Cleaning your RV? Get steaming mad at dirt!

10

By Jim Twamley

Sunshine and flowers in bloom mean it’s time for some RV spring cleaning. Forget about chemicals, put away the rubber gloves and go green with steam. Mrs. Professor wanted a steam cleaner to clean and disinfect around the RV. She researched the various models on the internet and finally decided on the model she liked.

I took it for a spin in the shower today and it did a good job. Cleaning with steam is not easier or faster than cleaning with conventional chemical cleaners. It will take you just as long in the cleaning process, but you will be using an environmentally friendly means of cleaning. Steam released into the air is harmless but chemical vapors from household cleaning products can have harmful side effects, especially for people with allergies.Steam kills most mold and mildew on contact. This is great news for RVers who routinely need to clean moldy window sills and shower stall ceilings. You can also use these systems to kill the dust mites in your mattress and carpet. If it needs to be sanitized, steam will do the trick.

Our steamer is made in Italy and we had a good laugh at how the operators manual was mistranslated into English. Companies doing business in predominately English-speaking countries should hire someone who actually speaks English to write directions.

We paid around $500 for our machine, but you can get cheaper models that put steam where you need it. Most of the higher-end machines are referred to as “vapor” machines as opposed to “steam” machines. They both shoot steam, but “vapor” machines use less water and have a higher temperature and pressure at the nozzle spray head. The amount of accumulated water is also less. You can clean tile grout with this machine and just wipe up the excess water that is left behind with an absorbent towel or paper towels. You can also use a wet vacuum to suck up the small amount of water left behind.

I also used the machine to clean the sinks and faucets and it cleaned them better than chemicals. I also cleaned the toilet bowl. Steam is a great sanitizing agent and will leave your toilet sparkling clean. I also tested it on a small section of tile grout and it does a good job on that as well. You can also use this device to clean conventional ovens, microwaves and stove tops.

When you use this machine, it’s a good idea to open the RV ventilation fans to evacuate the steam, unless you’re trying to create a tropical atmosphere inside your coach.

Steam is also good at melting away greasy grime, so it also works well on engine parts without the use of solvents. It comes with numerous attachments like a wand and a floor brush. There are upholstery attachments and small nylon brushes for doing closeup work. There is also a wire brush for doing BBQ grills. We ordered an extra set of brushes since they wear down with use.

The unit is the size of a canister vacuum cleaner and has rollers. You have to stop cleaning when it runs out of water, wait for it to cool down and then refill it and wait for it to heat up again before you can continue cleaning (about 30 minutes). The stainless steel boiler tank holds about a half gallon of water and will last about 30 to 45 minutes before needing a refill.

Our unit has a trigger button that activates the steam wand. It shuts off the flow of steam when the button is released. You do need to be careful not to burn yourself with the business end of the steam wand. You also need to be careful around plastics because the high temperature may melt them.The steam cleaner does not remove water stains (for that you will need vinegar). It should not be used on auto paint because it can destroy the clear coat finish. Also, I would not recommend it for electric components like your computer keyboard because electrical components and water don’t get along.

Overall I rate it a good appliance for general purpose cleaning and sanitizing. It will not make your work any easier, but it will leave the RV clean and germ-free. There are numerous other cleaning jobs this machine can tackle and I’ve just scratched the surface.

Full steam ahead —Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

##rvt948

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DONALD Genesse
6 months ago

I have the same steam cleaner and it has never worked properly. It would put out a little steam for a minute or so. Nothing after that. Not sure if it was the machine or me. Very disappointing. Never could get through to CS.

Diane Mc
6 months ago

Too pricey for me. There’s a $190 product on Amazon by Dupray, “Neat” (they have more expensive ones as well). Very compact, 10.5 x 10.5 x 9.5. 18 attachments. 4 1/2 stars. Seriously considering for home & RV.

Nanci
6 months ago

I loved my steamer in our house but am concerned about adding extra moisture to an RV where mold and water can be so destructive.

DAVE TELENKO
6 months ago

I was sooo dissapointed after reading the article on what is does. I was thinking a NEW great way to clean (wash) the outside of my R.!! Really $500 bucks to clean the crapper. no thanks.
Snoopy

Cindy
6 months ago
Reply to  DAVE TELENKO

Were you reading the same article I was? There are a LOT of things you can use a steamer for and cleaning the toilet isn’t the highest on the list. Just using it to sanitize your mattress is a big one for me. Thank of all the sweat, skin cells and micro fauna in your bed. Yikes! This will clean that up in short order and you can continue to do it a couple of times a year. Unless you prefer to buy a new mattress every year. As a woman I can say that just the ability to clean mildew away is a plus. If you want to clean the outside of vehicles, get a pressure washer and use it on low. But you can’t use it to clean your mattress.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
6 months ago

$500 for an appliance to clean sinks and toilets. Takes up room when you are downsizing. I will stick with cleaners

Donald N Wright
6 months ago

what a good idea!

mark B
6 months ago

Hmmm. Surprised the president didn’t suggest his experts look into this. Most people already knew that UV-C light/rays will cause immediate cell damage (and probably cancer), and that disinfectant chemicals that work on surfaces in hospitals and homes can not be ingested, but how about clean steam/vapor, could we suck on that wand?

(Please don’t take this seriously.)

cee
6 months ago
Reply to  mark B

Wow, uptight and outta sight. Don’t you people appreciate humor? Especially now when life has become so deadly serious!

You gave me a good chuckle mark B. Thanks!

MKM1963
6 months ago

I had one of those and after 2 years it quit working. Customer service was terrible and it was going to cost me close to 200 and shipping to get it fixed. Decided it wasn’t worth it if it I my worked two years. I hope yours works longer.