Wednesday 26 February 2014

Spring Cleaning with my Karcher Steam Cleaner SC 2.500 (Review)

A few weeks back I received the Karcher SC 2.500 steam cleaner to use and review. I've had a steam cleaner before from a competitor and whilst it was OK I found it heavy and more trouble than it was worth so I was interested to see how the Karcher lived up to the tests I had in mind for it. I've heard of the Karcher name before and my husband uses their products in his work and he said they are a good reliable brand and to be honest that is what I expect from any German brand. The Germans do seem to build things to last and work well.

Setting the cleaner up
This was really easy, I took everything out the box, which was pretty compact and whilst the instruction booklet looks huge and scary it is actually only a few pages in English and the rest is for other languages. Inside the front cover are visual instructions for set up and it took me literally 2 minutes, it was so simple. As you can see all the fittings are yellow which help you to see where they should join and they are an easy press and click system.

With the steam cleaner you receive a floor cleaning head, a smaller head for handheld tasks and a tiny precision head with grout attachment. I also received 2 cleaning pads fork the floor cleaner head and two for the handheld.

The SC 2.500 model retails for £232.09 and there are other models available for both more and less, depending on your cleaning needs.

What can it clean?
Really the list of what your steam cleaner can clean for you is limitless, I have not tried everything yet but I'm loving having something that can clean at such high temperatures that it is hygienic and can kill bacteria.

The types of areas it can clean are hard floors, hard surfaces, plants, upholstery, carpets, glass, shower screens, bathrooms, cookers and on and on.

Lino floor -
The first thing I decided to tackle was my lino floor which covers much of the downstairs of my house. I normally use a traditional mop and bucket and whilst this is fine in the main it never really seems to get the ground in dirt by the front door. As we live in the countryside we are out and about in our wellies an awful lot and as we do not have a garden attached to our house the kids scooters come into the house and thus this area gets very dirty. Here are the before and after pictures -

I didn't find the cleaner hard to use at all and as the water is contained in the floor unit (rather than in an handheld cleaner like I had before) it was light and you could pull it around with you easily. I would have liked the cord to be a bit longer than the 4 metres supplied but obviously it was easy to use an extension lead. You can see from the pad above that it sure gets some dirt up and I just put the cloth in the washing machine afterwards and it came out fine.

Window Frame -
Next up I wanted to clean a window frame that has been going mouldy through lack of ventilation. As I live in an 18th century listed building we have old lead windows that we can not change. One of them is in my galleried hall and this means that we can not actually access the window at all without an extra tall ladder. The joy of the steam cleaner is that the arm is so long I could stand on the balcony and use the cleaning arm from there, of course it is a bit hard to get the same kind of scrub from a distance of about 6 foot but it is better than nothing. Again I have some before and after pictures for you to see, look at the bottom of the frame in both pictures, there is a massive improvement and of course I can now do it each month rather than letting it build up again.

Tiles and grout -
One of the things I hate to clean are bathroom tiles and especially grout, it is so boring, therefore I was pleased to see the steam cleaner can help me with that. I haven't got any pictures to show you but take a look at my short video to see me both cleaning the window frame and and also the tiles. The next morning in the light of day I could really see that  the cleaning had made a difference and as I mention in the video it is great to know the tiles are now hygienic.

Pros -
  • Can be used on a massive range of surfaces/ areas and is easy to use
  • Great range of accessories that you can purchase to expand it uses, I wanting to get the bathroom cleaning set so I have a cloth which can be a but more abrasive too
  • Super website with loads of cleaning tips
  • Hygienic cleaning, great for peace of mind to know those high temperatures are killing harmful bacteria
Cons -
  • It is not cheap but I do believe it is an investment
  • Storage space is always an issue but this does pack up nice and streamlined
I've been using my steam cleaner each week since it arrived with me and it is fabulous. I've found out since my early cleaning attempts (those on the video) that you can use some cleaning products (natural or man-made) with the cleaner. So with the really ground in floor dirt, I can spray on some cleaner and leave it to soak for a few minutes and then use the steam on it to really clean it up - fabulous!  I'm happy to recommend this and give it a 9/10 overall, it only didn't quite get a 10 as I know the cost will be a stretch to some.

Disclosure: I was sent this Karcher steam cleaner free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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