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Kärcher SC1.020 Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner Review

Written by James Hall |

Kärcher SC1.020 Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner




Ease of Use


Cleaning Power







  • Lamallae tool for large floors
  • Adjustable steam output
  • 1 litre capacity


  • Cord could be longer
  • Cloths don't precisely fit head

The Kärcher SC1.020 Multi-Purpose steam cleaner is an impressive looking model with a variety of features. But how does its performance match up against other steam cleaners? And does it provide value for money? Let’s find out.

Overview of Kärcher SC1.020 Features

  • Steam flow can be adjusted depending on the type of surface.
  • “Lamellae” tool is included for cleaning large floor areas quicker than other models.
  • Variety of other tools including a hand tool, for removing grease and dirt, and a detailed nozzle for crevices and other tricky areas.
  • On-board storage for all accessories and tools.
  • Lightweight design.
  • One litre water capacity and 1500W power.
  • Operating radius of approximately 4 metres.
  • The machine takes approximately 8 minutes to heat up.
  • Attractive and professional yellow/black design.

In-Depth Look at the Kärcher SC1.020 Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner

The Kärcher SC1.020 is built for versatility, with a number of tools and a compact design. But can it justify its price, or are you better off with a cheaper steam cleaner? And what do buyers say about its performance? That’s what we aim to find out in the remainder of this review.

Appearance and Design

The yellow and black colour scheme of the Kärcher SC1.020 provides a striking appearance. It’s also a relatively lightweight model, weighing just 3kg. This is only 0.7kg more than handheld models such as the BISSELL 2635s, making it suitable for longer cleaning sessions compared to heavier steam cleaners.

As you can see from the photos below, the Kärcher SC1.020 has a two metre steam hose attached to the one litre capacity tank. This, combined with the tools, allows the machine to clean almost any area in the home. The lamellae floor tool (which we’ll talk more about later) is also useful for cleaning large areas.

Operating the Kärcher SC1.020 is simple. The only difference with other steam cleaners is the ability to change the steam flow, which is great when switching between surfaces.

Filling up the machine is also straightforward, as it just requires you to remove the cap and pour in water.

Like many steam cleaners, you need to keep your finger on the trigger when using the machine. As soon as you release your finger, the flow of steam stops. It also comes with a safety valve, to prevent burning at full pressure.

Cleaning Power and Steaming Time

The Kärcher SC1.020 multi-purpose steam cleaner pulls 1500W power and outputs 3.2 bar steam pressure. This is enough power to tackle most tasks, although it’s still important to have realistic expectations of any steam cleaner. While cleaners are great for refreshing carpets, for example, they don’t provide the deep clean of a carpet cleaner.

Unlike smaller steam cleaners, the machine has a 25 minute steaming time. This is suitable for most cleaning tasks, so you won’t run out of steam while cleaning the bathroom or kitchen.

This is especially important as the Kärcher SC1.020 requires 8 minutes to heat up. While this isn’t overly long, it is considerably longer than the 30 seconds for mops such as the Vax S86-SF-CC.


Several accessories are included with the Kärcher SC1.020. These include:

  • Lamellae Floor Tool – this tool is specifically designed for cleaning large floors. It holds the cleaning cloth much more tightly than other tools, providing a deeper clean than would otherwise be possible.
  • Detailed Nozzle with Round Brush – there are always areas that are tricky to reach, so it’s important to have a detailed nozzle to handle them. This accessory is great for bathrooms, kitchens or anywhere else with crevices.
  • Hand Tool – the hand tool is designed to remove grease and dirt quickly and easily.

As we mentioned earlier, the Kärcher SC1.020 steam cleaner has on-board storage for all tools. This might not sound like a major feature, but makes cleaning more convenient – and reduces the chance of losing a tool.


With an RRP of £140, the Kärcher SC1.020 Multi-Purpose steam cleaner is far from the cheapest model on the market (although there are plenty of more expensive options too).

Despite the price, we think the model provides great value for money. It’s powerful, has a versatile set of cleaning options and is designed for convenience. There are also often deals available allowing you to buy the machine for close to £100 – and for this price it’s definitely an option to consider.

Other Features

  • The Kärcher SC1.020 has controls in the handle for extra convenience.
  • A large and small cloth is included with the Kärcher SC1.020. These are made from high quality cotton.
  • The machine is built to be both lightweight and compact. This makes it comfortable to use and easier to store.

Kärcher SC1.020 Reviews

Let’s take a closer look at reviews of the Kärcher SC1.020 from buyers. These often provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the model.

At the time of writing, Kärcher SC1.020 reviews have been positive, with the model receiving hundreds of four or five star reviews. Here’s a selection of positive comments:

  • A reviewer writes that she’s been using the Kärcher SC1.020 for around 6 months and has been delighted by its value for money. She says that it’s excellent for cleaning almost any surface, and doesn’t leave smears or streaks. As a bonus tip, she recommends buying a pack of replacement cloths so you always have one available while others are being washed.
  • Another writes that the Kärcher SC1.020 is easy to put together. He adds that his kitchen cupboards were “squeaky clean” after just a short cleaning session, and the machine makes it easy to clean your home to a standard you can be proud of.
  • One reviewer writes that the Kärcher SC1.020 is simple to use, and that the maximum steam setting is great for cleaning floors. While there is some moisture on the floor after cleaning, he says that this is much less than a regular mop.
  • A buyer writes that he’s impressed by how much of the home can be cleaned with the large water capacity.

And now some negative comments:

  • A reviewer thinks that the cord is too short, and recommends using an extension cord to clean more of the home without needing to switch socket. She also adds that the customer support provided by Kärcher is poor.
  • Another reviewer writes his machine needed to be replaced twice due to faults. This seems to be uncommon, but is still important to point out.
  • A buyer says that it cleans more effectively than most steam cleaners, but that the cloth doesn’t fit into the head as snugly as it should.


We think the Kärcher SC1.020 multi-purpose steam cleaner is an excellent model that provides great value for money. While it has some minor flaws, such as the short power cord and incorrectly sized cloths, these don’t detract from the versatile and powerful cleaning performance. For the vacuum’s price, click here.

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