Professional quality for low price
I have bought this steam cleaner recently for $150. It is a real Karcher from official dealer. Well, I had a quest to clean all mixer taps, which become covered with calcareous coating every month. Yes, we have so earthy water. I also had to clean the whole kitchen from old layer of fat left by last owners of the flat. The oven, the kitchen extractor fan and all furniture were covered with such a great fat layer that I thought ex-owners used to fry pork with fat every day. And, of course, black mold in bathroom, which likes to spread on the edge and settle in the anti-slipping rug laid in the bath.
Let’s begin from the appearance. The colors and design are proprietary, so I felt myself as a professional cleaner. The assemblage is very good; the materials are very strong and solid to touch. Well, everything in this cleaner is made from plastic, but plastic is really good. All ergonomic nothings are thought-out. For example the water funnel is built-in; it is just situated deep in the hollow, where you can safely pour water.
There is a steam hose 2 meters long with a dispenser in the set. There are also two extenders that let to make a handle so long, that you will be able to get to the ceiling 3 meters long with any problems. There’s also a point nozzle in the set for point steaming. There is an attachment sized like a standard vacuum cleaner attachment. You can fasten a floor cloth on it (the fastening is very secure, you can see some clamps with sprockets on the attachment) and disinfect great squares with it. Well, this attachment is used to clean floor. The main brush for the majority of actions you will do is a round brush. I advise you to buy one or two brushes more, because it is using up very fast. It is also more comfortable to work with a possibility to change a brush and get back to work immediately than to suffer from cleaning of the brush. There are two dusters in the set. The first one has to be put on that floor brush, the second one is simply for cleaning everything. You will also find 3 anti-scale sticks. If you use tap water, these sticks will be very useful, as the scale appears very fast, as fast as in the simple electric kettle. If you use distillated water or water filtered with reverse osmosis filter, in other words, absolutely clean water, you will not need these sticks, there will be no scale.
The steam cleaner itself has 3 places for fastening all attachments. Now you don’t need to think about the place where you have to keep all brushes and attachments. The producer has already thought out it for you. However, the power cable doesn’t wind up inside the cleaner; it is supposed to be twisted around the cleaner when you set all attachments on their places. I don’t like this as I have to take the cleaner from one place to another, and it is quite difficult with all brushes set up as they are too long and prevent me from carrying the cleaner comfortably. By the way, the hose is very solid and hard; it has a special braid and bends with problems. I don’t recommend bending it very much as it seems to have a reinforced tube inside, so you will just break the hose if you will try to bend it with all your power.
There is a stem controller and children protection on the main dispenser handle. The controller has two positions – mild and strong steam. As I can understand, the children protection is the third position of the controller – the lock. If you set the controller on this position, you will not be able to push the trigger. By the way, the cover that closes a water reservoir is really heavy, like it is made from real metal.
There are also 2 light indicators. A green indicator shows power on and yellow one indicates the water heating process. You cannot work with the device until the heating is over. Heating takes about 5 minutes. After that the device heats the rest of water but you can normally work with the device. You will not be able to open the cover when the device is hot. It is a special protection; it prevents you from getting burned by steam. If the water is over, you need to wait for some time and only then open a cover and pour another portion of water, but I don’t advice you to act in such way, it is quite dangerous. At least you should wear protection glasses.
Well, the steam jet is very powerful; I don’t advice you to work without an extractor fan for too long as everything will become wet. By the way it is impossible to get burned if you follow all rules and don’t bring your hand to the steam jet at less than 30-40 centimeters distance. I had brought my hand even closer, at 10 cm distance and it still doesn’t burn you. Hoverer, any centimeter more and you will feel boiling water. The temperature of the output steam is about 170° C. However if the distance is between the brush and an object 40 centimeters or more you can even blow the dust from your flowers safely. It is worth to be mentioned that the device is not heavy at all, only 2-3 kilos, it is lighter than a vacuum cleaner. That is good especially for women.
Let’s proceed to the most important info.
1. I will tell it right away – the device doesn’t clean rust, don’t even try, it is just not for it.
2. The calcareous coating is cleaned for 70%-80% without using any additional chemicals. These are very good numbers, many people will be satisfied with them. If you splash some citric acid on this coating beforehand, the device will fully clean it. Attention! Don’t forget to wash off all citric acid just before using a steam cleaner. I hadn’t done it and all chemicals got to air with steam, and I was breathing this air for two hours. As a result I was coughing (the cough had disappeared next day), my face burned hard while I was washing it with soap (it lasted for five days), as my face had got a slight acid burn. There were no signs of the burn outside. My eyes were hurting for several days; they had got a burn too. If I had held such experiment not with harmless citric acid but with some concentrated xylose, for example, I wouldn’t survive, I am sure. So keep in mind that you have to wash off your chemical firstly. It has worked well, has softened the coating, so the steam cleaner will remove it immediately.
3. As for fat, it cleans fat perfectly, with no doubts. However you have to have 3 brushes at same time, because fat rolls up and piles up on the brush while cleaning, so it is just impossible to use the brush. Fat becomes very sticky, so don’t even try to clean it from the brush fast and continue cleaning. Even Fairy doesn’t work well with it. So it is simpler to change the brush and continue cleaning. After that just clean all three brushes.
4. Every dirt as deep-seated dust is the exact thing the cleaner perfectly deals with without any additional chemicals.
5. The cleaner is able to remove about 50% of mould. Steam of 170°C temperature softens mould and hard brush cleans it mechanically. However, you should keep in mind that you breathe in the spores; I don’t think it is healthy. I didn’t have much mould, so I had totally cleaned it at two goes, but I will never use a stem cleaner again and will clean mould only with chemical and brush as I don’t want to breathe in mould spores.
By the way, for the first time the plastic bristles on the brush are very hard, but when you turn on the steam, they turn soft and their hardness becomes of mild level, as it exactly needed.
How do you have to clean brushes? After every cleaning your brush will look awfully, especially after fat. You just need to boil them, make water boiling with them; it will take only 15 minutes. You just have to add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to water. Brushes will be absolutely clean.
I don’t want to make unsubstantiated statements, so you can see the results of this cleaner’s job. Photos number 26 and 27 show the extractor filter; on the photo №27 the filter is absolutely clean. As you can see, the cleaner cleans perfectly. On the photo №28 you can see a gas hob BEFORE cleaning. It is 7 years old, it was used every day and it seems they had been boiling something fatty constantly. The job is literally covered with fat. On the photo №29 you can see the result of work, the hob is absolutely clean. Black spots on the 29-th photo are not dirt spots, these are enamel spalls, I can say it is a natural tear and wear, and the hob with its handles is absolutely clear, the handles are pleasant to touch.
I am satisfied with the device at all. There are some little disadvantages, impossibility to pour additional water while the process of cleaning. I know that there’s a model which allows to do it, but it is twice more expensive. It is also uncomfortable that you cannot twist the power cable into the device, it is a little disadvantage. For its $150 it is a great device, I recommend it.
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