I’ve been wanting to steam clean my nearly 20-year-old couch for a while now, so I was curious when Aldi advertised the Easy Home Hand Held Steam Cleaner as a Special Buy (ALDI Find).
This steam cleaner doesn’t just do upholstery. The package also says it’s good on ovens, refrigerators, shower doors, toilets, tile, windows, floor boards, and more. It’s suitable for multiple surfaces, including glass, ceramic, stone, metal, and enamel.
What makes this product appealing is that it says it cleans, disinfects, sterilizes, and kills germs using a powerful high-pressure team, with no need for chemicals or detergent. It cleans with good, old-fashioned water heated to a high temperature. It also claims to remove grime in hard-to-reach spaces.
So, let’s see if the Easy Home Hand Held Steam Cleaner lives up to its promises.
Opening the Box:
The steam cleaner includes 8 accessory pieces: an extension nozzle, angled nozzle, upholstery nozzle with cotton cover, window squeegee, round brush, extension hose, measuring cup, and funnel. It also comes with a user manual with warranty card, and it comes with a 3-year warranty and a phone number and website for after-sales support. It also includes a safety lock, child lock, and overheat protection.
The manual runs through several pages of safety warnings. Use common sense, since this device mixes water with electricity. Don’t operate it while standing on a wet bathroom floor or anything like that. It also recommends wearing shoes to reduce body currents in the event of a fault.
Operating the Steam Cleaner:
To start, I used the enclosed measuring cup and funnel to fill the hole in the top of the cleaner with tap water. The manual recommends using a mixture of tap water and distilled water if your local water is very hard. An oddity I noticed is that the enclosed measuring cup is marked with measurements and holds up to six ounces of water, but the manual says to put approximately 8.45 ounces in.
Then I plugged in the steam cleaner (it requires a grounded, three-pronged outlet), saw a red indicator light turn on that let me know it was powered, and waited just a few minutes for it to heat up. It features a child safety lock that prevents the steam trigger from being pressed, and I locked it whenever I took a brief break while cleaning to make sure I didn’t accidentally spray anything or anyone with hot steam.
Once the cleaner was fully heated, a green indicator light let me know it was ready to use. While the steam cleaner comes with an array of special attachments, many cleaning jobs don’t require them. The manual says not to use any adapter if cleaning a sink, toilet, fittings and drains, windows, furniture upholstery, window shutters, or mirrors. After cleaning, it says you can use the squeegee adapter to remove water together with any dirt it contains. Follow instructions in the manual if you are cleaning windows on a cold day; you must slowly warm the glass to avoid cracking.
Also, the closer the steam nozzle is to the surface you are going to clean, the more effectively it will clean that surface. So get close. The manual also says that stubborn stains or dirt must be softened with water first.
So, I started by tackling my old couch. I had enough water/steam in the steam cleaner that I also tried it on my kitchen back splash with tile and grout, as well as in my bathrooms on shower doors, tile and grout, tub, toilets and sinks, and I used it on bathroom and bedroom mirrors. I used the squeegee attachment for the shower doors and mirrors, and I tried the small angled nozzle for grimy areas in the corners of the shower.
The area where I thought this steam cleaner did the most good was on my bathroom mirrors. It did a good job of removing those dried toothpaste splatters my kids get on the mirrors.
I also liked how the steam cleaner performed on my kitchen back splash. Certain greasy, dirty spots looked slightly better after aiming the steam cleaner at them.
I thought that I would need to allow some drying time after using this on my couch and other upholstered furniture, but it hardly got these things wet. I had to hold the steam cleaner very close for a long time over stubborn spots on my couch to even leave a small visible wet mark.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t terribly amazed by the steam cleaner. It doesn’t seem very powerful. It makes a lot of steam and an impressive amount of noise, but I still had to physically wipe toilets, tub corners, and sinks to fully remove the visible dirt and dust.
What’s also annoying is that the steam cleaner needs extremely frequent breaks to reheat. While cleaning full-length bedroom closet mirrors, I could get three full swipes from top to bottom with the steam cleaner, and then the green light would turn off, indicating that the cleaner needed time to reheat. I timed it, and it took 11 seconds after every three swipes for the steam cleaner to reheat to the proper temperature. It was the same with everything I cleaned around my house. I could get one small section sprayed, and then I had to stand and wait a few seconds for the green light to come back on. It adds a great deal of time to the cleaning process.
I also initially found some of the attachments, such as the upholstery nozzle, to be difficult to attach, and the manual’s instructions for attaching it were slightly confusing. It took several minutes of fiddling before I figured out how to attach the nozzle.
In fact, the manual is confusing on a few fronts: it says not to use any adapter if you are cleaning upholstery, but the box includes an upholstery attachment. It also includes a cotton cover for the upholstery attachment, advising that this can be used for cleaning “sensitive surfaces such as sofas and armchairs.” So do I use the upholstery attachment on my upholstery or not?
The manual also states that if you set down the steam cleaner for a prolonged period of time while it is turned on, steam may escape even if you aren’t pressing the trigger, and it instructs you to “switch the steam cleaner off if you do not use it for a prolonged period of time.” That would be great, except there is no on/off switch. The steam cleaner automatically turns on when you plug it in. The closest thing to an off button might be the child safety lock on the trigger, but I don’t think that’s what the manual was referring to.
In addition, the power cord is short, so I had to frequently move to different outlets throughout my house. If you attempt to clean something that isn’t near an outlet, you may need an extension cord.
Also be aware that this device is not the same as a steam vacuum. It has no suction. It did a great job of blasting my old couch with hot steam and probably killed some germs, but my couch does not look any better than before. The cleaner did not remove visible dirt or stains, and I suspect a steam vacuum might do the job better.
I had hopes that Aldi’s Easy Home Hand Held Steam Cleaner could do something for my nearly 20-year-old couch, and maybe help clean other things around the house. It did an okay job of loosening grime on my kitchen back splash and cleaning bathroom and bedroom mirrors. Unfortunately, the steam cleaner doesn’t seem to be all that powerful, requires frequent breaks to reheat, has a short power cord, and comes with a manual that is slightly confusing. I don’t often return products to Aldi, but this one may be going back to the store.