Steam cleaners are definitely having a moment. As we’re all more conscious than ever of keeping our homes squeaky clean and free of bacteria, these electrical appliances promise to banish grime and bugs better than any mop or cloth ever could.
Better still, they do it all with only tap water heated until it turns into steam, which makes them ideal for anyone keen to cut the use of chemicals in their home.
At just under £100, this Hoover steam capsule 2 in 1 seems an affordable way to ensure a sparkling house. It promises to use only steam power to work its magic on almost every surface including hard floors, carpets and even garments.
Like all steam cleaners, it eliminates up to 99.9 per cent of common household germs and bacteria. But can it really be a substitute for a simple mop and bucket?
How we tested
We put the steam cleaner to the test by going to work on a variety of surfaces including sealed laminate flooring, carpet and bathroom vinyl. We even braved our windows, rugs and the dreaded oven to see if this Hoover 2 in 1 could replace good old-fashioned elbow grease and become our new household essential.
Hoover steam capsule 2 in 1 CA2IN1D
Buy now £99, Hooverdirect.co.uk
Water tank capacity: 0.35l
Steaming time: 25 minutes
Cord length: 7m
Weight: 3.5kg (cleaner only)
Dimensions: H 1170mm x D 176mm x W 305mm
If you’re looking for a steam cleaner with a fancy design or high-tech extras like digital displays, you’re going to have to spend significantly more cash. Like all steam cleaners, this looks like a cross between a slim vacuum and a mop, and comes in an inoffensive dark grey with teal accents. It doesn’t take up much room at all if you want to store it away in a tall cupboard between uses and stands up by itself so you won’t need to find a wall to lean it against.
We were astonished by how many accessories came with this model for the price. Extras include a curved nozzle, a round brush, a triangular brush, a small and large metal brush, a window squeegee, a microfibre cloth and a carpet glider. That means there’s a tool to tackle almost any household job you can think of, once you figure out which attachment is right for the task at hand. However, we would’ve loved a bag to store all the tools together in one place.
The whole cleaner is a little heavier than we expected at 3.5kg, and we particularly felt this whenever we tackled longer or more intense jobs, as you have to keep holding down the steam trigger as you go. This was no problem when using the mop but the trigger on the detachable handheld cleaner was much stiffer to keep pressed for long periods of time.
Once we had filled the water tank, it was a doddle to get started and the long 7m power cable made it easy to keep cleaning without continually unplugging. Tools simply rotate clockwise until locked into place, while there’s a foot pedal to secure floor brushes. When the machine is plugged in, the light goes green when the steamer is ready to use, which takes a mere 15 seconds. There’s an easy sliding control to choose low, medium or high steam intensity and a trigger to release the steam.
Our tests showed the Hoover worked particularly well on hard floors thanks to a rectangular floorhead that covers large areas in no time. Our kitchen floor looked cleaner than it ever has with a mop and we found the Hoover prevented the smears mops can sometimes leave behind. We found it very easy to manoeuvre and the floor was clean and perfectly streak-free in no time using the medium setting, drying much quicker than it usually does after mopping. To tackle any tougher areas of dirt or get right into corners, it’s a doddle to switch to the triangular brush and up the steam level, and we thought this brought our tiled bathroom floor up a treat, although it did leave it quite wet afterwards. The carpet glider also whizzes smoothly over pile to freshen up neglected carpets that are usually only ever vacuumed.
Though many steam cleaners are glorified mops, we loved the fact the cylinder on this model detaches to make it a handheld steamer too. This made it easy to tackle all sorts of jobs around the house, from oven trays to curtains. It is heavy to hold though, so we could only use it in short bursts rather than for a non-stop spring clean.
Still, the curved nozzle worked wonders on our tired-looking grout, so our bathroom looked freshly decorated again, while the big metal brush made our splattered oven door presentable. Some more stubborn stains were left behind but we were still delighted with the results overall, knowing they had been achieved without any nasty chemicals.
The verdict: Hoover steam capsule 2 in 1 CA2IN1D
This is an incredibly versatile machine that means you will never have to put up with unwanted grime and ground-in dirt again. The Hoover steam capsule 2 in 1 CA2IN1D works fantastically on hard floors, where it’s replaced our usual mop permanently. The detachable handheld cleaner and huge array of tools make it brilliant value for money too. Anyone with wrist or shoulder mobility problems would be best finding a lighter model, but otherwise it’s a great choice to keep any house looking pristine.
Buy now £99.00, Ao.com
For the latest discounts on cleaning tools and home appliances, try the links below:
We also tested the Vileda variable powered steam mop – does the £90 appliance scrub up well, or is it just hot air?