Steams cleaners are very good at removing and loosening more stubborn dirt and stains, making it easier to clean the surface with a vacuum cleaner afterwards. Instead of scrubbing your car interior with chemicals such as a leather cleaner that can potentially leave marks, a deep steam clean is much safer and more effective for car detailing.
Steam cleaners can be cheap, expensive, large, portable, have different settings etc. so it’s important to choose wisely for car cleaning. Our selection of the 5 top auto detailing steam cleaners should reduce your buying pool and help you get the right model for your money.
Best Steam Cleaners for Auto Detailing in the UK Reviews
#1. Dupray NEAT
Dupray knows a thing or two about steam cleaning and make the number 1 spot with their compact, but very powerful steam cleaner.
For such a small steam cleaning unit that weighs just 9lbs, it is very powerful and effective, being able to steam clean upto 275°F/135°C.
The tank has a great 1600 ml capacity and is easy to fill up, simply pour in regular tap water, let it heat up for around 7 minutes and it should run efficiently for upto 50 minutes worth of cleaning.
Although it’s not a one-handed model, the unit itself is the perfect size for getting into the car with. The dimensions are 10.5″ x 10.5″ x 9.5″ and it has a 2M steam hose cord with lots of different attachments for different uses.
You can use it for a high-power steam clean on pretty much any car interior surface for detailing such as leather, fabric, plastic etc.
Overall the most effective steam cleaner for getting tough with car stains and marks, aswell as having an excellent, portable design.
- Very effective, deep steam clean
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to fill up with tap water
- Plenty of different tools provided for different cleans
- 2-year warranty and a lifetime guarantee on the boiler
- A little on the expensive side, still worth it though
#2. Karcher SC3 All-in-One Steam Cleaner
Karcher is one of the leading manufacturers of cleaning technology in the world. This is their all-in-one powerhouse steam cleaner for some serious cleaning.
The design is fantastic and has some great features to get you the best out of your car steam cleaner. The tank is easy to fill up with tap water and can even be filled up while in use.
The 1L tank has a built-in anti-limescale filter for any level of water, and only takes as little as 30 seconds to heat up.
It has a strong heater power rating of 1900 watts and a 3.5 bar pressure rating for the hardest of cleans.
There’s a massive selection of tools and attachments that can be used for any type of cleaning job in the car, with the ability to store all the tools provided on the unit.
Although it isn’t a majorly heavy unit at 3.5 kg, it may not be the most portable steam cleaner for use in a motor.
Overall the best design with so many different options for steam cleaning manufactured by a trusted brand in the cleaning space, it is, however, the most expensive option on the list.
- Lots of different cleaning settings
- Plenty of different attachments and tools with a built-in holder
- Durable design
- Strong cleaning power
- 1L water tank that is refillable while using and has an anti-limescale filter
- Unit might be too big for some detailers
#3. MLMLANT Multipurpose Steam Cleaner
This is a similar design to the Karcher model above at a lower price from a lesser-known brand name.
The water tank has a 2 litre capacity which is pretty big as far as steam cleaning tanks go. You should get around 35 minutes of steam cleaning approximately with a full tank and it should just take about 5 minutes for it to heat fully.
It has some serious heat settings, with 2000W of heating power and a 4.5 bar steam rating, which is probably more than you need for car detailing.
The unit itself is one of the larger models that we have on the list much like the Kracher, measuring 53 x 31.5 x 28 cm approximately. It is still really portable, but does weigh around 5.4 Kg which is slightly on the heavier side.
It comes with 20 different attachments which is more than the other picks provide, allowing for pretty much any type of steam cleaning, not just for the car.
Overall a solid larger unit that has a basic design, but has everything in terms of performance that a more expensive model would have, but at a great price.
- Cheap considering its performance level
- Built to last
- Large 2L tank capacity
- Easy to refill water tank
- Only 5 mins to heat
- 20 different attachments provided for different jobs
- Design is quite basic and doesn’t have many extra settings
- Might be overkill for some car interior cleaning
- One of the larger and heavier picks
#4. Comforday Multi-Purpose Handheld
This is one of the portable picks on our auto steam cleaner list being handheld rather than having to place it down in the car and use it from there.
