Steam cleaning is an easy and effective way to clean and sanitize many household surfaces. Steam cleaning is a safe, natural, eco-friendly method that, when done correctly, can kill 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria without chemicals.
Water is heated beyond its boiling point to create steam. The pressurized steam is released through the nozzle or attachment. That steam kills bacteria, mold, dust mites and more while also loosening dirt, grime and stain-causing particles.
The moisture dries quickly due to the high heat, however steam cleaning is best for hard, impervious or sealed surfaces. Some models can also clean curtains, upholstery and mattresses. Do not attempt to use a steam cleaner on unsealed flooring, unglazed tiles, plastic, surfaces painted with water-based paint, delicate surfaces and cold windows.
What to consider when renting a steam cleaner
Steam cleaners range from small handheld models to multi-tank canister machines. The cleaners can be equipped with different attachments to best suit your application. When renting a steam cleaner, keep in mind the area you’ll need to clean and how quickly the machine can clean that area.
Two factors will affect how long it takes to clean the area: warm-up time and tank size. A quick warm-up time will get you working quickly, but you’ll also want to consider capacity. Each time you fill the tank, the tank will need to reheat. “Continuous fill” machines come with a backup tank for longer cleaning stretches.
Depending on the task, you may need to consider heat capabilities. To sanitize, the water must reach 200 degrees or more. In addition to sanitizing, higher temperatures also create a drier steam which is less likely to damage some surfaces.
Before you use this equipment, please read all manufacturer warnings and instructions. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental store professional can provide you with complete instructions.
Frequently asked questions
What is a steam cleaner good for?
A steam cleaner is good for cleaning and sanitizing sealed tile and hardwood floors, grout, countertops, sinks, tubs, showers, ovens, stove tops, grills, glass, carpets, mattresses, curtains, upholstery and more.
What can you not steam clean?
Do not use a steam cleaner on unsealed floors, unglazed tile, plastic, cold glass and windows, delicate items, anything that has been painted with water-based paint, and anything else that the cleaner’s instructions list as surfaces to avoid.
How does a steam cleaner work?
A steam cleaner works by heating water to the point where it turns into pressurized steam. The steam is able to penetrate the surface to force out the dirt and grime and is hot enough to kill bacteria, mold, dust mites and more.
Does steam really clean floors?
Steam can clean floors when a proper steam cleaner is used. It is an easy and effective way to clean and sanitize many types of floors, but not every floor is an appropriate surface for steam cleaning.
Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your steam cleaner needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.