I'm going to ignore the fact that I saw a snow warning earlier on today and say that spring is on the way. We've had some lovely weather over the past week, it's stopped raining all the time and we even went out for a nature walk and discovered lots of signs of spring like catkins, crocuses and daffodils. Unfortunately, that also means that it's time to start spring cleaning ! Luckily, we have a new ally - a fabulous steam cleaner that Kärcher sent through for us to roadtest.
The model that we received is the SC 2.500 C.
The illustrations on the box show that you can use it for cleaning hobs.
It also has a small brush attachment for getting into nooks and crannies.
And it even promises to get the bathroom clean and combat limescale build-up. Hmm I definitely want to try that one out !
When you open the box, this is what you get - quite a few attachments (steam nozzle, small round brush, large floor brush and medium brush), as well as two large cloths and two elasticated cloths that look like mini shower caps to go on the small brush.
It's all extremely simple to put together, even without reading the instruction manual. The cloths (which look like Terry towelling burp cloths - I might try recycling old bibs when I need to replace the cloths) are just flat cloths, that you fold around the brush then hold in place with simple open/close clips. (I find this system better than on my old steam cleaner which had elastic fasteners that need to pull tight around the brusn attachment to hold them in place - they invariably came off when cleaning and eventually, the elastic snapped, making them unusable.)
We started off on our lino floor. The steamer heats up very quickly - just a couple of minutes - and you're ready to go. You basically use it just like you would a vacuum cleaner (although you need to vacuum the floor first - it won't pick up dust).
It is simple to use and seemed to give about the same result as using a mop and bucket. The advantage is, there is no need to use any cleaning products with it, which is better for the planet and the kids/pets, while saving you money too. The floor is wet afterwards but less so than with a mop and bucket.
At this point, Sophie excitedly squealed "oooh, can I do the rest of the house ?"! Believe me, this is definitely not normal ! Obviously, I said yes (!) and we swapped over to the smaller brush attachment. One quick wipe over the table got rid of the icing dribbles and stuck on bits of pastry that were left over from our cookie-making session. That usually takes a fair bit of elbow grease to remove !
It wasn't really the right attachment but Sophie moved on to the hob and stunned me by removing all the grease and grime with just a couple of wipes. I normally have to use a powerful degreaser and leave it to soak in before getting the hob this clean.
She had a quick wipe over the wall behind the hob where there are sometimes grease splashes. I love the fact that the steam wipes out any germs that may be lurking about.
The water tank needed refilling at this point but it just clips on and off. The opening is wide enough and well placed so filling it at the tap is a breeze, and this machine offers continuous steam so I was very impressed to see that we didn't have to wait for the water to heat up.
While Sophie got on with the cleaning, I followed her around taking photos - this is the life ! We all thought that it's not just functional, it's also rather funky, with a cheerful yellow colour.
Having finished the basic cleaning (floors and surfaces), Sophie asked what else she could have a go at so I decided to launch a challenge - the oven. Aaaagh ! I had this down as one of my disgusting half-term jobs and thought I'd be up to my elbows in grease and grime for a whole morning. In fact, the oven door has cooked-on grease and grime that I have never managed to remove, even with extremely powerful deep cleaning chemical oven cleaners. Sophie thought it was hilarious that it instantly started to shift with the steam cleaner.
There's the proof if you need it ! Luckily the cloths are machine washable. The oven door isn't 100% clean but it's much better than it has been in a very long time and I'll be regularly using the steam cleaner on it now to try to get rid of the remaining grime.
Here's the colour of the floor cloth - hmmm !
Having seen how well it worked on the oven door, I was a woman on a mission, taking Sophie to all the problem areas in the house that no amount of cleaning products and good old-fashioned elbow grease has ever managed to shift. These greasy fingerprints just above the door handle have resisted anything I've thrown at them so I was about to repaint the door during the half-term holiday.
But that was before Sophie ran the steam cleaner over them. Once. And they all magically disappeared. In fact, it's so powerful, it took the very top surface off the paint too, so be warned - you do need to be careful about the more delicate surfaces you use it on ! I was absolutely delighted though !
On to the ultimate test - the shower stall. We have very hard water and the limescale has built up so much on the transparent panels of our shower stall that it looks like frosted glass. Sorry about the sound at the start of the video - it gives you an idea of how simple the steam cleaner is to use though.
I have honestly never seen our shower sparkle before. You know those cleaning product adverts where they do that "bling" shine thing at the end? Well, that was the effect ! I was flabbergasted to see that by using the steam nozzle, you can even blast limescale build-up off the showerhead attachments too.
The shower stall isn't 100% limescale free but it is absolutely unrecognisable. I also read that the steam cleaner can initially create smears and streaks due to leftover detergent residue so I think regular use will have even better results.
This isn't the first steam cleaner that we've reviewed but it's by far my favourite so far. It's amazingly effective, very versatile and very green if you want to cut down on the toxic products you use around the home. It has a child-safety steam-lock to prevent nasty accidents and you can regulate the power of the steam. By far the biggest bonus, though, is that it's made my almost-teenaged daughter love cleaning the house - woohoo !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £221.99 on amazon
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Disclosure : We are very proud to have been picked as Kärcher Ambassadors for the coming year. We'll be receiving several products from the brand in order to write honest reviews.
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