I've bought a steam cleaner, because my partner's very keen on the idea of not using 'chemicals' to clean with.

Have used it a few times (it seems to fall to me, mostly) - I have to say, I'm still not convinced it does much good. I mean, for all it's rather therapeutic to blast things with jets of steam, I'm still not sure it's really doing anything much more profound than spraying hot water all over the place.

I've tried to figure out a definitive answer as to whether they do any good, but have found a fairly steady stream of marketing propaganda and anecdata.

My observation is that it doesn't do much more than a spray bottle of water.

Is anyone able to help me confirm whether 'steam cleaning' is actually beneficial or effective when compared to more standard cleaning methods?

  • This looks like two different questions - in the heading you ask whether steam cleaning is more effective than other forms of cleaning, and in the last line ask whether steam cleaning is actually effective at all. – bdsl Jan 26 '15 at 11:15
  • Fair point. I shall amend accordingly. – Sobrique Jan 26 '15 at 11:54
  • For the "notability" aspect, here's a link recommending steam cleaning: ehow.com/facts_5577293_benefit-steam-cleaning-clothes.html, claiming that it "kills bacteria" through the heated steam. That's something which could probably be explored. – Sean Duggan Jan 26 '15 at 15:07
  • Two different cleaning methods might BOTH be better than reach other, according to different criteria. Steam might be better at killing held than detergent, but take more time. It might be more difficult than bleach, but smell better. We need a specific claim. – Oddthinking Jan 26 '15 at 19:37
  • Steam kills bugs and germs, and condenses into water which is harmless to humans, but may encourage subsequent growth of spores, moulds and germs. Chemicals may have levels of toxicity for humans, but may be small enough to be negligible. – iantresman Jan 27 '15 at 11:52

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