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Steam Cleaners 101

A Simple Guide to steam cleaners, vapor cleaners, carpet steam cleaners, vapor clean

Before You Purchase....A Steam Vapor Cleaner- Helpful information

Research is a challenge in itself, we will attempt to answer basic questions in a limited format. If you would like more information please feel free to follow links for detailed information or contact us and we will be happy to go into depth on any question you may have. Please check our

Boilers - Bigger is not always better

More capacity may seem like the way to go for a longer running time. However,two main considerations, the larger the boiler...the longer you will bewaiting for it to heat up. This can be up to 20 - 25 minutes on a 4 quart boiler. During use stored pressure isdepleting, a large boiler is challenged to maintain the pressure and can take up to 7 minutes to rebuild if the job requires. A mid sized boiler will obviously heat faster, and recover quicker.

What is the difference when I look at a machine with 58 psi or 87 psi?

The main difference is temperature. Typically homeowners or light commercial users should look for at least 58 psi (4 bar)"293 boiler" and above if looking to purchase a " low moisture" Vapor Cleaner. While some of your jobs will require to maximize your pressure, much of your cleaning will require you "turn it down" instead of up. More is not always better! Remember, the clean is in the steam and the temperature. Our lab tests indicate that if you are using for sanitization our 75psi (5bar) 315 machines or using 7.5 bar 340 boiler temp, the kill rate is achieved 100% of 99.9% at 5 bar so no further results are achieved with higher temperature machines. Higher temperatures / pressure machines will create drier steam for many desired tasks. It is important to determine the results needed from your machine.

Replaceable heating elements - is this something I should look for?

Quite simply, ALL steam cleaners today have replaceable heating elements. There are typically 3 types of heating elements, the old style insertable screw in heating elements with gaskets that still make contact with the water. External heating element plates that never touch water and internal heating elements. We have one machine with the insertable elemeny and the rest are the updated elements. We warranty our heating elements for the life of your machine, ultimately this is not of great concern.

Temperature = Pressure

We know that you see different temperatures and pressures advertised by various steam vapor cleaner retailers, which becomes confusing and is typically overstated and not properly advertised. Looking at the saturated steam tables will simplify this for you. Here are standard measurements that you should see:

Pounds Per Sq. Inch /Pressure

Bar (European measure)

AverageInternal Boiler Temp

50 PSI


281 F.

58 PSI


293 F.

65 PSI


298 F.

72 PSI


311 F.

87 PSI


327 F.

95 PSI


335 F.

I have read I "absolutely must have the ability to regulate the steam temperature" is that the adjustable pressure regulator?

Yes, any steam cleaner should have a pressure regulator to regulate the output of steam when applying to a specific job. However, it is absolutely impossible to regulate the " temperature" in a steam cleaner. You can not turn the temperature up or down, only the pressure.

Tip Temperature

This appears to be another sales tool that is getting way more attention than it should and confusing buyers. We all know that boiling point is 212° and steam itself cannot survive at much below that. From there we can only heat up and this will depend on your starting point temperature and the tools that you use. The "tip temperature" is not nearly as important or accurate as the temperature at the point of contact with the surface, which is heavily determined upon the user.

What function does a pressure gauge have?

Machines offering accurate read  pressure gauges will either show Bars, PSI or both. A pressure gauge will help you to be assured that your machine is functioning properly and is "as advertised".  While any product with or without a gauge is certainly fine, it is a nice feature if available. There are a large number of brands that have gauges, but do not offer an accurate read.

Continuous Fill vs. Single Boiler Cleaners

Either machine can meet your cleaning needs. Continuous operation means there is an additional reservoir that enables the user to never have down time or a pressurized cap system. Single boilers fill directly into the boiler and when the machine runs empty of water it will need to be refilled and heated. Look for a small boiler when purchasing a continuous fill as this heats quickly and maintains excellent pressure as the and steam for those Commercial and/or heavy cleaning jobs. A favorable design, as the boiler normally remains 90% full at all times adding approximately 1 - 2 oz per injection of water into the boiler. This dilution rate will keep pressure or temperature unaffected. Please read more on our Continuous Fill FAQ’s page to gain more information and dispel the statements being made by companies that do not offer such a machines yet warn consumers away.

Hand Nozzles, buttons, switches or triggers – Just what is the difference and are they safe?

Absolutely, all "steam vapor cleaners" on the market must adhere to strict guidelines or they would not achieve their CE, ETL and / or UL certifications required. Wiring in the internal insulation of hoses range from 3v to 12v - equal to a battery. There are 3 basic designs of the nozzle handles on the market. Button, switch or trigger. All are clearly functional in their own design but you may want to look closely at the type of cleaning that you will be doing when considering your purchase. We strongly recommend for arthritic, fibromyalgia, lupas or similar conditions restricting function to call us as we can offer alternative hoses and switches to ease the challenge and offer steam cleaning availability.

Hose Length - Does it matter?

Quality manufacturer's should design their hose length for optimal pressure and temperature to maintain the standards of sanitizing and cleaning test results, an 8 ft hose is the length of choice primarily by most manufacturer's. Extending length beyond what a machine is designed for can compromise temperature necessary for sanitizing and optimal cleaning. Be sure that lab test results are provided with products with longer hoses such as our Vapor Clean Unilux 3000 (9ft) to assure confidence. We have clients that need the longer hoses ex. 11.5 ft.,

Steam Vapor vs. Steam Vapor/Extractor

This is a decision based primarily on what your needs are. Hard surfaces, combination cleaning, personal priorities apply when making this decision. Do not however, hold true to companies that state you cannot clean carpet with a Steam Vapor "Extractor" System. Yes, you can! With the proper machine and process, websites that state this is œimpossible do not have our machines! Vapor Clean steam extractors have the added feature of heated liquid injection with extraction that no other machine in the USA can offer. Basic dry steam cleaners with extractors do not have this ability. Please call us for more information at 800.758.3141 and read the consumer reviews on our equipment.

Plastic, Stainless or Painted Metal

Most models on the market today are plastic or stainless. There are a few painted metal models available. Remember "non-stainless" steels may rust in a long term, but a well cared for machine will endure the test of time. Stainless is far more durable, acceptable, and quite often required within the commercial marketplace. From a manufacturing standpoint, stainless steel is the most expensive material to use when designing this type of equipment therefore going the extra step in constructing a quality piece of equipment inside and out.

Mono-block (detachable hose) systems vs. attached hoses

Detachable hoses make far more sense and mean less repairs. Storage is easier, and if you have to send in for repair, quite often it may just be a switch on the hose. Why send the whole machine in for service? Mishaps occasionally occur, we have had to replace chewed hoses (new puppies), crushed nozzles (spouse backed over it with the car) and so on......Pulling cleaners by the hoses of direct wired machines can put stress on the connection eventually loosening the connections and wiring of attached hoses. Detachable hoses "lock" into place thus relieving the stress and potential repairs.

Do not make a decision based on inaccurate information or "marketing hype"

While the internet is an amazing gateway to a world of information and exciting possibilities, it can also become a forum for inaccurate information about products and/or the companies that sell them. A large majority of home based internet steam cleaner retailers never even touch the product they sell, let alone provide after purchase service! Many have advertising information that confuse and are geared only for marketing and the bottom line sale. As you get to know our company, products and history we promise to educate, inform and invite you to get to know us with honesty, integrity, helpful insight and accountable facts. We are a full service company, with full service knowledge and support for the life of your purchase. Welcome!

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