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Do those STEAM MACHINE things work!!

Posted by dave (dave), 30 December 2003

I was looking in one of the superstores the other day and noticed one of the Steam machines for sale.

Do they actually work!! Has anyone got one and likes it?

I was thinking of tough areas like body scum on glass pannelled shower doors and bath tiles or even the top of kitchen units where its gone all sticky and dusty, or do they have other uses.

Are they worth the money?

Regards Dave.

Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_Gourlay), 30 December 2003
This steam debate is interesting . If you look in this months Cleaning Matters is is full of the benefits of Steam Cleaning and pleanty of adverts for various machines.

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 30 December 2003
Hi Dave

There have been several topics that covered steam cleaners and some highly recommend them and others don't. Those that recommend them appreciate that you get what you pay for:
Small hand held steam guns like those below are great for detailing work that is any area that is difficult to get to with cloths and scourers. They are good for cleaning round fixtures and fittings, grouting, and general detail work. Although they only hold a small amount of water (enough for say 15mins continuous work) they are quick and easy to set-up and can be used within 20 seconds of plugging in. Every contract cleaner should have one because, for the cost, they make it easier to pay attention to detail.
They cost between £50 and £100 (ours is currently £79.20) but avoid the really cheap ones as you have to 'pump' the trigger to get the steam out!
If you have a look at our site here: theres more info as well as a video of the machine in use.

The mid range machines, say £100 - £500, dont do a great deal more and this is the range that people get †dissapointed with becuase they expect them do so much more. They tend to be oversold and claim to be able to clean anything and everything. In reality, they only hold more water and can therefore be used for longer periods of time. You do get better and more consistent control of the volume of steam but this doesn't really allow you to tackle more types of work. Becuase they dont have any form of extraction system the only way they can recover large volumes of dirt is by using them with terry towelling cloths which is not particularly efficient in a commercial environment. They wouldn't be much better on the shower doors or on top of the kitchen units - you'd just end up with a sticky mess.

Once you get into the £600+ plus range then these are the machines with some form of vacuum extraction that allow you to effectively clean large areas of floors and walls. The top end stainless steel machines £1800+ are the ones that would really make a difference in commercial kitchens where you regularly had to deep clean areas. These machines also allow you to add chemicals - despite what people tell you steam doesn't do everything and there are times when chemicals make a big difference.
This is the model we sell to contractors (at £2700) who do regular deep cleans:

More info here:

So the answer is yes they do work and are worth having so long as you appreciate that, as with anything, you get what you pay for!

Any more questions please ask.



by the way, there's also another topic running in the carpet cleaning section that talk about steam cleaners for carpets:;action=display;num=1072120410
Posted by keybrite (keybrite), 30 December 2003
I bought a karcher steamer 1 month ago, cost £169.00, I gave it to my cleaning ladies to experiment with at home before taking it out to clients, all I can say that it takes out all the hard graft from cleaning greasy oven tops and worktops, give a shiny finish to bathroom tiles
does a wonderful job over a small area, lightweight and very easy to use, I feel it was worth the outlay, and the clients love it. Smiley
Posted by petra (petra), 30 December 2003
Yes I have one too, and it does come in handy, but you do need to play with them first to find the best way of using them.
Posted by dave (dave), 31 December 2003
Thanks for your comments,

From what you are saying, I think I will invest in one as we are increasing our work on the rental properties and these seem to be the one's that are the dirtiest.

Thanks for your help

Posted by catrodney (catrodney), 31 December 2003
Hi Dave,
Mike is right dont waste your money on the toy steam machines go for industrial,i have a commercial osprey machine with built in vac, ok dont use every day but when we do what an impressive bit of kit,and after sales service are brill,we also have the osprey robbie 6000 which we use on rentals,ovens,shower doors,wall tiles,ovens,fridge freezers,mattresses,curtains and excellent for chewing gum removal off carpets.
Osprey have been one of the best companys we have dealt with in the past if we had a problem with machines which is on two occasions Osprey would send out on Next day delivery a replacement machine and take ours for repair thats what customer service is all about iam sure we have all experienced the hard sell then found so called after sales non existence.

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