Ewbank Steam Dynamo steam cleaner review

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  • The Ewbank Steam Dynamo is a multifunctional steam cleaner from the makers of one of the world’s first carpet sweepers – the precursor to domestic vacuum cleaners. This steam cleaner is one of many floor cleaning products from the company and has been designed to limit the need for harsh chemicals in your cleaning routine.

    It is for use not just on floors, but also has a range of nozzles and brushes – plus a glass cleaning tool – making it suited to myriad jobs around the home. We put it to the test over a few weeks, against a number of cleaning tasks to see how it fared. With some dirty tiles to sanitise and some grubby grout in the bathroom, there was plenty of ways to measure it against the best steam cleaners.

    Read on to find out what we thought of the Ewbank Steam Dynamo, and whether it is the right cleaning tool for your home.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    While there are more powerful steam cleaners on the market, the versatility and ease of use of this one is to be commended. It is great value for money and if you have weekly steam cleaning jobs, it is more than capable of blasting germs and stubborn grime on a multitude of surfaces.

    Reasons to buy:

    Reasons not to buy:

    Ewbank Steam Dynamo

    Capacity: 1.5LPower type: mainsCord length: 2.4mHose length: 1.8mWattage: 1500WPressure: 54psi/3.4 barDimensions: 86 x 29 x 52 cmWeight: 3.6kgAccessories included: 2 x extension tubes, floor cleaning tool, angle adapter, straight adapter, window cleaning tool with squeegee, small nylon bristle detail brush, larger nylon bristle detail brush, nozzle, funnel and jug plus microfibre floor cloth

    Family homes that need a regular blast of steam to beat germs and nasties. The nifty little cleaner does stellar work of keeping on top of everyday dirt, but if you are someone who leaves cleaning until grime is very ingrained, you might need something with a more industrial level of power.

    Testing the Ewbank Steam Dynamo

    My other half has been renovating a Victorian property with all of the ‘perks’. From a mouldy bathroom in a slightly dodgy extension, and new floors that have taken their fair share of dust already, we had plenty to clean. We cleaned:

    The Ewbank Steam Dynamo is neatly packaged with the hose attached. The other accessories are packed in polystyrene and plastic bags, with the smaller nozzles and brushes ready to stow in the front compartment of the cleaner.

    Set up was really easy, despite the component labelling in the instructions being a bit lacking. There were numbered parts, but this didn’t seem to be comprehensive, nor was use of numbers for reference in the written instructions themselves that thorough. That said, it was pretty obvious how to put everything together and the actually instructions for operation were great.

    Ewbank Steam Dynamo steam cleaner review

    You just have to fit the right brush head, nozzle or floor cleaning head and pole before you start. Next, using the jug and funnel provided, you fill the reservoir, plug in the machine and switch it on.

    What is the Ewbank Steam Dynamo like to use?

    With the machine set up and turned on, it was nearly ready to go. The red light shows the steam cleaner is switched on and after waiting for the unit to heat – which could take 12 minutes but took less than five for us even with a full tank – you check for the orange light to come on showing it is ready to steam. You must fit the right attachment before heating the water and must not remove the water tank cap until the machine has cooled down as the hot water remains under pressure for some time.

    To operate the machine, you just press the trigger on the hand gun to emit steam as needed. There is a lock feature for safety – consider it a two step start to prevent accidents.

    We then tried a few of the most common steam cleaning jobs.

    The first task was cleaning the floor. The luxury vinyl tile flooring is only a few months old, but hasn’t had a good clean since installation as we have been busy decorating and wanted to get messy jobs out of the way before a big clean. Dust had settled, and there were a few mucky footprints as we have had various trades in over the last few weeks. It had been mopped a couple of times, but there were some parts that needed a scrub and we also wanted to kill any nasties that might have made their way in during the works. We gave it a quick clean with a vacuum cleaner first to lift fluff and debris.

    The floor cleaning head is like a vacuum head and has a brush on the underside. We initially used this without the microfibre cloth as we wanted to use the brush to lift any dirty, but found the cleaner produced so much steam with such a wide head that the floor was getting rather soaked. Though it did dry fairly quickly, the excess water was pushing us to work a bit faster than planned and not spend as long brushing tougher dirt, so we decided to use the cloth provided.

    The cloth clipped on really easily and it was much easier to clean the hard flooring with this attached. It prevented over-soaking and worked well with the brush underneath it to lift dirt while offering the heat we knew we needed to kill any germs. As the steam cleaner is so mobile and has fairly good reach, it is not that different to pushing round the best mop for a quick clean, but with the benefit of bacteria killing steam.

    The cloth showed how much dirt we were lifting in the process and when I took a clean piece of kitchen roll to the tiles, it showed no signs of dirt left on the floor. The end result was a clean and shiny floor.

    You can attach the glass cleaning tool directly to the hand gun. It has a rubberised edge to act like a squeegee so you can clean and dry in one step. We found it worked really well on glass and while it didn’t tackled limescale covered shower screen in one go, a second go over got rid of the last bits. It was certainly nice to be able to do this job without a potent chemical cleaner, or using vinegar, which while less harsh than some products, leaves a strong odour.

