Things You Need To Know About Steam Cleaner: Add Water Wisely!


Steam cleaners are a powerful tool in the fight against dirt, grime, and germs. Utilizing high-temperature steam, these devices offer a natural, chemical-free way to disinfect surfaces and tackle tough cleaning jobs. The steam generated by these machines can penetrate pores of materials, lifting and dissolving contaminants with ease. This not only results in a cleaner environment but also eliminates harmful pathogens, making steam cleaning an excellent choice for households with children, pets, or individuals with allergies.

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your steam cleaner, it’s crucial to use the correct type of water. Using the wrong type of water can lead to mineral buildup, clogging, and other issues that can damage your machine. This article will guide you on what to add to your steam cleaner, helping you maintain its efficiency and effectiveness.

See also: Does Steam Cleaning Remove Stains from Carpet

What to Use

Distilled Water: The Preferred Choice

When it comes to filling your steam cleaner, distilled water is the gold standard. Distilled water is free from minerals and impurities that can accumulate in your steam cleaner over time. Here’s why distilled water is the best choice:

Minimizes Mineral Buildup: Distilled water has been purified to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals, found in tap water, can deposit inside your steam cleaner’s boiler and heating elements, leading to scaling and reduced efficiency.

Prevents Clogging: Mineral deposits can clog the nozzles and jets of your steam cleaner, obstructing the flow of steam. By using distilled water, you minimize the risk of blockages that can compromise the performance of your machine.

Extends Lifespan: Consistent use of distilled water helps in maintaining the internal components of your steam cleaner, thereby extending its lifespan. You’ll spend less time on maintenance and more time enjoying a clean home.

Optimal Steam Production: Distilled water produces pure steam, ensuring that your cleaner operates at its maximum potential. This leads to better cleaning results and more efficient disinfection.

Tap Water (with limitations)

While distilled water is ideal, it’s understandable that you might not always have it on hand. In such cases, tap water can be used, but with certain caveats:

Mineral Deposits: Tap water contains minerals that can lead to buildup inside your steam cleaner. If you use tap water regularly, you may notice a decline in performance due to scaling.

Regional Variations: The mineral content of tap water varies by location. In areas with soft water (low mineral content), occasional use of tap water may be less problematic. However, in hard water areas, where mineral content is high, it’s advisable to avoid tap water or use it sparingly.

Maintenance Requirements: If you use tap water, you’ll need to perform regular descaling to remove mineral deposits. This involves using a descaling solution or vinegar to clean the internal components of your steam cleaner.

Occasional Use: Using tap water occasionally won’t cause immediate damage, but it’s important to monitor for signs of scaling and clogging. If you notice any performance issues, switch back to distilled water and perform a thorough cleaning of your machine.

What Not to Use


It might be tempting to add cleaning agents or disinfectants to your steam cleaner’s water tank for an extra cleaning boost. However, this is not recommended and can have detrimental effects on your machine:

Damage to Components: Harsh chemicals can corrode the internal parts of your steam cleaner, including the boiler and seals. This can lead to leaks, reduced efficiency, and eventual breakdown.

Residue Build-up: Chemicals can leave behind residues that clog the steam jets and nozzles. This not only affects the steam output but also contaminates the surfaces you’re trying to clean.

Health Risks: Steam cleaners are designed to use water alone. Introducing chemicals can create fumes that are harmful to inhale, especially in enclosed spaces.

Warranty Voidance: Many manufacturers explicitly state that using chemicals in the steam cleaner will void the warranty. It’s crucial to adhere to the guidelines provided to avoid any potential issues with repairs or replacements.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are popular for their pleasant aromas and perceived cleaning properties, but they are not suitable for use in steam cleaners:

Clogging and Residue: Essential oils can thicken and leave sticky residues inside the machine. This can clog the steam delivery system and reduce the effectiveness of your cleaner.

Component Damage: The oils can deteriorate rubber seals and other parts of the steam cleaner, leading to leaks and malfunctions.

Fire Hazard: Some essential oils are flammable and could pose a fire risk when exposed to high temperatures generated by the steam cleaner.

Compromised Cleaning: While the oils may add fragrance, they do not contribute to the cleaning power of the steam and may interfere with the sanitization process.

See also: Steam Cleaners: Powerful Cleaning with Natural Steam

Additional Tips

De-mineralization Filters

For those who must use tap water, de-mineralization filters can be a helpful addition. These filters work by removing minerals from the water before it enters the steam cleaner, thus reducing the risk of scaling and buildup. While not as effective as using distilled water, they offer a viable alternative for maintaining your steam cleaner’s performance.

Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific steam cleaner model. These guidelines are designed to ensure you get the best performance and longevity from your machine. Manufacturers often provide specific recommendations on water type, cleaning schedules, and maintenance routines. Adhering to these instructions will help you avoid common pitfalls and keep your steam cleaner in top condition.


Using the correct type of water in your steam cleaner is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and extending its lifespan. Distilled water is the best choice, as it prevents mineral buildup and clogging. If you need to use tap water, do so with caution and be prepared for regular maintenance. Avoid adding chemicals and essential oils to your steam cleaner, as they can cause significant damage and compromise the machine’s performance.

Proper care and maintenance of your steam cleaner will ensure it continues to provide the powerful, natural cleaning benefits you rely on. By using water wisely, you can enjoy a cleaner, healthier home without the hassle of frequent repairs or replacements. Happy steaming!

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