Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

If vacuuming is not getting the job done, it is time to use a steam cleaner. A steam cleaner does not use any chemicals and only works with water. 

The best part is that you can use them on different surfaces too. It is so efficient that one wonders where does the dirt go when you steam clean? 

So, where does it go? When steam cleaning, the dirt doesn’t go anywhere. Instead, the steam cleaner disintegrates the dirt with heat using the water vapor. 

The dirt remains in the area. Therefore, to get rid of the dirt, you have to wipe the area manually using a piece of microfiber cloth or a steam mop. You can vacuum later too. 

Let us get into the details of how a steam cleaner works, so keep reading. 

How Do Steam Cleaners Work?

Most people think that steam cleaners suck up dirt, but that is not the case. As mentioned, steam cleaning breaks up the dirt with heat from the water vapor, and the dirt does not go anywhere. Hence, a steam cleaner relies on how much heat it can generate. This heat produces steam due to hot water extraction. 

Steam cleaners work at high temperatures, so you have to consider various factors in this regard. With the help of less than a gallon of tap water, a vapor steam cleaner can create a low moisture vapor. This vapor provides heat to the surface on which you are looking to use your cleaner. 

This heat from the vapor, together with a light agitation, breaks up the dirt. Plus, steam cleaning kills any dust mites, staph, mold, allergens, and harmful bacteria. 

It might make you think that the heat that it can produce kills the bacteria. But that is not the case. These low moisture vapor steam cleaners can produce heat. But this heat is not high enough to kill such bacteria and germs. Neither it can emulsify oil or grease or various other surface contaminants. 

As a small amount of water is used, it can create virtually no mess. Besides that, many of the steam cleaners are pretty portable and do not make much noise either. Hence, you can do steam cleaning anytime and anywhere. 

Steam Cleaner Use Cases

Steam Cleaner Use Cases

Steam cleaners are highly versatile. You can use them for a range of different cleaning purposes. Most people use steam cleaning to sanitize their floors. But there are numerous genius uses of these steam cleaners. Here are some of the best uses of steam cleaners,

Cleaning that tile grout

You can steam clean the grout between the tiles that hold them in their position. This grout tends to get dirty with time. With steam cleaners, you can blast away gunk, stains, and dirt pretty quickly. 

Wiping your ceiling fans

Cleaning ceiling fans can be a pretty tedious job, especially if you do not like heights. Most steam cleaners come with a long handle or wand. Therefore, you can use the proper attachment like a diamond brush. Attach a clean piece of microfiber cloth over the brush and gently glide the cleaner across the blades of your fan.  

Cleaning doorknobs and light switches

These steam cleaners work at high temperatures that range from 170F to 200F. So, they are effective in disinfecting any neglected surfaces like your light switches or doorknobs. But with a steam cleaner, you can get it done in no time. 

You can attach a small tool that can work in small areas and on non-flat surfaces. But use low-moisture when you are cleaning those light switches to avoid electrocution. 

Cleaning grills

Grilling in your backyard in the summer is pretty fascinating. But you are cleaning the grill after a party is a rather dull job. You might have to use chemicals to get it done too. But not if you have a steam cleaner at hand. You can use a small brush attachment. If the gunk is too old, you can also use a BBQ grill cleaner with your steam cleaner. 

Cleaning oven

Your steam cleaner can efficiently steam clean your oven too. Just like your grill, the oven can have old and stuck gunk too. Without using any harsh chemicals, you can get rid of it for good. As a result, you will have better indoor air quality. Again, that brush attachment will come in handy for this purpose. 

Disinfecting your pet cages

With the help of steam cleaners, you can disinfect your pet cages pretty conveniently. You do not have to use any harmful chemicals. Your steam cleaner can quickly disinfect the area fast. You can use a small attachment for the wires and a larger brush to steam clean out the base. 

Refreshing your outdoor furniture

Your outdoor furniture is most exposed to dirt and other elements, even bird poop. You can use your upholstery steam cleaner to clear out those cushions and the fabric. Your steam cleaner also comes with a jet nozzle to blast the dirt out. Use the smaller brush for detailing. 

Eliminating fridge gunk

Have you ever thought about steam cleaning your fridge? Well, you can use it to sanitize your fridge to eliminate those unwanted odors in there. It can kill germs and keep your beverages and food free from any bacteria. 

It is going to be highly effective for you if you have to deal with spills frequently. Use a small round brush for the rials and corners. Go for the more significant attachment for the sides and base of your fridge. 

Cleaning your baseboard

Baseboards usually do not get the attention that they need. If you are already cleaning your floors with a steam cleaner, use a small nylon brush to care for your baseboard. You can glide it over the baseboards. Not only can steam cleaning remove stains, but it will also remove grime from baseboards. 

 Sanitizing your toilets

Cleaning the toilet often involves a back-breaking manual effort using chemicals. Using these chemicals makes you gasp out of your toilet in most cases. But you can use your steam cleaner not only to clean but disinfect your toilet and those hard-to-reach places. Use the small jet nozzle for this and reach out to wherever you want. 

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?

Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean2

Keep in mind that the dirt does not go anywhere. It remains in the area after you have disintegrated it with your steam cleaner. Therefore, you have to deal with the loosened dirt that steam cleaning has caused. 

Using a steam cleaner with a steam cleaner mop attachment or microfiber cloth absorption pad will capture that loosened dirt. Just allow your high-heat moisture to dry up. 

But, if you are not using an absorption pad, you will have to manually wipe the excess moisture with a piece of microfiber cloth. Some manufacturers of these steam cleaners recommend that you should wipe before the moisture dries out. 

In the end, you can vacuum the area after using your steam mop. It is especially recommended for layered surfaces, including carpets. Experts recommend vacuuming after steam cleaning, but only if your carpet is completely dry. 

What To Keep In Mind When You Are Using A Steam Cleaner?

  • Make sure that you use your steam cleaner only on surfaces that can take high heat moisture.
  • Stay aware of any temperature variations that can break porcelain or glass. 
  • Use your steam cleaner on those light switches very carefully and avoid any risk of electrocution.
  • Please turn off your appliances like your fridge or freezer before using your steam cleaner inside them.
  • Do not steam clean any of those porous surfaces.


Do these steam cleaners leave surfaces wet? 

Dry vapor steam cleaners will leave almost no damp residue. It is because they use low moisture vapor that only has 5 percent water. So, it dries up fast with the high heat of the dry vapor cleaner to leave your surface dry. 

Does steam cleaning remove stains? 

Yes, steam cleaning removes stains pretty effectively. You can use steam cleaners to eradicate dirt and grease as well. Not only can steam cleaning remove stains, but it can also sanitize surfaces to remove germs and bacteria too. It can deal with most pathogens and allergens too. 

Can I use vinegar in my steam cleaner? 

Vinegar can is a highly effective cleaning agent, and you can use it in the cleaning solution. You can use vinegar to steam clean your linoleum, tile, and hardwood floors. It works the best with steam mops. 

With steam mops, vinegar will enhance the cleaning power of your cleaner and its cleaning solution. A steam mop can also help in disinfecting and killing any germs and bacteria.


Steam cleaners are highly effective cleaning tools. They can handle a range of different cleaning jobs, and you can use them on various surfaces. 

But keep in mind that the dirt does not go anywhere after you have steam cleaned an area. Therefore, most experts recommend vacuuming the area after steam cleaning. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, you can manually wipe the area.