Steam cleaning has become a very popular way of cleaning because of it being eco-friendly as well as very effective in killing germs and bacteria in the home.
For those of you who just want to get to the bottom line without the details, we ended up believing this was the best value for money we had seen in a vapor steam cleaner to date , the Whitewing is a real bargain. In fact, some of our staff raved about it and several have put it on their shopping lists while the introductory price still holds.
As a confirmed fan of the Ladybug continuous fill steam cleaner, I am not easily impressed. I found much to praise with the WhiteWing™ , indeed was pleasantly surprised, but no machine escapes my beady critical eye unscathed. The WhiteWing™ is not perfect. There is an old saying ” you get what you pay for.” However, with the WhiteWing™ I think you get quite a bit more than you pay for when compared to other steam cleaners in the market place. With that said, if you are in the market for a great little steam cleaner at an unbeatable price, you can read the detailed review below.
Durability and Quality of Construction:
1. This steam cleaner has a metal, epoxy enamel coated casing rather than a plastic casing which will add to its durability over the years.
2. There is an enclosed circuit board inside the steam cleaner, which means if any moisture gets into this machine, it will not short out. Again this speaks to its durability.
3. The interior connections of the WhiteWing™ steam cleaner are copper tubing and brass threaded fittings instead of the more usual rubber. Rubber breaks down or rots over time.
4. The attachments are exactly the same as have been used in most commercial steam cleaners with success over many years, which speaks to their quality. We were impressed with the range and quality of attachments offered in the standard package for such an inexpensive machine. We missed a couple of our favorite attachments from higher end machines – but make no mistake – this little machine has a good array of attachments and can pretty much tackle anything you throw at it.
5. This steam cleaner has a sturdy aluminum boiler with a heating plate. While stainless steel will heat up faster, it is usually quite thin in the cheaper machines. Also, if stainless steel gets pitted because of minerals in the water, it can become susceptible to pinholes and leaks. The heating element of a steel boiler will also get coated with minerals over a period of time if distilled water is not used, which will mean that the machine will gradually lose heating ability over time.
6. There is an on-off trigger on the handle, which is an excellent safety feature, so you will not accidentally leave the steam running.
7. In the unlikely circumstance of excess pressure (which is controlled by an internal thermostat), the safety cap feature allows a valve to release pressure through the cap, so the steam would not harm the operator of the machine.
8. A pressure gauge has a red zone for when the pressure is too high, and orange for too low, and thus you can easily regulate the machine for optimal (medium) pressure in the green zone, which is when the numbers read 3 – 4.5 on the gauge. A number of inexpensive machines skimp on including a pressure gauge, which we find invaluable.
9. The steam cleaner will shut itself off automatically when the water level becomes too low and the machine needs refilling.
1. If you are one of those people who will clean for 4 or 5 hours straight, then you might well prefer a continuous fill machine. If you are like most people and two hours of house cleaning is quite enough, then the WhiteWing™ water will last that long without refilling.
2. The WhiteWing™ retained optimal steam pressure just fine on shorter intermittent cleaning tasks but on a long sustained cleaning job on a really filthy vinyl floor where we needed to be like the Energizer Bunny and keep going and going, the WhiteWing™ lost its pressure quite quickly on a medium setting, and we had to back off and wait for the pressure to build up again. This was annoying. The workaround is to use the WhiteWing™ on low pressure and the machine will sustain itself, but for this particular nasty task, we wish we could have given the machine a bit more “oomph.”
3. The WhiteWing™ runs wetter than some of our top of the line steam cleaners, but a quick solution to this is to increase the thickness of the toweling on the attachments until there is minimal wetness on the surface just cleaned.
4. As fans of continuous fill steam cleaners, it took some getting used to needing to use a safety cap again, which necessitates leaving the machine to cool down for about 20 to 30 minutes before opening up the safety cap in order to refill or empty out. Even so the steam that comes out when you open up the cap for the first time can be a bit disconcerting and you definitely need to be careful as you do it.
