The Karcher steam cleaner has many models to choose from ranging from the old Karcher sc.2.500 to current versions, the Karcher sc1, sc2, sc3, sc4 and sc5 . The Karcher steamers are multipurpose with a floor mop and a handheld steamer.
In this article, follow us as we review and compare the Karcher sc1 vs sc2 vs 3 vs s4 vs s5 to help you choose which model is the best buy today.
Get to know the current price of the top 5 best Karcher steam cleaners as seen on Amazon today (detailed reviews below). I have added the top 5 Karcher steamers here for you to be able to quickly distinguish why each one differ in prices as we review the key features, and pros and cons of each product below.
Karcher Steam Cleaner Reviews
1. Karcher SC4 Review
The Karcher SC4 Steam Cleaner is one of the best selling steam cleaners in the market today. The sc4 heats up 4 minutes but saves you money because it uses 20% less energy than the sc3 . The steam cleaner has a powerful engine it heats up very fast hence it saves the waiting time before cleaning starts. It saves time as it offers a Continuous steam operation. This is enhanced by the fact that the cleaner has a Twin Tank – 0.5L Heat Tank with 0.8L Removable Feeder Tank. This is done by refilling the feeder The adjustable steam control is also efficient for coping with different level of surfaces and thus using this controller to adjust the steam flow.
Karcher SC4 Key Features/Pros
- The Karcher steam cleaner sc4 is yellow and grey in color, weighs 4.1kgs and has dimensions of 35 x 28 x 27 cm size. It is compact and lightweight
- It features 2000watts motor power, 220volts, and 3.5 Bar steam pressure.
- Has two water tanks. The 2 water tanks: one detachable, another one fixed for easy filling of water and ensuring continuous steam flowing.
- With this twin tank that is detachable when the water runs out; you just need to use the detachable one to refill the other tank and the best part no waiting time to reheat again. You can also refill on the go when cleaning large spaces.
- Its water tank is see through to enable you monitor the water levels in your steamer.
- Heats up in 4 minutes to give you about 40 minutes cleaning time.
- The sc4 has a variable control setting on its handle for adjusting steam based on the type of floor you want to clean. This is handy when it comes to freshening up delicate surfaces such as laminate floors. It also has over-heat functionality that ensures that your cleaner will not over- heat, even when producing continuous high hot vapour pressure.
- It has a childproof lock that is useful since it prevents use of the cleaner by children; this in turn prevents accidents caused by steam being released accidentally.
- It is suitable for cleaning hard floors, showers, glasses, tiles, ovens, mirrors, tiles, and much more. Has on board storage facility for easy storage and convenience.
- The SC4 is designed with wheels for ease movement from one a place to another.
- Comes with a two-year guarantee.
- It has two meters hose extension to help you reach high places and tight spacessuch as crevices. .
- It’s light and easy to use; it is also child friendly due to the presence of child safety lock.
- Has 3.5 bar steam pressure for faster conversion of water into vapour
Cons: Its power cord is short (4m) hence needs you to have some extension cables around. However most standard rooms have a radius of less than 4 m, so you will be fine using it to clean a standard room.
2. Karcher SC5 Review
The Karcher SC5 Steam Cleaner is one of the few cleaners that produce continuous non-stop high pressure steam (4.2 pressure bar) while cleaning. It can be used as a floor steam cleaner and also as a handheld steamer. This sc5 is a high end cleaner that comes fitted with quality features. It is a workhorse that will make any domestic cleaning task a breeze.
Key Features and Design of the Karcher SC5
- The Karcher steam cleaner sc5 is powered by a 2200 Watt motor that heats the massive two liters tank in 3 minutes to produces continuous jetting hot steam that can dismantle any caked in dirt.
- Vapo-hydro function; This feature enables you to release high jetting vapour with hot water to blast off any ingrained dirt. It works perfectly to clean up build up grout and soap residue in the bathroom. The Vapo-hydro function dislodges even the most stubborn dirt.
- Has twin tanks (0.5L and 1.5L). The 1.5 L tank is removable and refillable. You can re-fill it on the go for non stop cleaning.
- The floor steamer has 2 liter tank that is heated up quickly by the powerful 2200W motor engine to produce nonstop vapour.
- Comes with the trademark comfort tool. The comfort tool is a light and adjustable tool that makes it easy to access awkward spaces like under heavy furniture and fixed table legs.
- Comes loaded with an assortment of accessories that make the sc5 quite versatile. You can use it to clean windows, wall tiles, mirrors, taps, hobs, extractor hood , floor cleaning, wash basin, kitchen worktops and many more.
