Steam cleaner and distilled water


When using steam cleaners, it is not clear to every user what conditions should fill the water. Thus, many users wonder whether distilled water should be used for the steam cleaner, or whether other water would be suitable.

Numerous possible uses for a steam cleaner

Steam cleaners have become increasingly popular in recent years. After all, they can be used very versatile. Even against mites, steam cleaners are used. The list could be extended almost arbitrarily:

  • for cleaning radiators
  • for wooden floors
  • to remove moss, algae and lichens outdoors
  • for a motor wash (observe water pollution control)

How does the use of water on your steam cleaner work?

But the proper use of a steam cleaner needs to be learned. This includes the question of which conditions the water used should fulfill. However, this question is of primary importance if it is a steam cleaner with its own water tank. Opposite are steam cleaners that need to be connected to a water pipe or a water hose. Here, of course, only the water from the local water network can be used.

Steam cleaner with water tank: use distilled water

But for steam cleaners with their own water reservoir, the distinction is important in any case. In some regions, tap water is very hard and calcareous. While the water partially evaporates, the lime remains in the heating area and collects. In the long term, the performance of the device is significantly reduced. Even closed and clogged nozzles and valves can be the result.

Alternatives to distilled water

Therefore, for steam cleaners with their own water tank, only distilled water should be used. Distilled water is pure water, there are no substances and particles more in the water - not dissolved. As an alternative to distilled water, you can therefore also use the following water under certain conditions:

  • rainwater
  • Condensation of air conditioning (split climate)
  • Condensation from the condenser dryer

All these types of water are ultimately distilled water. However, this may be contaminated during collection or by processes after the formation process with floating parts (dirt particles in the rainwater, lint in the condensation of dryers). Therefore, water collected in this way should still be filtered before use.

Distilled water is not easy to make yourself

Incidentally, making distilled water yourself is not to be confused with the boiling off of water. When boiling, germs are killed, but dirt and lime remain in the water. In principle, you would have to catch the water vapor and condense when boiling off water. Then you would have won distilled water.

Tips & Tricks

As an alternative to distilled water, vinegar water is repeatedly touted as a tip. However, water added with vinegar is also not recommended. If the amount of vinegar is too small, there is no effect on the decalcifying. On the other hand, too much vinegar in the water can lead to lasting damage, for example to rubber seals in the appliance. A steam cleaner with its own water tank should therefore actually only be operated with distilled water.


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