STEAM CLEANERS – The Dirty Little Secret…


Some manufacturers call them Steam Cleaners but if you dig a little deeper you will discover that most carpet steam cleaners have no steam at all. It’s a “dirty little secret” that advertisers use to sell you their products. Take for example one of the best selling “Steam Cleaners” on the market – the Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge. Sounds like there’s steam involved, but it’s just hot water…and a lot of hot air :)


Now, that doesn’t mean that this Hoover is a bad machine. On the contrary. This is one of the most popular carpet “Steam Vacs” you’ll find.

With over twenty-four hundred (22400) customer reviews and a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, it’s a huge seller. But like many other manufacturers, they are trying to appeal to buyers who are looking for popular eco-friendly products on the market – and some want to buy a carpet steam cleaner which uses real steam.



One unit that uses steam on carpets instead of hot water is the HAAN HD-50 Duo Steam Sweeper & Floor SanitizerThis product will steam your carpet and sweep up the dirt. Many customers swear by it, but we see this product as more cosmetic in nature. It will fluff and sanitize but we don’t recommend it for getting the deep-down dirt. It is a good buy for quick “touch ups”. Just fill up the tank and it’s ready to go in a few minutes. (always remember to vacuum before steaming – you don’t want to create mud).


This may all sound a bit confusing…steam – hot water…But hopefully after reading our reviews and tips, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.


For more information on deep-cleaning solutions that are designed specifically for your carpets, read our CARPET STEAM CLEANER review here.


There are basically 4 configurations.

1. Canister models    2. Steam Mops    3. Carpet Steam Cleaners   4. Hand held

Canister Steam Mops

Steam Cleaning is used in many ways and you should know that some models do certain jobs better than others. You will find all-inclusive systems that offer to do everything. These would generally be the canister steam cleaner models. Our research tells us that these types of multifunction steam cleaners really do clean and sanitize many houselhold items quite well depending on the power and temperature of the steam produced. Remember that most machines with attachments or extensions may produce 240ยบ temperatures at the source, but by the time the steam arrives at its destination, a few dgrees will be lost. For a list of what canister steam cleaners are good at, see our cleaning list below.

Steam mops

These machines are designed to use hot steam to lift off stubborn dirt from hard floor surfaces including marble, granite, stone and ceramic tiles. Some linoleum floors and tiles, however, need special care when steaming (read your manual’s instructions).

There are also some hard-floor steam cleaners that vacuum (or sweep), as well. Many Steam Mops will work on carpets – but they really just clean up some surface stains.

PURCHASE TIP: Steam mops that have their water heaters at head of the unit like the Eureka Enviro (for example: closest to the floor) will deliver much hotter steam than machines that have their heating units further away. (beware of too much heat on surfaces that may warp – read your instruction manual for details).

Carpet Steam Cleaners:

We prefer to call them hot water extractors.
This cleaner uses hot water and detergent  (regular tap water or distilled – read instructions that come with the machine)  to clean deep into carpets. Similar to commerciall machines and rental products, hot water is pressure sprayed deep into the carpet fibres with mixed-in detergent and then sucked back into a separate tank for dirty water. Along the way, brushes revolve to clean the carpet fibres. Generally speaking – NO STEAM IS USED.

Hand Held Steam Cleaners

These units are small and look like plant sprayers with long snouts. They are great around the kitchen and bathrooms for quick clean ups. We narrow down the real winners of the war on dirt in this review:  Hand Held Steam Cleaners.

Why Should I Use A Steam Cleaner?

There are several benefits to using a steam cleaner.

- Firstly, they sanitize very well and will kill bacteria, bed bugs and other germs quick! And if you have pets – they are really handy to have around.You’ll have a leg up on your dog whenever there’s an unpleasant accident. And older dried urine is history when you pass some powerful steam over the area.

- Another huge reason to use steam cleaners is that they are super Eco-Friendly. No harsh chemicals are used. Just good old H2O which spares the environment and saves you big bucks since you don’t need to buy detergents, solvents and other unhealthy toxic solutions. And if you are sensitive or allergic to detergents, smells and other cleaning products – steam is a blessing.

Where Should Steam Cleaners Be Used?

Most often, you will want to use a steam cleaner on hard surfaces. This is where they really shine. They are a definite must-have to clean:

-Wood Floors
-Ceramic Floors and Tiles
-Bed Coverings
-Hard-to-reach areas
-Grease and Grime from handles, knobs and vents

Steam cleaner for tiles

Which Is The Best Steam Cleaner To Buy?

Steam cleaners come in various sizes, weights, shapes, power and accessories. After reviewing the best selling and highest rated models we’ve prepared the following list. Remember that this list is for Steam Cleaners that actually use steam as the cleaning agent.

For CARPET STEAM CLEANERS, please read our other review on Carpet Steam Cleaners.


Some of the Steam Cleaners shown here are PRICED EVEN LOWER during surprise offers!

Searching the web for the best product deals...


For more information on steam mops, read here

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