How to Use a Handheld Steam Cleaner

Bryan Katiewick
Written by
Last update:

Unpacking your steam cleaner

When you open the box that contains your steam cleaner, you will see a number of different components that need to be unpacked and assembled.

The first thing to do is to look inside the box for a instructions manual. This refers to the user manual that is supplied by the manufacturer. You should find instructions for how to assemble the unit and how to operate it.

Two of the main pieces that you will need to assemble for your steam cleaner are the water tank and the handle. The water tank is the main housing for the water that cleans. Set the lid aside and fill your tank with water.

The handle is the means by which you move the steam cleaner around the room. The handle should be screwed into the base of the steam cleaner. Then, insert the water tank into the body of the unit.

Once you have inserted the water tank and handle, you will have to close the lid to ensure that no water spills out.

Now the unit is assembled, plug it in and fill it with water.

How to fill your handheld steam cleaner

Handheld steam cleaners have a reserve tank that is usually located under the water tank. It is usually designated by the letters RES or RESERVE. Check your owner's manual to ensure you understand the specific procedures of your model.

To clean the dirty reservoir:

Turn your handheld steam cleaner on standby.

Fill your dirty reservoir with just water.

Let your handheld steam cleaner run for about 10 minutes.

Depressurize your handheld steam cleaner by depressing the corresponding button on your handheld steam cleaner under the dirty reservoir.

Remove the dirty reservoir and then refill it with a mixture of 6 tablespoons of vinegar and 10 teaspoons of table salt.

Let your handheld steam cleaner run for about 10 minutes.

Depressurize your handheld steam cleaner and then remove the dirty reservoir.

Wipe clean the dirty reservoir with a paper towel.

For extra stubborn stains, mix equal parts white vinegar and table salt and fill the dirty reservoir with this mixture. Let your handheld steam cleaner run for about 10 minutes.

Depressurize your handheld steam cleaner and then remove the dirty reservoir.

Wipe clean the dirty reservoir with a paper towel.

How to use your handheld steam cleaner

A handheld steam cleaner is a great investment for anyone with a home. It's the Swiss army knife of cleaning appliances. With a little elbow grease, you can tackle all of your household cleaning needs.

To begin, mix a few drops of your favorite all-purpose cleaner or heavy-duty cleaner with about 2 cups of water. Put this mixture in your steam cleaner's water tank according to the manufacturer's instructions. After filling your water tank, you'll also want to fill your steam cleaner's detergent chamber. Fill it enough so that it’s full but just enough to avoid overflowing.

Next, plug your steam cleaner in. Most appliances take 30 minutes to an hour to get hot enough to steam effectively, but check your owner's manual for your particular machine.

At this point, you are ready to start cleaning. Simply remove your steam cleaner from the wall and then press a button to release the steam. According to your manufacturer's instructions, you may have access to a variety of attachments. Your attachments are usually stored on the bottom of the steam cleaner in a specified part of the cleaner. You'll want to select the attachment that is compatible with the job at hand. For example, if you want to clean your bathroom, you'll want to select a bathroom brush that allows you to fit the attachments to your steam cleaner.

Packing up

For a Trip? Try These Tips Before You Go

If you have a handheld steamer, you're weapon of choice for a quick and easy clean up. Consider these suggestions before taking off.

Use a Handheld Steamer on Hard Surfaces

A handheld steamer should not be used on any fabric-covered surfaces including curtains, tables or bedding. And as for cleaning floors, a handheld steamer is best for hard surfaces. You can use a handheld steamer on carpeting if you're very careful. You can use a handheld steamer on your car provided that you follow all safety precautions.

Clean the Handheld Steamer Regularly

You want to clean the heating element regularly, as the build-up of minerals can leave discoloration or clog the machine. The important thing to remember is that materials you can use to clean the interior of your steamer will actually damage the heating element. Use water to clean the machine, and every other week you should be making sure you're cleaning the water tank.

Fix and Prevent Spills

Steamers can get hot, and as a result, it's important to pay attention and prevent spills. Even something as small as water can make an awful mess if it falls onto a carpet or another surface you weren't planning on cleaning.