Steam cleaners are a fantastic option for cleaning nearly any material or platform comprising a household without toxic chemicals. There are, unfortunately, some surfaces and materials that don’t do well under the high heat or moisture that the machine produces, especially really delicate fabrics. But there is still a need to use a system that is free of harsh toxins. For the areas that won’t benefit from the cleaning power one of the units offers, there are natural alternatives that will do the job in a much more gentle capacity.
Steam Cleaner Functionality
The experts in the steamer industry, steamcleanmaster.com, operate the unit by turning regular tap water into a steam vapor that provides deep-cleaning properties from the heat that it generates. The heat capacity can go as high as 325 degrees F in an effort to kill germs on site. These devices are useful for hardwoods that have been sealed, upholstery, durable fabrics, appliances, mirrors and windows, bathrooms including tiles-grout, and in areas outside the household, such as with automobile exteriors.
The advantageous thing for many homeowners is that the unit does this without any toxic chemicals that may prove harmful to those living in the home. It merely uses heat and water. Chemical-free cleaning is ideal for the air-quality and is perfect for those choosing to live a green lifestyle. But unfortunately, high temperature is not healthy for some materials that react poorly under those conditions. Some things you should avoid using a machine on:
- Anything that has been painted in water-based paint, made from cardboard, or paper materials.
- Surfaces that are porous in nature, including stucco, marble, or brick platforms.
- Big industrial areas or food plants.
- Vast spaces of carpeting. Carpets should only be spot cleaned using this type of machine.
- Any material deemed as delicate, which would include velour, thin plastic, silk.
There may have been anecdotal successes in cleaning in some of these types of situations, but there are specific reasons that these are not ideal. In technicality, one of these units has the capacity to clean a larger space, but it notes as not being the most effective means to do so.
You can steam clean silk if you so choose, and it may prove a win for you if you do so with caution, but it also has the potential to ruin the item you’re steaming. That risk is not genuinely worth it, particularly if the material is valuable.
Steamers have the potential to clean surfaces such as sidewalks and the cracks, but they don’t necessarily do so with enough power to clean them as successfully as other products such as a pressure washer can.
As with any product on the market, the steam cleaner has specific uses, a purpose, and for what it will be most beneficial. The things these machines are responsible for sanitizing, it’s the ideal system more so than any other on the market and without chemicals. But it too has its limits for which there is a better alternative.
Cleaning Solutions Of A Natural/Organic Composition
Fortunately, for those materials that are too sensitive to the heat that a steamer produces, there are natural remedies still free of nasty chemicals. Some of those that are the most popular include:
- Wiping with a wet cloth: Walls that have been coated with latex paint or surfaces similar to these should be wiped down with a warm, damp cloth because they are too sensitive to the excessive heat that the machines produce.
- Sodium Bicarbonate, also known as baking soda: Upholstery or carpet, should be sprinkled with baking soda, which is to set for up to 30 minutes and then vacuum.
- A close cousin to baking soda: ‘Washing soda’ or sodium carbonate notes to be ideal for taking up oil from garage floors that are cement. The suggestion is to sprinkle it on with water to create a paste and leave it overnight. The next morning it should be scrubbed down with a brush and rinsed.
- The all-natural vinegar: Vinegar is the ideal cleaner for almost any situation where heat deems to be too harsh without causing any sort of damage.
- Natural olive oil-based soap: Castile soap is used in a variety of different cleaning situations with a mixture of ¼ cup to 2 gallons (7.57 l) of warm water if you want to use it in a large capacity. Or you can combine 1 tablespoon to ⅓ cup of baking soda for smaller projects.
- Natural polish for furniture: Olive oil is the perfect polish if you take 2 cups (0.47 l) with 2 tablespoons lemon juice using a soft cloth to rub into the wood.
As mentioned previously, if you use caution, using a steam cleaner proves quite capable of cleaning nearly any surface with great success. These are simply natural alternatives for particularly delicate materials that may not withstand a great deal of heat. You don’t want to ruin anything that has value by subjecting it to high heat if it’s not tolerant of excessive temperatures.
This is especially true of a porous area like a marble surface, an entire room of carpeted space, or your more delicate materials like velour or silks. The natural methods still give you a chemical-free alternative but also protect from severe heat or moisture.
These go hand-in-hand with the power of the steam cleaner in keeping a household sanitized entirely without the use of harsh toxins.