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Vapor Systems VX 5000 Steam Cleaner: Steamer Benefits


You have all heard about steamers in the detailing process, and over the course of the next few months I’ll do some quick blog posts on how to incorporate this tool into the process.

Here at Reflections Detailing of Utah I have owned this exact machine for 3 years and I have to say, I really love the benefits it offers.  The Vapor Systems VX 5000 Steam Cleaner is a top shelf machine for the weekend detailer to the full service shop that runs 10 cars through in a day.  I have a detailer I’ve known for a few years that has three of these machines that stay on all day long for 6 days a week. Needless to say, these are built to last!


The Machine and it’s Qualities:

It is a very very well built machine. The holding tank is stainless steel and holds approx 1.5 L of water, which is enough to do a mini van without refilling.

The Tools:

I only use a few of the plethora of attachments that come with the machine.  The Triangle brush is my favorite as I can wrap a towel around it and do seats, headliners, floor mats, etc.  The smaller angle brush is good for the hard to reach areas every car seems to have.  The single jet attachment is great for pin point spots like latches on seat belts, cup holders, and turn signals with grime built up.




Benefits of Steam:

Steam is a high temperature cleaner that can help reduce the need for a lot of chemicals, it activates a lot of chemicals, and water is a universal solvent.  While the temps at the tip of the steamer can be 300 degrees the farther you move away from the point the temps range from 275-180 degrees.  You can really fine tune your cleaning power by adjusting the distance.  This takes practice and like all things detailing you want to start with the least aggressive first.


I simply love this compact machine.  The machine gets my carpets cleaner, activates my chemicals more effectively, allows me to spot clean areas, can clean carpets without the use of an extractor, can be used to loosen up grime on coated leather, great at cleaning windows, door jams, air vents, wheel bits and areas, the list goes on and on.  I know a few high volume shops that use this exact machine, where some might think this is “tiny” for such a place.  The customer service for repairs and maintenance is top notch as well.

Future articles?  Boat interiors, cleaning carpets, cleaning leather seats, headliners, door jambs, engine bays…..what are some things you would love to see me do a quick post on? Leave them in the comments section below!

Greg Nichols Reflections Detailing
Greg Nichols
Reflections Detailing
Logan, Utah

11 comments on Vapor Systems VX 5000 Steam Cleaner: Steamer Benefits

  1. Jean-Claude Corcoran Jean-Claude says:

    Spot on Greg.

    We just got a vx5000 from detailedimage a week ago. We LOVE this thing. We’ve had cheaper steamers before but this is 10x better.

  2. Steven says:

    A post on carpet cleaning will be awesome .

  3. Jeremy says:

    Great writeup! I can’t wait to purchase this unit. Right now I just have a tornador that does work very well but when it comes to carpet cleaning I need something more. I know steamers dont totally replace extractors, but from what I’ve read the majority of carpet/upholstery jobs can be done with steam. Is this accurate? I will still be purchasing an extractor at some point for the nasty jobs but am very anxious to have the VX5000 in my detailing arsenal! As far as a good extractor, I have no idea what to get yet. Right now im pretty low volume but might decide to be higher volume someday. Any suggestions on a reliable extractor that would fit my needs at least for the time being? Thank you very much for the help in advance!

  4. Great article Greg!

    One of these days I’ll break down and pick up a nicer unit like this. :)

  5. +1 for how durable the Vapor Systems machine is. We’ve been using ours constantly for four years now and have never had a single issue. Wish I could say that about some of the other detailing equipment we’ve been through!

  6. aprile clark says:

    Where is the best place to buy replacement brushes and other parts for a VX5000 steamer?

  7. Greg Nichols Greg Nichols says:


    You can get service and parts from here http://www.steam-cleaners-direct.com Steve has been excellent to work with.


  8. David Ramsey says:

    I’m trying to decide between the VX 5000 and the Dupray Tosca. The Dupray Tosca is a little more expensive, but seems like a little more machine. Where’s the tipping point? Which machine and why?

    • Greg Nichols Greg says:

      Hello David!

      I don’t see that anything the tosca can do that the VX5000 can’t also. The tipping point might be if you need a larger type steamer, but I can tell you I have only run out of steam a few times on super large jobs, and didn’t feel I was waiting around for the steamer to re heat the new water……. I just worked on another part of the car for the 15mins it took to reheat.

      I also know the service center I posted above has always been super easy to deal with and is located in the states.

      Hope this helps some,

  9. Greg says:

    I’ve always herd it was bad to use steamers on headliners because it’ll weaken the glue and could start falling down. Is that a load of BS? Now that I’ve started using a steamer this would make headliners a lot easier. Thanks greg

    • Greg Nichols greg nichols says:

      When working on headliners you have to be super careful with moistures (steam/chemical) for the exact reason you state. I personally have not had a problem when I use steam, BUT it only get my towel hot and then wipe and don’t use steam directly.


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