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I believe a clean house is a necessity - hence I, perhaps, splashed out on this steam-cleaning set for £100 at Curry's PC World.
Though it is not offensive, its design is not very contemporary. Luckily image isn't important when it comes to cleaning machines. In its favour it is easily mobile thanks to its wheels. You don't have to lift it, you can easily just pull it where you need it to be (however moving it during operation is not advised). Also, the steam hose is very extensive which is great for ease of access.
The steam-cleaner is very versatile - yet simple to operate - and with its many extensions it can be used as a regular steam mop (with the floor nozzle for most floors), a smaller steam mop (with the hand nozzle for windows and walls), a steam spray gun (with the detail nozzle for curtains and much more).
The floor nozzle is average at best. It is not at all flexible so I'm unable to reach awkward corners. Had it been only a steam mop with no extra extensions, I would have thrown it off the roof weeks ago.
The small steam mop option is only slightly flexible due to its small size rather than any structurally-added flexibility.
The spray gun function works wonders for all corners and hard-to-reach places, and its water pressure combined with the heat can clean without any scrubbing. I can use the spray to clean bed linen, curtains and walls, even.
Thankfully for safety they have a trigger lock and a perfectly secured safety cap while operating. Near-full marks for safety however there are two issues: water can occasionally escape from the small gaps in the extensions and the trigger is too sensitive. The slightest tap could set it off.
The detail (spray) nozzle seems to be a saving grace for this device because, even if we discount the non-flexibility, we have another issue with the two steam mop options. The terry floor cloth and the terry cloth cover are both too absorbent. They become soaked from the steam of the machine itself within seconds. Therefore instead of wiping, it spreads water onto the floor and walls (including all the dirty water from the dog paws marks and my walls and floor look worse than when I began). To avoid this I have to take off the hot cloths and rinse and ring them under the tap before replacing them on the steamer.
Unfortunately, like all steam cleaning products that promise to clean without additional detergent products, this one fooled me. It makes some noticable difference visibly but with long-term stains it doesn't even dent.
And I almost forgot an important flaw, it takes 7 minutes to boil! Some competing steamers take 15 seconds.
In spite of all its flaws I will award this 5 stars because from my experience it's the best out there. I'll have to use detergent to deter tough stains until they eventually create a steam cleaner that can fulfil its promise.
Steam cleaner effective but not perfect
I decided in December 2011 to buy this steam cleaner from amazon.co.uk. My own needs was simply to keep the house looking clean and tidy. This steam cleaner has definitely helped achieve that. In a few uses I was able to clean my carpets in the living room and in the bedrooms with what I feel to be a convenient and cost effective manner. I had the feeling that vacuuming alone was not enough. In short where it impressed me the most was that I used a small attachment with a terry cloth that came with the machine and I used this machine to clean my gas hob. In around 2 sessions of steam cleaning my gas hob was looking like new. This machine has the steam cleaning power and is effective. There are more pricier models than the Karcher SC1020 but as far as steam cleaning goes I am more than happy with this machine. I also used. On the first occasion I used this machine I noticed that I had to first of all vacuum the surface so that the dust from the surface was removed.
The Steam cleaner is quite light weight at 3.7kgs due to its compact size, it looks fairly good but am not too keen on the yellow color. The attachments all seem to click into place fairly well and easily. The machine is light weight and this makes moving around with the machine seem easy. I have used this machine and it is quite straightforward once you get used to using it. The design of the handle makes it easy to pick up and hold safely the steam cleaner. Also there are 2 large wheels enables the user to pull the steam cleaner along easily. It is quick to assemble the fabric pads/Terry cloths which are provided, are easy to attach. The small Terry cloth is elasticated and easily slips over the nozzle. The bigger mop attachment you need to clip it in.
The length of the hose length is 2 meters which makes this reasonably good and the mains cable is around 3 meters which is enough to clean a lot of my downstairs area without having to keep unplugging this machine.
The gun trigger is easy to use which starts the steam flowing to your surface. I have not and would not advise using this steam cleaner on wooden flooring, wooden surfaces. Use this machine on carpets, bathroom, kitchen tiles, laminated flooring, porcelain tiles. Using the small attachment on the gas hob is ok, but this machine would not be recommended to use to clean an electric oven. I also was more than happy when it cleaned the residual soap from the bathroom screen and it also is easy to clean windows.
