How Does steam cleaner work | Principles of steam cleaning

fact check policy
Updated on:

May 25, 2023

What does a steam cleaner do | Why do you need a steam cleaner

Steam cleaning is one of the easiest and safest ways to perform a deep clean on a car, home, office, and more. Steam is able to combat the toughest grime like mold, stains, and even bug infestation. You don't need any toxic and harsh chemicals in order to steam clean since steam is powerful enough get rid off all the dirt by itself!

There are many different types of steam cleaners and each one is good for various tasks. What they all have in common is a great cleaning agent, steam.

Key Takeaways:

  • Steam cleaning offers a safe and effective method for deep cleaning without the need for toxic chemicals.
  • Steam cleaners are versatile and can be used on various surfaces, including floors, furniture, and even cars.
  • Steam cleaning provides a thorough and environmentally friendly cleaning solution, improving indoor air quality and sanitizing surfaces.

Table of Contents (Show)

Table of Contents (Hide)

How do steam cleaning machines work?

steam temperature

Most steam cleaners are powered by electricity. Some commercial steamers, like the Fortador PRO Max, require electricity and diesel to work. The combination of those power sources makes a very powerful machine that is great to use for a car wash or cleaning business.

Steam cleaners that work from electricity are commonly used for at home chores. They do not require as much power since the tasks of home cleaning are not as intense and long unlike if you were using a steam cleaner for commercial purpose.

In order for a steam cleaner to work, you need to make sure that its tank is filled with water. What a steam cleaner does is take that water and heat it past its boiling point to produce steam vapor. In order to release the steam, steam cleaners combine with high pressure and extreme heat. This is why steam is so great for disinfecting. The combination of high heat and high pressure kills bacteria and other allergens on all surfaces. This also makes steam cleaners environmentally friendly since no chemicals are necessary to use with pressurized steam.

Steam particles are so small that they are able to go through surface's pores for an extremely deep clean. It is great to use on impervious surfaces, like tile and wood, as well upholstered furniture and fabric things like dirty stuffed animals.

In addition, steam cleaners improve the indoor air quality since it does not use any chemicals that affect the air quality. Steam doesn't pollute the air where you are cleaning, making your home a safe environment for your pets and loved ones.

What steam cleaner is good for home cleaning?

home cleaning steamer Fortador Volt Mini

You don't need a big commercial cleaner for home cleaning. Smaller steam cleaners work just as well canister steam cleaners that are more common to be used in larger spaces. The biggest differences between a commercial and a home use steamer is the sizing and its power.

One of the best options for home cleaning is the Fortador Volt Mini. This steamer is small and portable so you don't need a large storage place. Even though it is small, this machine is powerful enough to disinfect variety of places all around your house or apartment. It also includes a bunch of accessories that can be used for carpet cleaning, floor cleaning, furniture cleaning, and more.

Another great option is Wagner Spraytech On-Demand Steam Cleaner. It also includes different attachments and is very compact. It is great to use for cleaning, as well as wallpaper removal.

What steam cleaner is good for commercial cleaning?

steam cleaner with vacuum Fortador PRO Max

Commercial cleaning, like a car wash or a cleaning company, requires a steamer that is powerful enough to be used on large scale cleaning. Steam cleaners for a business purpose are larger because in order for it to clean bigger spaces for a longer time, they require a big boiler and powerful burner.

A great option for a steam cleaning business is the Fortador PRO Max. It includes many accessories and can be connected with up to 5 guns for a quick and efficient cleaning job. The performance of this machine is outstanding and can be used for variety of tasks and problem areas.

Another amazing industrial steam cleaner is the Sioux Steamer. It is electrically powered and is great to use on upscale jobs like office cleaning and car washing. It is able to degrease, sterilize, and clean many surfaces.

Is steam safe to use on floors?

floors cleaning with steam

Cleaning floors can be a very difficult and time consuming task. Most chemicals that are advertised to use on floors have a strong smell and sometimes make the floors look dull. In addition, that can be expensive and run out super quickly if you have a large house or an office.

If you are struggling with floor cleaning, you should really look into getting a steamer. A steam cleaner or a steam mop is perfectly safe to use on variety of floors. You can apply steam on hardwood floors, tile floors, and laminate flooring. Steam cleaning will leave all kinds of floors looking shiny and brand new.

The high pressure steam will be able to battle with the stubborn dirt that you bring into your home from the outside better than any floor cleaner.

What flooring is steam cleaning not recommended for?

Although there are variety of different surfaces that you can steam clean, there are also some limitations. It is best to not use a steam cleaner on unsealed hardwood floors. The moisture from steam might damage the flooring, so it is recommended to find out what kind of floors you have before proceeding to clean with steam mops and such.

It is also not advised do steam cleaning on unglazed tile floors. The high temperature and moisture from steam is unfortunately harmful for such flooring.

Does steam cleaning kill bugs?

kill bed bugs with steam

Steam cleaners are so versatile that you can even use them to get rid of bug problems. Steam is an ultimate tool to deal with dust mites problems, roaches, ants, bed bugs and other insects.

Since steam doesn't require any chemicals to be used with it, it won't leave your car, home, or office smelling like the terrible toxins that bug sprays have. Breathing in the chemicals is not only unpleasant, but also very harmful for your health. This is why the chemical free cleaning with steam is so amazing.

If you want to learn more about how to deal with ant infestation read this article. Methods listed in that article are also useful for battling with other bugs.

Do steam cleaners clean carpets?

carpets cleaning with steam

Steam cleaners work on variety of stubborn surfaces and even carpets. Steam cleaner loosens dirt and is able to get rid of stubborn stains you might have on your carpets. The high heat moisture is able to deep clean a carpet and kill germs that are sitting between the carpet's follicles.

