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Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

Last post 02-22-2010 12:53 PM by Looloo. 15 replies.
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  • 01-20-2009 5:18 AM

    Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

    I am trying to cut corners in my budget. One way that I can do this is to limit the number of times I get the house cleaned. It is nearly $100 every time she cleans. I haven't had her since the first part of December.

    I can run a dishwasher. I can do the self-cleaning oven by myself. If I don't do it all at once, I can take the garbage bags out to the garbage cans. I can dust with my Swiffer dust thing. She was not dusting the vents for the heat pumps & it keeps them from working properly.

    I can clean a toilet if I have a long handled brush.

    After I buy the stovetop cleaner I can clean the top of my ceramic top stove.

    What I need advice about is cleaning the floors. I have hardwood floors in most of the house. I have tiles in the bathrooms. I have some sort of flooring in the kitchen.

    I have a big Oreck vacuum cleaner.

    I was told that those steam cleaners like you see on tv and in catalogs clean really well. You've seen them.....they include Haan and Shark. According to what I've seen, they cost just over $100 and they have reusable pads that can be washed.

    I also have a Swiffer for floors.

    I would rather not use a lot of chemicals on my floors or in the house. If I do the vinegar thing, do I use white vinegar or cider vinegar?

    Suggestions and comments, please ?

    I guess what I'm saying is that I can clean better than most of the cleaners I've had in the past, but I have to do it one room at a time and spread it out so that it does not overwhelm me. Don't get me wrong....I HATE to do housework, BUT I don't like to pay almost $100 for less than 3 hours of cleaning. I also don't like to find things are missing like the lids for my Rubbermaid storage containers for the freezer (the red lids that you see now). I bought a set of them and the lids are missing and I have looked everywhere in the kitchen and pantry for them.

    I'm not totally cheap. I just don't like to waste $$$. Besides, I would rather use the $50 (not counting the money for gas) and go eat with my widowed friend 3 times than to pay someone to clean and not have the house cleaned the way I want it done. She and I use coupons whenever we go out to eat.

    Many thanks.

  • 01-20-2009 6:23 AM In reply to

    • pan40
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 01-20-2009
    • Posts 1

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

    I have the original (purple) shark version.  It does pick up dirt  vert well, as shown by the bottom of the pad. You may need to use 2 pads to make sure all the dirt is picked up (like you might use 2 swiffer pads)   Pads are rather high maintenance.  Don't bleach or else the velcro will wear down.  Don't put in regular wash for the same reason.  Just use dish soap and hand scrub, though you can toss them iindividually in the rinse only cycle to "dry" them out.  Can mix  WHITE vinegar in wih the water (distilled is better or empty out water tank after use if using tap water) for better disinfecting.  If you have a Bed Bath & Beyond in your area, the original shark sells for $79, and use the 20% off coupon that comes in the mail (they never expire) and you end up with a good deal.  2 replacement pads are $20 at BBB and again, use one of your coupons. (I keep a collection of those in the passenger side pocket in my car).   I'm glad I have mine. 

    I use the shark  several times a week, mostly on tile floors in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.  I don't  use it on hardwood b/c I don't think steam is great for them, even if the floor dries quickly--however, I do use the shark unplugged in as a "mop" to clean hardwood by using it to sop up the hardwood floor cleaner that i squirt on the floor.  Though I use it sparingly on a  "Pergo" floor, it does leave that floor streak free unlike Swiffers.   BTW, the floor will not dry practically instantaneously like a swiffered floor.  It depends on how strong the steam is you use, but at most, it would take 5 min. to dry.  Oh, and if you buy the shark, note that you pump the handle up and down to get the steam going.  The thing that looks like a trigger is actually where the cord drapes around.   

    Last thought:  Keep a box of swiffers ariound.  Sometimes we are too lazy to even unwrap a cord and plug an appliance in, particularly to deal with a quick spill.   Good luck in deciding whether to buy.

  • 01-21-2009 10:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

    I have just purchased a shark steam cleaner and it is good. It does clean the floors well and that is just with the steam, I haven't tried with vinegar yet, but was considering it. Vinegar makes your floors shine. You need to pre-sweep/vacuum the floor before you use the shark steamer. I have only used it on linoleum. The $79 version is what I own, it seems like it wouldn't endure years of use, but so far so good. There is an extra piece in it to use on hardwood, but I haven't used it on my hardwood yet because it doesn't get as dirty. I bought it so I could avoid using strong cleaning products and I am happy with it.
  • 01-21-2009 11:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

    I bought the Shark steam cleaner just after the first of the year with a gift card I got for Christmas. I've used it 2 times and have been really impressed. We have ceramic tile in the kitchen/hallway/eating nook and wood floors everywhere else except for the basement and small TV room.