- It has variable control settings to help you regulate the amount of pressure released on different floor types.
- Has on-board storage for effortless and convenient storage.
- The power cable of the sc5 is not retractable. It is also relatively on the shorter side of things.
- No clipping clothes on the hand held device, so the terry clothes are not well fastened when in use.
- Some customer have complained that it is hard to find replaceable micro-fiber . However you can find replacement microfiber cloths here
In Summary: The Karcher sc5 steam cleaner is effective, versatile and reliable. It is covered with the manufacturer’s two year guarantee for peace of mind. It is currently getting good reviews in major online shopping portals.
- It is portable and weighs only 6kgs.
- Has large water tan that can be refilled on the go.
- Versatile and effective features like the vapour-hydro, on the go refilling and comfort floor tool.
- It is easy to store due to the on board tools .
The Karcher sc5 is easy to set up in spite of the rather detailed instructional manual. All you need to do is fix the hose to the body then attach other bits and bobs like the, floor mop cloth, nozzle and you are ready to go. Once assembled, fill up the tank with tap water and hit the on button. The 2 litre tank heats up in only 3 minutes. Karcher SC5 has the longest hose (2.5 m) of all the models by Karcher. It works well with the comfort tool.
It has a large floor head that is designed to cover wide areas with just a few strokes. It has a 4 meter cable cord that is easily stored in the on-board tools storage. However the extension cable is not retractable.
The four meters electric cable might seem likely to be inadequate but when you factor in the 2.5 m hose, you realize that you are actually working with a radius of 6.5 meters. 6.5m is adequate to cover any standard room.
The Accessories include: Micro fiber clothe, detail nozzle, power nozzle, hand tool, floor nozzle, round nylon brush, floor nozzle and cotton cloth for wiping.
4. Karcher SC3 Review
The Karcher SC3 Steam Cleaner is a good fit for everyday house cleaning tasks. There are no hold-ups as you wait for the water to turn into steam. This happens in only 30 seconds unlike other cylinder cleaners that take between 3-12 minutes to be ready to jet out hot vapour. It is quite good at clearing build up soap residues in shower cubicle.
Karcher SC3 Key features :
- The Karcher SC3 is powered by a 1900 watt that heats up the 1 litre refillable tank in 30 seconds to produce hot vapour enough to clean continuously for at least 30 minutes
- It comes with a descaling cartridge filter to protect your cleaner from corroding (clogging up with lime scale). Corroding is quite common in hard water regions. The filter also ensures that you get high pressure vapour.
- It has a refillable tank that enables you to refill your tank on the go without stopping the cleaner. This gives you seamless cleaning time so that you can clean your entire home without interruptions of switching the cleaner off as other ordinary cleaner do when refilling water into the tank.
- It has both a heat valve (to protect you from scalding when opening the hot vapour tank) and a childproof safety lock to avoid any hazard.
- It has a LED light that signals when the cleaner is ready to be used.
- It has a trigger gun that can release bursts of hot vapour to clean tough stains when triggered
- It comes with a wide range of accessories to tackle all areas in your home.
- It produces 3.5 bar pressure. Sufficient enough to dismantle any caked in dirt. Perfect for deep cleaning.
- It has a two meter hose that will enable you to clean high areas like ceilings and tight spaces.
- It is quite portable and compact. It rolls on wheels
- Like most cleaners the Karcher steam cleaner SC3 has variable floor control that will enable to you to regulate the amount of heat released to your floors. This enables you to clean different floor types by just adjusting the control setting.
- Some of the power accessories like the round brass brush have to be bought separately.
- Only two terry clothes are supplied when you buy this cleaner.
- The jetting pressure drops a bit if you continually press the trigger.
The sc3 is a good fit for everyday domestic cleaning tasks. There are no hold-ups as you wait for the water to turn into steam. This happens in only 30 seconds unlike other cylinder cleaners that take between 3-12 minutes to be ready to jet out hot vapour. It is quite good at clearing build up soap residues in shower cubicle.
The water tank is refillable on the go for convenience and ease of use. This will also save you time in the long run. The lime scale filter makes your cleaner to perform at optimum levels. The comfort floor tool has a two metres hose that enables to clean high and low areas.
The LED display alerts you when the water tank is heated and ready for cleaning. It also notifies you when the tank is about to run empty so that you can refill it without interrupting your cleaning. It has on-board storage for effortless storage of accessories.