The good aspects of this machine are that it makes it easy to clean carpets really easily and it does work. I have removed dirt marks and the steam dries reasonably fast. In my mind there is nothing better than having steam cleaned carpets and clean surfaces around the house and this machine has helped me achieve my goal. I would say that this steam cleaner does the job well but I personally doubt if this deep cleans carpets. The tiles in my bathroom also were cleaned although I felt that the machine could have more power to make the job a bit easier. I was delighted however, when it got the gas hob looking new again.
The main aspects of using this machine include the steam taking around 5 or so minutes before the steam cleaner is able to be used. It does take a bit of time for the water to heat up. When pouring the water into the water holder, you put the cap/screw and screw it down deep, then once you switch the plug to the mains there will be 2 lights showing on a small display. There will be 2 lights on when you put the machine to work. One is an amber light and there will also be a green light. When the steam cleaner is ready to use there will be just the green light showing which means it is ready to use. After that time you will be able to steam cleaner as you like. If you steam clean the carpets and floor surfaces you will use the long attachments with the mop head, and place your terry cloths. If you want to spot clean parts of your house i.e tiles, bed etc then you will just need the smaller attachment with the small sized mop.
The negatives of this machine is that the Terry cloths once dirty effectively stay that way. I have tried to remove the dirt from the cloths but any amount of cleaning does not work, which means that you have to buy replacement cloths. Secondly regarding the safety and usage of the steam cleaner, I have noticed that the cap holding the water must be screwed on properly otherwise the steam and water will flow out of the device and water the carpets or surfaces. Initially I had to get used to screwing the cap on properly and I did not feel that this design aspect was particularly good. Thirdly I found that the water capacity of this machine only takes around 4 cups of water which might not seem like a lot but it does provide enough time to steam clean for around 20 minutes. After 20 minutes of steam cleaning, if you require to go over a certain surface again which is probably unlikely, then you need to wait again a similar amount of time before opening up the water cap and refilling it with water. If you open the cap in a hurry the water and steam move upwards making this quite dangerous if you are not careful.
Another slight disadvantage is that hard grease does not come off completely, so you will need to also use a small scourer on the gas hob. Other traces of dirt come away well. Dirt on tiles around the grouting is a bit more difficult but I have noticed that recent dirt marks come off well, but not if you have never cleaned your tiles, then they will simply need to be re grouted.
Overall in paying around £115 for this machine I feel that it has done the job that I required, and I feel from a cleaning aspect I have already got my money's worth. I would recommend this machine to people that require a good steam cleaner. The machine is easy to use and is effective. My main criticism is that the power could have been a little better and a bit more powerful to clean tiles and the gas hob more easily. Another main selling point of these types of steam cleaners and steam cleaning in general is that you are cleaning surfaces and carpets using the power of water steam. There are no chemicals involved. I have felt no need in using chemical products since buying this steam cleaner. It is light weight so it is easy to use, and compact so it is quite easy to store without taking up much space. The tank of the steam cleaner is only 1 liter, which provides about 15 -20 minutes worth, which would be enough steam water to clean floor tiles of around 2-3 average sized rooms, and perhaps more if done on a regular basis.
If you are steam cleaning the carpets it is advised to vacuum the carpets beforehand.
All in all a recommended product and one that will help make and keep the house clean. It is a bit pricey for what it is, though I have been able to maintain a higher level of cleanliness than that was possible before, and of course without the use of chemicals. I think that this product deserves a 4 star rating. It would have been better and useful if there were more Terry cloths provided because once the cloths become dirty, you are in effect spreading the dirt, so to have a clean replacement cloth would ensure more efficient cleaning.
Our rug in the dining room was looking a bit jaded and we wanted to give a it a spruce us as we had recently decorated the room. I was telling my brother about it and he said he had a steam cleaner we could borrow to have a go at it to see if it came up any better.
The cleaner is a Karcher SC1020 steam cleaner and he bought it from Tesco for just under £100. The cleaner is a nice yellow colour and it come with a hose, pipe and brush attachment like you would get with a vacuum cleaner. You also get another bit that looks like the brush bit for a vacuum cleaner but you attach cloths to it to rub the floor with. The hose has a trigger thing on the end which is where you attach the pipes if you need to use them. You store some of the attachments in holes in the cleaner so like you do in a pull along vacuum cleaner.
