Pros: No chemicals; easy to use; fairly light
Cons: It won’t clean everything
Rating: 5 out of 5
First posted 6/23/2002
There’s one thing that has bothered me lately about cleaning the way I always have, with chemicals – what about the cats? How can I ever be sure that I haven’t missed a spot of scrubbing bubbles or soft scrub? How can I be sure that one of the cats won’t step in a chemical, lick it off his or her paws, and get very sick? Then my mother told me about the Hot Shot steamer, and I was pretty sure I’d found my answer.
What It’s Good For
I’ve never actually seen an ad for this device, so I have no idea what claims have been made for it. I will say that it isn’t a cure-all. For instance, it doesn’t do much for bathtubs and shower stalls. You’ll still need to use chemicals and good old-fashioned elbow grease for those. Other than that, however, it’s marvelous. Stove top? No problem. Oven? I’ve used it for that too. Counters? Sure. Sinks? Great! Toilet seat, rim, and outside? Works like a charm. I even use it to clean our cats’ water fountain so I won’t have to risk leaving traces of anti-bacterial soap in their water.
Why It’s Great
#1. No chemicals. No need for most of those chemicals any more. You can get rid of them. This is easier on your pets, your children, your septic system, your wallet (in the long run, anyway) and even your skin (it’s great for my eczema!).
#2. It’s light, and requires less scrubbing. My tendonitis is thanking me for getting this thing. I can actually do more of the cleaning now. I used to have to leave things like oven and stove top to my husband. Now that they require very little scrubbing, they aren’t a problem for me. If I were having a particularly bad flare-up I would probably find this thing too heavy, but other than that it isn’t a problem.
#3. Decent water reservoir size. I can clean a small bathroom on one fill-up, no problem. I can clean a kitchen on two. If you clean your entire house at once this could get annoying, but if you go a room at a time then it’s no trouble at all.
#4. Sanitizing. If you move slowly over an area, you can sanitize it and kill germs.
#5. Degreasing. Believe it or not, it’s a great de-greaser. I’ve never had such an easy time with a stove top, or in particular the hood overtop of a stove! You might still need a tiny bit of scrubbing in places, and you’ll need to go over some spots multiple times.
Any Bad Things?
Obviously the steam is very hot, so keep kids and pets (and your own skin) away from the business end of it. This thing will damage some surfaces, so test it out on an inobvious corner before using it. I haven’t yet actually found a surface it will damage if you’re careful and don’t steam things too heavily (but then, I haven’t tried this on my upholstery).
You need to make sure you don’t tip the thing more than 45 degrees from the vertical position while cleaning. This can be hard to remember the first couple of times you use it.
How Does It Work?
You fill the reservoir of the funny-looking yellow thing with water (they include a measuring cup with a mark and a funnel). Screw on the cap, pick your attachment and attach it, plug it in, and wait for three minutes. Then you start steaming things! You will need to wipe down surfaces afterward with a paper towel or some such in order to get rid of the crud this loosens up.
It comes with a very long and heavy-duty cord. It has various attachments, such as an extension hose, a scrubbing brush, and an angled nozzle (which I’m told is great for reaching up under a toilet bowl rim). If you do run out of steam, refilling is a simple process that just requires a brief cool-down wait. If you plan to do a lot of cleaning at once then have a book and a timer nearby.
In short, the Hot Shot isn’t a cure-all, but it’s certainly worth what it costs! It’ll make some of your cleaning easier, quicker, and much safer for both your family and you home.