4. Karcher SC2 Review
The Karcher SC2 steam cleaner is a multifunctional cleaner that is powered by a 1500 watt motor to produce 3.2 bar hot vapour pressure to last up to 30 minutes of continuous cleaning. It has a one litre tank; enough to clean all your domestic space without refilling. It is compact and quite portable because it rolls on wheels. It only weighs 3 (kgs) it has 5 metre cable, decent enough to cover a standard room without plugging and unplugging. It has onboard storage for accessories for effortless and convenient storage.
Key Benefits of the Karcher SC2:
- It comes with a safety valve to prevent your hand from being scalded by steam when opening the tank to refill. It also has a child safety lock to stop children from playing with the cleaner.
- It comes with a floor hand tool for detail cleaning
- It kills 99.9% of all germs and bacteria on your surfaces.
- The 2 m hose makes it easy to clean high areas like ceiling and tight areas.
- It has steam boost functionality to release bursts for spot spot cleaning and caked in dirt.
- It has two levels of control on the handle and lockable kit for effortless handling and suitable for all types of floors from laminate, vinyl, upvc to tiles (glazed and unglazed). It can clean stone floors too
- It has a lance for cleaning difficult to reach areas.
- It has a window tool, Carpet glider and Upholstery tool
- It has a on demand steam trigger gun for spot cleaning and releasing bursts of steam when tackling tough stains.
- It comes with a 2 year manufacturer guarantee that covers any fault on parts that are defective. It does not cover wear and tear but only parts that are not working.
- It has a relatively short power cord in compared to other cleaners like Vax steam cleaner mops.
- You have to buy other (premium) accessories to really use this cleaner to its full potential. A full set of premium attachments cost less than 25 pounds at time of writing.
Overall Verdict: The Karcher steam cleaner SC2 is a versatile cylinder steamer that packs in lots of hot vapour pressure 3.2 released on demand by a trigger gun. It has a variable steam control that you can manage at ease just at the palm of your hand since the controls are on both the handle and on the cylinder unit. It has on-board storage for effortless storage of all accessories. The heat safety valve and childproof lock make it secure to use. Because the SC2 pumps out decent steam (3.2 bar) which is way above ordinary steam mops, it is quite effective in cleaning grout and uneven surfaces. The power nozzle used together with the round brush produce excellent results. If you want more bang when cleaning grout, but the brass bristle round brush that cleans even better than the nylon round brush due to its sturdy bristles.The hot vapour jetting from this cleaner easily dislodges any ingrained dirt. The wide range of accessories allow you to clean almost anything in the house while the one litre tank gives you decent amount of continuous cleaning time to clean most of your domestic space. It is quite portable because it rolls on wheels and has two years manufacturer guarantee for peace of mind.
5. Karcher SC1 Review
The Karcher SC1 steam cleaner is a 2 in 1 steam stick cleaner that is powered by a 1200 W motor and 0.2 litre tank that heats up in 3 minutes to give you 3 bar hot vapour pressure that can clean 20m2 space. It has an extension hose for easy access and total flexibility. It is an all round multifunctional handheld cleaner that has the capability to clean floors with the aid of a floor accessory.
Here are some of the key benefits of buying the Karcher SC1
- A multifunctional lightweight cleaner that weighs only 1.5 kgs.
- It classic variable hot pressure control that allows you to clean all types of surfaces from tiled floors (ceramics), laminate, quarry, sealed wood to plastic and upvc, taps, hobs, ovens, windows. It can also freshen upholstery, carpets and mattresses.
- A fully kitted handheld cleaner that can clean any part of your house with the use of accessories supplied.
- It comes with a safety valve to avoid the risk of heat scalding someone when opening the water tank.
- It kills 99.9% of all germs and bacteria on your surfaces.
- It is highly manoeuvrable because of its highly portable nature. In essence the SC1 is a handheld cleaner with a floor mop extension.
- It has a safety lock for children to safeguard children from any harm.
- It produces sufficient 3 bar pressure that can dislodge all caked in dirt.
- The extension hose enables you to hard to reach places and all nooks and crannies.
- It has a cable clip for easy storage.
- It has a swivel steer control function on its floor head.
- The hose also allows you to clean high areas like ceilings and tight spaces.
- It has a steam trigger that gives you control on how to use hot vapour pressure. You can choose to blast off to clean stubborn stains and hold back whenever you need to.
- It has a small water tank that needs you to keep topping up frequently when cleaning large areas. However because it is lightweight and easy to navigate, you end up cleaning decent sized space within a short time.
- It has a short power cord.
- Because it is basically a handheld cleaner with a hose extension that has floor mop functionality, it is not quite portable like the Sc2 or sc3 that roll on wheels.