The cleaner is easy enough to use, you just need to fill it up with clean water and switch it on and wait for it to heat up. It didn't take long to heat up, then you just press the trigger and it sends a spurt of steam out the end. As we were doing carpets we attached the pipes and the piece with the cloths on the end of it. I started in one place that looked quite dirty and rubbed over the floor in a circular motion and kept going over and over in the same place for a bit. When I looked at the cloth on the bottom it had gone really dirty so it must have been removing something although it was hard to see it on the carpet itself at first. I changed the cloth a few times and kept at it and it did look a lot cleaner but it was not easy to rub the floor for so long and I had to get my Other Half to take over as it was starting to hurt my shoulders and arms.
The cleaner is quite lightweight to carry around, even with the water in it. This means though that the tank for the water is quite small so you will probably need to refill up the tank if you are doing a lot of cleaning in one go. It does not take long for the cleaner to hot up again though so this is a good thing.
I used the cleaner again to defrost our freezers. I did this without the pipes or anything on the end just using the hose with the trigger on it. It was really quick at getting rid of the ice and I would highly recommend this way of defrosting the freezer as it took next to no time to get it all done and back on again. Only thing was the wire for the cleaner is not very long so we had to plug it into an extension lead to get it to reach where the freezers are kept.
I also used the cleaner to give our bathroom and kitchen a good clean while I had it. You will need to make sure the windows are open when cleaning with it but it was good at doing it and I found it easy to get into the corners where I wouldn't usually be able to reach.
I suppose there are numerous other ways of using this cleaner to do different things but having it for a week gave me a good idea of what it can do. I would really like to have one of my own but not sure if I can afford to buy one for £100 at the moment. Think I will just have to borrow my brother's one again in a couple of months time.
Copied to Ciao under username Harveydog52
I used to have a steam cleaner but didn't replace it when it started to expel boiling hot water from the hose where the tools clicked together.
So we bought a carpet cleaner, but what I missed about the steam cleaner was that I could use it to clean tiles, curtains my sofa and car seats.
So I did some research and read very good reviews before I decided to buy the Karcher SC1020.
I wanted something that was small effective and easy to store so I could use it on a regular basis and this fits the bill perfectly.
It comes in a small cardboard box which initially was a bit worrying as I thought I had bought one that was too small.
What you get in the box is the steam cylinder boiler with a hose attached, a metal wand and several cleaning accessories which can be attached to the wand or directly to the hose. Two cloths (bit mean), a manual, some calcifying sticks and, a steering roller and two wheels.
To assemble attach the steering rollers to the sides and the wheel to the front of the unit, press and they click into place. Really easy to assemble.
All this is explained in the user manual, which is quite thick but only 6 pages as it covers all languages. This also has a pull out diagram on the second page, which explains diagrammatically how to assemble and how all the attachments fit together.
The unit is yellow which is synonymous with the brand Karcher, and looks like a small cylinder vacuum cleaner.
This is really easy to assemble, store and use. Do take care when using this as it does expel jets of boiling steam, so use the safety on off switch while you are assembling the hose or changing the attachment and make sure when you are using the hand held small nozzles that you point them away from you before pressing the trigger.
It doesn't pack the punch of a Karcher pressure washer, but it does produce a decent steam pressure which will blast away dirt in those awkward crevices.
There are a whole host of safety instructions which you should read before using this. This includes what it can or can't be used on.
This works by heating water in the cylinder boiler that creates pressurised steam.
I usually assemble the hose first depending on what I want to clean. These simply click into place.
First unscrew the safety cap on the cylinder and fill with 1 litre of water and then screw the cap on. Plug in and the green and orange indicator lamp will light up.
The water takes around 8 minutes to boil and you can hear the water heating. Use warm water and it takes less time to heat.
When the orange light goes off you are set to go.
Note that the safety cap on the cylinder cannot be opened while there is steam pressure in the boiler.
There are 2 different steam settings, but I always use this at Max and a third setting which is no steam for safety.
Have a cloth handy as the steam sometimes comes out intermittently at first so point it at that until you get uninterrupted steam.
To get steam press the yellow lever on the handle of the wand and off you go.
How Do I use this?
