Steam Vacuum Cleaner is wet and dry type of vacuum cleaner that uses steam at high temperature for additional floor cleaning. This is great solution for those who are allergic to mites, pollen, dust and similar small particlesand allergens that can cause problems with respiratory system and other health issues.
Steam vacuum cleaners and steam mops use water steam heated to 120°C (250°F) or even more. Steam helps in cleaning the dirt, killing dust mites, disinfecting the floors, restoring the shine and helps in removing stubborn stains.
Using superheated steam, steam cleaners leave the floors almost dry - it is possible that during the cold days, steam cleaner leaves a trail of condensed water on tiles, however, that layer of water is very thin and will evaporate quickly.
Steam Vacuum Cleaners for Hardwood Floors
Note that steam is very hot and can be dangerous to humans, pets and sensitive surfaces. It is very important to be careful when cleaning sensitive surfaces, because such surfaces can react with hot steam and can be even damaged. For example, if hardwood floor finish has cracks or at least pores, water vapor can enter wood itself and such wood can change shape, buckle or even start to rot.
If you are not certain, be sure to read the manual of your steam cleaner and if you have older hardwood floors, it would be advisable to refinish your hardwood floor using finish that is resilient to steam cleaning. Such finish perhaps costs little bit more, but in the long run, it is worth it.
Steam Vacuum Cleaner vs. Steam Mop
Steam mops are steam cleaners that are not using any suction mechanism and rely only on steam to clean the surface. Some models also use additional cleaning agents to clean the floor surface. Microfiber pad is positioned under the steam mop that traps the dirt with the help of steam. When pad get dirty, it must be cleaned, dried and then can be reused. Some people omit 'drying' the pad, but that can increase amount of water left on the surface after the cleaning.
Some models of steam cleaners (vacuums or mops) have scrubbing system that scrub surface up to 1000x per minute (or even more). Such systems enhance the cleaning even more, however, if the hard object is caught between the microfiber pad and the floor, sensitive floors can be damaged.
On the other hand, when using scrubbing steam cleaners with cleaning agents with added polish, surface is cleaned, almost sterile and looks almost like a new one.
Although superheated steam kills at least 99% of bacteria, mites and other similar bugs, if sucked in by vacuum cleaner, they should stay trapped inside the vacuum and should not be returned to cleaned room. HEPA level of filtration is recommended and most high-priced steam vacuums do have HEPA filters, sometimes even combined with charcoal filters - such combination provide practically sterile air exhaust.
Sometimes it is hard to clearly distinguish types of vacuum cleaners from each other, but if you know what you want and what you need, it will be no problem for you to find yourself the best vacuum cleaner for your needs.
Steam vacuum cleaners prices are in the range with other vacuum cleaners and if you have need for really good vacuum cleaner (dog or cats owners, people with little children etc.) that do it's job, then invest in a steam vacuum cleaner. And if you have larger area to clean, wet and dry bagless cyclonic vacuum cleaners with steamer are recommended - they are not cheap, but what you pay is what you get.