The Best Upholstery Steam Cleaner: QUICK FACTS
Chances are high that most of you reading this have never heard of "Quick Kill" or "Rapid Kill".
Sounds provocative and almost scary! (only scary if you are a germ, virus, or bacteria)
I too had never heard these terms prior to this latest outbreak the world
is currently experiencing. The latest version of what has been labeled as Coronavirus. (Cornona viruses are named due to their appearance under a microscope resembling a corona or "halo")
Now these two terms will likely make their way into mainstream talk as the current strain of this Coronavirus (CoVid-19: This is a mixture of Coronavirus Disease 2019) has its way with our world population.
Vapor steam cleaners and their unique germ-killing benefits will become increasingly popular as society becomes more vigilant in germ warfare, but will also make these two terms commonplace in society's "new normal".
Darren's Note: (Since this is a website about the broad subject of detailing, which is not generalizing, I will add this asterisk: Rapid Kill, and Quick Kill is not the same as going on record and claiming instant kill. Any topic of life can be dissected into endless grey areas and be debated. But nonetheless, high-heated vapor does have the ability to perform death to these unwanted pathogens quicker, and more rapidly than traditional chemical disinfectants that indeed require longer dwell times)
The need to clean has always been a part of everyday life. But now the need to disinfect and sanitize is bringing new meaning to everyday life as our global community deals with disease and death this virus is ushering in.
But not everything is ALL good or ALL bad. Everything will have both wanted and unwanted ripple effects.
This uninvited virus will also cause most of us to become far more aware and vigilant in our fight
against dirt in general, but our war against germs and pathogens of all kinds.
Vapor steamers have been popular in the professional detailing community for a long time. Vapor steamers are used within the auto detailing community as effective and efficient ways to clean many materials and many surfaces.
If you have seen the many types of steam cleaners available, chances are you remained unaware of their germ killing benefits and simply thought of them as effective cleaning tools.
"The most significant benefit of a vapor steam cleaner is its ability to turn normal water into a very effective cleaning and disinfecting chemical"
Most people generally think of some type of chemical product when attempting to sanitize and disinfect. Steam cleaners operate on basic water that is super-heated.
But imagine super-heating water (between 200-315 degrees based on the machine) delivered in the form of vapor steam to become a germ, bacteria, and virus killing "chemical" that is as Eco-friendly as you will ever get.
"Green cleaning at a whole different level"
No more harmful, caustic, or damaging chemicals you are likely using to clean and disinfect your house and car with. Now you have the ability to use basic water as a "Green" method of cleaning and disinfecting most surfaces and most materials.
These vapor steam cleaners are now becoming more popular than ever.
This unique ability to turn simple water into a germ killing liquid will
only make these machines more popular than ever as more and more people
learn the unique benefits of super-heated water delivered in the form
Dirt happens. And dirt happens everywhere. None of us are immune to dirt, and dirt collects everywhere.
And dirt is just the obvious. What also happens is germs, and viruses, and bacteria. And these unwanted microscopic "creatures" exist in endless forms and versions despite our inability to see them.
"Out of sight, out of mind"
Out of sight does not mean they are out of here.
These endless pathogens may be out of sight, and have been mostly out of mind, but they still remain present.
And by "there", I really mean everywhere. Every surface, every environment, every situation represents an opportunity for dirt and these unwanted invaders to collect and grow.
Finding the best upholstery steam cleaner as an alternative to clean your upholstery in your home or car is a subject that can get complex very quickly!
Any search on the Internet is going to deliver up many options in the way of the countless types of machines that use heated water in the form of vapor to clean with.
The difficulty will be in matching the right machine with you and the demands of your world. Like everything else in life; nothing is created equally!
Steam Cleaner Quick Facts:
"What is the real reason you want a steam cleaner, and what do you think an upholstery steam cleaner is?"
One thing I have learned in life is that I often don't have enough knowledge to even ask the right questions. If we follow this backwards, this means there are many times I am unsure as to what search terms to use in order to get to what I think I am after.
That's a lot of things to consider: the what, how, and where.
But unless you factor in all these variables (which are not all the variables...just keep reading), you will make a less-than-informed decision which only invites frustration and disappointment behind your ill-informed decision.
Many people confuse a true steam cleaner with what is generally called a carpet cleaning machine. The more technical term being a carpet extractor (the term extractor is often used due to the "suction" capabilities of most carpet cleaning machines). Just because it is called a carpet extractor doesn't automatically make it mean the best upholstery steam cleaner.
