By texlish from TX
I posted about this in the past and below is a copy... I personally prefer a "vapor" cleaner because for tough jobs like grout it will do a better job.
RE: Reviews of Hardwood Floor Steam Cleaners
Keep in mind, there are two classes of "steam" floor cleaners, steam cleaners and vapor cleaners. Steam cleaners heat up to about 220 degrees and leave the surface kinda wet. Vapor cleaners heat up to over 300 degrees and leave less moisture on the cleaned surface. Also the vapor cleaner cleans faster because of the increased heat. So if you can afford a vapor cleaner, they are vastly superior. The higher heat will not hurt your wood floors as you keep moving the floor attachment as it does clean quickly, especially on hard surface floors.
You also need to decide if you want a "stick" model that is only good for cleaning floors, or the canister model that is good for floors, counters and just about anything else. The canister model is the way to go as you will be cleaning everything with it and without using any chemicals, only tap water.
Whether you opt for a steam or vapor cleaner, the material of the boiler tank is so important. The choice is aluminum or stainless steel... The aluminum will eventually pit and leak, the stainless should last for many years if not forever. So, getting one with a stainless steel boiler tank is almost a no-brainer.
Here is a link that compares the different "vapor" cleaners, so they can clean virtually all surfaces, including the family car...
The model I bought is Reliable T630 (3rd from the top left at the above link). The one attachment it has that most others don't have is a carpet attachment and thus allows for cleaning carpets. This attachment was the determining factor in my decision to buy this machine.
Here is a link at eBay where it is sold $100 less then the posted retail price and another with 0 bids and a starting bid of $265. Both have FREE shipping!
This machine does an excellent job of cleaning, it works just as the manufacturers says and I have not had any problems with it, having owned it for about 18 months.
When I first bought this machine my wife wouldn't use it, thought it was just an expensive toy... We have brick floors in our kitchen, breakfast and family rooms, a bear to clean... My wife would constantly have to scrub the floor with a very stiff brush, then mop, this was a lot of work... One day I took out the vapor machine, vaporized the floor, moped up afterwards and the floor was the cleanest it has ever been! PLUS, it kills all pathogens, you really could eat off the floor after the vapor machine cleans it... She uses this machine for everything now, not a toy any more... :-)
AND there is a big advantage of buying a canister machine (such as the T630) as you really can clean anything with it, floors, counters, walls, toilets, etc... With a stick model, it is mostly a floor cleaner... You can also Google to see if you can find a better price, but I found the sellers on eBay had the best prices..
Jim in Jax
I have a Shark Euro Pro model S3325. I purchased it at Lowe's for 99.00. This is my second one, the first I used for about 4-5 years. It does everything and more. It has lots of attachments, It is on wheels so you don't have to hold it and it will steam for hours without refilling it. It does floors and anything a handheld unit will clean. It is the best machine. Why pay for a floor cleaner when this one will do it all. I would rate this machine a 10 out of 10. If this company would just market it better it would outsell every machine on the market.
I bought a handheld one from Walmart's for about $43.00. It is a McClintlock (something like that). I like it because it has a large well for holding the water. Many others hold much less water & have to be filled often. This one heats up almost immediately & does a fabulous job on dirt. It's not too heavy. It's my favorite cleaning tool.
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