5. We were disappointed with the performance of the window tool even on low steam volume. It left too much water residue. However, a quick wipe with a microfiber towel finished the job.
6. A good quality aluminum boiler, as found in the WhiteWing™ , is better than cheap stainless steel. Nevertheless, high grade stainless steel would be our boiler material of choice for a premium machine. Stainless steel heats up faster and retains its heat better as a general rule. To get that grade of stainless steel, you usually have to pay a lot more for a steam cleaner.
7. Filling up the machine with a squeeze bottle is tedious, but can be accelerated if you squeeze the bottle vigorously. We decided to bypass the bottle squeeze method by filling the bottle and just emptying it straight into the machine.
8. Currently there are no “filler pads” for the WhiteWing™ . These pads, supplied in higher end machines, fit inside the brushes for a hotter, more even heat. We are told by the manufacturer these pads will be available in the next three months.
9. The towels supplied with the machine could be thicker and more plentiful. We recommend making a quick trip to your local discount store, or buying some extra towels we sell.
10. Controlling steam pressure and volume is on the main body of the machine – not the handle. It is also non intuitive as it increases counter clockwise, which took some getting used to. On the handle controls is an extra convenience found in much more expensive machines.
The WhiteWing™ is an incredible value for the money. It is our lightest steam cleaner that we carry, very durable with internal commercial quality parts and a metal exterior, and has plenty of safety features built into the machine. A very large variety of high quality steam cleaner tools are included with the standard package, and all attachments have been used in a commercial environment for many years, proving their reliability. Steam cleaners don’t often have an optional iron, and the optional WhiteWing™ iron will do a superior job on clothes and drapes alike.
WhiteWing™ Vapor Steam Cleaner – Another Review
by Richard Gerardi , AllergyBuyersClub.com Staff
I had fun rampaging through the house last night with the new WhiteWing™ II steam cleaner. I spent about 4 hours while my roommate occasionally watched me in hysterics. “Boys with toys ya know.”
My mission tonight was to:
Clean the kitchen top to bottom
Clean the bathroom floor, toilet, shower door, sink, walls and radiator.
Clean 300 Square feet of wooden floors in the dining room, living room and hallway
Not to bug my roommate as she finished her final paper for her graduate degree at Boston University due at 9:00 a.m. the next day.
The first job was filling the WhiteWing™ . This was my least favorite part about the machine, aside from giving it back. The bottle that comes with the machine is a pretty cool design. It has a top nozzle that when pressed down empties the water into the WhiteWing™ . The water took a good 4-5 minutes to fill the machine. The next day I mentioned this to a few people who had also used the WhiteWing™ and they looked at me like I had two heads. “Richard, it’s a plastic bottle, give it a little squeeze and the water will come out faster,” they said. I have since tried again with the squeeze method, and it works wonderfully. I blame the original attempt on being overtired. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. The WhiteWing™ took the expected 10 minutes to warm up, and I was ready to go.
The first thing I noticed was the steam pressure was noticeably higher and cleaned out crevices faster than the other units I have tried in the past. The higher pressure made me want to keep on going, because I was getting more accomplished in less time than my previous attempts with the other models. I found that when my progress was slower with the other machines, I had less desire to continue on. That meant more procrastination in front of the TV.
My first project was the stove. I’m almost ashamed to admit that parts of it changed so drastically that it looks like a different stove now. The buildup on the ledge over the burner knobs is now shiny, and the amount of dirt and whatever else was up there that came off was a bit disturbing. The oven door handle was a breeze and the door was now reflecting images, and I got caught by my roommate making funny faces in it. It would have been great to have an attachment that could get down between the sides of the stove, instead of just spraying down there. I’ll have to put in a request to the engineers.
For the counters and sink, I used the larger triangle brush with a towel attached. The towels attach very easily by clipping on to the brush. You definitely want to go down to your neighborhood home center and pick up some more towels. They’re pretty cheap and they sell them by the dozen. I suggest buying a couple bundles. I also suggest getting yourself a small plastic garbage basket to put the dirty towels in while you work.
