Steam Vacuum Cleaners — A Guide To Squeaky Clean Floors

If you still clean your floors the traditional way of using stick mop and a bucket, you need a time travel. Not one that will take you to the future, what you need is one that will bring you to the present. We use steam vacuum cleaners now in the 21st century. We are pretty sure you will like it here.

The old school way of cleaning hard floors is what made that particular chore so dreaded. It is plain old punishment, but everyone used it back then because that was all there is.

Now that things have advanced, the stick mops have changed into steam vacuum cleaners. They don’t just wipe the floors anymore, they now disinfect the floors as well.

These modern-day mops work on hardwood, tiles and ceramic, marble floors, etc. There are even some that can steam clean carpets.

Steam vacuums have water tanks where the water is heated to a high temperature and the vapor is forces out by a low pressure.

The steam is hot enough to kill germs and allergens present on the floors. It also loosens up dirt and grease making them easier to clean.

Some steam vacuum cleaners can actually vacuum and these ones make the job faster and easier. Once the dirt is loosened up by the steam, the vacuum sucks it in and you have a floor clean of dirt and germs.

As you continue to read, you will learn more about the cool benefits you can get from steam vacuums and what they can do.

You will also come across the types of steam vacuum cleaners. And finally, we rounded off with what you should consider when you are deciding on which to choose.


Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteam



Experience Steamy Cleaning

It is great to clean your floors with a vacuum. It makes things easier and also purifies the air in your home because of its HEPA filters.

That is great if picking up dust and debris is all you need to do. But in truth, we know that our floors at some point need a deeper cleaning than just getting dust and debris out. Carpets sometimes need to be washed and hard floors mopped.

We have warned you quite often on this site not to try out water with your vacuum cleaners unless that is what they are designed for.

You need a mop to wipe your hard floors to keep it truly clean and shiny. If you want to go further by getting rid of germs and bacteria, then you need steam vacuum cleaners.

These work more like vacuum cleaners in the sense that some of these steam cleaners also vacuum. Mainly, you get to use them in the same manner as you will a vacuum cleaner.

Join us as we take a look at some of the wonderful features you will get from using steam vacuum cleaners on your floors.


Clean Different Hard Floor Types

We all know that hard floors come in different variants. The expensive granite and marble, tiles and ceramic, hardwood, linoleum, epoxy floors, etc.

Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood and Tile Floors, with Microfiber Mop Pads, 1543A,PurpleWhatever type of hard floors you have, we are sure you want it to look pristine at all times. If you happen to be a perfectionist that can notice a single scratch on your floor, you can relate to this.

Steam vacuum cleaners are great for hard floors on all counts. They use soft towels or microfiber as the point of contact for the steam cleaner.

This helps to wipe your floors of sticky dust while ensuring no harm comes to it.

The back and forth movement is a smooth an gentle one and will more or less caress your floors rather than scrub it. There are scrub heads you can attach to steam vacuum cleaners though, even those ones will not damage your floors.





Eliminate Germs From Floors

Steam vacuum cleaners, as the name imply, use steam for cleaning your floors. Note that it says steam and not water. The heat is what is used to clean the germs and bacteria. Standard ratings suggest that steam vacuum cleaners kill up to 99% of the germs on your floors.

The hot steam will also melt any greasy mess on your floors making it easier to wipe. Due to the sanitary edge of steam vacuums, you can watch your kids play on your bare floors knowing that they are safe.


Fresh Smell

Bissell Citrus Scented Demineralized Water, 1393, 32 ozStill on the pleasures of steam vacuum cleaners, while you wipe your floors and kill germs and bacteria, you can you can extend the efficacy of these cleaners. You can add specialized water into the steam cleaner to get a fresh smell form you’re the process.

Would that not be a wonderful by-product of cleaning your floors?

These demineralized waters are specially formulated with scents that make them leave behind a refreshing smell long after you are done.

There are also scented mop pads that you attach to your steam cleaner. They are also meant to make your home smell great.

Do note, however, most steam cleaners forbid you to fill the tank with nothing but water. This is why it is important that it is only specialized scented water, preferably from the manufacturer, that you should use.


Go Beyond Floors

Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteamYou might have heard of clothes steamer at one point or another. They are used to steam, well, clothes. That is the same purpose steam vacuum cleaners serve for floors, only there are no wrinkles to take out.

Some steam vacuums allow you to steam other things apart from floors. You can steam clothes, upholstery, mattresses, kitchen sink, and appliances, etc.

At this point you are probably imagining carrying the steam vacuum, well that is not the case.

If you are thinking transformers, congratulations! You are one of the smartest people on earth.

There are steam vacuum cleaners that can transform into handheld steamers.  With that, you can easily start steaming any other thing that needs a blast of hot air.



Safe And Easy To Use

Steam vacuum cleaners have zero hassles involved. You probably thought that something that cleans this well would need a detergent or some other chemicals.