    The instructions warn you of the risks of heating the glass too quickly so note that you do have to ‘prime’ the glass first by directly short bursts of steam at it to prevent heat shock that could shatter it.

    The bathroom is one of the rooms we haven’t ripped out and replaced. The flooring and tiles are in good condition physically but were very dirty, with greyed grout and some mould in places giving the bathroom a very scruffy appearance.

    The Ewbank Steam Dynamo has plenty of tools to help give everything a deep clean. We started by attaching the angled nozzle to the gun.

    The first place to feel the wrath of the steam nozzle was the floor grout. The nozzle is small enough to focus a highly pressured blast of steam where it is needed – the perfect width for grout cleaning.

    It didn’t take long to clean along all of the grout lines, taking it from a dirty grey to an off white in very little time. The image below shows the results. The bottom half the before, and the upper the after. It is noticeably cleaner and looked even more so once the water had dried.

    The lower half of the image shows the cleaned grout. It looked even cleaner once it had dried fully

    We then decided to clean some grime and mold down the side of the shower screen and around the sealant where water and dust had pooled. To start, we kept the same angled nozzle on, but decided we would get better results if we agitated the dirt with one of the nylon brush heads. There are fairly easy to change in theory but are a snug fit so need a bit of force to be removed and put in place.

    This is fairly reassuring as the last thing you want is a loose fitting nozzle flying off under the pressure of the steam, but it does make it a bit tricky to change the heads. And you have to take into account the time needed to let the tool cool between each swap.

    There is a rubber washer on each tool to ensure a good fit, and you get a number of these supplied for replacement as needed. Having only used the steam cleaner for a few weeks we haven’t needed to use any spares, so I would be keen to know what the longevity is for them.

    With the nylon brush fitted, we went back over the part the nozzle had failed to clean. It was great at getting into all of the creases and fine lines around the bath and sealant. It didn’t leave it completely free from dirt initially, but the steam killed any remaining mould which has since disappeared.

    Still, we had to use a fair bit of pressure with the brush to move the dirt in places and left the nylon brush looking a little frazzled by the end. So, if you have a bathroom that has not reached this state and just needs a regularly clean and sanitise, the Steam Dynamo is the perfect tool. For anything more ingrained, you might need a more powerful steam cleaner, or the help of some harsher cleaning products to get a head start.

    While the Ewbank Steam Dynamo is not the most powerful cleaner, it really is versatile. As well as cleaning glass, floors and grout, you can also use the tools on appliances even outside. It is well suited to lifting grease from dirty oven doors and hobs.

    You can buy further attachments for other cleaning jobs, including brass versions of the large and small detailing brushes. These can help with cleaning oven racks and barbecue grills. With these, you can get a bit more oomph out of the steam cleaner, putting it on a level with the more powerful cleaners. These extras are not expensive either – the brass brushes cost between £3.49 and £10. This is a small added cost to keep your top range barbecue looking its best.

    Storage and maintenance

    Another brilliant feature of the Ewbank Steam Dynamo is that nearly all of the tools can be stored on board. There is room for the adapter (used with nozzles and brushes), two brushes and the nozzle.

    The floor cleaner head and pole can be clipped to rear of the cleaner for storage when not in use. This keeps the footprint of the unit fairly small, so it isn’t going to take up too much space in your cleaning cupboard.

    After use, you need to make sure the reservoir is empty. We ran out of steam on occasion so this emptied it for us, but when it didn’t we left whatever tool we were using attached and pressed the trigger to expel the steam, simultaneously sanitising whatever head was in use. We left all tools out to dry before storing everything.

    The floor head cloth needs rinsing and can be thrown in the wash with towels and other cleaning cloths as needed. The only items that need storage separately are the jug, funnel and cleaned cloth – we use the jug to hold everything together.

    Ideal Home’s verdict: is the Ewbank Steam Dynamo worth the money?

    The Ewbank Steam Dynamo is a great value buy. It is as good at cleaning floors as some of the dedicated steam mops we have tried and offers lots of other functionality on top of that. So if you like the idea of cleaning your home with nothing but the power of steam, this will help you eradicate germs from every surface – it can even be used on upholstery and carpets.

    We did feel it lacked power on very very stubborn dirt, but a second clean or using the brush (and the option of a brass brush for really tough jobs) helped compensate. For the price of this steam cleaner, which is approximately £50 to £100 less than some of the market leaders, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck and accessories are very affordable for those wanting to level up. Yes, it might need a bit of help with long term dirt, but for weekly cleans in homes that haven’t reached a point near to no return it would be perfect.

    Lindsey Davis is Editor in Chief of Homes Ecommerce, looking after product content on Ideal Home. She has tested hundreds of home appliances and accessories, and enjoys the satisfaction of a clean and tidy home – and anything that helps her achieve it.

    She was sent this product to test in a home setting which is where we like to test everything, pitched against daily life. We are not given any compensation for our reviews, but may be allowed to keep the product, meaning we can test it over a greater length of time.