5 Steam Cleaners for a Chemical-Free Home
While a variety of all-purpose cleaners and a handful of reusable cleaning cloths can give your home a non-toxic shine, you can simplify the process with a steam cleaner: Just fill with water and use the resulting steam to clean and de-germ everything from your kid's favorite plastic toys to your outdoor furniture, and from upholstered chairs to tiled bathrooms.
One tip: Make sure you're working with a sealed surface; some types of untreated wood can be damaged by a steam cleaner.
1. Haan AllPro
Haan makes a variety of steamers, from mops to garment steamers -- including the Haan AllPro, a handheld home cleaning version designed to steam clean bathrooms, kitchens, vehicles, and more.
The included garment attachment lets you tackle clothes and furniture with the same powerful, chemical-free cleaning. (Haan AllPro, $60)
2. Bissell Steam Shot Hard Surface Cleaner
Bissell's upright steamers are standbys when it comes to cleaning floors, but the portable Steam Shot -- which weighs just three pounds -- is a better fit for cleaning throughout your home.
The nozzle lets you reach tiny corners and the fabric tool makes it easy to tackle softer surfaces, while the smaller size means you can clean your upstairs bathrooms, your basement laundry sink, and your tiled foyer without a lot of extra hassle. (Bissell Steam Shot, $40)
3. Shark Portable Steam Pocket
Shark's portable version of a steam cleaner -- the Steam Pocket -- comes with a variety of accessories to clean just about any surface in your home, including a wedge for tight corners, a steam duster for sparkling shelves, a scrubbing pad for stuck-on spills (and seven more handy tools).
It just might take the place of the handful of bottles you're always carting from room to room. (Shark Portable Steam Pocket, $99)
4. SteamFast Canister Steam Cleaner
The SteamFast Canister steam cleaner may be bulkier than the others on this list, but that gives it one potential advantage: It promises up to 45 minutes of steam time, so you don't have to wait for reheating and you can finish all your cleaning at once.
The extra capacity could come in even handier for bigger jobs -- SteamFast recommends using it to clean barbecues, carpeting, and bathrooms. (SteamFast Canister Steam Cleaner, $120)
5. Rowenta Pro Compact Steamer
The Rowenta Pro Compact Steamer is designed specifically for clothing and upholstery, but it's small enough to store away in a linen closet where a traditional taller steamer wouldn't fit.
And if you need an eve more basic de-wrinkler, the company just introduced its Eco Intelligence iron, which uses concentrated steam for added efficiency. (Pro Compact Steamer, $50)