Pros: Relatively Affordable, cleans just about everything spotless
Cons: Does not completely eliminate need for cleaners; has a learning curve
DISCLAIMER: This review will have quite a few lists quoted from the Allergy Club Buyers Web Site. This is because there is an infinite amount of information on this product that would be silly to recreate from scratch. Anywhere this reference has been used will be noted; either placed in italics or otherwise. The commentary on such information is solely my own.
When I wrote my review of the Eureka Enviro Steamer 310 Steam Cleaner last year, I thought that was the end-all-be-all in cleaning. Then I saw an infomercial for a small, hand-held steam cleaner that could be used in the bathroom and kitchen for things other than floors. Upon doing research on these nifty babes, I learned that there are even bigger, better steam cleaners that can do it ALL. Yes, this is what I wanted. I wanted ONE machine to do my floors, and my counters, and my toilets, and the shower. And I wanted to be able to afford it. (Translation: didnt cost so much my husband would freak out)
Here is where I have to give a shout out to the Allergy Buyers Club. On this one web site I learned more about vapor steam cleaners than ever imaginable. I learned that not only did I want steam, but I wanted PRESSURIZED steam for truly effective cleaning. I learned what attachments and other features were important to me and what I could live without. I also learned which vapor steamer was right for me.
What You Get With The WhiteWing
When I received my box and first opened it, the number of items inside was daunting. So, unlike myself, the first thing pulled out was the instruction video and booklet. I highly recommend reading through the booklet AND watching the video before trying to use this steamer. Not only are there important safety features to familiarize yourself with, but also many tips on cleaning efficiently and effectively with the WhiteWing.
Here is a list of some of the more important WhiteWing features:
* Excellent quality, commercially tested cleaning tools
* Reservoir based steam cleaner (vs. continuous fill)
* Cleaning time (long)
* Key Safety Features
* Pressure gauge
* Finger tip steam trigger
* Easy attachment setup
* Easy maintenance
How It Works
OK. To give you comprehensive details on how to use the WhiteWing would take volumes. There are so many ways to use the vapor cleaner.
Heres a list of some of the most common uses:
* Removes soap scum and mildew from bathroom tiles and fixture
* Degreases kitchen floors, counters and appliances
* Cleans and freshens carpets, upholstery, drapes and metal blinds
* Makes windows, window frames, and glass sparkle - no streaks with steam
* Quick and easy on sealed hardwood floors
Basic operation of the WhiteWing is:
1. Fill the tank with distilled water
2. Attach the hose to the steamer.
3. Attach the extension handles and attachment you want.(Be sure to watch the video and read the instruction booklet. Some of the attachments have specific uses and setup instructions)
4. Lock the finger trigger.
5. Plug it in.
6. Turn it on.
7. Wait 20 min. or until the pressure gauge reads between 3.5-4.5.
8. Get ready to rock press the steam release button, unlock the finger trigger and start steaming.
For many jobs such as countertops, shower stalls, stovetops, you will need to follow behind the steam, wiping with a cloth to remove the released dirt from the surface. Some jobs may require you to start with a non-toxic cleaner or grease remover such as Orange Clean or Method brand cleaners. Remember, youll be breathing in vaporized cleaner. So be sure its something non-toxic and non-irritating. I prefer the Method brand cleaners.
My Thoughts on WhiteWing Steam Cleaner
DURABILITY - The WhiteWing is very durable. Trust me, its been bumped and parts have been dropped. I cannot compare it to other steamers. But it is very sturdy and in six months of use, nothings malfunctioned or broken.
VALUE - Compared to other vapor steam cleaners of same caliber, the WhiteWing is a great value. It comes standard with tons of attachments and offers additional others. The price cannot be beat. Im also saving money on cleaning products.
WEIGHT - Again, of pressurized vapor steamers, the WhiteWing is one of the lighter weight models. Its 14lbs without water. This is nice since I have a three-story house.
SAFETY - In addition to the features mentioned above:
* There is a safety cap which means that in the unlikely circumstance of excess pressure (which is controlled by an internal thermostat), the safety feature in the cap would allow a valve to release pressure through the cap, so the steam would not harm the operator of the machine.
* There is a pressure gauge which has a red zone
* will shut itself off automatically when the water level becomes too low and the machine needs refilling.
The WhiteWing also has a nice long cord and casters that allow it to roll smoothly. Anyone whos used a canister vacuum in the past knows how important these can be.
CLEANING Bottom line is Ive never been able to clean my house as well before the WhiteWing. Although there are still times when I have to use a little elbow grease (like with mold on my shower stall), it definitely makes the job easier. I love not using harsh chemicals all the time. And when Im done I feel things are not only clean, but sanitary.
My Favorite Uses for THE WHITEWING
#1 Bathroom. The WhiteWing does an amazing job in my bathroom. It really gets my toilet sparkling clean and sanitary. With three males in my house, this is not small feat. Ive eliminated the need for any additional cleaners in this area of my house EXCEPT the shower stall. This is plastic and we have problems fighting mold. So for this area I use spray on a Method brand cleaner before steaming.
#2 Kitchen. My kitchen counters are textured. They are cheap vinyl which I swear must have been leftover flooring. I mean who other than lazy, cheap builders would put a material with GROOVES in it on a kitchen counter?!?! Anyway, the short story is the WhiteWing is the ONLY thing other than straight bleach to completely clean these grooves. I also love it for my troublesome kitchen floor. Although, for this area I have to change cleaning cloths quite a few times, once Im done, it is CLEAN. After using it on my oven, which I had never cleaned really well in the six years weve been there, the oven looks practically brand new.
The other thing Ive noticed is that once you get things cleaned really well with the WhiteWing, its easier to keep them clean. Because youre steaming and using less cleansers, theres no leftover residue for future dirt to stick to.
Heres my brief list of cons to the WhiteWing:
* Many attachments are great. But you need some way to store them and keep them easily accessible at the same time. I use a large utility bucket. This is also useful for throwing in dirty cloths as I clean.
* Would like a latch to hold down the finger trigger for big jobs. You have to hold it down continuously.
* Does not have a fill indicator or drainage hole. If I dont use up all the water on a job, the next time I refill I have to guess. I never know if Im going to overfill. Havent yet.
* Extensions get hot. The hose itself doesnt, and the tools usually dont. But the first time I tried to separate the extension poles was difficult. They were too hot too handle for a period of time. I always use gloves now and dont have a problem. But be forewarned.
* Icons for buttons not intuitive. I wasnt sure what was what until I watched the video. Luckily there arent too many buttons to worry about.
Overall, these, for me, are minor complaints compared to the value we get out of the WhiteWing. I use it about once a week on the bathrooms and monthly in the kitchen.
Word on the Allergy Buyers Club Web Site
I have to add this since Allergy Buyers Club site offers so much more information than I possibly could. Allergy Buyers Club web site has THE most comprehensive listing of steam cleaners Ive found online. Not only do they list tons of them. Each one has an impressively detailed information page that includes what they like and dont about each machine. There are also consumer tester comments on the machines, and what-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy pages. But perhaps most helpful in the end, once you decide to make a purchase, are the comparison charts.
I highly recommend you check out Allergy Buyers Club at least to learn about the world of vapor steam cleaners. I dont want to go on ad nauseum about this other site. But I really cannot do justice to the WhiteWing vapor steam cleaner without the pages of information thats already out there. So give the experts their credit due.