Happy Monday y’all! I hope your day will be filled with more things chocolate and sweet than tricky and scary. We may or may not have indulged in a little chocolate ourselves. The aftermath can be a little crazy, with half eaten suckers stuck between car seats or Skittles scattered about the house. If you’re like me, you prefer investing your time and energy into the experiences of life over keeping things like cars and homes clean. And yet, not cleaning really isn’t an option. Well, I have a new cleaning tool that I think you’ll find quite helpful in all sorts of ways – the AutoRight Steam Machine, aka my cleaning hero. Stick around for my opinion on who wins The Family Van vs. The AutoRight Steam Machine and if it’s really worth it …
The AutoRight Steam Machine | my cleaning hero
**This is a sponsored post with AutoRight, a division of the HomeRight company. I received the AutoRight Steam Machine Multi-purpose Steam Cleaner to try and review. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.**
Though fall may not be the traditional “cleaning season”, it seems a deep clean before all the holiday festivities helps create a calm foundation to enjoy family time. I’ve been doing a full house purge with a blogger friend and I’ve found that once an area is purged, it doesn’t feel completely done until it has also been thoroughly cleaned.
Needless to say, when HomeRight contacted me about their new steam cleaners I immediately knew I wanted to try one. And I’m so glad I did! They have three new machines including the Model 52, the Model 53 and the AutoRight Steam Machine. I opted for the AutoRight Steam Machine because I knew it would be great for cleaning our vehicles and for other areas throughout our home, from bathrooms and upholstery to grout and floors.
Let me just warn you now, when you bust one of these out of the box and start using it all over the place, you’ll begin to think that you and all your people are total and complete slobs. But really it’s just that life is messy and you’re in the process of taking charge!
Here’s a little preview, then we’ll get to the basics …
What are your cleaning struggles?
Most of us have a few key issues that make this whole cleaning thing a struggle. I’m not sure what yours are, but mine look like this …
- 17 years ago it was the fact that I had 4 kids in less than 6 years. I was excited to get out of the house with everyone fully clothed, and the bar of acceptably clean was dropped dramatically.
- Now I don’t quite move at the same speed I used to for an entire day of cleaning.
- Scrubbing is just plain hard on my back … 3 of those 4 kids were 9 and 1/2 pound babies and my back isn’t what it used to be.
- Between all of us, there’s a lovely collection of allergies that call for keeping clutter, dust, and mold at bay.
- Bleach is great at killing germs, but it is definitely not my friend and almost immediately triggers a headache.
- Organic cleaning supplies are awesome, but they don’t always make the budget.
- As much as I love for everything to be in its place and for that place to sparkle, I really really really don’t want to spend much free time cleaning.
The first place I tried the steam cleaner was on the tile floor in our kitchen trash closet. Yeah, think about how lovely that must be for a minute. Here are a few before (on the left) and after (on the right) pictures of the grout.
I was curious to see how well it cleaned without much scrubbing so I simply steamed the grout and wiped it with a paper towel, no scrubbing. It literally went from filthy to better to done in about 2 or 3 minutes. Then I was getting excited thinking about everywhere else I wanted to use it.
Cleaning the shower
ApparentlyI should wear my readers in the shower, because I had no idea how desperately it needed to be cleaned. I guess I had some idea but honestly, when I threw the door open I kind of wanted to just close it and walk away. But, I had a new
toy tool, so I persevered and got started.
The spots that you still see are from the finish wearing off after years of use. Even though the before picture is a bit fuzzy, you can see the difference in how smooth the glass is now.
Glass is supposed to be smooth. When it’s clean, that is. The rest of the shower was too hard to capture in pictures for some before and after shots, but suffice it to say, it’s a dramatic difference. It’s all smooth and sparkly clean. It has not been cleaned to this extent since we moved in 5 years ago, and it still only took about 30 minutes or so.
I used the large nylon brush attachment to clean this time, but next time it should take about 5 minutes with the squeege attachment. And with a temperature that reaches 205 degrees farenheit, it kills 99% of all germs and bacteria. It’s nice to know we’re not stepping into a steamy shower with bacteria swirling around every morning.
Cleaning a vehicle’s upholstery
Our van is now 10 years old and it gets lots of use. From daily errands to family outings to camping trips, it doesn’t sit still for very long. Lately, we’ve added transporting building supplies as we work on fixing up a rental property. Needless to say, it was starting to look a little neglected.
Here are a few before and after shots of The Family Van vs. The AutoRight Steam Machine …
Because these seats fold all the way down to haul items, they take all kinds of abuse. Though you can still see a bit of the stain, it’s been there for a ridiculously long time and now it’s soft like the rest of the carpet instead of stiff.
This passageway may not look like as dramatic a difference as some other shots, but the carpet is so much softer and cleaner it’s amazing.
Cleaning a vehicle’s hard surfaces
And a few before and afters of the hard surfaces in the van …
I did go over this with the steam and nylon brush twice and wiped it down with a scrubber sponge.
I honestly had not noticed how nasty the seat belt of gear shift lever were until I started cleaning.
I had noticed the steering wheel and how it felt almost sticky
And one more video of the ever lovely cup holder console, the bane of our pristine vehicle existence!
It’s so nice to have the van as clean as when we purchased it! Steve will soon be using it to transport more building supplies as we finish up our rental house. That was a bit of a bummer conversation as I had just finished cleaning the van, but it won’t take long to maintain the work that has already been done. And I’m secretly looking forward to cleaning his car before it becomes my vehicle for a few
Cleaning a vehicle’s grimy surfaces
I haven’t cleaned the grimy surfaces under the hood yet, but there are several attachments that are perfect for this. The small jet nozzle that I used on the grout will get into small tight spaces without a problem. The kit also includes both a large and small brass bristled brush set that are great for the greasy and grimy areas under the hood.
Bottom line | Is the AutoRight Steam Machine worth it?
In my opinion? Absolutely!
The average cost to detail a vehicle is between $50 and $125. The cost of the steam machine is well within that range. So for a little extra time initially, you can purchase a steam machine and spend an hour detailing your vehicle yourself. And then, you can use it to clean your shower, your grout, the kid’s sticky sucker and chocolate remnants from Halloween candy, the lovely signs of the pets that live in your home, the stains on your upholstered furniture … The list could go on and on here.
If that savings and list of potential uses isn’t enough to convince you, then think about all the cleaning supplies that you won’t have to buy. Window cleaners (squeege), uphlostery cleaners (squeege plus the poly-cotton bonnet), carpet cleaners (nylon brush) bathroom cleaners (squeege, nylon brushes). So instead of these cleaners, you’ll have space to store your not quite 10-pound steam cleaner. In the end, you’ll be saving time, money and the hassle of lugging all the different cleaners around the house.
As much as I love saving money and cutting down on stuff in our house, my favorite benefit is the time I can save. I won’t have to scrub and wear myself out cleaning all day, when it’s just a quick touch up here and there. And in the end, everything is much cleaner than I was able to get it with the usual cleaning supplies.
So what do you think? Would a steam cleaner be a helpful tool in your home too? What’s the first space you would attack with your new toy?