The Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner has been around for a few years, but can its performance make Karcher, best known for its leaf blowers and power hoses, a serious contender in the steam mop market?
Using tap water heated to 145 degrees Celsius, the Karcher SC3 EasyFix promises to leave hardwood floors, tiles, glass, hobs and more clean and sparkling. They claim to remove 99.9% of common household bacteria from hard surfaces, leaving everything hygienically clean.
Type: Cylinder steam mop
Water capacity: 0.26 gallons
Suitable for: Sealed hard floors including tiles, marble, hardwood and stone, glass, and tiles
Dimensions: 14.17 x 9.29 x 9.96 inches
Weight: 6.8 lbs
Storage: Can be taken apart and stored
Warranty: Minimum 2 years, 3 years when bought from Karcher
This lightweight cylinder steam mop features some useful accessories, a descaling cartridge to remove limescale from water in hard water areas and a child lock.
We were looking forward to testing the Karcher SC3 EasyFix in our busy, high-traffic home. Around fall, a lot of mud and debris gets trampled into the house by pets and kids, not to mention all the batch cooking that gets done in the kitchen at this time of year.
We asked a cleaning expert who they think the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner would suit best and got their top tips on maintaining a steam mop. We’ve also checked the latest user reviews to see how customers have got on with their SC3 EasyFix after purchasing and compare it to other steam mops from top brands.
Read on for our detailed review of the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner to find out if it’s the right steam mop for you. If not, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect fit for your home in our buying guide to the best steam mops (opens in new tab).
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: Design
While the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner lacks the wow factor of some of its more expensive rivals, it is designed to be functional and easy to use.
Available in the distinctive Karcher colors of bright bumblebee yellow and black, this cylinder steam mop is very lightweight at just 6.8lbs. This makes it one of the lightest steam mops we’ve tested at home, and its compact size and built-in handle at the top of the unit make it easy to take up and down stairs or move from room to room.
The Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner features a floor mop with microfiber cloth and extension hose, as well as three attachments. The unit also features a spot where you can secure the floor mop if you need to take a break and three small wheels, one at the front and two at the back. These make it easy to pull the main unit around behind you as you mop.
Because the ‘business end’ stays on the ground and you use the extension wand or the hose and handheld unit, the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is a really easy, lightweight mop. Instead of lugging around a heavy unit that attaches directly to the hand nozzle or brush, you simply attach these to the hose, keeping the unit on the floor. This gives you greater flexibility and reach and is much easier on the biceps.
So while it won’t win any awards for good looks, the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner has been thoughtfully designed to make steam cleaning as effortless as possible.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: Features and accessories
The Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is more limited than rival steam mops regarding accessories, although the attachments that come with it perform well and can cover more household cleaning chores. The only thing missing is a grout brush, which most other steam mops that double up as handheld units tend to have. The attachments include the following:
• A hand nozzle, which you can cover with a microfiber cloth (provided). We found this ideal for glass, hobs, oven doors and bathroom fittings.
• A spot-cleaning nozzle - perfect for aiming steam directly around taps, at particularly
• A small round brush - good for stubborn stains
This steam mop is packed with useful features. It features a childproof lock, rare on other steam mops. It also includes a descaler cartridge, which you can alter to suit the water in your area. Finally, it includes a red flashing light to warn you that water is running out.
Two levels of steam control allow you to dial up the steam as you need to, while a handy ‘parking spot’ at the rear of the unit can double up as a holder for an attachment or for the floor mop itself if you need to take a break.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: Setup and assembly
Although most of the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner’s packaging is cardboard, some parts are covered in plastic, which is unlikely to be recyclable in most areas. Nevertheless, it’s packaged well, and every piece is easy to identify and fit using the manual provided, which gives a step-by-step approach to assembling and using the steam cleaner.
The Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is quick to set up and start using almost immediately. Simply click on the three wheels at the base of the unit, insert the descaler cartridge and adjust to your local area’s water (it’s defaulted to be set for ‘very hard’ water).
The attachments, extension wand and cleaning cloths are also easy to assemble. In fact, the floor mop is brilliantly simple - it’s just a velcro cloth that sticks to the floor mop head. To remove it, all you have to do is step on the large label and peel it off by lifting the floor mop head at the same time.
All you have to do is plug it in, switch it on, select your steam mode from two options and wait around 30 seconds for the unit to start producing steam. We found the unit made a clacking noise while it was heating up, but this soon died away when the steam was being produced. Note that you’ll need to keep the trigger depressed to produce steam.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: Performance
We were really impressed with the performance of the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner straight away. After a rainy day, our hallway floor was covered with muddy pawprints and footprints so it was in need of a thorough cleaning.
