McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)

The McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385) could not have been sent to me for review at a better time! With Sydney plunged back into lockdown, the family has been stuck at home and running amok. Keeping up with the cleaning has been… challenging.

With the little ones constantly around, my desire to limit harsh chemicals when cleaning has increased. I really dislike the idea of them breathing in fumes, or even using taps and baths that have recently been chemically disinfected. At the same time, I’m ultra-conscious of the need to keep surfaces clean. That is where steam comes in! Properly used, steam can be up to 99.9% effective in eliminating bacterial, germs and dust mites.

Disclosure: McCulloch provided Blog of Dad with the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about McCulloch products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.  

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)

10 out of 10
McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)

The McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System isn’t a magic bullet for the very worst baked-on oven grime, but as long as you set realistic expectations about what it can achieve, it is impressive! The biggest game changer is the ability to drastically reduce the use of cleaning chemicals in my home – something I hugely appreciate. The other win is in ease of use and the associated time savings. Fast and easy chemical-free cleaning? Sounds good to me!

Versatility
10/10
Ease of Use
10/10
Cleaning ability
9/10
Quality
9/10

Pros

Easy to use

Plenty of attachments

Chemical-free cleaning

Versatile

Clean faster

Cons

Power cable not retractable

Heavy grime still requires effort

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385) – First Impressions

The McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System is slightly larger than a traditional vacuum cleaner. Set up is simple – the only part not pre-installed is the adjustable handle. That is very straightforward to attach, just line it up and slide it in until the handle clicks into place. The construction is overwhelmingly plastic, but it feels solid and well-built out of the box.

The McCulloch Steam Cleaner instructions are detailed, straightforward and easy to understand. A mixture of graphics and written instructions makes life easy. I particularly liked the simple table that details what each of the (many) attachments is useful for.

Ordinary water can be used in the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System, but the manual does state that distilled or de-mineralised water is preferred in order to avoid build-up. I used tap water in my first test, because I didn’t have any de-mineralised water and going to Bunnings for some just didn’t feel like a valid excuse to leave lockdown. It worked fine, but I will follow the recommendation to maintain the steam cleaner with vinegar once per month. I will also be purchasing some better water (when it is safe to do so!).

The McCulloch Steam Cleaner heats water to over 100 degrees C, and uses variable steam control (up to 58 psi) to blast and scrub away grease and grime. The cleaner has a generous tank capacity of 1892.71 ml, which I found easy enough to fill (after a little spill on the first try). A 5.5 metre power cord and long, flexible hose makes cleaning larger areas such as a kitchen or main bathroom easy.

My only initial minor negative is the use of a cord wrap system over a retractable power cord. This may speak more about my general incompetence, but I can never wrap a power cord properly. Minor, I know, but it bugs me!

Attachments

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)

Did I mention that the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System has plenty of attachments? Well it does. 23, in fact! This makes the McCulloch Steam Cleaner extremely versatile and capable of tackling a whole range of cleaning tasks around the house – many that would otherwise be undertaken using harsh chemical cleaners. The attachments include: 

  • 34 cm x 20 cm Large Mop Head
  • Bristle Brush Attachment
  • Microfiber Mop Pad (1)
  • Scrubbing Mop Pad (1)
  • 42 cm Extension Wands (2)
  • 6.4 cm Round Brush (2)
  • 3.8 cm Nylon Utility Brush (2)
  • 6.4 cm Round Scrub Pad (2)
  • 3.8 cm Brass Utility Brush (2)
  • Angle Nozzle
  • 14 cm Jet Nozzle
  • 15 cm x 11.5 cm Large Brush
  • 10.16 cm Triangle Brush
  • 23 cm Squeegee with Scrubbing Brush
  • 7.5 cm Scrapper
  • Full Cup
  • Accessories Net
  • Storage Bag

You will notice that some of those are doubles. These are the attachments that will experience wear and tear as you clean. I am very impressed that McCulloch included multiples of these. Other attachments add more functionality to a different attachment, or extend the reach to make cleaning awkward spaces easier.

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385) – Use

I carefully read the manual, plugged everything in and turned it on. Then… nothing. I listened carefully, but couldn’t hear any sounds from the machine above the dull hum from my fridge. Watching the pressure gauge, it didn’t seem to budge. I was briefly concerned that I had been sent a dud, or that I had missed a vital instruction in the manual. But, about five minutes later as I still searched around for answers, I noticed that the pressure gauge had moved.

It turns out that the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System heats up very quietly. It does take a bit of time (approximately ten minutes in my experience) to heat up, but that is to be expected from this kind of appliance. Perhaps that could be made clearer in the manual for first-time users, but since I have used it once I now know what to expect. As the pressure built, I could hear a very soft noise when I pressed my ear to the device.

