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Steam Cleaning Your Whole Home

Last Updated Mar 5, 2013 · Written by Rob Schneider

Vacuuming is fine for day-to-day cleaning, but even the best vacuum cleaner cannot remove all the dirt and grime that accumulates in your carpet, upholstery and curtains. Worse, vacuuming does nothing to remove dust mites and other allergens. The best way to give your home a thorough cleaning is to periodically steam clean it. Why steam? Once you know how it works, the answer becomes clear.

How Steam Cleaning Works

The secret to a steam cleaner's effectiveness lies in its ability to heat water to a very high temperature, convert it to steam and force the steam deep into the carpet or other surface it is cleaning. This accomplishes two things:
  1. Grease and oils cling to any surface. Steam cleaning is the most environmentally friendly and effective way to remove built-up grime from any surface.

  2. Steam kills mould, bacteria, fungi, dust mites and other allergens.
Because effective steam cleaning depends on the steam cleaner's ability to heat water to a very high temperature, it is best to either let a professional home cleaner do your carpet cleaning for you once or twice a year or rent a high quality steam cleaner from a local equipment hire shop. Otherwise, buy a high quality steam cleaner with enough attachments to allow you to use it regularly for a variety of household chores.

Steam Cleaning Your Whole Home

Steam cleaning is most often associated with carpet cleaning and to a lesser extent with upholstery, curtains and other porous fabric surfaces. However, with the right equipment or attachments, you can steam clean even hard surfaces and achieve brilliant results. Try steam cleaning:
  • In the bathroom, steam cleaning can remove mineral deposits from shower screen glass and tiles. Steam cleaning is also a great way to clean and sanitise your toilet, bathtub and sink basin.
  • In the kitchen, steam cleaning lino and vinyl floors can remove stubborn stains. Steam cleaning the splashbacks and other hard surfaces around your cooktop is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remove grease and oil.
  • If you have a doghouse, periodic steam cleaning is the best way to keep it hygienic.
Using detail and speciality attachments, you can find dozens of other uses for your steam cleaner, including:
  • Degreasing your oven and cooktop.
  • Cleaning exhaust hoods.
  • Cleaning around the refrigerator door seal.
  • Cleaning and degreasing any hard-to-clean surface, such as electrical outlets. CAUTION! Turn off the mains first, to be on the safe side.
Steam is also ideal for removing chewing gum, the yellow stains caused by tobacco smoke, wax, crayon marks, tar and other sticky substances.

Is there anything you don't want to steam clean? Even painted walls and wallpaper can sometimes be steam cleaned, but this should be left up to the experts. If not done correctly, you could end up removing the paint or wallpaper. Many types of plastics, too, should not be steam cleaned, because the steam can melt, warp or degrade plastic surfaces.
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