Steam Power at Home

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, steam powered factories, boats and locomotives. Now, steam power can be harnessed at home – to thoroughly clean every room.

Americans aren’t used to the idea of steam cleaning, but Europeans have been steam cleaning their homes for years. Steam cleaning machines work by releasing hot steam vapor into the pores of surfaces, where it breaks up dirt and stains. While a vacuum cleaner removes surface dirt, a steam cleaner removes deeply embedded dirt without using harsh or potentially harmful chemicals.

Steam cleaners clean most surfaces more effectively than a spray bottle and towel. They also disinfect areas better than commercial wipes or sprays. Steam cleaners produce very hot water vapor – one portable cleaner, Reliable’s EnviroMate Pronto, releases steam at 220 degrees Fahrenheit – which kills bacteria, mold spores and other microorganisms on contact. Steam cleaners are also effective against dust mites, making them an ideal appliance for those with indoor allergies.

Homeowners worried about the environmental or health effects of chemical stain removers and disinfectants will find peace-of-mind in cleaning with steam. Steam cleaning uses nothing but water to clean, deodorize and disinfect. Most steam cleaners use less than a gallon of water per hour. Low-moisture vapor leaves surfaces nearly dry – a carpet takes around 15 minutes to dry after steam cleaning – so homeowners don’t need to worry about damp areas encouraging mold growth.

Steam cleaning machines are especially effective in killing dust mites and bed bugs, removing pet stains and odors, cleaning grout, removing wallpaper and detailing cars. They can remove grease from kitchen counters, disinfect stuffed animals, clean grill racks and golf clubs, deodorize litter boxes and shine jewelry with equal effectiveness. Powerful steam cleaners, like Reliable’s EnviroMate Tandem Steam/Vacuum Cleaner, can take on the toughest messes through steam cleaning, extracting steam residue and vacuuming. The cleaner comes with a 24-piece accessory kit, which allows the machine to steam and vacuum a variety of surfaces, including carpets and furniture.

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