Traditional methods of carpet cleaning require a bunch of steps, but steam cleaning makes it easy and fast to make your carpet look brand new. Some steam cleaners have a steam vacuum that is perfect for carpet cleaning. The vapor loosens dirt and the vacuum will simultaneously suck up all the loosened up debris making it a quick clean up.

Can you use steam cleaner to clean the kitchen?

coffe machine steam cleaning

Kitchens are filled with dirt and germs and a steam cleaner is perfect to remove debris and sanitize surfaces in the kitchen. You can clean with a steam cleaner a bunch of hard surfaces all around the kitchen. It is perfectly safe to use on oily stove tops as well as counters.

If you are a messy cook and drop a lot of food while making a delicious dinner, steam cleaner will be able to get rid of all the stickiness and oils from your kitchen floors.

Can you steam clean the bathroom?

toilet steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is perfect for cleaning bathroom fixtures. From mineral deposits to mold in the shower, steam cleaners work on any problem.

It is important to occasionally deep clean your bathroom since there is a lot of bacteria build up in such a small place. The most common reason why people get mold in their bathrooms is because it is not sanitized frequent enough. Steam cleaning will be able to sanitize all the surfaces in the bathroom, as well as deeply clean them.

Can you use steam cleaners on upholstered furniture?

chair steam cleaning

Steam cleaners are completely safe to use on all kinds of delicate fabrics and padded furniture. The cleaning power is strong enough to get rid of stains you might have on your sofa, but gentle enough to not damage the fabric of it.

Steam cleaned furniture looks significantly better than if you just wipe it with a furniture cleaner and a rag. Steam is able to clean the fabric from the inside out to get rid of all the bacteria build up.

If you are struggling with dust mites on your furniture, use a steam cleaner to kill them. Steam cleaners require only water to kill the dust mites so your furniture won't be left smelling like chemicals.

You can also use a steam cleaner to remove dirt from outdoor furniture. It can be especially hard to clean furniture on the patio or a balcony from all the outside pollutants, but steam cleaning makes it fast and efficient.

Are steam cleaning machines safe to use around children?

cleaning playground with steam

The chemical free cleaning that steam cleaners provide is what makes a steam cleaner such a great cleaning agent. The steam is not harmful to children, it is actually beneficial for them!

Steam sanitizes all the surfaces in your home making your house a safe environment for children. Using a steam cleaner in your child's room is perfect for safe sanitizing without polluting the area with harsh cleaning chemicals. The high temperatures of vapor is able to battle with greasy food stains and outside dirt that is frequently found on children's room.

Are steam cleaners safe to use around pets?

cleaning house with pets using steam cleaner

If you are living in a home with pets, it is especially important to use a steam cleaner. Pets shed a lot of fur and dead skin cells so it is crucial to sanitize all the surfaces in your home that your pets touch. All the dirt that is brought in by a dog from the outside will be gone by using a steam cleaner.

Can you use a steam cleaner to clean a car?

car seats steam cleaning

A steam cleaner is great to use to detail a car. Steam is able to sanitize all the surfaces of your car like the stirring wheel, windows, cup holders, seats, and much more. The small nozzle that the Fortador VOLT Electra posses will aid you in cleaning between the seats and other hard to reach places.

It is really easy to clean with a steam cleaner all over your car's exterior and interior. If you are struggling with mold or ants in your vehicle, steam cleaning will be able to help you with getting rid of those problems.

Do steam cleaners damage car paint?

washing car with steam cleaner

You can check this guide for safe car washing with steam, but even though steam cleaners work on a bunch of surfaces, there are some materials where the vapor's excessive heat might actually damage it.

Steam cleaners or a steam mops are not recommended to be used on water based paint. Even if the paint is sealed, the heat from the vapor may make bubbles underneath the paint making it peel. Steam used on painted walls will strip paint due to the excessive heat, so it is not advised to apply on walls as well.

Can steam cleaners be used on varnished and laminated surfaces?

Unfortunately, steam cleaners can damage varnish coating of your furniture. The coating can strip due to the high heat and moisture that steam posses.

Steam is also not recommended to be used on laminated surfaces. Cleaning laminate floors with a steam cleaner can cause warping or peeling of the floors.

Steam cleaner is an amazing tool to use to simplify cleaning all types of spaces like your home, office, or car. It is safe to use around kids and pets, unlike other cleaning agents that are advertised for cleaning. While cleaning with a steamer, you are simultaneously sanitizing any surface you use it on. Getting rid of stains and smells has never been easier with a machine like a steamer!

Nothing compares to a steam cleaned room that is free of chemical smell that cleaning products leave. With a steam cleaner you will never have to worry about your furniture getting damaged, or your house or car looking dirty.

About the Authors

Kris Traczynski
As the visionary behind Fortador Steamers, I've revolutionized the cleaning landscape across both the USA and Europe. With a profound understanding of the cleaning industry, I've fostered expertise that sets new standards. My journey is one of innovation, commitment, and a relentless pursuit of exce
Kristina Tretyakova
Distinguished as a South Florida Top-10 student in 2021. Studying Marketing and Business Administration at FIU. Proficient in daily operations and skilled in cleaning, auto detailing and copywriting.

Learn More

Hotel housekeeping procedures with checklist| Nine steps of hotel room cleaning


Office Hygiene Revolution: The Power of Steam Cleaners in Virus Prevention


Mastering Carpet Maintenance: Your Personalized Steam Cleaning Schedule


Contact Us
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
This is some text inside of a div block.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.