My downstairs has a lot of hard surfaces like tile and hardwoods. I cleaned the tiles thoroughly with various cleaners like ammonia and white vinegar when I moved in. The way the tiles are they have lighter and darker areas. I wanted to get a steam cleaner to give them a deeper clean.
I decided on the Bissell Powerfresh Steam Cleaner. It has 3 levels of cleaning and these pod things you put in that make the floors smell good.
I chose the deepest clean setting which is very intense steam and left it in place for a bit on each tile. They give you 2 cloths and you should use distilled water. It is a large area and took me 4 hrs from start to finish. I definitely feel the intense heat of the steam would kill any bacteria. I got a lot of dirt up I didn't realize I had especially around the fireplace.
My process was to vacuum the whole downstairs first. I then started in the powder room and kitchen area. I used one cloth and then took it off and used the second (as they get dirty). Once I got those areas done I washed the cloths and let those floors dry. I moved into the dinette area and then into the main living room. I stopped and washed the cloths. I then moved to the hardwoods but did them on light steam and that was much quicker. My last area was the master bathroom. It went pretty fast.
Overall I was happy with the process. It was easy to use and I feel like my floors are cleaner. The cloths do get dirty/discolored. I guess that means I had a dirty floor....eek. I think I will clean regularly with the Swiffer like I have and a few times a year do the steam to keep it really clean.
I like the steamer it was lightweight and easy to use.