Archive for the ‘ How To ’ Category

Treating Bed Bugs With Steam

Bed bug infestations have been on the rise in the US since the mid 90′s.  Bed Bugs were nearly eradicated in the developed world until that time.  The exact reasons for the resurgence are unclear but increased international travel, the stoppage of using DDT as an insecticide and the cyclical nature of the organism most likely all play a role.  A bed bug infestation can be very alarming and prove a challenge to overcome.  Infestations in the US most likely occur because of  travel.  One guest at a hotel may have come from an infested habitat with eggs or bugs catching a ride on their luggage.  During the guest’s stay the eggs are deposited in the hotel room and over time hatch and attach to another guest’s luggage and catch a ride home.  Pet’s and other animals can be a source of transporting them as well.  Holes in walls, light sockets and electrical outlets can be conduits of travel between apartments or condos.  To get all the details about bed bugs, you can visit the Wikipedia bed bug page.

Once you have determined you have an infestation you can treat it.  Hot steam is one very effective way of eliminating a bed bug infestation.  Steam cleaners are safe, have no toxic chemicals and the extreme heat kills the bugs and larvae.  The most important thing to remember is to go slow and be thorough.  You can treat mattresses, furniture and baseboards with steam.  Putting a cloth over the tip of the steamer and going slowly along the seams of the mattress, corners of furniture and between the floor and baseboard will attack the most prevalent hiding places of bed bugs.  Here’s a video showing how slow to go over these surfaces, the sound isn’t great, but it shows professional pest control technicians being trained in how to treat bed bugs with a steamer.  The steamer isn’t ours…but regardless the brand, the method is the same.

embedded by Embedded Video Team

Steam Storm Intro Part II Cleaning Methods

Alright, so you have your Steam Storm 3000 filled with water, turned on, heated up and ready to go…what next?  We have found that our steam cleaners work excellent on grout, tile, vinyl floors, bathrooms, toilets, granite counter tops, windows…and the list goes on.  There are techniques that will help you get the most out of your steamer depending on what you are trying to clean, we are going to share some of those techinques with you here.

The first thing that should be done before trying to clean anything is releasing the initial water in the hose.  This can be done pointing the end of the steam gun into a towel and pulling the trigger for a few seconds.  The second thing that should always be done when you are cleaning an area for the first time is testing a small inconspicous area.  This is a good practice for any type of cleaning, some surfaces may have unexpected reactions to heat and steam- so always test first.

Now that we have that out of the way, lets get cleaning.  Let’s start in the Kitchen on the counter tops.  We will use the 2 in 1 adapter.  Connect it to the detail adapter.  Connect the detail adapter to the accessory adapter and then finally connect the accessory adapter to the steam gun.  Start on the edge of the counter top, press the 2 in 1 adapter against the counter top and work across moving slowly.  The steam needs to be given time to be released and then hit the surface that is being cleaned.  Moving to fast won’t give the steam enough time to clean sufficiently. 

The 2-in-1 adapter also works great on windows and mirrors.  Use it the same as described above except start at the top of the window and work your way down.  The adapter has a convenient squeegee at the end that will move the water to the bottom of the window as you move the adapter down the window.  Place a towel at the bottom of the window to catch any excess water.

Cleaning grout in the kitchen is next.  Over the years no matter what I have done to try to protect my grout lines, I’ve always ended up with the same problem.  Dingy dirty looking grout.  The only thing I have found that has truly cleaned them has been steam cleaning.  The nylon brush is perfect for cleaning grout and tile.  The metal brush can be used as well, but use it with caution.  The metal brush is much stronger so if you have tile or travertine with a finished surface you could possibly scratch it.  The nylon brush is much softer and it will not scratch surfaces, but you may have to put a little more elbow grease in for those tough stains.  To clean grout, just attach the brush and attack it a grout line at a time.  I use an old towel to wipe up the dirt that is loosened as I go.  It’s much easier to wipe up while it’s wet then if you wait until after word and try to wipe it up after you are finished.  

That should be a great start to cleaning your kitchen…more to come in the next post.

~steamxtreme team

Steam Storm 3000 Intro Part I

In this post we would like to introduce you to the Steam Storm 3000 and address many questions we receive by new owners.  This is a great machine for a wide variety of tasks – cleaning floors, bathrooms, windows, counter tops, walls…the list goes on.  Here is a list of accessories and attachments you should have included in the box:

  • Funnel
  • 8 ml Measuring Cup
  • Steam Gun and hose (this attaches to the base of the steamer)
  • Accessory Adapter
  • Detail Nozzle
  • Jet Nozzle
  • Metal Brush
  • Nylon Brush
  • 2-in-1 Attachment (for cleaning windows and similar surfaces)
  • Cotton Cover (for 2-in-1 attachment)
  • Large Cleaning Cloth (for Floor Attachment)
  • Floor Attachment
  • 3 Extension Tubes
  • Steam Cleaner

The Steam Storm 3000 can hold 1.6 litres of water.  Fill up the included measuring cup to the 8 ml mark twice and pour it in the tank.  Distilled water is best to use, this will prevent limescale buildup inside the tank and extend the life.  There are ways to clean the unit and get rid of the lime scale.  We will post an article soon describing the lime removal cleaning method.

Once you have water in the unit and have attached the steam gun and hose with the adapter that is suitable for your cleaning activity – it’s time to turn on the steamer.  Plug it in and press the power button.  The power lamp and the red heating lamp should light up.  The unit takes about 10 minutes to heat up.  This time can be reduced significantly if you pour warm water in the unit when filling it up.  The red lamp will turn off when the unit has heated up. 

Before the initial use, get a towel or old rag and press the trigger on the steam gun.  This will release any initial water or spray – do this with every use of the  steamer, it will help avoid getting sensitive areas unnecessarily wet.  Now you’re ready to get to work! 

*Remember, there is a steam pressure controller.  If you need a stronger steam spray,  turn the controller in the ‘Max’ direction.  We have many customers call stating that they aren’t getting any steam coming out the first time they use the unit.  This is because the default position on the steam controller is ‘Min’.  Make sure to adust the controller to the amount of steam you need. 

Next, we’ll tackle different methods of cleaning.

~steamxtreme team