The counters were easy enough, and the sink was sparkling clean. I wasn’t brave enough to go inside the fridge, but the outside looks brand new. Take all your pictures and take-out menus off the fridge and using the triangle brush, just wipe down the side.
The spray nozzle also worked great on the neoprene gasket, which is always impossible to clean otherwise. That’s the piece of rubber inside the fridge door.
Still using the triangle brush I put on a new towel and attacked the ceiling fans. The triangle brush can be rotated around, perfect for ceiling fans and tops of cabinets that you haven’t seen since 1982. It locks into place and 3 minutes later I was done with my first fan. To be efficient, I figured I finish the other three while I had everything set up. Fifteen minutes and 4 towels later I was finished.
Time to change to the floor brush, another towel and attack the tiled floor. See, I told you to get more towels. I was told by someone here to put a little of orange cleaner on the towel and start cleaning. They recommended that over pouring it on the floor because it wastes the cleaner and is slippery. I used orange cleaner, because that seems to be the trend now. Remember when everything was lemon scented. Now it’s all orange or citrus.
I have a pretty big kitchen and lots of tile. I love my tiled floor, but when you have a four year old and cook as much as I do, it gets dirty quickly, and there is only so much space under the fridge to sweep dirt. The tools maneuvered very easily under cabinets, although I recommend a quick sweeping first because those towels fill up with dirt quick and although it’s not too painful changing them, you certainly don’t want to change them every couple of minutes. Generally, it was painless and quick. For tougher stains you have to hold the steam a little longer to get the stains off the floor. There is a great smaller triangle tool included with the WhiteWing™ that clips on and either spays out of the bottom or if turned one click clockwise, it sprays into the corners. Fantastic for tough to reach corners.
Another new towel, and right into the dining room. You want to lower the steam here. You don’t want to have too much moist heat on a wood floor. One noticeable difference between some of the other machines here is a lack of control of the steam on the handle. You have to bend over and turn a knob on the WhiteWing™ to control the amount of steam coming out instead of just pressing a button on the handle. A feature I missed, but not worth the extra expense in my opinion.
Aside from moving furniture around, this part is easy. After the floors were done, I used the large triangle brush and spray nozzle to clean the radiators. Be careful not to burn off the paint on your walls and radiators. You do avoid this by pushing the steam button for a few seconds and letting go. Then run the towel over the wall or the radiator as in this case. I noticed a little of the radiator paint on the towel the first time I did it wrong. No harm done but be careful.
Snack in front of the TV. This is actually a very important part of the cleaning process. Breaks are very important. They are a reward for your hard work. It takes discipline to be able to get up though. The key is to watch something that’s not very interesting. Anything that’s on TV that can hook you into grabbing a pillow and blanket will hook you and then you’re done cleaning for the day. For the guys I suggest Lifetime Television for Women, and for the ladies ESPN Classic Sports. For this evening’s activities I have chosen the Worlds Worst Drivers. Fun to watch, but easy to walk away from.
Time to do the bathroom. At this point I’d recommend always doing the bathroom first. Motivational speakers always recommend you do the thing that you usually put off, first, and you will meet your goals every day. I however have made the mistake of leaving the worst for last this evening.
I don’t care how much you like cleaning, there is nothing worse than getting down on all fours to clean the toilet. The only time anyone should ever be in that position is after a long night down at the pub. Here’s where the wand comes in really handy. With the exception of wiping it down with a cloth, I actually cleaned the entire toilet without having to bend over at all. That’s worth the purchase price alone if you ask me.
Next was the shower door. It’s amazing what a clean shower door looks like. The triangle brush is definitely my favorite tool at this point. I did the door inside and out. It doesn’t look brand new, but its close. The high pressure from the nozzle really got out the crud that forms in the door tracks.
The floor, sink and radiator were quick and easy. A lot of dust and dirt came out from behind the radiator, so I advise doing them first and sweeping up after before the rest of the floor. The exact opposite of what I did. We learn by trial and error.
