Product Type: Morphy Richards vacuums
Newest Review: ... don't clean anything near electrics as it's water and could damage your products. The steam cleaner: ================== Depending on how... more
How Morphy's Made A Meal Out Of This Steam Machine!
Morphy Richards 70455
Member Name: Nar2
Morphy Richards 70455
Advantages: Compact, many attachments, short heat up time, does work.
Disadvantages: Steam won't shut off automatically, some cheap attachments, wet steam dispersal.
Whilst I've personally recommended steam cleaner jugs over the years, my one gripe with them is that they are really awkward to use, especially when trying to get into a corner with them, and unless they have an additional thin hose in which the steam can get into corners, then there really isn't much point in considering a purchase. Then I found the Morphy Richards steam cleaner 70455 at a cost of £59-99 at my local Scottish Hydro electrical showroom. At the time of purchase (April 2011) the price at Argos had been reduced to £43-99 but my local Argos couldn't get the machine in and Tesco had just got in a red model priced at £89-99. For 2012, the price for this machine is now £42-24 currently from Morphy Richards UK, £64-97 from Tesco.com and £46-99 from Amazon.co.uk
The MR 70455 is quite different to a steam cleaner jug design in the sense that it is more or less an upright, squat and compact water tank with a long hose attached to it. It comes with a British Allergy Seal of Approval (BAF) sticker but heavens knows why - it's not as if the machine has a HEPA filter fitted to it, it' s not as if it's a vacuum cleaner - and in this day and age if Morphy Richards hope to be able to push sales of this steam cleaner for having such an award, ALL other types should show off the same sticker. I mean, honestly - yes, a steam cleaner can clean bedding, it can kill dust mites and such like, but it can't keep the owner allergy free, unless it comes with a lifetime supply of dust masks!
Measuring 20cm length by 33cm height and a width of 14cm, it mirrors a small bucket from it's top permanently fixed handle point of view, weighs 3kg and comes with a myriad of attachments that fix onto its 1.8 metre rubberised hose and an optional adjustable shoulder strap that, smaller when attached makes me look like a serviceman, according to my mother! The downside here is that the hose cannot be removed and far from being poorly made, it feels good and has ribs set into which after a long couple of months I'm still not clear as to why the ribs are set in place since they don't retract for space efficiency and do nothing for the cleaning performance. They are heat insulated - but only double insulated, so you will get some heat off them when in use.
Of the myriad attachments you do get, you'll find them in a very handy material string tie bag, very similar to a shoe bag and a bag I just couldn't live without! It contains 3 Terry cotton elasticated cloths to fit around a mini hard plastic floor head that also acts as a secondary fitting for a squeegee attachments for windows and tiles, a long 5cm straight steam head similar to what you would find with a steam cleaner jug, a small right angled head, measuring jug, water funnel and a stiff round bristle brush. All of the attachments bar the terry cloths are made of reasonable plastic quality, a little bit speckled and ribbed, but definitely better made than the attachments on my old Hoover steam gun but similarly to that model, they all fit onto the end of the hose by a twist and snib-lock design. They are also fairly well heat insulated, but sadly not to the point that they are cool touch when in use, and caution should be watched here the longer you use these attachments in one cleaning session, as they will end up being so hot you'll have to wait for the machine to cool down until they can be untwisted to unlock from the main hose - and only the Terry cloths alone are machine washable, no other attachments can be put in a dishwasher.
At its core where power is concerned, the MR 70455 has a 2000 watt heater element that heats up cold tap water in just three minutes before a 1200 watt keeps the steam going and rated at an additional 115°C, the steam that disperses is extremely hot. What a pity then that there's no variable controller to control the heat level, let alone the force of steam of which this machine emits. It's all or nothing with this machine.
In use, the MR 70455 Steam Cleaner is a little bit different to what has gone on before compared to the more traditional steam cleaner jug format. There's a 4.5 metre power cord installed into the back of the Morphy Richards but whilst there's a permanent oval cord hook installed to tidy the cord away, the shoulder strap and the long hose can get tangled up, so unless you site the hose away from you before plugging in and then put the machine on your shoulder, when doing far away cleaning tasks like walking around the kitchen to check what surfaces need doing, I find it easier to take the shoulder strap off the permanent hooks at the top and place the MR 70455 down. Compared to a steam cleaner jug, the MR 70455 is a lot more stable thanks to its shape and flatter base.