It obviously doesn’t have the heating power that a larger unit will have, but this is expected because it sacrifices power for portability and practicality.
It provides a reasonable 1050W of power and a steam clean of 250-270F, which is still very good for a smaller sized steam cleaner.
It has a smaller tank but is very simple to fill using the jug and filter provided and should provide up to 20 minutes of steam cleaning time which is still very good.
There is built-in safety technology with a safety cap and lock ensuring that children, pets etc won’t get burnt with the steam, aswell as making sure that the unit doesn’t try to heat up with no water.
There are 9 accessories, with 7 of them being different attachments for different steam cleans.
Overall a small, compact and straight-forward handheld design that offers a reasonable performance at a great price. It’s perfect for detailers looking for a quick and easy steam clean at a cheap price.
- Small and compact
- Very cheap
- Reasonable power
- Built-in safe technology
- Easy to fill tank
- Not going to have the power of larger units
- Tank can’t hold lots of water
- Maybe not ideal for professional detailing jobs
#5. VYTRONIX HSG1000
Our last and final pick is also a handheld portable little steam cleaner, with a design much the same as the pick above. It’s in the same category also as our pick above of being a budget pick.
Again, it’s not going to provide the steam power of larger units, but it’s another trade-off between power and size. It still offers a reasonable 1000W of steam cleaning power.
It has a 550ml water tank approximately, which is pretty standard because of its lightweight, compact design. It measures 30 x 15 x 21 cm and has a weight of 2.7kg which is very light.
The tank is pretty standard to fill and will provide about 10 to 20 minutes of steam cleaning time.
Much the same as our pick above, it is a 9 piece accessory set with different attachments for different parts of the vehicle.
Overall a reasonable budget pick that lacks power, but does have a lightweight design, making it easy to move around. Ideal for some cheap, casual car cleaning.
- Portable and lightweight design
- Easy to refill tank
- Not the most powerful steam cleaner
- Smaller tank
- Not for larger detailing jobs
- Power cord could be longer
Auto Detailing Steam Cleaner Buying Considerations
Steam Cleaning Pressure
The most important aspect of any steam cleaner for car detailing is how well the model actually steam cleans.
You’ll want to look at the pressure and heating rating of the unit you are considering, with the higher the rating, the stronger the jet of steam will be. Every model has the wattage of power that they have listed, with most models also listing the heat of the steam it can put out, aswell as the pressure bar rating.
You don’t need something mega powerful for casual vehicle cleaning, but if you’re a professional detailer, then you’ll want something powerful enough to remove every tough stain, so that you can vacuum over it for a clean as new finish.
Every steam cleaner out there has a water tank that needs to be filled up so the water can then be heated and allow steam to be put out.
Firstly a water tank should be easy to fill-up, with some tanks also having the ability to be filled up even when in use. Most cleaners you’ll find have an easy to use tank.
The second thing to consider is the tank capacity. Depending on how much detailing or cleaning you intend to do, the amount of water your tank can hold will be something that’s important as you don’t want to have to fill it up several times when using it for long periods.
Portability and Size
Again, this all depends on your usage of a steam cleaner. If you’re serious about detailing or do it professionally, a larger unit will probably be required as they are generally more powerful.
If you’re more of a casual detailer or have to get through a lot of motors fast and don’t want big long cables and attachments everywhere, a smaller, more compact handheld model would be more beneficial.
Every pick we have on our reviews list comes with some set of attachments and tools for different types of cleans. These allow you to get into some awkward areas inside your car, and even offer the ability for different types of steam cleans inside the house, garden, garage etc.
A lot of the attachments and tools provided with most purchases are probably a little overkill for car detailing, but nonetheless can be handy for other things.
The Final Word
We know that steam cleaning is important for removing tough stains and marks on car interior and trim etc., as regular vacuuming isn’t going to be enough to cut it. These are an investment that should be made if you’re a serious or professional detailer, as they give you the best possible chance of producing a brand-new feel and look inside the car. We’ve tried to produce a list of the 5 best steam cleaners for auto detailing, with different options for different levels of cleaning and budgets.