I think that’s enough for me tonight. Let me sum up my experience with the WhiteWing™ for you.
1. Continuous fill vs. non-continuous fill. I used the WhiteWing™ for almost three hours and did not have to refill. The steam is supposed to be good for over two hours of usage, but remember, you are doing other things in between using the steam cleaner. Your moving things around like furniture, stuff on the kitchen counters and so on. You can certainly take a couple of minutes to refill the machine and do something else for ten minutes while the WhiteWing™ reheats the water. When I emptied out the water left in the WhiteWing™ , I would guess that I could have easily used that machine for another hour and a half before refilling it.
2. Maneuverability. Moving the WhiteWing™ around the house with all the tools, towels, and basket were a big thorn in my side. I highly suggest getting the cart accessory to put the machine and all the tools and towels in. You’ll still spend less money than buying one of the other units.
3. Adjusting the steam. As I said before, it’s a great feature being able to control how much steam comes out of a steam cleaner with buttons or levers at your fingertips. Whether it’s necessary for you or not is up to you. For myself, it was definitely something I thought about every time I bent over, but when I thought about the difference in price those thoughts quickly faded.
4. Steam pressure. I’m still waiting for technical numbers on the pressure of the steam, but I can tell you it’s as good or better that everything else I’ve used so far.
5. Bang for the buck. I would have to say this is the best vapor steam cleaner value on the whole website. Those people, who have been holding off buying a steam cleaner in the past because of price, should have little excuse now. The WhiteWing™ steam cleaner gives the big boys something to strive towards in terms of value. I can’t wait to get one. Next time my projects are going to be the bathtub tiles, windows, rugs and mattresses.
My husband and I are landlords, and we rent out a two bedroom apartment. Each year when it’s time for the renters to move out, they inevitably leave a challenging, nasty mess for us to clean up. This year, we decided to try out the WhiteWing™ Steamer in the kitchen to see if we could boost the looks of the 6-year old tile floor and even older refrigerator. When the tile floor was put in, the grout was originally off-white. Last weekend, the tile grout appeared very black, and the mauve tiles a shade darker than I had remembered them from 2 years ago with a dirty film covering them. I suspect that the renters didn’t clean more than once a year, given the grimy condition of the floor.
I sampled an area on the kitchen floor by using the small 1″ black nylon brush with the one hole nozzle. After about 6 slow scrapes with the brush around each tile, I was blown away at how the black grime dissipated out of the grout and off to the sides, turning it back to its original off-white color. I decided to try out the large triangle brush without a towel to see if it would speed up the job a little. I learned that if I turn the triangle brush on its side and use an edge, it did a fine job on the grout a little quicker, but not as thorough as the small round brush. I was fine with sacrificing perfection to get it done faster. The steam cleaner even got out bright pink latex paint that had dried into the tile. I called in my husband to follow me with the towels to wipe up the residue. I steamed, he wiped up the grime, and the floors came out great – looking as if they were only 1 year old instead of 6!
If I was using chemicals, there is no way my husband could have tolerated being so close to the floor to help wipe up since he has allergies. Although steam cleaning is a one person job, 2 people makes it even faster – we did 70 sq. ft. of tile together in an hour, and wiped up using 6 hand towels. My husband’s allergies weren’t bothered at all. I think if we had to bleach the grout, it would have taken at least 3 hours, not including getting a headache from the smell.
The 10-year old refrigerator took 15 minutes – I used the small nylon brush in the nooks and crannies of the fridge shelving, and it got off that residue left from dried oily salad dressings, and caked on egg yolk. The small brush worked especially well on that mildew around the rubber seal on the inside door that seems to never comes clean with chemicals. Since the fridge was emptied out, I could quickly go over it with the large triangle brush on the inside, and outside doors. The fridge truly looked much younger than its years when I finished the job.
We plan on steam cleaning in between our renters from here on out! Please let others know about this effective model by sharing our experience.