When it comes to steam cleaning your car, you don’t want to use the little steam cleaner that you use for your kitchen. Instead, you need something that can clean for a long time and also has plenty of accessories made for cleaning a lot of different items.
We want to show you what we consider to be the Best Steam Cleaner when it comes to Auto Detailing or just cleaning a car in general. Using the right steam cleaner can make your life a lot easier, and we also want to give you tips too.
Let’s get right to the point; we consider the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System (Amazon Link Ad) to be one of the best Steam Cleaners for cleaning an automobile. Unless you’re trying to be a professional and willing to spend the big $$$ this Steam Cleaner will be perfect for you.
What makes this Steam Cleaner so great is that…
- Holds a lot of water (about 64 oz)
- On demand Steam Control – you pick how much steam you need
- Heats up in around 12 minutes depending on water level
- Over 20 accessories, just about all you need to clean a car
- A long power cord which is a must if you’re cleaning or detailing a car
- Long hose which is a must for cleaning the inside of a large SUV
- Easy to move around
- Easy to install accessories
- Instructions are clear and easy to understand
- Not overkill in power, but still powerful enough to clean
Tip – When it comes to any steam cleaner never entirely fill it up with water. You want to leave enough room for steam build-up. This is why it’s important to get a large tank-like what the MC1385 has so that you can get the most use out of it.
New to Steam Cleaning?
If you’re new to using steam to clean or detail a car, then you’re going to need a few extra items. Sure the McCulloch comes with a lot of accessories, but you still need some cleaners and rags.
When it comes to rags, you need Microfiber rags like these (Amazon Link Ad). Don’t get or use white cotton rags unless you’re cleaning rough areas like carpet. Only use Microfiber rags for areas that are solid like the plastic, glass, or leather.
Don’t get the little rags either; you need large rags as this will make cleaning so much easier. A big rag can be flipped and turned multiple times keeping you from having to swap it out. Plus, bigger rags tend to hold up better to the abuse of cleaning as they have more surface area.
Sometimes a Steam Cleaner will need a little bit of help. This is very true for those nasty stains that are on carpets. I’m a fan of the Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Carpet and Upholstery Stain Extractor (Amazon Link Ad) for my car’s carpets, but everyone has their own go-to cleaner.
How to Steam Clean a Car
The dirty truth as to why steam cleaners work is that the steam loosens up the dirt so that it can be wiped dry. When you steam clean anything, it does not become clean until you go behind it with a rag to get up the dirt.
The rag you use needs to be a Microfiber that we talked about above.
Here is a great video of a guy showing how he Steam Cleans a Car. I do recommend using a Shop Vacuum like this one here (Amazon Link Ad) to suck up all the little crumbs and debris on the carpet and seats before you steam clean.
Tip – One thing I like to do is take my steam cleaner and really saturate the area like a cup holder and then take my shop vacuum that is adjusted for water and suck up all the little bits that get set free. Then hit it with steam again and wipe clean. This motion always seems to make the little areas a little bit cleaner for me. And you know how dirty cup holders can get and having the shop vacuum suck it up feels more effective.