It’s that time of year again – fall cleaning, winterizing your home, getting ready for the multitude of visitors and festivities that may take place over the holidays, and most of all, cold, flu and allergy season.
All the while you want to reduce the amount of germs, bacteria, dirt and grime that you have floating around your house, don’t you? I mean, who doesn’t? Wouldn’t it be nice if one cleaning device could do that safely (meaning, without any chemicals) and effectively while saving you some money in the process? What if I told you that one actually exists?
The Oreck Steam-It is a versatile, all-purpose steam wand and mop that uses pressurized super-dry steam.
Because we have small tots and dogs, and I stopped using harsh chemicals to clean our homes a long time ago. I had been using mostly combinations of Dr. Bronner’s soap, water, baking soda, and/or vinegar to clean the majority of our home. But in my perfect world, it would be nice to get even more basic than that and still have the reassurance that things were getting clean. So, the Oreck Steam-It was naturally a good fit for my family, and I was ready and willing to try it! Besides, with my slight OCD tendencies, I spend about 2 hours cleaning our tile floors – scrubbing then wiping by hand the whole way. Anything that could help me out and take less time was surely welcomed! (By the way, I hate mops – they are dirty, germ spreaders that just swish around the germs.)
What is a “Dry Steam” cleaner? Dry steam cleaners use high temperature and low moisture steam to clean, sanitize and deodorize without any chemicals or detergents. With just simple water, the vapor produced is hot enough to kill most harmful bacteria, germs, dust mites and more. And dry steam means no damp mess – my tile floors were dry within a couple of minutes!
How can you use a dry steam cleaner? Well, the possibilities are virtually limitless! Use it to:
- Deeply sanitize hard floor surfaces (such as marble, ceramic, stone, vinyl, linoleum, sealed hardwood floors)
- Clean windows and mirrors spot-free
- Clean kitchen and bath fixtures, counters, and appliances
- Clean sinks and tubs
- Clean toilet bowls and drain covers
- Clean tile and grout stains and soap scum
- Clean drapes
- Clean crown moldings
- Clean ceiling fans
- Rejuvenate flattened carpet and rugs (Note: It does not clean carpets, but it does sanitize, remove spots, fluff up, and freshen up the appearance of carpets and rugs)
- Remove stains from furniture and car upholstery
- Freshen pillows and mattresses
- And more!
How can it save you money? Because it uses just plain water to naturally disinfect and deep clean, you won’t need to purchase any chemicals. With 4 reusable, machine washable microfiber cloths and a 6-piece attachment kit, you can clean almost anything with no expensive replacement pads to buy. If you do want to use the Steam-It on a regular basis or to clean most of your home, I do recommend either buying more microfiber cloths or using your own towels (it comes with universal clips, making it easy to use your own desired cleaning cloths).
Imagine the money you’d save by not having to buy chemicals and other materials to clean your floors, windows, bathrooms, and just about everything else! Plus, it’s nice to clean multiple things with one cleaning tool.
How does it work? It’s as simple as it can get – put in desired attachment, fill the reservoir with water using the included funnel, plug it in, turn the power and steam switches, wait a few seconds for it to heat up (the manual says 1 minute, but my green indicator light takes about 30 seconds), and then start cleaning. For a deeper sanitizing, expose the area to the steam for 5 seconds. The Steam-It boasts a wide 11.5 inch cleaning path.
- 2 Microfiber floor cloths
- 2 Microfiber utility cloths
- Carpet glider
- Nozzle brush
- Spot Brush
- Utility tool
Assembly: Assembly was a snap. Literally. I snapped in 2 pieces and my desired attachment and presto!
General Notes and First Impressions:
- With all of those attachments, I had hoped that it came with a storage bag. It did not.
- Filling up the water reservoir was easy enough with the provided funnel; however, in case you lose the funnel, I also did this without using it just as fast. I used up a full tank (1 liter) in about 45 minutes.
- It’s very easy to clip in the microfiber cloths – and they stay put!
