Karcher SC3.000 steam cleaner, $338, from major electrical and department stores. Find the full list of retailers on www.karcher.com.sg.
WHY YOU NEED IT
The Karcher SC 3.000 steam cleaner both mops and steam-cleans floors. It’s especially good for homes with pets, or babies who are crawling or learning to walk, as the steam is designed to kill germs and bacteria.
HOW IT WORKS
Choose from one of its three interchangeable nozzles (floor, hand and power) and attach it to the machine before filling the steam cleaner up with one litre of water, plugging it into a power point and switching it on.
When I tried it, its indicator light turned green after six minutes, which meant that it was ready to steam.
The cloth on the nozzles picked up dust, dirt and pet fur, but not crumbs and other large particles – so it’s best to sweep or vacuum your room beforehand.
STEAMING THE FLOOR
It is shaped like a vacuum cleaner but is smaller and lighter. Most other steam cleaners are upright ones, which are harder to manoeuvre because of their heavy water tanks. It also has a longer cord. At 3.6m, though not retractable, it let me clean my living room without switching to another power point.
Its three nozzles were useful, though I would use the floor and hand nozzles more frequently. The slim but broad floor nozzle was ideal for clear spaces – it glided smoothly across my tiled floor and reached under furniture easily. The damp floors took a quick five minutes to dry.
With the hand nozzle, I went down on my knees to clean tight corners and cramped spaces. Because it’s hand-held, I was able to exert more pressure to get those areas thoroughly cleaned. If you want to, you can also use this nozzle on shower screens, windows and mirrors (then wipe them down with an included window wiper).
The third nozzle comes with two detachable heads – a pointy power nozzle and a round brush. The power nozzle produced jets of steam which I used to clean the toilet, although an anti-bacterial toilet detergent is an equally, if not more, convenient alternative. The round brush is designed to remove grime from tiles, but I stuck to my regular hard-bristled brush.
It took a bit of scrubbing to get the dirt out from the terry cloths, but the hardest part was turning the machine over and emptying the water tank – I wished there was an easier way to do it.
Verdict: “An easy-to-manoeuvre steam machine that keeps floors spotless.” – Tsiao Hui, consumer & lifestyle editor
This article was originally published in Simply Her April 2015.