Remember the time when your friend left a dirty stain on the car upholstery? Or how about the time when there was a mud stain on the handlebar area? Or how about the dust accumulated in the deepest cranny of your car that is simply not accessible with even the tiniest of brushes. Cars are certainly the most difficult to clean considering the fact, how compact the design is and how many sensitive components it has tucked at every nook and crevice. Simple mops and brush are certainly never enough to clean the interior.
Another important aspect of cars is that the stubborn stains and dirt marks aside, it is easy for dust and grease to accumulate within the interior while it is on move. Constant use and weather changes can even cause odor and mildew to form. This is where steam cleaners for cars are the perfect cleaning solution. An extremely versatile appliance, the steam cleaner is now not just merely a cleaning device for bathrooms and home interiors.
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Specially designed for cars and other vehicles, these car steam cleaners have custom-designed functionalities and fittings solely created for vehicle interiors. The motto of “Work smarter and not harder” certainly applies perfectly well in the case of Steam cleaner for cars.
How does a Car Steam Cleaner Work?
The working principle of a steam cleaner is simple. The high-temperature steam under pressure breaks down the grime and stains to loosen and dissolute them completely.
The thermal pressure generated by the steam is powerful enough to weaken and lift away all the clogged dirt within the fibers of the car upholsterers and covers.
The specially engineered car steamers have specifically designed extension tools and accessories to reach difficult and manually unreachable sections of the car easily and remove all the unwanted deposits and collections.
Why Should You Steam Clean a Car?
We all know that it is far easier to clean the exterior of any vehicle than the interior. Steam cleaning a car has some major advantages over normal cleaning techniques. These include –
- Steaming deep cleans the car fabrics without needing to manually clean them using a brush and detergents.
- There is no need to use harsh chemicals for cleaning the dirt marks
- The cleaning tool attachment can reach the most unreachable corners and crevices.
- Steaming removes all the odor and mildew and does not leave behind any chemical stench.
- The manual strain is greatly reduced
- It can be used on all the surfaces and areas of the car without the constant fear of damage.
- Scrubbing is not needed.
- It is a great option to remove pet stains, drools, and molds.
- Effectively cleans the cloth fabric of the car seats without needing to remove and air dry.
Can You Steam Clean Car Seats?
Yes, a steam cleaner can be safely used in car seats. In case the high temperature of the steam is worrying you, then you can relax. All the car seats today are completely accustomed to steaming temperature.
However, care should be taken to not steam clean the car fabrics frequently or daily. Daily steaming can cause shrinking in the case of leather and faux leather goods.
Steam cleaning a car if done once or twice a month, it does not cause any harm.
How to Steam Clean a Car?
1. Cleaning of The Car Fabric and Carpets
Car fabric attracts the most dirt, pollutants, oil, and other unnecessary foreign particles. Vacuuming the upholstery is the first and foremost criteria. This removes the majority of the particles.
Steam cleaning post vacuuming is often more effective as the remnant particles are easier to dislodge and remove than before. It is important to ensure that the cleaning brush does not stay at a spot for long. Instead one should keep it moving. This is because steaming a single spot for long can cause wetting of the surface.
Ensure to steam clean the corners and overlaps using the triangle tool attachments. Crevice tool attachment can be used to steam clean the deep spots and folds. Steaming is most effective in cleaning salt stains formed on the car fabrics during the winter months.
2. Cleaning The Leather/Vinyl or Polyester Surface
It is important to know that leather and vinyl are prone to damage easily. Since the interior of most cars often has vinyl or faux leather/leather finish, care should be taken to not cause any damage to them.
A microfiber cloth works best in removing the surface fine clouds of dust. Once the surface is clean, the interior is ready to be steam cleaned. Car steamers have soft-bristle or foam attachments specifically designed for delicate inclusions of a car fitting. Additionally, the same principle also works for seat leathers and headrest also.
The steering wheel is one segment we forget to clean. However it is the dirtiest part of the car interior as dirt, sweat, and oil from hands are often deposited on the steering. Steam cleaner with its foam attachment should be used to remove unnecessary foreign particles.
3. Cleaning The Crevices and Unreachable Corners
Jet steam nozzle attachment works well in cleaning deep grooves and unreachable corners like dash vents, door pockets, consoles, etc.
Though steam removes most of the pollutants from these inaccessible nooks, it is best to vacuum once after the car is sufficiently dry to remove any loosened dirt stuck deep in the corners.
4. Cleaning The Headliners
Prone to accumulate airborne dust and dirt, headliners should be carefully steam cleaned. Too much steaming can cause softening of the glue holding the headliners in place.
5. Cleaning The Window Panes and Inner Lining
Windows are the area most prone to all kinds of unwanted particles. From bird droppings to bugs, dirt, grease, tree sap, there is nothing that does not fall on the windows of the cars. Squeegees are perfect for cleaning the windows. They remove all the overlying particles and loosen the remaining ones for a better steaming effect later on.
Post the initial cleanup with a squeegee attachment, steam clean the windows in an overlapping motion to remove dirt from all around the window pane and even the corners.