Whilst the attachments are reasonably okay however, it is the terry cloth heads which feel particularly cheap although they do a good job of pick up, they seem to retain the dirt, but get overly wet when in use. This is only down to the fact that the MR 70455 has a tendency to keep putting out wet steam whether you like it or not and what the machine suffers from is the lack of a stop button that would allow you to keep the machine on, whilst heating up the water continuously and safely allowing you to control the steam it puts out. It does have an ON button located at the side of the machine just below the handle and whilst it has a rubber cover on it to give you wet protection when handling wet flannels to clean up the dirt that the machine and its attachments provides, a secondary control on the hose wouldn't have gone amiss here.
However, the dirt that this machine eradicates is a lot faster than my old Hoover steam gun ever was and compared to that, the Morphy Richards is extremely powerful, extremely quiet and only requiring very little use of it per cleaning need. Morphy Richards go to great lengths to explain that this machine has a running time of 20 minutes and its large 1 litre tank means fewer fills. Well not in my hands! Just to clean 5 kitchen doors required two fill ups to the tank and it's just a pity that each time you want to stop the steam, you have to go to the tank and switch it off manually and still, the steam won't instantly stop dispersing, only slowing down so you have to duck of the way to avoid being warmed up or burned!
Of the attachments that I do like, the straight attachment (or "jet" nozzle as MR put it) is fantastic at cleaning our gas stove, down the sides, sink area, down the drain, cleaning out the over flow hole, cleaning out grout in the shower where my super Sonic Scrubber brush can't get to, whilst also being able to direct steam straight at window dirt outside. But despite it all, you will need a dry or wet cloth to go over everything that the machine shoots the steam at, because like all steam cleaners, unless there's a towel at the end of it to soak up the dirt and wet steam, it feels like I'm blowing steam around and just letting the collected bacteria steam on the work surface!
The Terry Cloths and squeegee attachment, either together or with the squeegee and additional mini "hard floor" attachment are okay for cleaning windows or mirrors, but again they carry the warning in the fairly written user manual that a cold mirror or window should never be attempted to clean, less it should crack or break with the heat off the machine and the attachments. When the Terry cloths are attached, they steam their way through greasy work surfaces relatively well, but they have a tendency to leave surfaces wet and if you don't clean it up with a cloth, you'll be left with dirt on the surface. MR go on to optimistically suggest that the Terry cloths are ideal for removing creases out of clothing - well unless you want the clothing to remain damp afterwards, it's just not a good suggestion at all and the mini floor tool is great for surfaces but try steam cleaning a mattress with it, and its size will leave you wanting, taking quite a good few hours to get around the large surface that even a single bed mattress commands. It is a slightly disappointing aspect that neither attachment can clean with dry steam either as the steam from the Morphy Richards continues to be wet when it emerges out of both the Terry cloths and the squeegee itself.
The key aspect of the Morphy Richards Steam Cleaner 70455 where its main cleaning performance is concerned seems to take a back step to how well the main body and hose are made and for the most part, how easy everything is to store when steam cleaning has finished. What a great pity! The hose in particular merits award winning design from the way it can lock into the side of the machine after use and the rest of it lasso'd over the top and resting onto the centre part of its body, creating a space efficient design. What a missed opportunity that you can't lock the hose in with any of the attachments still attached, as the holder will only accept the main handle of the hose and nothing else. Certainly without the bag and having to keep the boxy packaging box it came in to store the cleaning attachments, the MR Steam Cleaner wouldn't gain much merit here, let alone its easy to clean body, good labelling and a good sense of design that points to everything you really need to know, without much reference to the user manual. The main body feels very substantial and very well put together and whilst some attachments could do with a little more thought, when it comes to actual performance, it could be better thought out, and more importantly safer to the user. Thanks for reading! İNar2 2012
Summary: An alternative to a steam jug, but only slightly better.
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