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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Steam Cleaner

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      12-20-2005, 02:01 PM   #1
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Steam Cleaner

I am thinking of buying a portable steam cleaner to clean the bits in my car that I can't get to and wipe and for the interior.

Now I'm pretty sure steam cleaning the carpets should be fine...but what about the lemon leather? There are slight stains on the passenger seat - would hot steam help clean them or would they push the stains further into the pores of the leather...making it impossible to remove?

Any idea's?

This is what I'm thinking of buying... https://www.verimark.co.za/Default.aspx?TabID=818

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      12-20-2005, 02:15 PM   #2
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Not sure of the exact technical specs of that product, but steam cleaning isn't really cleaning with 'steam'. A more correct term for it is 'hot water extraction'. Basically, hot water is pumped into the carpet or whatever, and then sucked up, along with any stains/dirt, by a powerful vacuum. Now, as we all probably know, water and leather don't mix.

Even if it is actually steam coming out, it's still water in gas form. When it cools (ie, when it hits your leather), it will condense into it's liquid form. So again, probably not a good idea.

It would be better to get a good leather cleaner and use a bit of elbow grease (but not too much, otherwise you will damage the leather). Follow it up with a conditioner to keep it nice and soft and you should be all set.

For any textiles, steam cleaning is fine but make sure you use high quality steam cleaning products and don't over-wet the surface. Use less water, but repeatedly until the stain is gone, rather than saturating the carpet and then trying to vacuum it all up.

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      12-20-2005, 04:49 PM   #3
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a couple of friends i met at a detailing meet not too long ago used a steamcleaner to instruct new detailers.

he used a steam cleaner to clean a soiled portion of the leather. it helped loosen the dirt enough that once he steemed it a lil, he sprayed it with his solution of leather cleaner and the stain came right off.

he then instructed on making sure to condition after as steam would dry the leather out substantially.

i havent done it, but this is just me passing on info.

as for carpets, im sure wetting the carpet and scrubbing with a lil oxyclean mix and extraction the water with a wet/dry vac is all u need. extractors are expensive u know!
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