"A carpet cleaner is not a steam cleaner"
So when people go in search of the best upholstery steam cleaner I can assume they want the the ability to clean the upholstery in their home and/or car.
Which in the most simplistic terms means you are really looking for clean upholstery, not really the best upholstery steam cleaner. You simply accept that a home steam cleaner is simply a means to your end goal...
...clean upholstery in your car or home!
But there are many ways to clean anything. Every technique with its accompanying chemicals and tools will have trade-off's. You trade one benefit, in exchange for another benefit you consider more "beneficial".
Clean upholstery is the end goal. Finding the best machine and the best technique to realize this end goal is the real tricky part.
Finding the winning balance requires you to have enough knowledge and understanding in order to find that winning balance.
I have spent hours of research into an area I already understand as a professional detailer. The more research I do the more I can empathize with people who go in search of the best way to clean upholstery.
And the more research I do, the more aggravating it becomes due to an overwhelming amount of information combined with a limited ability to verify accuracy of ANYTHING you see and read on the Internet.
But with that said....
Chances are you are not asking the right questions because you don't have enough knowledge or experience to ask the right questions. The inability to ask the right questions determines your ability to get what your really want.
Before you can finally decide what is the best upholstery steam cleaner to clean your car upholstery or home upholstery with, you need to first consider what your intentions are for even buying a steam cleaning in the first place.
Do you really just want to clean something, or do you want to also disinfect and deodorize?
While any version of a steam cleaner will automatically do all three, each machine or type of machine will perform these tasks differently, with varying results, determined ultimately based on the two most critical factors:
Now that you understand that the temperature is the most important factor to consider, you then need to consider the "delivery system" of this heated vapor. (this is a funny way of saying that steam cleaners come in various versions. Each designed to handle either very specific cleaning and disinfecting needs, or a broad range of cleaning and disinfecting duties)
Regardless of the exact type of home steam cleaner you decide upon, these vapor steamers are incredibly versatile. It's just that some steamers are more versatile than others.
The majority of materials and surfaces in your car, home, and garage will be made with materials considered water-safe materials. Which means cleaning with water will not cause damage (the temperature of the water will be the more critical factor to consider)
And because ordinary water is converted into a chemical-free form of cleaning agent, there are literally endless uses people use these steam cleaners to clean and disinfect:
There simply isn't an area of your home, office, garage, or car that cannot be cleaned and disinfected through the use of a top rated steam cleaner of some kind.
Safe for the material being cleaned, safe for you doing the cleaning, safe for the environment, safe for your home, safe for your family, safe for your pets.
Did I mention safe?
The only caveat is the heat. The actual temperature of your chosen version of the best upholstery steam cleaner, and the upholstery or material you are using the heat on.
Since this page is labeled as the best upholstery steam cleaner, chances are you want to clean the upholstery in your home and/or car. Most of my ongoing readers know that this is a website dealing most specifically about cars and auto detailing, but there is massive overlap between cars in general and your house.
The same materials that exist on the exterior and interior of your car is much of the same materials you will find in your home.
Really what I am doing here is expanding your mind even further into thinking past your initial strategy of cleaning upholstery, into the endless other "things" in your home, car, or garage you may also want to clean.
Simply put; we are talking about versatility.
So often I am asked by the endless people that reach out and contact me to simply tell them what to do...at least when it comes to anything to do with cleaning or detailing cars, homes, garages, ad infinitum!
"Darren, just tell me what would you do!"
And for this reason I will start with what I consider the winning balance to my choice as not only the best upholstery steam cleaner, but the best steam cleaner period.
I start out based on two (2) specific points:
These two (2) key points are factored upon my foundational understanding of steam cleaners in general, and the unique benefits these vapor steamers deliver:
Darren's Note: Most people live life on a budget. I know I do. Budget or not budget, we all want the biggest bang for our buck.
Unless you are one of the few individuals (and I have met many of these type of people) who go level 10 on everything they buy simply because they have the money to do it, these two machines represent what I call the winning combination for most people:
Unlike dedicated carpet cleaning machines, or dedicated floor only steam cleaners, these machines can accomplish everything that any of the other types of steam cleaners or carpet cleaners can do, but simply do it differently, with less water, and through the use of super-heated water delivered in the form of vapor.
And if you have been paying attention, this means that what you get with these machines that you do not get with other machines is the real power of true disinfecting capabilities.
