Can Any Material Be Steam Cleaned?
Steam cleaners use ordinary tap water to create a dry steam which is so powerful that it can eliminate grime, viruses, dirt, and a whole lot more. Because steam cleaners are equipped with an internal water tank or a boiler, they can heat water to high temperatures and thus create a very powerful steam which penetrates into fabric surfaces, destroying germs, allergens, and dirt.
To kill off germs, it’s necessary to heat water to at least 225°F, and some of the more powerful steam cleaners can actually heat water to 325°F, thus providing all the necessary heat for germ-killing. Below, you’ll see a description of the things which are appropriate for using a steam cleaner on, and those which you should avoid using a steam cleaner on. This will help you to prevent any unfortunate accidents with your household goods and fabrics.
Fabrics which can be steam cleaned
Linen is one of the toughest materials which is used in clothing and household goods, and all linens are fast-drying and quite absorbent. Linen is also highly susceptible to creasing, and it can be very difficult to work the crease out of any garment made of linen. However, a good steam cleaner will be able to remove the crease from even a stiff and dry linen garment, so that it can be ironed and made presentable again.
One of the world’s most popular fabrics for clothing is cotton, largely because it’s so comfortable and breathable, but also because it looks great. It’s very easy to steam clean cotton, especially if you have an ironing board where you can use to press the cotton against the hard surface, and there are number of different types of steam cleaners which can be used on cotton garments.
Steam cleaning wool is a fairly straightforward process, but in some cases the wool can be delicate, for instance in some of the better made suits. For this reason, it may be necessary to use a delicate fabric guard when steam cleaning, and that will prevent the wool component from becoming shiny. Steam cleaning does not interfere at all with the natural property of wool to retain heat, and it retain its heating capability even after a steam cleaning.
Provided a steam cleaner is used correctly, it’s extremely effective on cleaning garments made of silk. Any creases which are pressed in place can easily be removed, and the silk can be freshened up considerably. When using a clothes steamer that has a heated metal plate, you should make sure that a delicate fabric guard is used when steam cleaning silk, so as to avoid over-exposure to heat.
Things which should not be steam cleaned
Some surfaces are simply unable to manage the tremendous heat coming from a steam cleaner, and that means you should not use one to clean such surfaces. Avoid the temptation to use a steam cleaner on a large section of your carpet, because it could instead be damaged by the heat. You should also avoid using a steam cleaner on anything like thin plastics or velour upholstery, both of which could be damaged by the powerful heat of the steam cleaner.
Any kind of a porous surface such as brick, marble, or stucco should not be steam cleaned, but should be cleaned using some other substance like soap and water. Generally speaking, any surface at all which could be damaged if exposed to a high heat should not be cleaned using a steam cleaner. Any kind of water-based paint for example, should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner for this reason, nor should any cardboard objects be cleaned with a steam cleaner.
Just keep in mind that any object you would like to clean which could potentially be harmed by high heat, should not be cleaned with a steam cleaner. Most other objects will be perfectly acceptable for cleaning, and will probably benefit by having the high temperature applied to them by the steam cleaner.