Steam Cleaners FAQ

1) Do I need a steam cleaner?

Steam cleaners are ideal for hard surfaces, such as sealed floors, tile and bathrooms. The machines also can be used on upholstery and to spot clean many carpets. (One notable exception: Natural fibers, like wool, which cannot handle high heat.)

Steam cleaners generate temperatures of up to 360°F with pressure levels of up to 150 psi. The machines produce "dry" vapor steam that contains as little as 5% water. This makes the equipment ideal for sanitizing and killing mold, bacteria, and allergens.

Steam cleaning is often, but not always, a chemical-free process. If you need chemicals look for green cleaning products appropriate for the application or surface. The cleaning solutions can be pre-sprayed onto surfaces prior to applying the steam.

For more on the difference between steam cleaners, steam pressure washers and carpet steam cleaners see our article "Carpet Steam Cleaners vs. Steam Cleaners vs. Steam Pressure Washers."

2) Do I need a residential, commercial or industrial machine?

Residential and light commercial-grade steam cleaners offer convenience and ease of use. Some units offer wet and dry vacuums, extraction tanks and continuous refill options for non-stop cleaning.

Commercial grade machines offer higher pressure levels and steam temperatures, plus features such as detergent chambers that allow cleaning solutions to be ejected with steam via simple handle controls.

Read more about residential and commercial steam cleaners.

Industrial-grade machines offer the highest pressure levels, the highest steam temperatures, massive boilers and chambers, and special capabilities, such as the ability to connect directly to a water feed similar to pressure washers.

Read more about industrial steam cleaners.

3) How much pressure do I need?

Steam cleaners use relatively low-pressure levels of up to only 150 psi, as compared to more than 5000 psi for pressure washers. Daimer steam cleaners match the pressure levels to the grade of the steam cleaner. As noted above, residential machines have lower pressures, while industrial machines have the highest pressures.

4) Do I need vacuum capability?

Steam cleaners can be equipped with wet/dry vacuums that empty their contents automatically into extraction tanks of up to 35 liters. The wet vacuum capabilities boost productivity because they let users clean without the use of towels. Non-vacuum steam cleaners require the use of a towel to wipe the moisture and residue left behind.

Dry vacuums extract pollen, dust mites and other allergens, and deposit them into the water for easy disposal.

5) Do I need special sanitizing capabilities?

For applications in hospitals, nursing homes and other specialized environments where eliminating disease-causing bacteria and mold are critical, consider steam cleaners with enhanced features.

Advanced Thermal Ionic Sanitization® (ATIS®) is a technology that killed 99.99% of disease-causing bacteria and mold in independent laboratory tests.

A water-filtration-based vacuum featuring a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which traps allergens and microorganisms, is also worth considering. Vacuums draw in air, which is later expelled through the machine. Ideally, the expelled air should pass through a HEPA filter to prevent the spread of harmful particles.

More Information about Steam Cleaners

Buyer's guide to steam cleaners.

Comparison charts for steam cleaners.

Using a steam cleaner on tile walls and floors.

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