    I like the reusable pads. My shark came with 2 and I used both and tossed in the wash. Thanks to the PP for the advice about velcro wearing down.

    It is VERY lightweight and not bulky. Uses about a cup or more of tap water to make the steam and the steam evaporates very quickly so I didn't have to worry about wet, slippery floors. I don't have to use chemicals which was the reason I bought it in the first place. I felt that it got my floors very clean and the heat sanitized them as well.

    I really like my shark steam cleaner. It was $69 on sale and I received a $50 gift card to Kohl's so I paid a little over $20 with tax.

    Erika
  • 01-26-2009 8:33 AM In reply to

    • Maripat
    • Not Ranked
      Female
    • Joined on 01-26-2009
    • Cincinnati, OH
    • Posts 5

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

     We have hardwood floors throughout our house.I have been cleaning them with vinegar and water for 20 years. You can use any kind of vinegar, the flavored kinds just smell for a while after you're finished. Vinegar doesn't leave streaks or dull the finish and it is cheap! I used to clean on "hands and knees" but now I use the Libby mop that wrings itself out when you twist the bottom of the handle.

    We recently purchased a Vapor Steamer ($600.00 ouch). I have a friend with bedbugs and I read that dry steam will kill them. I have used the steamer on the floors and gotten great results. I got great results on my daughter's new house that had been vacant for 1 year+. Just change the rag often. We used a brush type attachment to clean the textured tile in our hall and couldn't believe how much imbedded old dirt it got out. I feel I'm just touching the surface of what this thing can do.

    Maripat

    LearningAlterations.com
  • 01-26-2009 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

     I use a vapor steamer too.  Instead of using the rag that came with it, I use the cheap prefold gerber diapers.  Works great on our tile floor!

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 01-26-2009 10:44 AM In reply to

    • Maripat
    • Not Ranked
      Female
    • Joined on 01-26-2009
    • Cincinnati, OH
    • Posts 5

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

     Wow, thanks for that tip! I bought bulk terry towels at Walmart, but the dirt soaks through.

    Maripat

    LearningAlterations.com
  • 02-19-2009 12:02 PM In reply to

    • Kris18
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-19-2009
    • Posts 2

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

    I love my Shark Steam Mop.  We have almost all hardwood floors and a big dog who likes to leave muddy paw prints through my house!  I have tried every type of floor cleaning product and machine they make.  I find the Shark to be the most convenient.  I think it does a great job of getting everything up.  I wash my pads in the machine, I just don't use bleach.  I also air dry them.  I bought extra pads, so I always have some on hand.  The only thing is that you really need to go over the floors with a Swiffer or a Dirt Devil first to get up the little "bits" that get left on the floor.  Sometimes the Steam Mop doesn't get the hard pieces and you end up with a sort of ring around your baseboard.

  • 02-16-2010 4:37 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,459

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

    I was asked by a reader of Dollar Stretcher to post this for her:

    I have been researching steam cleaners and one not shown on your list that looks like it might work for me is Steamfast SF226, a hand held steamer.  What I want to use it for is to clean the tile in the bathroom shower and the surrounding clear glass.  Even though it is "clean" it has water marks from soap scum that I cannot get off.  I think I have used almost all products trying to get it sparkling clean and I have hoped for steam cleaning to finally be the one to do the trick.  Any tips on what might be the best for my problem and do you have information on Steamfast?

     

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  • 02-16-2010 5:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Anyone Use Those Steam Cleaners? Advice Wanted, Please

     Sorry, I don't believe a $40 steamer is going to work 100% alone for the project you have in mind. It may break loose some of the scum to allow the cleaners to get in and further break it up.  You will need multiple fills for a project like this (15 min cool down time, 5-10 minutes heat up time, maybe 15 min run time).  Now I loved using my hand held for many projects but it is not going to do what you see on the commercials/infomercials.

     What I would do is treat the area with vinegar and let that sit for a while.  I would then rinse the area then use the steamer with a magic eraser or cloth with baking soda.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
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