As a final touch-up, clean the surface with the microfiber cloth once again to remove the last bit of dirt too.nIn case you have a baby car seat or pet bed in the car, those can be also cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized using a car steamer.
The Best Steam Cleaner for Cars in 2020
Steam cleaners for cars have become an important necessity for most car owners. With improved and new up-gradation being introduced every day, it is a difficult choice to make. Below is the list of 9 most effective and highly rated Car steamers to choose from in 2020.
1) PurSteam Handheld Steam Cleaner
Completely compact, the Pure steam handheld Steamer, is lightweight and user-friendly. It has a huge number of multi-functionality just like a full-size canister steamer without being heavy or space-occupying.
The steamer takes 4 minutes to heat the water up to 212-degree Fahrenheit which is perfect for optimal cleaning. Since it produces 35% more steam than most steam cleaners of this size, it is ergonomic too.
With a 9.8 feet cord and 9 extra accessories, it has a wider range of usability while cleaning the car.
2) Haitral HT-KS2713Y Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner
Weighing only 2.2 kg Haitral HT-KS2713Y Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner is great for movability within the car interior With the ease of reachability into the nooks and crannies, the car steamer can be used to clean the seats, windows, mats and all the other areas.
It has an automatic heat and steam pressure controller installed for optimal operation. A safety cap attached to the tank, it prevents the heated water from spilling.
With 9 nozzle attachments, it easily cleans dirt, scums and all unwanted remnants.
3) Hoover Spotless Portable FH11300PC Spot Cleaner
One of the best multipurpose steam cleaners, the Hoover Spotless Portable FH11300PC Spot Cleaner is designed keeping in mind its versatile ability. Compact and lightweight, it is created with the purpose of destaining and disinfecting surfaces without the need of much strain.
The steamer comes with a dual tank inbuilt into the system. One holds grey water while the other holds fresh water. This prevents the dirty water from seeping out and also keeps it separate from the clean water.
It has a self-cleaning hose that automatically flushes out the dirty water post every usage, thus reducing the hassle of cleaning the steamer tank every time.
The steamer is perfect for cleaning the carpets and mats parallel to the leather and vinyl fabrics of the seats and car finish without any trouble. Its ease of operability makes steam cleaning the interior of the vehicle super easy and super fast.
The detachable hose nozzle head allows easy cleaning and removal of particles stuck inside the pipe. Hoover Portable steamer has a powerful suction capacity to allow better cleaning. The machine weighs about 9 pounds in total and the hose attachment is 5 ft long.
4) AutoRight C900054.M Red SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner
The AutoRight C900054.M Red SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner is a compact lightweight car steam cleaner that is perfect for cars of all sizes and shapes. The stylishly designed steam cleaner has an effective steam temperature reaching up to 290 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the steamer to completely eradicate even the most adamant germs and molds residing in the corner most crevice of the car.
The high temperature is also effective in killing bugs and bug eggs which are often a cause of nuisance in cars. Another important aspect of high-temperature steamers is that the surfaces tend to dry out faster than the ones where another regular steamer has been used.
The car steam cleaner model from the Auto right comes with 11 additional attachments that allow a very wide range of cleaning applications. The hose length attachment is 8 ft long.
The machine has wheels which makes it easy to move around the place without the need to carry it physically. With a tank capacity of 40 oz, it can produce pressurized steam for 45 minutes continuously at a stretch.
AutoRight Steam cleaner comes with a preloaded locking trigger mechanism that makes it perfectly safe to use around kids and pets alike without accidentally injuring them. With separate compartment storage installed in the machine itself, all the additional accessories can be fitted into the machine itself.
5) The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner
One of the most unique and attractive-looking steam cleaners available in the market, Dupray Neat Steamer is slightly different than normal. Suitable for steam cleaning multiple surfaces like cars, upholsteries, floors, and much more, the Dupray Neat is one of the most reviewed and highest rated steam cleaners of 2020.
With a huge tank capacity of 1600 ml, the Dupray Neat heats up within 7 minutes and can continuously steam for 50 minutes at a single stretch. The steam temperature raises up to 135 degrees Celsius which is suitable for any and every kind of stain and dirt removal inclusive of molds, mildews, and other germs.
The wheel-based steam cleaner has an extra-long power cord extending up to 5 meters. The highest sold steam cleaner in the past year, The Dupray Neat is a performance-packed steam cleaner.
With a 3 yrs warranty and 18 additional accessory attachments, the Steam Cleaner is perfect for multipurpose usability quotient.
6) McCulloch Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner
Another one of the McCulloch steam cleaners is on our list for the best cleaners for cars. This model of the same company holds different features but they are unique in their own way and help to make steam cleaning a better experience.
The tank of this cleaner has a capacity of about 48 oz and can run steam for up to 45 minutes. The tank can produce steam in about 8 minutes at a high temperature. You do not need to have any chemicals or cleaning agents to clean with this cleaner.
The steamer comes with about 18 different accessories that are made to ensure that the machine can be used on any parts of the car and around the house. The accessories include scrub pads and nozzle brushes to reach out even the smallest areas of the house.