The truth is, all you need is water and nothing else, except for the scented demineralized water that is optional. Those ones do not contain chemicals.

Quite a number of the brands that make steam vacuum cleaners also make the regular vacuum cleaners. So, you can expect that some of the ergonomic designs that you love in your vacuum will be present here too.

Steam vacuum cleaners are lightweight. Most of them are not much larger than your cordless vacuum and they weigh in the same range.

Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteamThey are also easily maneuverable with their swivel design and will easily reach under furniture and corners.

Like a regular vacuum cleaner, some of these steam cleaners have adjustable steam. As we know, not all surfaces will require the same amount of steam.

That way, the adjustability becomes useful as you can regulate the burst of steam as needed for optimal cleaning.

Another similarity steam vacuum cleaners have to other vacuums is attachments and they are quite easy to change. Just pull one out and fix the other.

Some steam vacuums automatically stop steaming once you keep it in an upright position. When you tilt it and start moving, it resumes steaming. This makes it easier to use and the intuitive feature just makes it a pleasure to use.



Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood and Tile Floors, with Microfiber Mop Pads, 1543A,PurpleSteam vacuum cleaners have accessories too, in fact, lots of them. There are crevice tools with a brush that let you steam the sealed lines between tiles. We all know that dirt and germs often accumulate in those mini gaps.

You can also easily switch between a scrubbing towel and a wiping one.

There are upholstery brush tools that help you clean sofas and drapes. They also have a towel you can cover them with so you can just wipe instead of brushing.

There are accessories that let you steam carpets too. Those ones have a brush to comb through the carpet fibers while it steams.

These accessories let you steam in different ways. Depending on the type of steam vacuum cleaner you are using, accessories will suddenly open up the steam cleaner’s versatility.



How Steam Vacuum Cleaners Work

Steam vacuum cleaners use “dry vapor” to disinfect and clean hard floors. They can easily remove grease, grime, grout, etc from surfaces.

These steam cleaners heat up water to nearly 360oF which is higher than what bacteria, fungus, allergens, etc can endure.  This is why they are so effective at killing germs.

Steam vacuum cleaners have water storage where the water boils to the right temperature. These tanks are made with sturdy materials because it is often subjected to a lot of heat and pressure. Some brands use stainless steel for this compartment.

The industrial grade steam vacuums have large and strong tanks to handle the heavy-duty jobs that they encounter.

The heat from the boiler converts the water into vapor which in turn is used to carry out the steaming process. The vapor contains approximately 5% water which is less than the amount of water in the air. This is why the surfaces you steam do not get wet.

The “dry vapor” is pushed out of the cleaner’s nozzle at about 150 psi which is low enough for safety.



Types Of Steam Vacuum Cleaners

Steam floor cleaners are designed more or less like vacuum cleaners which is why it is not surprising that they come in similar types. These vacuum types are basically the same as vacuum cleaners, only that they serve different purposes.


Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood and Tile Floors, with Microfiber Mop Pads, 1543A,Purple

Upright steam vacuum cleaners are single unit hard floor cleaners. You use them just like you would an upright vacuum.

They come with similar advantages and the same shortcomings, only that upright steam vacuum cleaners are not heavy.



McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner with 18 Accessories, Extra-Long Power Cord, Chemical-Free Pressurized Cleaning for Most Floors, Counters, Appliances, Windows, Autos, and MoreThese ones are 2-unit cleaners that are just like canister vacuums. The main difference here is that these ones are slightly smaller and are mostly great for hard floors. They have wheels too if you prefer to pull them behind you.

Canister steam vacuum cleaners have a wider reach than other types for the same reason as canister vacuums.

They are also versatile and can be used for steaming different surfaces in your home as long as you have the appropriate attachment.

They often have bigger tanks which let you clean a larger area without the need to refill.

On the other hand, it becomes a disadvantage because the large tank makes the steamer big and tricky to store.

These canister steam vacuum cleaners are also more expensive.



PurSteam World's Best Steamers Chemical-Free Cleaning PurSteam Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set Purpose and Multi-Surface All Natural, AnthraciteHandheld steam vacuum cleaners are the small ones you can carry around. These types are ideal if you want to clean small areas or just furniture.

They are lightweight and have ergonomic handles that make it easy to hold on to them for extended periods.

They are quite affordable and are also great for the hard to reach areas in your home.






Steam And Vacuum

Despite calling them steam vacuum cleaners does not mean they can all vacuum. Only some of the steam vacuum cleaners have this capability.

One advantage of using a steam vacuum is that you don’t necessarily need to wipe after you steam.

The vacuum will do that by sucking up the dirt you have loosened with steam.

This increases productivity as you will not have to commit any more time to do a wiping pass.

A good example of this type of steam vacuum cleaner is the Bissell Symphony Steam Mop.

Kindly note that this does not mean it can vacuum wetness. Remember we said something about “dry vapor” earlier.



