What comes to your mind when you hear ‘handheld steam cleaner’? An easy tool to clean the floor, kitchen, and bathroom without having to do the mopping and wiping chore? Well, this is probably the most important use of this device, but the benefits don’t end there. You can use a handheld steam cleaner (see my reviews) in numerous creative ways that I will reveal in my post today.
You will be amazed at how versatile this one cleaning tool can be and what you can do with it to make your home dust-free, germ-free, and odorless too. Just make sure you wear protective clothing and take proper care while handling the steam cleaner to get a squeaky clean house in no time.
33 Uses For Handheld Steam Cleaner
1. Ceiling Fan
The blades of your ceiling fan may tend to get dirty and require frequent cleaning. Trying to clean it with a brush can give you an unsatisfactory result and wipe with a damp cloth may not a feasible option for you. If your handheld steamer has a long arm attachment, you can use it to get rid of the dust from your ceiling fans without taking out a ladder.
2. BBQ Grills
Barbeque nights are great for friends to get together and enjoy awesome grilled and roasted meat. But, the cleaning that follows after that can be frustrating and cucumber some. Thankfully, you can now reduce the time needed to remove stubborn food and grease stains. With a handheld steamer, you can clean grills without the use of chemicals.
3. Patio Furniture
If you have a nice terrace, you would want to deck it up with patio furniture to relax in the outdoors. As the weather gets sunny, take your patio furniture out of the storage but give them a good clean up before using. It doesn’t stop there because maintaining the patio furniture is also a time-taking job. They are subjected to the dust, dirt, bird poop and debris outside. A handheld steamer can be your savior to keep the patio or garden furniture in tip-top condition. You may also use it to clean large picnic umbrellas.
4. Kitchen Walls And Countertops
Kitchen is that area of the house where you spend a lot of time cutting, cooking, frying, etc. Vegetable stains, meat odor, spoiled food, sauces, dips, and oily grease are just some of the things that can make a kitchen countertop and surrounding area very dirty. Just cleaning with a damp cloth may make your kitchen look tidy but there are thousands of micro scoping germs that are not visible to your eyes. Use a handheld steamer to not only clean well, remove stubborn oily stains, and also disinfect the kitchen. It works both on quartz and granite countertops.
5. Wired Pet Cages And Crates
Do you have a dog, cat, bird, or rabbit at home? Most people keep pets like rabbits and birds in cages, and sometimes dogs and cats may also be caged when the owner is out of the home. Needless to say, the cages get dirty with food droppings, saliva, urination, and poop. With a handheld steam cleaner, you can not only remove the bad odor and dirt but also make the cages germ-free. This option is much more convenient than hauling the cage in the backyard to rinse with a hose.
6. Clean and Sanitize Pet Beds
Pets are like our family and while they move around making the house untidy, it is our responsibility to keep them well-groomed and take good care of their belongings. For example, the pet bed, pet bowl, and toys should be cleaned and sanitized regularly to ensure that they stay clean and germ-free. Use a steam cleaner to make your task easier and ensure that your pet lives a long and healthy life.
7. Tiles and Grout
We know how much dirt and germs get stuck into the grout area and it’s tough to get rid of them. Moping and wiping the floor with water and vinegar may not be of much use, plus this is a time consuming and messy affair. This is where a handheld steam cleaner comes handy and you can use it to clean tile and grout quickly without any chemical-based solution.
8. Car Engine and Tire Rims
The car engine may get greased due to prolonged use and this can impact the performance of your vehicle. Cleaning an engine manually may not yield satisfactory results and you may not have the time for a professional cleaning every time. This is where a handheld steam cleaner comes handy to remove the grease, grime, and dirt from your car engine and tire rims. The hot steam helps in dislodging the dried and stubborn dirt with ease.
9. Dust Baseboards
I know this is one of the most dreaded tasks when cleaning day arrives. You can run away from it but cannot escape it as this is one part of the house that looks embarrassing when covered with dirt. If you have a handheld steamer, you can use the device for safely cleaning the baseboards in half the time that the job would otherwise take you. It is also less painful for you as you don’t have to bend and do all that cleaning.
10. Toilets and the Surrounding Area
If there’s one place in the house that gets dirtier than the kitchen then it’s the bathroom. Imagine the fate of houses that have pets and kids! If cleaning and disinfecting the toilet feels like an exhausting job, why not use a steam cleaner to complete the task with ease and without much physical labor. You can use it to clean most of the things in a bathroom, starting from the faucets, sinks, and showerheads to walls and floor tiles.