After just a few minutes of steam cleaning, the vinyl tile floor was gleaming with a soft sheen, and further wiping with a handtowel showed no remaining dirt or mud. This steam cleaner outperformed every other mop we’d tested on our floor, and the rectangular shape of the mop head means it’s perfect for getting into corners too.
It’s worth noting that the steam cleaner does leave the floor slightly damp, so you’ll need to wipe it down or leave it to dry for a few minutes afterward.
Next up, we tried out the handheld brush with the mitt provided and swabbed the glass doors, induction hob and kitchen cupboards. Again, every surface was left spotless and felt hygienically clean. To avoid any streaks, it is necessary to wipe down the glass afterward.
The unit was quick to produce steam, and we could clean our hallway floor, kitchen floor, and all the kitchen units, windows and hob with just one fill of the water tank. Despite this, it appeared plenty of steam was being produced.
Kärcher says this steam mop can clean continuously for around 23 minutes, which is probably suitable for most households. However, you can fill up the water tank on the go, without turning the unit off to refill.
Another great aspect of the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is that you can leave water in the tank for up to two months without using it. So you don't have to upend the unit into the bath or basin when you’re done cleaning.
During operation, we also evaluated the volume of the steam mop. It clocks in at around 60 decibels, which is similar to normal conversation. It certainly didn't appear to scare off our pets.
Once we were done, it was easy to strip off the pads and throw them in the laundry with little fuss.
The cord length was the only drawback we found to the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner. At just over 13 feet, we could have done with a little extra length to move from one room to another.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: Care and maintenance
Although it’s not a freestanding unit like the Shark Steam and Scrub, the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is easy to store. The main unit is fairly small and lightweight enough to live in a kitchen cupboard, while you can separate the extension wand into two pieces and roll up the hose.
One feature this steam mop lacks is a method of winding up the cord. Having said that, it’s only 13 feet long, so shorter than most steam mops.
For more information and advice on maintaining this steam mop, we spoke to Karen Barrigan, a cleaning expert for Housetastic (opens in new tab) and a cleaning business owner. “It's recommended that you change or clean your mop pad after each use,” says Barrigan. “This can help to stop germs and bacteria from building up on the pad. If you use disposable mop pads, dispose of them after each use. If you have reusable pads, you can usually wash these in the washing machine.”
Kärcher also offers a generous three-year warranty if you buy your steam mop directly from them. From all other stores, it’s two years, which is still pretty good.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: Price and availability
- $229.99 / £164.99
It’s not the cheapest steam cleaner on the block, but you’re getting value for money with Karcher, especially when you include the three-year warranty.
Karcher fans will love this steam mop for its durability and performance. However, people who want something a little more stylish may be disappointed in its looks, considering its price. You may also want to enjoy more accessories for your money. However, based on performance and ease of use, we think the cost is worth it.
The Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is widely available from the Karcher website, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: User reviews
Happy customers love their Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner, with this model racking up 4.4 stars out of 5 on the Karcher website. Users rate how easy the steam cleaner is to use, and most rave about its performance, with one user saying, “My mosaic floor and seams are like new.”
While most negative reviews appear to be about individual unit issues, some purchasers found setting the water hardness level difficult, while others criticize the fact that there’s no way to store the electrical cord.
Karcher SC3 EasyFix: What the experts say
Cleaning expert Karen Barrigan told us, "From sealed wood floors to tiles, this mop is the perfect solution for keeping your floors clean and germ-free.” She added, “The fact that it includes a descaler cartridge means that it’s ideally suited to people who live in hard water areas.”
Should you buy the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner?
With a great performance and fuss-free set-up, we think the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner is an excellent investment to keep your home hygienically clean.
How does the Karcher SC3 EasyFix compare?
The Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop provides a similar performance to the Karcher SC3 EasyFix steam cleaner but comes in at a lower price. Plus it has a host of handy accessories that can be stored on the unit within easy reach. However, you’ll get less than half the cleaning time with the Bissell than with the Kärcher.
If it’s just a floor mop you’re after, the Shark Steam & Scrub Automatic Steam Mop looks great and is super-easy to use, as the unit glides elegantly across any floor. You can also get up to 15 minutes of cleaning time. However, you’ll need to tackle corners manually as this model only uses rounded microfiber pads.