A car detailing steamer is one of the best tools for anyone wanting to achieve a professional detail.
Not only does a car steam cleaner create better results than manual scrubbing, it also makes cleaning fast and efficient.
But if you haven’t vapor cleaned your car before, here’s everything you need to know about using a car detailing steamer for vapor cleaning.
What is a car detailing steamer?
Car steamers use vaporized water to remove dirt and odors from surfaces such as carpets and upholstery.
Much like household steam cleaners, the hot vapor works by loosening the dirt from the carpet fibers. Rather than remaining stuck to the carpets and upholstery, it loosens, and can be removed.
Car detailing steams work in the same way as regular household steamers, but they’re specifically designed for cars. They’re better suited to dealing with heavy-duty dirt. It should also come with different accessories for different parts of the car, making it easier to clean every corner of a vehicle.
Most car steamers can also be used on the exterior of the car. All you need to do is attach a high pressure nozzle, which will make it perfect for cleaning the exterior, including the wheels and tires.
How to use a car steam cleaner
Using a steam cleaner helps you get a professional detail, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to use.
All you need to do is start by prepping the car for vapor cleaning by brushing and vacuuming the majority of dirt from the carpet and upholstery.
Then fill the steamer’s water tank, and add your cleaner to the detergent tank. Just make sure you use the right cleaner for the material in your car.
You can then attach the right accessory, for example you might want to attach a brush or cloth pad to the end of the nozzle. Brushes work best on cloth, and pads are great for leather upholstery. You can also use a high pressure nozzle for the exterior.
Plug your steamer in (make sure the plug isn’t wet though), and you’re good to go. Just wait for it to heat up, and then you can start scrubbing with the steamer.
Some vapor cleaners then use dry steam is then used to remove dirt and debris, and stores it in a reservoir until you empty it. However, if your steamer doesn’t have the vacuum attachment, you can always wipe down the dirt after steaming.
If need be, this is a process that you can repeat. Just rinse, and go again.
Benefits of using a car detailing steamer
Steam is much more effective at removing dirt than most other methods. This is because the heat kills bacteria, as well as removing grime, so the car is disinfected without using harsh chemicals. And it doesn’t just remove dirt from the surfaces, it can penetrate deeply into fabrics, drawing out dirt from below the surface.
It also cleans carpets and upholstery without soaking them. So you won’t have to worry about water logging the car. After steaming, upholstery will feel damp to touch, but will dry very quickly (usually in an hour or two).
Another benefit is that it’s great for leather and suede upholstery as well as cloth. Leather and suede can be sensitive to water, whereas steam rehydrates and conditions these materials.
In terms of the results, you’ll be left with carpets and upholstery that’s as clean as can be. And steaming can also freshen the color of fabric, so it’s a good way to restore your car’s interior to what it once was. It’s also going to make it smell much fresher, helping you achieve that sought after new car smell.
Purchasing versus renting a steam cleaner
If you want to steam clean your car, you have two options: rent a steamer, or purchase your own one.
Ideally, you should purchase your own one if you plan on regularly detailing your car. If you’re starting a detailing business, you’ll also need your own car steamer for this.
However, if you don’t often detail your own car, and you won’t use a steam cleaner more than once or twice, it can be worth renting one.
How often should you steam clean detail a car?
Steam cleaning isn’t harmful to your car in any way, so you can do it as often or as little as you like.
It’s a good idea to do it 3-4 times a year, if you want to keep your driving environment clean and fresh.
But if your car gets dirty quicker than that, feel free to steam clean as often as you like.
How soon after a spill should you use a car detailing steamer?
Spills happen all the time in cars. Maybe a little one dropped a drink, or you split a coffee while taking a corner, or maybe the shopping leaked. Whatever the cause, accidents happen. And one of the best ways to deal with them is to steam clean.
Luckily, you don’t have to steam clean instantly after a spill. In fact, it’s best to let the spill dry before steaming.
But whether you leave it a day, a week, or even a month, steam cleaning will be just as effective at removing spill stains.
Can I use an automotive steam cleaner in all weathers?
Technically, you can steam clean in all weathers. However, it’s much better to steam clean your car in warmer weather.
The colder the temperature, the longer your upholstery and carpets will take to dry. So spring and summer temperatures are the best for using car detailing steamers.