The compact design with many features allows you to carry it around easily without a problem. The machine can be dragged at long distances for cleaning too because of its long cord of about 15 feet.
For added maneuverability, the hose is about 9 feet long. This feature allows easy access to even the smallest and the highest places. The compact design allows better handling around the house and for storage. The company has sealed the purchase with 2 years of warranty for customer satisfaction.
7) Bissell 7786A SpotClean Auto Portable Cleaner Cars
Designed exclusively for cars, the Bissell 7786A SpotClean Auto Portable Cleaner Cars is one of the best options to choose in 2020. Perfect for spot cleaning, the Bissell Auto Cleaner is suitable for reaching out in the most inconvenient of spots without any issue.
The 13-pound steam cleaner uses Heatwave Technology for deep cleaning in a far more effective way. The bagless steam cleaner comes with a 37 oz water tank and can steam continuously for 20 minutes at a stretch. The steam cleaner has a 15-inch power cord and comes with an additional 5 piece tool accessory attachments.
8) Wagner 0282014 915 On-demand Steam Cleaner
The compact and powerful Wagner 0282014 915 On-demand Steam Cleaner is one of the most versatile steam cleaners. Suitable for cleaning multiple zones and areas, Wagner is perfect for destaining, disinfecting, and deodorizing the interior of a car perfectly.
With a tank capacity of 48 oz, the Wagner Steam cleaner can run continuously for up to 45 minutes at a single stretch. The water is heated up to 212-degree Fahrenheit which is suitable to kill all kinds of bugs and molds alike.
The steamer comes with 12 accessory attachments for cleaning various sections easily. With a hose length of 8 ft and a cord length of 6 ft, the Wagner Steam cleaner can be used to reach deeper corners and areas easily.
9) Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner
The Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Cleaner is a multiple-purpose steam cleaning unit. Awarded for being one of the best in the industry, this powerful cleaner is all-in-one machine. The 1.5-liter capacity tank of the Vapamore Steam Cleaner can continuously steam for 50 minutes at a single stretch.
The steam is heated up to 210-degree Celcius which is perfect to kill even bugs, roaches, molds, mildews alike. Effective in removing stains without needing to apply to much pressure, it is also great for removing dirt and other pollutants easily.
With 20 additional attachments, it is suitable to clean all relevant surfaces, corners, finish, and areas inclusive of the handlebars, seats, and headliners. The non-toxic and chemical-free cleaning unit is provided with a cord of 5 ft for easy movability.
With a child-lock mechanism installed, it is easy and perfect for use in a home with kids or pets. Additionally, the bagless steam cleaner has a suction capacity of around 60 psi which makes it powerful for removal and dislodging of even the toughest of particles.
Buying guide to Steam Cleaner for cars
Before purchasing a steam cleaner for the car, it is important to carefully assess a few factors. These factors will help one decide upon the exact make and model of car steamer to purchase.
The water tank
The tank size of a car steamer can vary between 40 oz to 60 oz. While the smaller tank capacity steamers need less time to heat up, the larger tank works for a longer period of time without the need to refill again.
It is best to choose a steamer tank capacity based on the size of the car and the amount of cleaning it requires in general.
The auto steamer is different from a household steamer even though both have the same working principle. However, unlike a household steamer, a car steamer needs to work through numerous tight corners and deep crevices.
These require specially designed tools and accessories that can easily reach those areas. For these purposes, Pads, brushes, nozzles, squeegees, etc are important inclusions in a car steamer. Furthermore, these extra tools make it much easier to clean the car.
The Steamer Type
There are basically 2 specific car steamer models available in the market. These include a Handheld steamer and a full-size steamer. While the handheld steamer is easy to handle and work with, the full-size steamer is often way more powerful and has better functional options.
The cost of a full-size steamer is also way more than the handheld steamer. Another important aspect to make a note about is that a full-size steamer often comes with a dryer functionality.
Point being, you lose some points to gain some other. So a careful consideration must be made as to what is your exact requirement and how much are you ready to spend on the car steamer.
The Steam Temperature
A majority of the steamers come with an already prefixed steam temperature and pressure setting. However, there are also steamers where the steam pressure and temperature can be manually fixed according to the need.
The higher the temperature, the better it is for killing unwanted molds, mildews and germs but it reduces the life of the car upholstery.
Similarly, the better pressure gradient means better stain and dirt removal without much strain.
Steamers with changeable functionalities are often more expensive in general.
Lighter and compact steamers may be less powerful than the full-size variants but they are way easier to use and handle. The larger the machine, the more power it requires in general and thus the bulky size restricts overall movements along.
Instead of opting for a cheaper variant, it is better to opt for the one that has a guaranteed warranty period. A branded car steamer will always have a warranty of 1 to 2 yrs with additional benefits like return or exchange policies.
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Steam Cleaners for cars are efficient and definitely a great inclusion. They require minimum effort and are a very good multipurpose cleaning device. They deodorize the interior, besides disinfecting and cleaning it well at minimal effort.
Besides the least amount of calorie loss during steam cleaning a vehicle, they are also a great one-time investment. The buying guide has been created after a thorough study of the market and thus extremely helpful in deciding the perfect steamer cleaner for your car.