11. Hard Water Stains And Limescale from Faucets
Hard water stains are not only tough to get rid of but they also look very unattractive. If you get hard water in your area, you may have a tough time keeping the faucets and other areas that frequently come in contact with water stain-free. You can reduce the effort and get good results at removing hard water stains and limescale with a steam cleaner.
12. Light Switches And Doorknobs
You may not notice the dirt covering the doorknobs and light switches but anyone who walks into your house sees them and conceives a bad image of you. If you are a cleaning freak and want to ensure that every doorknob and light switch stay dirt and germ-free, a handheld steamer can make the task easier.
13. Steam Wrinkles Out Of Clothing
Don’t have time to iron your clothes and need to hurry for a meeting or date? Get a quick fix by running a steam cleaner on your wrinkled shirt or dress to straighten out the creases and make it look good. Just remember that you check the label on your clothing to make sure that a hot blast of steam will not damage the fabric.
14. Mites And Bugs On Mattresses
It’s impossible to wash a mattress but it is covered with countless dust mites and germs that can give you allergies and other health problems. With a handheld steam cleaner, you can not only suck the dust particles and debris on the mares but also kill dust mites effectively. I would suggest that you use only a high-end steam cleaner that emits drier steam so that the mattress does not absorb any moisture.
For more ways about killing dust mites: 24 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Dust Mites And Get Allergy Relief
15. Disinfect Soft Toys
If you have babies or toddlers at home then you are probably aware that it’s a huge job to ensure their safety and keep the surroundings disinfected. Toys and stuffed animals take a lot of beating from the little tots, they are chewed, covered with saliva, food droppings, and whatnot. As a result, they become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Clean them weekly with a handheld steam cleaner to remove the dust, dirt, stains, and nasty germs.
16. Baby High Chairs, Car Seats, and Strollers
Ensuring child safety involves so many other things, such as cleaning the baby car seats, high chairs, and strollers. Avoid using harsh chemicals on things that come in contact with your baby’s skin. Use a steam cleaner instead to disinfect these areas and remove dirt and debris. This is an easy and effortless way to make sure your baby stays healthy.
17. Inside of Dishwasher, Refrigerator, And Washing Machine
In today’s world, we cannot imagine our lives without modern appliances like washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, and so on. But, the appliances that clean things also need cleaning every now and then. The refrigerator can emit a bad odor due to food gone bad, spills, rotten meat, vegetables and so on. If you are looking for a quick fix that can give effective results, use a handheld steam cleaner to remove dirt, stains, and kill bacteria.
18. Garbage Cans
Aargh! Cleaning horrific gunk stuck at the bottom of garbage can is every person’s nightmare. It is covered with nasty germs, stains, and bad odor that can make you puke. Despite that, the can needs to be cleaned and disinfected to prevent any health problems in the house. A handheld steam cleaner can save your nose from inhaling all that smell. If the equipment has a long handle, you can hold it away from you to clean and disinfect the garbage can quickly.
20. Removing Wallpaper
Installing wallpaper is comparatively easier and we do it every time for the beautiful finish and appearance it gives our home. Trouble arrives when it’s time to remove the wallpaper and most methods are time-consuming and laborious. A handheld steam cleaner can make this task easier with the jet of hot and moist steam that softens the paper and adhesive, making it easier to remove them.
21. Clean the Oven
Baking and cooking may seem exciting and tummy-pleasing but what about the mess they leave behind. The cake you baked a week ago or the chicken you roasted last night may have coated your oven with grease and batter droppings that can dry up over time and become difficult to clean. Using a steam cleaner can help soften the stubborn and dried food droppings. It is not only an easier and quicker method but also less smelly than using cleaning chemicals.
22. Making Curtains Wrinkle-Free
Heavy curtains and drapes give an elegant look to your home, but they are a pain to take down, clean, iron and put back. You will need an entire day to be able to do that, but not with a steam cleaner. This modern and convenient tool allows you to remove dust, dirt, and straighten the wrinkles while the curtain is still hanging.
23. Stubborn Gunk From Creases, Cracks, And Corners
When cleaning the house, we all come across those nasty corners that are hard to reach but are laden with dirt and germs. A handheld steam cleaner that comes with numerous attachments to help you access all those hard to reach areas and dislodge the most stubborn gunk on them.
