We are tackling a benchmark in the field of steam cleaners. The SC 5 is the top model in the Kärcher range. With nearly 6kg showing on the scales, we can only call it a heavyweight in this area. In comparison, the lightness of the SC 2 EasyFix surprised us, since the device did not even reach 3 kg.
The SC 5 obviously protects the floor thanks to its mop and its two extension tubes. But the Kärcher can also take other tips to clean windows, pipes and all other surfaces such as an extractor hood, hotplates or a grill. If the device is versatile, some rivals fare better, such as the Black + Decker SteaMitt and its 17 accessories.
Before starting the cleaning, it is of course necessary to fill the tank with 1.5 l of water. The SC 5 then sucks from this tank and stores 500ml in the slide to then create the vapor. Noises are then very often audible and simply mean that the pump is starting to pump the water into the machine housing. The tank, which can be removed for greater convenience, can also be filled while the device is running; it simply beeps to alert the user to remove the tablet, and a warning light for the same reasons.
And like most steam cleaners, the manufacturer recommends using only clean water, not detergent.
Once the device is turned on, the user simply needs to turn the large dial to select the desired vapor flow. A green light will illuminate and the machine will begin preheating. Four intensities are provided by Kärcher, as well as an additional option: the VapoHydro function. It removes the most stubborn stains by adding hot water to the steam already emitted.
To let off the steam, simply pull the trigger. It is possible to turn on a child lock that blocks steam production.
All that remains is to roam the house to clean every corner, closely followed by the SC 5, which comes in very handy. Mounted on two large wheels, the sled glides over the ground, making us forget its 6 kg and its full tank. Especially since its 8 m cable offers a more than comfortable field of action; in contrast to the only 5 m of the Kärcher SC 3 Upright EasyFix. For its part, the wipe does not particularly stick to the floor and does not resist to and fro; it also slides very well under furniture and in small spaces.
As mentioned, the SC 5 can store up to 500ml of water in its case. After cleaning, it must be emptied regularly by opening the maintenance cap hidden under a flap. It is therefore necessary to unscrew it after the device has cooled down and turn the steam cleaner upside down so that the water flows naturally. It’s really not practical, but it’s the only way to drain the device.
To go further and descale the SC 5 EasyFix, Kärcher naturally recommends using your own cleaning agent so as not to damage the device.
Both the floor cloth and the one suitable for the hand nozzle are machine washable at 60°C. It only has to be organized, since the German manufacturer only provides one copy at a time. The user must therefore quickly rinse the mops when wanting to clean a surface again.
Finally, the SC 5 is still a chunky machine, especially when compared to a broom-sized steam cleaner like the Vileda Steam Plus. His accessories are stowed on the sledge so that they don’t get lost. Finally, the 8m cable gives the user considerable freedom of action, but it is not particularly practical to store. Shame.
As with all steam cleaners, we rate its ability to remove soil. The day before the test, we sprinkle various substances on the floor: lipstick, soot, oil and soda. As soon as the tank is filled and the 3 minutes are needed for the device to heat up, we start the test.
And the results are outstanding! The steam cleaner removes traces of soda after a round trip, then a second for oil. The SC 5 is not intimidated by the two most stubborn substances. It eliminates most competitors’ favorite lipstick in five passes. For comparison: only a few devices such as the Polti SV450_Double, SV650_style and the Vileda Steam Plus had come to terms with the substance. Eventually, the soot made the SC 5 a bit harder to create streaks on the ground, but managed to tame it in just five turns.
And Kärcher has provided a special function for loosening all types of dirt: the VapoHydro option. You have to turn the knob to the maximum to activate it and the function will then deliver hot water along with the usual steam. However, pay attention to the amount of water that remains on the floor after the passage of the device, which after drying can leave a mark. And after so much water has been discharged, a small puddle can also be created by the mop once it is hooked onto the carriage.
Be that as it may, the SC 5 can run for 27 min at maximum intensity and almost… 2 h 47 min at minimum intensity; this is a masterpiece in the small world of steam cleaners!
Outstanding washing performance.
Large capacity water tank.
Just a wipe for the floor.