Darren's Alert: I have purchased numerous types of steamers, carpet cleaners, and upholstery steam cleaners over the past month (at the time of this writing) and have since noticed that numerous types of these tools that are effective at disinfecting/sanitizing are now out of stock. I can only imagine this is due to the public increasing awareness of germs, viruses, and a more vigilant approach to combating our "new normal" with the advent of the latest virus warfare our world is experiencing.
Darren's Note: I love these commercial steam cleaners due to the versatility and even more importantly the disinfecting capabilities through the use of basic water. As can be seen though, the price point of these commercial steam cleaners is a dramatic jump when compared to the home steam cleaners.
And for that very reason I said in my home steam cleaner review why home steamers are the winning balance for the majority of people.
The trade-off in purchasing a home steam cleaner can be reduced down to the higher temperatures and the greater assortment of accessories/tools that you get with commercial steam cleaners.
I include the following floor steam cleaners mostly to illustrate the many versions of "general" steam cleaners that are available. The following floor steam cleaners are designed for a very specific purpose and therefore are very limited in their versatility as home steam cleaners.
As you can see, it would be hard to label either of the floor steam cleaners as the best upholstery steam cleaner unless you consider your floor as a form of furniture or upholstery.
But with that said, most people and professionals have many tools designed for specific jobs, as well as tools that are more general in nature and can handle many different types of jobs.
If you have switched (my apologies if I have steered you away from your initial search for the best upholstery steam cleaner, into the best floor steam cleaner) you will likely reduce your criteria down to fewer wants/needs when deciding on the winning balance of features, benefits, and cost.
Your list of features in a floor steam cleaner will likely look something like this:
Darren's Note: Unlike the traditional steam cleaners above these floor steamers, none of them list the temperature these floor cleaners produce. This would be a classic example of trade-off's.
If your main priority is just as much about killing germs/bacteria/viruses as it is cleaning abilities, then a heat rating is an important factor. (remember as a rule, the higher the heat, the more effective and efficient any steam cleaner or best upholstery steam cleaner will be at both cleaning and disinfecting)
The same holds true with home steam cleaners versus commercial steam cleaners in their ability to produce heated vapor steam , which then translates into a manufacturers willingness to state the true temp of the steam vapor produced.
What you need to remember and consider (not to be overly cynical, but...) is steam in the form of water heated to the point where steam is a resulting by-product, is different than a machine that emits a fine mist of water that is hot, but is just "hot". This is different than true steam from water heated high enough to produce actual steam.
There is a difference. And with these floor steam cleaners you may not have the ability to know or measure this heat and/or steam. With the home steam cleaners (some of them) and the commercial steam cleaners, the heat created is labeled as this is a requirement of use in many commercial/business applications.
In order to help educate you in the specific topic of disinfecting (one of the important things we now know that steam cleaners are effective at doing), we need to start with the general, and work down the worm hole into the more specific or detailed information, so you can become an educated car owner, person, citizen.
We will start with the reason you are likely in search of the best upholstery steam cleaner:
Cleaning: The removal of dirt, grime, grease, oil, or any unwanted matter.
Disinfecting: Generally accomplished through the use of chemicals, this generally refers to the killing of germs or pathogens of all kinds. (pathogens can be anything in the form of germs, bacteria, or virus that cause disease)
Deodorizing: The removal of any unwanted odor
Since we are trying to accomplish one or all three of these tasks with the use of heated water in the form of vapor, and do so without the use of chemicals, I will refer to the use of heated water only.
While the use heated water (in the form of steam vapor) to do any one of these tasks would naturally result in performing all these tasks, the effectiveness of each will be determined ultimately on the amount of heat created and the type of cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing you are attempting.
Quick Checklist of Killing Viruses and Bacteria:
For additional info, you can reference the links below:
At this link you can find the EPA's list of disinfectants for use against SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and CoVid-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019)
At this link to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) you can read about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)
Covid-19 refers to the Corona Virus Disease and the 19 referring to the year it originated. Hence Covid-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). You can read up on the Covid-19 at the CDC site.
If you have made it this far down best upholstery steam cleaner page; you should now be a much more informed consumer and car owner!
Many car owners and detailers are familiar with steam cleaners in their cleaning abilities whether they want to find the best upholstery steam cleaner for their car or home.
I have found that in today's age of vigilant cleaning and disinfecting to kills germs and viruses, many people remain ignorant of a top rated steam cleaner to turn basic water into a very effective cleaning and killing "chemical"!
I hope you have more interest than ever in choosing a top rated steamer and using it to make your world a cleaner, more germ free environment.
I wish you much success!