- The Steam-It has a dial to regulate the amount of steam – from low to high. I did wish that the dial was on top rather than on the side of the handle, as my hand has a natural tendency to slide down there and accidentally turn the dial when in use.
- It is easy to maneuver and is super lightweight – less than 10 pounds when filled with water. (If a 9-month pregnant woman can use it, then so can you!)
- Because it is extremely quiet, I can do quick cleaning sessions when my kids are napping in the next room.
- It works upside-down without spillage for above floor cleaning. However, it’s hard to use it overhead without it running out of steam (literally), because the water is not where it needs to be in order for the steam to be activated. This can be quickly remedied if you put it back down on the ground for a few seconds every time it runs out of steam.
- The 25-foot power cord is long, but I still wished it were a bit longer. (Ahh, the curse of a large house!)
- It takes a while for the unit to get cooled down enough so that you can change out the tools.
- When not in use, it hangs up off the floor, which is rather nice.
The Performance Test… With 1400 watts, a non-Oreck brand company assured me that it should provide a good performance. And it certainly did.
On floors: Wow! There was a lot less scrubbing (and time) involved. Normally a 2 hour job for me took just 25 minutes from start to finish. We have some stubborn spots underneath our Learning Tower (where the kids often eat and drop crumbs and all kinds of nasty messes on a daily basis), and they just melted away right before my eyes. It also removed grape juice stains from my tile floor on first try when it usually takes me 3-4 trials with my nifty spray. Because it dries almost instantly, I have no more oodles of wet towels to wash after I’m done with my tile floors. And I don’t have to worry about my kids slipping on wet surfaces.
Our house is fairly new with new flooring so the carpets and tile didn’t need rejuvenation and sprucing up. However, the bathroom, no matter how old it is, always needs some serious help. It’s a place where mold and mildew just likes to grow ramped in a matter of seconds, or so it seems. Mixed with the oils from our bodies and the dirt and grime we collect throughout the day, tubs can just be plain gross.
In the bathroom: Thumbs up in the bathroom – I could have kept going! It was effective and very easy to use on grout, tubs, sinks, and fixtures. It didn’t remove every trace of our hard water stains, but my fixtures have never looked so nice. Plus, it was much easier than using harsh, harmful scrubs. Unfortunately, I could not muster up the courage to use it on my toilets.
Windows: When cleaning the windows, even on the lowest steam setting, more steam was put out than was needed. I allowed some windows to air dry and some I towel dried quickly. Both sets of windows looked fine and streak-free. If you have small windows and the squeegee attachment is too big, you can just use the steam nozzle without the squeegee, and then use the squeegee by hand or just paper towels to wipe it up.
Clean-up: I’ve used the Hoover Floor Mate and the Bissell Flip-It – those aren’t even in the same category. Clean up with those two was horrendous, as there are a lot of chambers and dirty water to clean up afterwards. Not with the Steam-It. Clean up is a breeze. Just empty out the water tank, and toss the dirty cloths in the washing machine or clean them by hand. To ensure optimum performance, Oreck recommends cleaning the steam chamber with the provided nozzle brush every 12-15 uses.
Final Thoughts: Oh, Steam-It, you have made my life so simple and yet so difficult at the same time. Why? Because now I have NO EXCUSE not to clean certain things in my home a lot more often. It’s just too simple. After my initial cleaning rampage, I was looking for other uses, wondering… It does drapes, so can it do my clothes? It does bath fixtures, so can it do my wedding ring?
I can honestly say that after using the Oreck Steam-It, I was confident that everything was really clean for the first time. No more worrying about how both of my children like to lay across the tile floor, my 20 month old likes to pick up and eat food she dropped, and how both of them like to sit in the shower playing with all the cracks and crevices.
BUY IT! Buy the Oreck Steam-It All-Purpose Steam Wand and Mop for $179.99 with Free Shipping. You can even try it risk free for 30 days. To save 15% off your order, use the current promo code FALLFORORECK (expires 11/2/11)
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