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)

Oven

I decided to throw the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System in the deep end and tackle the oven first. This was an ambitious task! To put it bluntly – my oven is gross.

The reason for this comes back to the chemicals. Purpose-made oven cleaners have done a good job in the past, but removing all the residual cleaner is almost impossible and the chemical smell that hangs around for weeks after is no good. It is especially off-putting when cooking. I’ll be honest here, it has been a few years since my oven has had a good scrub. I did recently try a baking soda and vinegar concoction that promised miracles on the internet, but it basically removed the most surface-level grime and left a gross white residue in return.

The white residue is from my failed attempt at a “natural” oven cleaner. The rest is just my general grossness.

I used the 14 cm Jet Nozzle in combination with a number of other attachments. Firstly I used the 7.5 cm scraper to take off any loose surface grime. Then I alternated between the 6.4 cm round brush and the 6.4 cm round scrub pad to work away at the more stubborn stuff.

The results were really impressive. The McCulloch Steam Cleaner pulled up all of the greasy grime quickly and easily. A wipe of a dish cloth easily removed it once the steam cleaner had done the hard work. The heavily baked on stuff was more of a challenge. There is no getting away from the fact that a certain amount of elbow grease will be required when cleaning an oven – no matter the chosen method.

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)

Continued scrubbing produced results and the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System was definitely able to move on a lot of the stubborn stuff. If you are a realist in your expectations, and don’t expect a miracle clean with no effort, than you will appreciate what this chemical-free approach can achieve. I’m confident that I can finish the rest of the job with a bit more time, but for now I had other things to steam clean.

Wire Racks

I moved on to the wire racks from the oven, which I had removed and placed in the kitchen sink. This was my first wow moment with the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System. I used the 3.8 cm brass utility brush and couldn’t believe how much of the baked on grime it removed!

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385)
Look at the difference on the steam-cleaned bars!

The photo speaks for its self. This was after just a few minutes of scrubbing and you can see the difference. I brought my racks to a level that I was happy with, but I have little doubt that with a bit more persistence I could have returned them to near-new condition!

I mentioned before that there are doubles of certain attachments. This is a great inclusion by McCulloch, because (understandably) they do degrade with scrubbing. My first brass utility brush still has a couple of good cleans left in it, but I can definitely see the wear and tear after a heavy wire rack clean.

Windows

Just two days ago, my two-year-old caught his reflection in the large glass windows leading to the patio. He responded by licking the smiling toddler in the reflection… as you do. I probably should have cleaned the window then and there, but I knew I had the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System on the way and I thought it deserved a proper challenge!

It wasn’t a challenge. At all. The McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System (MC1385) barely raised a sweat as it provided me with the fastest and easiest window-cleaning experience I’ve ever had! I used to swear by Windex and an old newspaper, but I’m definitely a convert to steam now!

In a matter of minutes I had streak-free, clean and clear windows. And importantly (as anyone with a toddler will tell you), the windows were perfectly lickable straight away – no chemical residue! Thankfully he has not yet repeated his efforts, but you never know.

Kinda hard to photograph a clean window…

Bathroom

I’m really not trying to paint a picture of my family living in filthy squalor. We clean regularly, I promise! But, it is funny the way you notice certain things when you really go looking.

Shower grout, for example, is something that slowly degrades over time. It gets a wipe each week with bleach, but somehow the gross still finds a way. I hit some lovely discoloured grout in my shower with the jet nozzle and nylon utility brush. The McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System was certainly up to the task.

Before
After

We use the bath daily with the kids and every few days it gets a quick wipe with disinfectant. It definitely wasn’t gross to begin with, but I gave it a thorough clean with the steam cleaner. I appreciated how quickly it was completed, without the need for chemical disinfectant.

Mopping

Steam cleaner operators need to be aware that not every surface is suitable for steam cleaning. My tile floors in the laundry and bathroom are perfect for the mop attachment, but I cannot use any kind of steam cleaner on my hybrid floorboards.

That’s unfortunate for me, because mopping with the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System is so easy! I dislike traditional mopping because it is awkward, time-consuming, leaves the floor soaking wet and involves a chemical cleaner for good results. Not to mention the fact that you need to do the job twice – once to apply the cleaner and once to wash it off.

With the McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System, mopping is so much faster and simpler. This is especially true as I will be using the steam cleaner on the rest of the bathroom. The only place I plan to still use a chemical is on the toilet.

McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System – Final Thoughts

The McCulloch Deluxe Canister Steam Cleaner System isn’t a magic bullet for the very worst baked-on oven grime, but as long as you set realistic expectations about what it can achieve, it is impressive! The biggest game changer is the ability to drastically reduce the use of cleaning chemicals in my home – something I hugely appreciate. The other win is in ease of use and the associated time savings. Fast and easy chemical-free cleaning? Sounds good to me!

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