Written by: Aimee Coppock
No wonder some children don’t want to clean up or do housework, it’s boring and can be hard work. However, put a ‘magic wand’ in their hands and make a game of it and they’ll be begging you to let them clean!
Magic Wand Didn’t Clean Hogwarts
If you haven’t discovered what wizards at Hogwarts might have actually cleaned up with when the wands didn’t work, now is the time. Cleaning using steam power fits nicely in to the whole Hogwarts setting however; it’s a truly modern approach. The joy that is steam cleaning has finally caught up with the 21st century. Long a favourite with professional cleaning companies, steam cleaners are now widely available for domestic use and have become increasingly affordable over the last few years. If your home (or school for wizards) is subjected to hard wear and tear that comes as standard with a family, then a steamer will be a one bit of labour saving domestic equipment that’ll you come to appreciate. Here are some of my own answers to “Frequently Asked Questions”.
It’s Not Magic so, How Does it Work?
I’m not going to comment on the reality of using magic whilst cleaning, but basically, steam cleaners heat water to boiling point and then it’s emitted in a pressurised jet. The steam lifts dirt off just about any surface, from the fibres of carpet or curtains right through to the kitchen sink. Dirt is collected on absorbent pads on the steam head, which are can be washed and re-used.
If it’s Not Witchcraft, Why do They Work?
Steam ‘lifts’ dirt through heat and pressure and transfers it on to the pad. In addition the steam also cleans and sanitises as it goes. Because the steam is at a high temperature, it actually kills off bacteria and dust mites. This is great because these little devils can cause some nasty allergies and affect asthma sufferers. As we all know, the smallest children in the household like to spend their time in close proximity to floors, occasionally licking them. Steam cleaning takes some of the parental angst out of this habit.
Can They be Used on Magic Paintings?
Only if it’s made of carpet or curtain material and that’s not all it can be used on. Basically most fabrics, with the exception of leather, will be cleaned effectively. Some leather is OK for steaming, but check the manufacturers instructions first. Wood surfaces and floors are not always suitable but most others are – including kitchen surfaces, tiles, bathroom fixtures and fittings and even garden furniture. Car interiors can also be cleaned using a steamer subject to checking the materials are suitable.
Do They Make Things Spookily Damp?
You’d think so, but actually the steam evaporates quickly. Generally fabrics are left clean, hygienic and not in the least damp. This means that not only does the steam kill of mould and bacteria it doesn’t go on to cause them.
Are They Safer Than the Chamber of Secrets?
Pressurised steam sounds a bit worrying but it’s not. Domestic models have been tried and tested and can be used by almost anyone – even the kids might have a try under supervision. The risk of scalding is the only potential danger but by following the manufacturers instructions, which are simple and common sense, there really is very little risk of this.
Do They Cost the Earth?
No, today they are more affordable than ever and models to suit most budgets are available. They are also considered ‘green’ in the sense that they don’t use chemicals to clean. In fact you’ll find that some of the highly dangerous chemicals you do normally stockpile can be got rid of once and for all.
Better Than a Slow Burning Wizard Tween Romance
Heard of speed dating? That’s designed to avoid becoming bored quickly. This is the “speed housework” equivalent, and has much the same effect. Most of us have busy lives to juggle, which involve careers as well as house work. These appliances take the ‘work’ out of that last statement and are more effective at cleaning in a much shorter space of time than traditional vacuums.
Steam cleaners have numerous advantages over traditional cleaning methods. The biggest of these is that they leave you free to do anything but housework.