24. Wash Windows
Glass windows can get dirty quickly and water stains, dust, and marks can give an ugly appearance to them. With a steam cleaner, you can remove dust, dirt, and stains to get squeaky clean windows. You may also use the device to clean mirrors and sliding glass doors. Dust and debris also get trapped in the window tracks, making it difficult to remove them. A steam cleaner can be used to clean the window tracks too.
25. Defrost Freezer
Freezer covered in ice? This happens in every home and tackling with it needs patience and a little trick. While cutting off the electric supply may be an easy option but this can spoil other food stored inside the refrigerator. That is also a very time taking process as the ice may take an entire day to melt. Hence, I suggest using a steam cleaner to melt the ice in a few minutes with the hot gush of steam.
26. Dust Fake Plants
Faux plants and flowers are a great means to beautify the house without much maintenance, but they may get covered with layers of dust giving them a bad look. If you are looking for a way to clean the fake plants without much effort, use a handheld steam cleaner which can remove the dust and make them shine once again.
27. Carpet and Rugs
Carpets and rugs add a lot of personality to the house but cleaning them take a lot of time. Washing and drying a carpet or rugs call for time, patience, and sunny weather. If you have pets and kids at home, your carpet will be subjected to pet dander, food stains, liquid spills, dirt, and debris. Vacuum clean the carpets to remove large food and dust particles and then steam clean your carpet to kill germs and disinfect.
28. Ice And Water Dispenser
Some people may not realize this but a lot of dirt and grime get trapped in the ice and water dispenser. This is not only bad for your health but can also impact the performance of the dispenser. If you have a steam cleaner at home, you can get rid of these nasty grime within minutes and make the dispenser germ-free without the use of any chemicals.
29. Glass showers
No matter how often you clean your glass showers, they can still have some soapy scum that can be difficult to get rid of. Use a steam cleaner to make your glass shower shine like new in two minutes. A clean and neat bathroom ensures that your family stays healthy.
30. Halloween and Dance Costumes
If you are a costume fanatic and love collecting different types of Halloween and Dance costumes, you may also need to keep them protected from dirt, dust, and mold. I recommend using a handheld steamer to straighten up the creases and breathe new life to your costumes.
31. Garden Tools
If you enjoy growing flowers and vegetables in your backyard or terrace then you probably have a lot of garden tools that often get caked with dirt and soil. After a hard day of toiling in the garden, you may not have much strength left to clean the tools. Take it easy and use a steam cleaner to make them sparkle like new within minutes.
32. Car Interiors
If you have pets and kids that love to travel in your car, needless to say, that the interiors are subjected to a lot of food droppings, spills, and dirt. This can not only result in foul smell inside the car but also make the little ones sick. Getting your car upholstery cleaned by a professional every time can be very expensive. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the large waste particles and then disinfect with the help of a steam cleaner.
33. Litter box areas
If you have owned a cat before, you will know that these furry friends may sometimes miss the litter boxes and they keep doing so because they may be too dirty. Give the litter boxes a good cleanup with the help of a handheld steam cleaner to ensure that your cat does not return to the scene of crime!
Reasons To Use A Handheld Steam Cleaner
As you can see above that there are several uses for a handheld steam cleaner, and they go beyond the usual floor cleaning. I know some people may prefer the traditional methods of cleaning and argue against using steam cleaning for other purposes. So, here are some reasons why you must ditch other methods and use a steam cleaner as your go-to cleaning device!
#1. Chemical-Free Cleaning
The most important point that works in favor of steam cleaners is that they do not require any chemicals to perform the cleaning task. The gadget only uses water that is heated to a higher level to create pressurized steam that dislodges stubborn dirt, cleans the house, and sanitizes too. As a result, this is an extremely eco-friendly choice that does not harm the property, kids, or pets in any way. You also protect yourself from the chemicals being washed into the drains and getting recycled to the water supply.
#2. Quick And Thorough Cleaning
Unlike other methods that may take a lot of time spent in moping, scrubbing, and wiping, a steam cleaner can remove stubborn dirt and debris much quicker than you can imagine. The heat and moisture come together to deliver an amazing cleaning effect that is better than the traditional methods. With a steam cleaner, you can perform thorough cleaning jobs much easily and quickly than the standard way.
#3. Cheaper To Use
Traditional methods may include a lot of cleaning supplies that are expensive and you may not be able to use them all before they expire. This is where a steam cleaner comes handy. You just need to buy the tool and there are no more investments required. You will save money on buying solvents, detergents, cleaners, scrubbers, and rubber gloves.