I attach the wand and the larges brush to clean large areas on my carpets. This is where one of the cloths come in.
The cloths are white terry towelling and they are attached to the floor cleaner by releasing the clamps, placing the floor cleaner on the cloth and then clamp into place.
Make sure you do this neatly, don't have any bits flapping around as the cloth scrunches up and it is difficult to go back and forth.
Then just use this as you would a cylinder vacuum and go backwards and forwards over your carpet, tiles or laminate, releasing steam by squeezing the leaver.
The cloth is white and quickly gets very dirty, so I detach and rinse out frequently and turn them the other way. One cloth isn't sufficient as you will be cleaning with a dirty cloth so buy more or make your own out of old towels.
This does lift dirt off very effectively and restores the pile in carpets without soaking them through and without using any cleaning products.
Obviously if your carpet is really dirty, you may have to do this a couple of times. I was a bit concerned that I would be constantly refilling this, but it does last quite a while and I was surprised , difficult to say how long as I changed the cloths, rinsed them while doing this.
I don't like cylinder vacuums, so using this with the largest attachment is my least favourite, as I always find them a bit unwieldy. I would say this would be better with a slightly smaller floor cleaning head.
I also use this to freshen up my sofa and I use the smaller brush with the elasticated terry cloth directly into the hose without the wand. This is much easier to manoeuvre and it makes light work of this and does not soak your sofa through.
Check before steaming that pure steam is coming out as a small amount of water may come out on the first couple of blasts and test that this is suitable for use as it will damage the pile on velour's and velvets. Also may take off any scotch guard, but that would apply with any cleaner.
You will notice that the orange light comes on during cleaning, so wait until it goes off as it is building up the steam pressure whicj drops during cleaning.
What I really love about this is the very small detail nozzle which allows you to clean tile grout, around your taps, toilet and the edge of your bath. It simply blasts away all the dirt that is very difficult to shift even with bleach applied with a toothbrush! It is very satisfying and I quite enjoy doing this, not something I would say about scrubbing away with a toothbrush.
This also has a tiny brush you can add to this nozzle, which you can use to scrub around the toilet bowl and taps - It's brilliant.
Have lots of cloths handy to wipe away the steam and dirt and to change if you are using the floor cleaner and handheld brush.
Empty any unused water out of the unit and rinse it out every now and again to stop scale building. Also use the decalcifying sticks as directed in the manual. The frequency will depend on whether your water is hard or soft so refer to the manual.
I would advise doing this as lime scale will build up and the boiler won't work as efficiently, also you will get small deposits with the steam - just like you do with your iron and isn't it always something white and when you have nearly finished ironing it.
Don't overfill as this more water will come out when you first start steaming.
Would I Recommend
Yes, this is a brilliant compact steam cleaner, that anyone would find really useful. I use this regularly to clean all around the house and to freshen up my clothes.
You don't need to use any expensive cleaning products, there is no elbow grease required and this is simple and easy to use. It is light at 3kg without the attachments, so easy to move around and when not in use all the attachments fit into grooves on top of the cylinder and you wrap the hose around, so it stores awy nicely.
This particular model suits my needs, but there are larger household versions, plus Karcher do industrial size ones. You can also get this with an iron attachment, which I wish I had invested in now.
It isn't a heavy duty carpet cleaner, but it does lift stains effectively. I used it on something my husband had spilt, which had dried in, as his attempt at cleaning involved squirting some carpet cleaner and rubbing with a kitchen towel for about 10 seconds. This had merely left an even larger stain, which I found difficult to shift using carpet cleaner and elbow grease. Using a combination of the small nozzle and the large floor cleaner proved successful.
A slight negative is the length of the flex which is on the short side, although the hose is plenty long enough at around 2 metres.
Price and Availability
I bought mine from Amazon and it was £112, which was a good price when I bought it.
Currently £129 at Argos and Tesco, but shop around as there are always deals to be had.
Compact and lightweight the Karcher SC 1020 is ideal for cleaning your floors tiles work surfaces taps and much more.Friendly to the environment this hygienic Steam Cleaner uses an innovative floor cleansing kit for an improved cleaning performance / With its innovative new Lamellae floor tool it cleans up to 35% more effectively / The kit also includes a hand tool detail nozzle and round brush. / Short name: Karcher SC1020