Why Does My Steam Cleaner Smell

Why Does My Steam Cleaner Smell? Here’s How to Fix It!

Last Updated on February 13, 2023

Is your steam cleaner emitting an unpleasant smell? You’re not alone. Many people have asked themselves, “why does my steam cleaner smell?” and the answer is, unfortunately, yes – sometimes they do. But don’t worry; it’s a problem that can be solved easily with some basic knowledge of why this might happen in the first place and how to prevent or get rid of any odours coming from your machine. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what causes these smells, as well as provide tips on how to keep them away for good. So if you’ve been wondering, “does my steam cleaner smell?” then read on for all the answers.

Table of Contents:

What Causes Steam Cleaner Smells?

Steam cleaners are an effective way to deep clean carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces. However, they can sometimes produce unpleasant odours that linger in the air. These smells are usually caused by bacteria, mould, mineral deposits or a combination of all three.

Bacteria is one of the most common causes of steam cleaner odours. Bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments like those created by steam cleaning machines. When these bacteria come into contact with dirt and debris on surfaces being cleaned, they release an odour that can be difficult to remove from the area.

Mould is another cause of bad smells from steam cleaners. Mould spores travel through the air and settle on damp surfaces, such as those found after a steam cleaning session has been completed. The mould then begins to grow, which produces a musty smell that lingers in the room for some time afterwards.

Hard water contains minerals such as calcium carbonate, which build up inside your machine’s tank and pipes, creating an ideal environment for bacterial growth and leading to smelly results when you use it again later on down the line without proper maintenance first.

The main cause of unpleasant odours from steam cleaners is a build-up of bacteria and dirt. To ensure your steam cleaner stays fresh and odourless, it’s important to understand how to prevent these smells in the first place.

How to Prevent Unpleasant Odours

Steam cleaners are a great way to deep clean your home and garden, but they can also be the source of unpleasant odours. To prevent these smells from forming in your steam cleaner, it’s important to regularly clean and descale it.

First, you should make sure that all parts of the steam cleaner are properly cleaned after each use. This includes wiping down any visible dirt or debris on the outside of the machine as well as cleaning out any internal components such as filters or tanks. Additionally, if there is an attached hose or wand, make sure those are thoroughly wiped down with a damp cloth too.

Next, you should descale your steam cleaner at least once every three months (or more often if you live in an area with hard water). Descaling helps remove mineral deposits from inside the machine, which can cause odours over time. You can purchase special descaling solutions for this purpose or use white vinegar instead – just fill up half of the tank with either solution and let it sit for about 30 minutes before running a full cycle through your machine without any attachments connected to it. Once finished, empty out all remaining liquid and rinse off any residue with plain water before using again.

Finally, try not to leave standing water in your steam cleaner when not in use, as this will help reduce bacterial growth, which could lead to bad smells over time. If possible, store your unit upright so that no moisture gets trapped inside while idle; alternatively, you could also invest in some anti-bacterial wipes specifically designed for steam cleaners which will help keep them smelling fresh between uses too.

By taking the necessary steps to prevent unpleasant odours, such as regular cleaning and maintenance of your steam cleaner, you can keep it running smoothly and smelling fresh. Now let’s look at how to get rid of any existing unpleasant odours.

Key Takeaway: To keep your steam cleaner from smelling, regularly clean and descale it, avoid leaving standing water in the machine when not in use, and consider using anti-bacterial wipes between uses.

How to Get Rid of Unpleasant Odours

These smells can be caused by the buildup of dirt, mould, mildew, and bacteria in the steam cleaner’s tank or hose. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of these odours and keep your steam cleaner smelling fresh.

A bowl of vinegar

One easy solution is to use vinegar or baking soda solutions in the steam cleaner’s tank. To make a vinegar solution, mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a bowl or container. Pour this mixture into the tank of your steam cleaner and let it sit for an hour before running it through its cleaning cycle as usual. This will help break down any residue that may be causing bad smells inside the machine.

Baking soda is another effective odour remover for steam cleaners. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on a damp cloth and wipe down all surfaces inside the machine, including hoses and tanks, where dirt tends to accumulate over time. Once you’ve wiped everything down with baking soda, run hot water through your machine until all traces of baking soda have been removed from its interior components.

Key Takeaway: Steam cleaners can emit unpleasant odours due to dirt, mould, mildew and bacteria buildup. To get rid of these smells, use a vinegar or baking soda solution in the tank and wipe down all surfaces with baking soda.

FAQs in Relation to Why Does My Steam Cleaner Smell

How do you deodorize a steamer?

Deodorizing a steamer is an important part of keeping it in good condition. To do this, start by emptying the water tank and cleaning any debris from the interior. Then fill the tank with equal parts white vinegar and water, and run the steamer for 10 minutes to allow the solution to circulate through all its components. Finally, empty out the vinegar-water mixture and rinse with clean water until no residue remains. This process should help eliminate odours from your steamer.

How do I stop my steam mop from smelling?

To stop your steam mop from smelling, you need to regularly clean and maintain it. Start by emptying the water tank after each use and cleaning out any debris or dirt that may have accumulated in the tank. Then, fill the tank with a mixture of white vinegar and warm water (1:1 ratio) and let it sit for 15 minutes before running it through your steam mop. Afterwards, rinse out the tank with fresh water until all traces of vinegar are gone. Finally, allow your steam mop to air dries completely before storing away. Regularly following these steps will help keep your steam mop smelling fresh.

Why does steam smell weird?

Steam is created when water boils and evaporates, releasing tiny droplets of liquid into the air. These droplets contain a variety of compounds, including sulfur-containing molecules, which can give off an unpleasant smell. This odour is usually caused by bacteria in the water reacting with minerals such as calcium or magnesium, resulting in hydrogen sulfide gas being released. Additionally, if there are any organic materials present in the water, they may also contribute to this strange smell. To reduce this odour, it’s important to ensure that your home’s plumbing system is regularly maintained and cleaned out so that any buildup of bacteria or other contaminants doesn’t occur.

How do you clean mould out of a steamer?

Mould can be a difficult problem to tackle in the home, especially when it comes to steamers. To remove mould from your steamer, start by unplugging it and cleaning off any visible dirt or debris. Then mix one part bleach with 10 parts water in a bucket and use this solution to scrub down the inside of the steamer. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards. If there is still mould present, try using white vinegar instead of bleach as an alternative cleaning agent. Once you’ve finished cleaning, make sure that all surfaces are completely dry before plugging your steamer back in for use again.


The good news is that you don’t have to put up with these smells – by understanding what causes them and taking the necessary steps to prevent or get rid of them, you can make sure that your steam cleaner does not smell. So if you’re asking yourself, “does my steam cleaner smell?” the answer is no – it doesn’t have to.

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