steam cleaner steaming and cleaning a carpet
Photo: leezsnow/iStockphoto
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How Steam Cleaners Work

Water is heated past the boiling point and forced out as pressurized steam through a nozzle, brush, or other attachment. The vapor loosens dirt and kills dust mites, mold, staph, and other allergens and harmful bacteria. No suction is required, since the high-heat moisture dries quickly. For heavily soiled surfaces, some manufacturers suggest steam-cleaning first, then wiping away dirt with a cloth before the moisture dries.
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