In Summary: The Karcher steam cleaner SC1 easy is to handle due to its compact build. It easily accesses hard to reach places. It features a classic floor nozzle that jets sufficient pressure to effortlessly break down even the most stubborn stains. For best results, wipe shortly after cleaning. Use a mix of jetting hot vapour pressure and dry passes. Beware that too much hot vapour will condense and turn into water that will make your floors wet. Your best bet is to mix up hot vapour pressure and dry passes then wipe. Remember the hot vapour cleaner traps fine dirt on your floors onto the microfiber pad but has no way of sucking up the dirt. This is why in addition to vacuuming before steam cleaning; you need to wipe your surface for them to come out spectacularly clean. Because of the variable steam setting, The sc1 can be used to clean all types of floors including laminate and ceramic. It can also be used to refresh carpets using the carpet glider function. This cleaner comes with a two year manufacturer warranty only when used domestically. Using it for commercial activities will void the warranty.
Compare Karcher Steam Cleaners : SC1 vs SC2
Though the Karcher SC1 and SC2 are multifunctional cleaners, there is a fundamental difference between them. The SC1 is basically a hand-held cleaner that has been modelled into a 2-in-1 cleaner by adding a floor head and hose.
- As a result the SC1 has a far smaller water tank of 0.2 litres that gives you between 7-8 minutes of continuous cleaning compared to the SC2 that has a sizeable 1 liter water tank that can give you up to 30 minutes of continuous cleaning.
- The SC1 is powered by 1200 watt motor that heats up in 3 minutes while the Karcher SC2 is a proper cylinder hot vapour mop that is powered by a 1600 watt that heats up in 6 minutes to give you 3.2 bar hot jetting vapour .
- The SC1 is quite lightweight (it weighs only 1.5kgs) while the SC2 weighs 3.2 kgs and rolls on wheels.
- The two are quite portable since the SC2 rolls on wheels While the SC1 is light on the hand and can be quite handy for spot for detail cleaning.
- The SC1 has a shorter power cord compared (3.8 m) compared to the Karcher SC2 that has a 5 m power cord.
Karcher SC2 vs SC3 Steam Cleaner
- The Karcher SC3 is powered by a 1900 watt motor that produces 3.5 bar pressure while the SC2 has a 1600 watt that prudes 2 bar hot vapour pressure (0.3 bar pressure) less than the SC3.
- Due to the high watt motor (1900), the SC3 heats up in 30 seconds compared to the SC2 heats up in 6 minutes
- The SC3 has a refillable tank unlike the SC2
- The SC3 comes with an inbuilt descaling cartridge while the SC2 doesn’t have.
- Unlike the SC2, the Karcher SC3 has dual (two) controls for the variable steam setting one on the handle and the other on the cylinder cleaner.
- The SC3 has LED light that alerts you when the water is ready for steaming and also when the water tank is running out. The SC2 steam cleaner does not have this function.
Karcher SC4 vs SC5 Steam Cleaner
The most popular Karcher steam cleaner is the medium priced all-in-one Karcher SC3. It is called all in one because its old version the Kärcher SC1030 was sold with an iron attachment. The SC3 has iron functionality but the iron is sold separately.
Although there are more advanced models like the Karcher SC4 and Karcher SC5, the SC3 gives you more or less the same power and functionality of the SC4 and SC5 for a budget friendly price.
The thing that sets the SC4 and the Karcher SC5 apart from the SC3 is a slightly higher pressure bar. The SC4 and SC5 have a 4.1 and 4.2 pressure bar respectively while the SC3 has a 3.5 pressure bar which is decent enough to blast off caked in dirt.
- The Karcher steamers come with a two year guarantee.
- They are mostly cylinder cleaners that roll on wheels for increased portability and flexibility.
- They use tap water and power of steam to clean and kills 99.99% of bacteria hence make them more superior to the traditional mop and bucket cleaning. No detergent required.
- To make cleaning easier; you are supplied with a number of cleaning accessories such as nozzles, brushes, floor accessory and cleaning pads.
- You can use the Karcher floor steam cleaner attachment to clean laminate, tiles, stones and any other sealed hard floors.
- You can the accompanied handheld steamer for removing tough grease, stains, lime scale and moulds
The key feature about Karcher is that their steam mops produce relatively higher pressure than other steamers in the steam cleaning industry. The bar average bar pressure ranges between 3-4.2 pressure bar which is sufficient to break down any deep seated dirt. The steam cleaners are 90% recyclable just like any other Karcher devices.