There is a large number of steam cleaning machines available today that boast that they can make your tile, carpet, laminate floors or wood look like new. Below are some helpful tips and information about steam cleaning machines for different types of floors.
Steam Versus Vapor Steam
Some floor cleaners work with vapor steam and others are steamers. Your steam cleaner will heat the detergent that is in the tank, and then the solution is released as the machine passes over the floor. Your suction mechanism will remove the dirt and the wetness. It is not the steam that cleans the carpet, it is the detergent. With a vapor steam machine, hot vapor is produced from the water in the tank. It is not suctioned up; instead, you will need to vacuum the floor after the vapor has loosened the dirt. A benefit of using vapor steam is that there are no toxic solutions required for the cleaning process.
Shampooing your carpet will clean it but leave your floor wet. When steam cleaning with hot water and detergents, it attacks and pulls up the dust mites, germs, bacteria and dirt. The steam and hot water will dry quickly because of the suction mechanism on your machine. You will also be able to choose your cleaning solution, and can avoid any chemicals that may cause allergies, and using the right solution for the fibers in your specific carpet. With synthetic carpets, an alkaline detergent is used, while an acidic based cleaner is better for your wool and natural fibers.
Cleaning Wood Floors
Steam cleaning your wooden floors is not recommended. As the wood will absorb the water or vapors. Water also damages the finish that is applied to wooden floors.
With laminate flooring, water is a threat to the finished installation, which is why the product is not recommended for laundry rooms or kitchens. You are introducing the water element when steam cleaning a laminate floor, and after a few cleanings, the boards will most likely buckle because the steam and water has effected the glue that secures it.
The best way to clean your tile floors is with water or steam. Dirt and germs are obliterated because of the temperatures approaching 200 degrees. You can use a gentle cleanser or tap water in the tank to avoid damaging the grout. Most steamers will have a suction mechanism that will remove the water, or it could have a mop attached that will absorb the dampness left behind.
At ITS Africa, we offer a wide range of cleaning equipment including steam cleaners. Visit our website on www.its-africa.co.za for more information.