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steam cleaners

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Hi my name is Carmen I am new to this forum, I have posted in the tomato section mainly but love to read everybodys post almost daily. Well here is a question I have. Have any of you tried any steam cleaners, I am talking about cleaning all your house appliances with steam, I have been doing some research and it seems that the best ones are the ladybug steam cleaners but they are very very expensive about $1000 or more, I have seen them in the hsn channel also (well other brands) and they are cheaper but have no idea whether or not they are as good as they claim.
any info will greatly be appreciated

I have one that cost about $150. It's the Shark Pro. I think it's fine for household use and cannot imagine that a $1000 unit is going to be 10 times better for household use.

The professional street cleaning people around here use those high-end units for removing graffiti from buildings and pavement, but nothing in your house requires that kind of power. Do a little web research and then shop by price. Do not get one of the very cheap hand-held units that are shaped like teapots. I can't imagine those working very well or lasting for more than a few minutes. I would chose based on price, size, and attachments. The ability to add soap is useful, as is the attachment that adds a cloth so that you can "mop" surfaces, and you can easily make your own mopping cloths. I don't think paying much more than $150-$175 is justified. Those units are fine for cleaning my stove and other appliances. The other thing to consider is that as steam cleaners, they leave lots of water behind, so you have to have lots of rags to mop it up. At that point you wonder whether it's easier to use a spray cleaner and rag and skip a step.

This message was edited May 8, 2006 8:56 PM

This message was edited Jun 10, 2006 2:15 PM

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thank you so much for the info. About a year ago I used one of the hand held ones and it was a waste of money and time so I returned it to the store and got my money back since then I had not paid attention to it anymore, until I saw an infomercial at hsn for one, of course the results on TV look extremely good and a little deceiving. I come from Spain and steam cleaners have been there for a long time and believe me when I say they are good and cheaper, they will even come to your house to do a demostration prior of you purchasing the machine unfortunately I was not able to purchase one because they have 220 v machines instead of 110 v. One thing that I was reading about the high end price ones is that they use dry steam so there is hardly any water residue left, but still the cheapest one I found is about $600 wich is a lot for me now.
By the way does your steamer clean ovens good, I am talking about burned dry stuff that stays in the oven for years. The reason why I ask this is because I own a rental and the tennants left the house in horrible condition the oven had burned cheese all over.

Thanks again for your help

Are you in the US? If so, I can suggest some products for you. The best thing with an oven, once you get it cleaned, is to place a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom and change it once a week. Ask your tenants to do this as well.

I think that a steam unit might clean the bottom of the oven, but can you remove the bottom? If so, removing it and cleaning it is more economical than buying a steam cleaner just for this purpose. If you are in the US buy the Oxi steel wool (Brillo). That will clean the bottom of your oven. If it is a gas oven, you can probably remove the bottom and take it outside to clean with a hose and steel wool.

I don't think that "dry" steam makes much difference or is worth a lot of extra money. I see the men removing gum from the sidewalk with the high-powered steamers and even those leave a little water.

This message was edited May 8, 2006 8:59 PM

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Actually I do live in the US, thanks for your advice. I use the aluminum foil on the oven in my house and like you say change it 1 a week or so, but even telling some of my tenants is just a waste of time, some of them have absolutely no respect for the house, I guess their thinking is since this is not my house I don't care, of course not every tennant I have had is the same, some of them are very clean and don't give me any problems at all but unfortunatelly I have also experience some bad ones. I thinks after some serious consideration, I believe that you are right the steamers are just not worth it, they are expensive and might not work as well as they claim them to work.

Thanks again for your advice.

Poquoson, VA(Zone 7b)

To help clean you oven. Place a large pan of water & vinegar in the oven and turn it on. 'Boil' the water in the oven for about 15-30 minutes (watch it - don't let it boil dry). Then let it cool just enough so that you don't burn yourself. Then clean as usual. The cooked-on stuff should be much looser - you're steaming it off, but without the cost of the steamer :-)

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thank you Backyardzoo, I'll try that. I usually end up buying the oven cleaner and the fumes makes me sick. What temp do you usually set the oven to?

Poquoson, VA(Zone 7b)

350 works, since that's where mine is typically set, I don't bother to move it. Anything over 212 so that you get the steam should work, though. 500 might be a bit high & re-bake the stuff on ;-)

Same concept works for microwaves, too, btw.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Hi Carmen -

I bought the Eureka EnviroPro steam cleaner about two years ago and believe it cost about $130. My enthusiasm for it isn't high because, as Andidandi says, it leaves a lot of water behind that has to be wiped up with rags. You wouldn't want that much water inside an oven. My model does have pads that can be attached for mopping up floor surfaces but the pads quickly become dirty and I felt I was just moving the grime around, especially on our big old kitchen floor.

What I do like about the steam cleaner is that I don't have to use so many strong smelling cleaning products, especially in the bathrooms. The steam just leaves a room smelling fresh and clean.

I wouldn't buy another steam cleaner unless it had a feature to vacuum up the water, sort of like a wet 'n dry vacuum.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the info june-nmexico.
After thinking about it for a while I don't think I should spend the money on one expecially if I have to clean up after it, all the water residue. I myself don't mind the smell of some cleaners like pinesol etc... sometimes I even like the smell.
I just saw an infomercial and of course they make it sound like this cleans practically everything without hardly any effort so I thought it would be worth it.

Thanks for all your help.


Winchester, VA(Zone 6b)

I accidently split lemon juice in my oven recently (the oven was hot) and where the lemon hit the oven has never been so clean. The vinegar idea is great - cheaper than lemons

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

You know there is a good book called Haley's cleaning hints, I have not tried the oven cleaning method he suggests but have tried a couple like the 10 second silver cleaning and microwave oven cleaning method and both of them work good. I'll have to see about the oven though and see if it works if not I will buy a jug of lemon juice and spill it all over.

Kingman, AZ(Zone 7b)

I want to post this here too, any discussion on the Shark steam cleaner for floors. I love it, and mine broke. Couldn't afford to rush out and by a new one. Hubby took it apart, very simple, found a fuse blown. He thinks the jets got clogged and it overheated. He bought the part at Radio Shack for $1.00, It is called a Thermal Fuse and is for coffee makers or hair dryers. So if your's breaks, check this out before you buy another.

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