#4. Killing Bacteria and Germs
Although we can’t see them with our naked eyes, there are germs, bacteria, and mold spores all around us. They can be extremely hazardous for health and cause several types of diseases. If you have kids and pets at home, I would recommend that you keep your home well-sanitized with the help of a steam cleaner. The hot molecules present in the vapor releasing from the steam have a strong intensity to penetrate through the dust pores and kill the harmful bacteria.
#5. Controls Allergens
Just like there are germs, dust allergens and dust mites also exist on the mattresses we sleep on, the couch we sit on, or the carpet where the kids play. They can cause respiratory issues and other health problems such as sneezing, itching eyes, skin rashes, and so on. The steam cleaners can destroy the dust mites and kill allergens to give you a healthy environment.
#6. Get Rid Of Pests
Pets are cute and furry, but they bring along a lot of diseases caused by the fleas and parasites that live on their fur coats and hair. You may use a steam cleaner to kill the adult fleas and also their eggs so that the life cycle gets disrupted and your pets can enjoy a healthy life.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Handheld Steam Cleaner
The handheld steamers are small, portable, compact, and quite affordable among the entire range of steam cleaners available. A good model may cost you about $100. While there are some cheap models out there, I would suggest that you choose a reliable product that can be easily put into the different uses as discussed above.
Functions: The high-end models usually come with a lot of attachment and accessories to help you perform a wide range of functions with ease. If you want a specific attachment, you may also buy it separately. So, choose a model with different functions depending on the types of surfaces and spaces you wish to clean.
Tank size: Just like a steam iron, the steam cleaner will also continue to produce steam as long as there is water in the tank. So, if you want to clean a large house or put the tool into different uses, you may need to refill the tank often. A larger tank size will last longer so choose a product depending on your cleaning requirements. Some models also come with a ‘continuous refill’ feature as they have a backup tank to produce steam for longer.
Heat: The steam cleaners produce vapor when water is heated to a minimum of 200 degrees and the steam helps in sanitizing the area. Models that have a higher temperature are capable of producing much drier steam under higher pressure. This is more effective at killing germs and disinfecting. When the steam is hotter and drier, there will be less possibility of damaging the surfaces with moisture.
Noise levels: The steam cleaners are usually less noisy than the vacuum cleaners but some of them can be considerably loud. If you are concerned about the noise levels and want a product that operates quietly, look for decibel levels mentioned in the specs to buy a less-noisy model.
Warm-up time: If you don’t have a lot of time to spend doing the cleaning job, look for a model that can heat up the water and produce steam in less than a minute. This will ensure that you don’t have to turn on the machine and keep waiting.
Price: Well, you get what you pay for. A low-cost model may not be very effective at cleaning and sanitizing. With a high price tag, you get higher intensity steam that is more effective and powerful. You will also get better customer services, longer product life, and a solid warranty for the product.
Ease of use: If you want a steam cleaner that is lightweight and easier to use, you may need to slightly compromise on the performance front as the models capable of deep cleaning are usually on the heavier side. However, if you are worried about handling a hefty cleaning unit and prioritize the ease of use, then choose a lighter model instead
Combination models: If you wish to perform two tasks with the same appliance, look for a product that combines vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner together. This not only saves you the hassle of having to work with two different cleaning tools but also saves a lot of storage space.
How effective are steam cleaners at sanitizing a surface?
Steam can kill about 99.9 percent of germs, dust mites, and bacteria such as Staph bacteria, E. coli, Salmonella, and several other micro-organisms. When water is heated to 175 degrees, it is capable of sanitizing effectively and in the case of a steam cleaner, water is heated more than 200 degrees.
Can I use bleach in my steam cleaner?
I would say ‘No’ because bleach is toxic in its normal state and when you add it to the steam cleaner, it will cause a toxic vapor that can dissipate in the room you are cleaning. The resulting steam may cause red eyes, blistering, gagging, and throat pain.
Can I use baking soda in a steam cleaner?
Yes, you may take a little baking soda and mix this to plain water to create a cleaning solution for steam cleaner. Depending on what type of surface you wish to clean, you may also add a blob of dish soap to fight grease and stubborn dirt. Proceed as usual to clean the floors and walls with the machine.
Can I use a handheld steam cleaner on walls?
Yes, they are safe to use on almost every type of surface including, brick, concrete, wood, and drywalls. Steam cleaning is a quick and easy method to get rid of the grime and dirt without the use of any chemicals.