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Buy this cleaner
on 29 January 2011
I felt I had to review this steam cleaner because I almost didn't buy it due to some of the negative reviews. Despite all the good reviews the negatives always stick with you.
My steam cleaner arrived this morning and I put it to good use cleaning my entire kitchen. My appliances were in storage a few years back and came back looking like they'd been stored in a coal mine and I've never been able to get the ground in dirt out, especially off the top of my fridge which has little hole type patterns on top, and my washing machine which had dirt in the crevices and around the dials which I could never get at. Today my fridge is completely clean inside and out as is my washing machine. I also cleaned my oven and grill which had congealed grease and caked on bits on and it took a matter of minutes to clean. Popped the steam cleaner on it and then wiped over with a sponge and voila! Clean. Like most women I hate cleaning the oven, it requires nasty chemicals that end up getting on your chest, and you are on your hands and knees for ages scrubbing. I did not get on my hands and knees once today. I spent most of the afternoon going "Wow!" and calling in my partner to look at the oven and the fridge, even he was impressed and normally he doesn't notice anything.
About the cleaner itself. It is about the size of a small kettle. The lid is easy to get off, and this was why I nearly didn't buy it because one reviewer said she spent 20 minutes trying to get it on and off. You push it down and turn anti-clockwise and unscrew it until it comes off. Takes a matter of seconds. It comes with a little measuring cup and a funnel. The funnel goes in the hole where the top was, and the water from the cup goes into the funnel. Screw the lid back on tight and plug in. The little light on the side near the bottom will go out when the steam is ready. Press down the lever button at the top of the handle to release a little steam. Point it at what you want to steam and hold the button down and move the steamer around the area you want to clean. For ground in stains and crevices you will need to get the nozzle in quite close to target the area more effectively and you will see the dirt start to run away. Wipe over with a damp cloth.
The lead is not as long as a vacuum cleaner lead, but it is longer than a standard iron lead so you can move a fair distance from a plug socket before it becomes a problem. I intend doing the bathroom with it tomorrow so will need an extension lead as there are no nearby sockets but I don't see this as a problem.
It does clean grouting etc very well, but as I said it is no good standing at a distance and waving the steam over it, you need to put the nozzle in close and target that area.
Some people have said it is no good on shower screen doors. I don't have a screen door, but I used this on my cooker doors which no amount of soapy water can get clean (rented house cooker came with it), and the steam cleaner wasted no time getting off the grease splashes, a quick wipe and it was sparkling. I don't see how it can have trouble getting soap stains and scum off a shower door.
I also did my stainless steel draining board and sink which is now shining again, after being dull for a long time. Got rid of all the grime and limescale at the bottom of the taps.
A lot of people have said about the fact that you can't see when the water is running out, you don't need to see this as it stops heating when the water runs out so it will not blow up or burn out (it tells you this in the manual). When the water is low it will begin producing less steam until finally there is no steam just like a steam iron.
My only bug-bear is the capacity of the water compartment. Despite the size of the base, it seems that the majority of the space is taken up with the heating element. The capacity of the water compartment is about the same as a steam iron, and therefore I was filling it up quite often. Five to ten minutes maximum with the steam on constantly. Maybe take a little more room for the water and this little guy would be perfect.
I hate cleaning as I work full time and like my free time to do fun things, so that this cuts down on the time I have to spend cleaning is a major bonus. I wish I'd bought one sooner. At this price you really can't go wrong.
Tomorrow I will be cleaning my bathroom and next weekend I will be trying it out on my two sofas that have been grey since storage.