloration. To avoid such troubles, it is worth asking the seller when buying such products whether they can be cleaned with steam.
- Lacquered surfaces. Lacquered wooden products and surfaces are well cleaned with steam, they acquire their original shine. But cleaning must be carried out very carefully, without holding the steam generator nozzle in one place for a long time.
- Ceramic and stone tiles, sanitary faience. Hot steam is ideal for cleaning various ceramic and natural stone surfaces. It dissolves grease, removes dirt deposits, penetrating into hard-to-reach places such as seams between tiles.
- Glass and mirrors. If you equip the vacuum cleaner with a special nozzle for washing windows, cleaning glass surfaces will become not a job, but a pleasure. The extension tubes that come with the vacuum cleaner allow you to extend the sleeve to the desired length and wash windows without standing on a stepladder or stool. Steam through the nozzle of the nozzle easily removes fingerprints and other dirt from the glass. A soft polymer pad wipes the surface dry, leaving virtually no stains and streaks.
- Carpets and carpets. The steam generator will remove dust and dirt at the very base of the pile, which cannot be cleaned with a conventional vacuum cleaner. Steam dissolves difficult stains, restoring the original color of the carpet. Such cleaning does not require the use of detergents, stain removers and other household chemicals.
- Blinds. Vacuum cleaner with steam generation function is ideal for cleaning any blinds – horizontal and vertical – made of metal, fabric or plastic slats. To put the blinds in order, they do not have to be removed from the window.
A steam-generating vacuum cleaner not only successfully fights dirt, but also disinfects the apartment. Jets of hot steam destroy pathogenic bacteria, dust mites and other microorganisms. In addition, steam moisturizes the air well, creating a favorable microclimate in the apartment. Which steam cleaner is best? An article with a rating of models on our website.
Management and security
The control system, located on the handle of the vacuum cleaner, allows you to adjust the steam intensity and suction power without stopping work. The steam cleaner is equipped with safety systems that completely exclude accidents during operation. The lid of the boiler is equipped with a special fuse that blocks accidental opening. It will not open as long as there is pressurized steam in the boiler. To avoid overpressure, the tanks are equipped with a safety valve that periodically releases excess steam. Another security system is fuses. In case of emergency overheating, the fuses will melt and water will pour onto the floor, but the boiler will not explode.
Some models are equipped with a sound alarm for lack of water in the tank. When using a vacuum cleaner with steam cleaning capability, safety regulations must be followed. In no case should you direct a jet of hot steam at people or animals, or try to clean stains on clothing worn by a person. Do not overfill the tank with water or turn on the vacuum cleaner with an empty boiler. You can change the nozzles only when the appliance is turned off after they have completely cooled down. Do not add detergents or other foreign substances to the water tank. No need to try to open the vacuum cleaner while it is connected to the network.
Washing vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner?
The advantages of a washing vacuum cleaner are obvious. With it, you can carry out wet cleaning of stone and tile floors, PVC, linoleum and carpet coatings, remove dirt and stains from the upholstery of upholstered furniture. The washing vacuum cleaner quickly picks up wet debris and spilled liquids. Some models are equipped with interchangeable nozzles that allow you to wash windows, plumbing and even clean a clogged drain in the sink. But these devices also have their drawbacks.
- Large dimensions. Washing vacuum cleaners are bulky, because in their case there are two volumetric tanks – for clean water and for waste liquid.
- Restrictions on objects for cleaning. Since the washing vacuum cleaner cleans surfaces with a large amount of water, it is undesirable to use it for cleaning solid wood flooring, cleaning wooden furniture. This appliance is also not suitable for high-pile woolen carpets. Such a coating intensively absorbs moisture and then dries for a long time.
- Detergent costs. To clean carpets, carpet and fabric upholstery, special detergents with reduced foaming are used, which are quite expensive.
Steam cleaners do not have these drawbacks. Among the models presented by manufacturers, there are various options for choosing a vacuum cleaner with a steam generator of suitable dimensions. For example, a compact device with a tank volume of about 0.7 liters is suitable for everyday and local cleaning. There are other advantages of steam cleaners over vacuum cleaners.
- Versatility. Steam cleaning is suitable for all types of surfaces and coatings, except for waxed natural wood products. Steam cleaners not only qualitatively remove dirt but also disinfect surfaces, destroying pathogens.
- Variety of nozzles. In addition to standard nozzles for floors, cleaning windows, cleaning up debris in crevices, soft brushes, steam cleaners can be equipped with napkins, humidifier sprayers, and steam iron.
- Multifunctionality. Expensive models of steam cleaners combine the functions of a “dry” vacuum cleaner, wet cleaning and steam cleaning.
Compared to a washing vacuum cleaner, a steam cleaner is a more modern and functional unit that not only provides high quality cleaning, but also meets environmental requirements. After all, in most cases, steam copes with pollution without the additional use of chemical detergents.