There are a variety of ways to use steam cleaning when cleaning your home or business. These include various flooring and upholstery dirt removal, tile wall cleaning for bacteria and industrial usage for grease and grime removal from engines, vehicles, and cooking equipment.
A variety of tools to use steam as the force to clean are available. Mops are the least expensive and typically used by a beginner because they are readily available to consumers and their cleaning capabilities are limited. At home they can be used for floor upkeep when tile, vinyl or other water resistant surface is present on hard surfaces which is typically found in kitchens and bathrooms. The grout will not be cleaned unless you attach a special tool for grout but even then, the power of the steam in these type of cleaners and cleaning fluid available to consumers is limited and may not remove all the dirt you want.
Steam cleaners for the home, specially designed for actual steam cleaning and one step down from commercial grade, will do the best job short of a professional commercial cleaning as these steam cleaners have the power to heat the water to the needed temperature and the force to achieve near commercial quality steam cleaning. Typically, homeowners want steam cleaning to kill bacteria, mold, mildew, microscopic organisms and insects such as bed bugs. On the business side, medical offices often want steam cleaning for bacteria, staph and other airborne issues that are common in medical practices. The steam cleaning kills most of these and using anti-microbial paint not only helps with this but has a durability that stands up to repeated steam cleaning. The more powerful the steam cleaner, the better and as well, the higher grade of disinfectant, typically commercial grade is warranted in these environments is optimum.
Dry cleaners often use steam cleaning for specific types of clothing. Certain bedding, carpeting and other items infected with dust mites, bed bugs or other type of dominant insect reproduction that needs to be killed to remove the problem can be resolved with steam cleaning. With garments, body odors and wrinkles are easily removed with steam cleaning. Professional steam cleaners that come with the power and and upright stand have more heat and pressure which is how commercial grade results are obtained and typically what you will find at dry cleaners.
Handheld steam cleaners are found at local shops and big box stores and provide a handy, hand held rush of steam that makes it easy for use at home by a non-professional. There is less chance of scalding and can be used for many household chores. Called portable steam cleaners, they can do a good job of removing dirt from small areas and a reasonable effort at removing stains, but usually it is the commercial grade steam cleaner and cleaning solutions that are needed for large areas and to remove bacteria, mold and serious stains and dirt.
A surge of steam cleaning vacuums hit the market about a decade ago and have increased in quality. Their maximum temperature has increased but is still not as hot as commercial grade cleaners. They can do an excellent job of cleaning though, if there are not widespread or heavy stains and are highly recommended for the home. Their drawback is that despite commercial and pictures to the contrary, they are not meant to be used for large areas or used for long periods of time. This will not only invalidate the warranty but maybe shorten the lifespan of the cleaner and necessitate more frequent repairs. They also move fairly slowly so it is a long process to clean a fairly small room. And takes breaks so you are not over using the motor.