How a steam cleaner worksSteam cleaners use the bacteria killing power of steam to produce a deep clean that is unlike any other.

Not only can a steam cleaner help remove stains, but it will also remove mould, germs and allergens that traditional vacuuming can’t touch.

Just how a steam cleaner is able to do this is a mystery to many, which can make people skeptical of the true power of steam cleaning.

This article will present several elements of a steam cleaner, explaining how they work and the effect they can have on creating a healthy, clean environment in any home.

Making steam

The first thing a steam cleaner needs to be able to do is, well, make steam. This is done with a boiler inside the unit that heats the water to temperatures in excess of 150 degrees Celsius.

This heat creates the dry steam used to clean carpets and upholstery. The temperature of the steam means that it kills mould, germs and 99.9% of bacteria, thus providing a healthy clean ideal for anyone with allergies.

The pressure of the steam created never exceeds 15 psi, thus it is completely safe and stable.

Water replenishment

Most home use will require filling water tanks only once at the beginning of the project.

Many industrial size projects will require refilling the unit, as the water tanks will be depleted before the job is finished.

The first method of water replenishment uses a refill tank. This means that the water tank can be topped up during operation, thus work can continue uninterrupted.

The second method uses water lines connected to the site’s plumbing. This allows for constant water flow, eliminating the need of large water storage tanks.

Chemical solutions

In addition to the power of steam, many steam cleaners use chemical cleaning solutions.

These solutions are held in special storage reservoirs that feed them into the steam flow usually at the press of a button.

The added cleaning power of the shampoo or cleaner helps to remove stains from carpets, as well as adding necessary cleaning power for carpets or upholstery that have not been cleaned for excessively long periods of time.

Vacuum option

Some models of steam cleaners are a hybrid steam cleaner/vacuum. This can serve two distinct purposes.

First, you can clean your carpet prior to steam cleaning it with just one device, making the task somewhat more convenient.

Second, the suction power of the vacuum will help extract the water from the carpet as you steam clean.

This process significantly reduces the drying time required after the steam cleaning is done.


Most steam cleaners come with a wide array of attachments for various other cleaning tasks.

Special sponges can be used to steam clean glass, providing the same sterile clean to windows that steam cleaning gives to carpets and upholstery.

These can also be used for specific linoleum floorings and various types of countertops.

Detail brushes are available for deep cleaning corners of sofas and chairs, as well as a variety of other specialised cleaning projects.

Other brushes of varying size and shape allow for cleaning curtains, stairs and any other surface that requires a more delicate touch.


All in all, a steam cleaner is a bit like a dry cleaner for your home.

Just as dry cleaners use special methods and chemicals to clean clothes better than traditional cleaning can, so too, steam cleaners provide a level of deep cleaning that no vacuum is capable of.

As well as penetrating deeper into carpet and upholstery fibre, the steam and chemicals help kill bacteria and germs, creating a whole new dimension of clean.

Hopefully the information in this article will help you decide if steam cleaning is right for you.