Steam Mop Cleaner ThermaPro 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteamHere it is again; the feature that brings out the excitement in vacuum cleaners. You already know what they are from our previous posts but if you are a new friend, we will gladly fill you in.

Transformers around here are vacuum cleaners that can change from one type of vacuum to another. In the case of steam vacuum cleaners, they can easily go from an upright to a handheld steam vacuum.

These are the types that let you steam more than just floors. You can steam clean practically any non-paper surface you want. This brings out the versatility of this steam cleaner.

Imagine being able to steam the interior of your vehicle and wipe out the embedded dirt.

Would that not be a cool way to keep your car squeaky clean and free of germs?



How To Choose Among Steam Vacuum Cleaners

You have learned what is cool about steam vacuum cleaners and you probably are excited about the prospects. You might not have made up your mind concerning buying one, but somewhere in there, you are wondering which one will be best for you.

That contemplation often requires some serious thought. That is understandable because you do not want to invest in one that will not serve your needs properly.

Since we are your friend, a good one at that, any vacuum cleaner we feature on this site is worth giving a try.

We will also not leave you to do the guesswork, which is why we will run you through the factors you need to consider when deciding.


How big is your space?

If you have a large home, you might want to go for the canister steam vacuum cleaner. They have tanks large enough to let you clean quite some space before you need to refill. If you can find an upright that has a large enough tank, that would also be a good choice.

You might also want to consider a commercial level steam vacuum cleaner. Those ones have an even larger water tank that will spare the hassles of having to refill ever so often.

Some steam vacuum cleaners, especially the commercial ones, have a continuous refill. This involves connecting the tank to a water source. That way, the tank can automatically refill when the water level drops beyond a certain level.

You won’t need to bother about stopping your cleaning to refill. This can significantly reduce the time spent. This consequently increases the productivity.


Temperature and Pressure

These are the two factors that determine the efficacy of steam vacuum cleaners. The temperature implies how hot the water can get while the pressure is how the steam is emitted.

Steam vacuum cleaners that have a higher temperature and higher pressure levels are the ones that provide the best clean.

The high heat will kill even more germs while the pressure of the steam will cover more grounds and last longer.

Steam vacuums that have higher pressure and temperature emit dryer vapor which means your floors will not even be wet when you are done. However, if you want these types of steam vacuums, you should be ready to pay for it.

They cost more but are more effective. So, if a deeper, dryer and long-lasting cleaning of your floors are important to you, then it will be a good choice to pay for that value.


Vacuum Feature

Bissell, 2747A PowerFresh Vac & Steam All-in-One Vacuum and Steam MopIt might be a good idea to go for steam vacuum cleaners that also double as vacuum cleaners. This will spare you the extra cost of getting a vacuum cleaner.

Another advantage of this type is that it makes the floor cleaning process quite fast.

Ordinarily, when you steam the floor, you might need to wipe off the dirt immediately before it dries.

If you use a steamer that vacuums, you won’t need to wipe.

The suction will pick up the dirt or dry the wetness simultaneously. This literally cuts your committed time by half which we believe is a welcomed idea.


Noise Level

You might have been thinking that steam vacuum cleaners do not cause any noise at all, well, they do. Understandably, they do not create as much noise as their drier cousins, but there will noise still.

Some of them can get quite loud for comfort. If the noise will be a bother to you, you might want to pay some attention to the noise rating the manufacturer provides.

If you read our guide on backpack vacuum cleaners, you will understand that the manufacturer’s ratings cannot entirely be relied on.

While you watch out for the rating provided, you can look out for customer reviews to get a more honest opinion.


Ease of Use

Bissell, 2747A PowerFresh Vac & Steam All-in-One Vacuum and Steam MopWhile most steam vacuum cleaners are easy to use as their controls are pretty straightforward, you will still need to pay attention.

Your attention will be directed towards the ergonomic features of the steam vacuum. These features hugely contribute to how convenient the use of the steam vacuum is.

One important ergonomic feature is the weight. Steam vacuum cleaners are generally lightweight but you might still want to consider it depending on how you intend to use the vacuum.

You don’t want to assume a steam mop is of a particular weight only to buy it and then find out it is way heavier than you anticipated.



If you want your steam vacuum cleaner to be versatile so you can use it for any steam cleaning job, you need an assortment of accessories.

Most steam vacuum brands bundle some basic tools with their steam cleaners but will need more than those. Some of them also offer standalone attachment tools that you can buy separately.

If the idea of steam cleaning seems exciting to you, you might want to use it in more ways than one. In that case, you will need to invest in some specialized attachment tools.

That will help you clean all you want like you want whenever you want. How’s the sound of that?



Now, steam vacuum cleaners is part of your knowledge base. We hope that all the information that you have gotten here will help you make a choice with some confidence.

If you are sure that you need a steam vacuum cleaner, make your choice today. You can relish the fact that germs and allergens are in trouble, a deadly one.