The Swan Lynsey Handheld Steam Cleaner is a handy appliance to have around the home for occasional cleaning: it doesn’t take up much space and it can get rid of messes quickly and effectively. It’s very light to carry around, but this is also reflected in its small water tank, which requires more frequent filling. A broad range of accessories is provided, enabling various cleaning tasks around the house, be it polishing windows and mirrors, scrubbing your oven, or refreshing upholstery. While this appliance doesn’t skimp on emitting water – a fairly common issue with powerful steam cleaners – a few dry cloths at hand will solve the problem.
- Great variety of tools
- Powerful and quick
- Small tank
- Wet results
- UKRRP: £49.99
Handheld steam cleaners are small, easy-to-store appliances for spot-cleaning tasks, such as removing grime from a bathroom mirror, degreasing the hob, or refreshing upholstery. The Lynsey Handheld Steam Cleaner is part of Swan’s range of pink-and-grey cleaning appliances in collaboration with ITV This Morning’s cleaning expert Lynsey Crombie.
This is the lightest handheld steam cleaner I’ve tested, but it also comes with the caveat of a smaller water tank. While the water isn’t used sparingly here, leading to shorter cleaning sessions, it’s nonetheless a powerful appliance that delivers quick results.
Design and Features
- The appliance is very light and easy to hold during cleaning
- Maximum water tank capacity is 220ml despite its 360ml volume
- A great range of accessories makes it suitable for various cleaning tasks
The Swan Lynsey Handheld Steam Cleaner is shaped like a small kettle, with a prominent water tank cap on top. Above the handle, you’ll find the steam trigger, which can only be pressed when the safety catch on the inside of the handle is held down – so you won’t activate the steam accidentally.
At 1.1kg, it’s the lightest steam cleaner I’ve tested, making it quite comfortable to hold even for overhead cleaning tasks. However, the water tank is also small here. The manual outlines that the total volume of the tank is 360ml, but it can only be filled with a maximum of 220ml of water. Handily, the latter measure is the only one marked on the provided filling jug. Overfilling the tank can result in dangerous overflow as the appliance heats up.
A small tank means a reduction in cleaning time and the need to refill it more often. However, because of the way most handheld steam cleaners are built, you can’t fill it up right after it runs out of water – it’s advised to wait for the cleaner to cool down before opening the tank, as it may still contain hot steam.
This cleaner’s pink-and-grey colour scheme is pleasant, and the plentiful accessories come in matching grey. To attach any of the smaller accessories, either the cone-shaped extension tool or the hose needs to be affixed to the appliance’s steam nozzle first.
The squeegee is meant for glass and mirror surfaces and – with the addition of two microfibre covers – can also be used for steaming upholstery.
The metal-bristled brush helps to loosen burnt residue from barbecue racks, while the small plastic brush is good for scrubbing slightly more scratch-sensitive areas, and the plastic scraper tool removes dried stains from the most delicate surfaces.
The curved nozzle is meant for accessing narrow spaces, and the crevice brush is particularly effective for dislodging dirt from grouting.
The cleaner switches on and starts heating up automatically when it’s connected to power, indicated by a red light – meaning the water tank needs to be filled beforehand. When the light turns green, the water has been heated up and the appliance is ready to use. For a full tank, it took just over 2mins.
- This cleaner is great at removing superficial grime and delivers good results on tougher stains too
- Some surfaces are left quite wet, so keep a drying cloth at hand
- Paired with powerful steaming, the brush accessories manage to maintain their shape
In my tests, the Swan Lynsey Handheld Steam Cleaner performed well overall, although I had to keep dry cloths at hand because it tended to leave surfaces quite wet.
I started with the crevice brush and the grouting between my kitchen floor tiles. The steam cleaner restored the dark grey-looking grouting to its original chalky white state. The floor needed some drying afterwards, but thanks to the steam power I didn’t need to apply much pressure, so the bristles of the crevice brush still looked straight rather than worn.
Next, I used the scraper tool for steaming sticky and oily food stains off a ceramic hob. The corner of the hob looked pretty shiny after I went over it with a cloth to dry the residual water. You’ll need a specialist hob cleaner or a metal scraper to get rid of the most stubborn burnt-in bits, but most everyday cooking remnants are easily removed.
The scraper tool also had some success removing burnt oil residue from the inside of an oven door. However, the small round brush proved even more useful here, clearing a patch surprisingly quickly without too much grease build-up on the bristles. The amount of water that did manage to pool underneath the oven door was not insignificant, though – so be prepared.
The small round brush was also effective for scrubbing the kitchen sink. While soap scum and other grime dislodged easily, it took a little longer to get rid of limescale, with some particularly stubborn residue needing something acidic to break it down.
The curved nozzle, which simply emits a focused flow of steam, was also useful for cleaning the sink, by getting into the smallest edges and corners.
It took some scrubbing and lots of loud hissing from the steam cleaner, but the metal brush managed to clear a shiny patch into a grille that was nearly blackened with burnt oils. While a couple of metal bristles were a little bit bent afterwards, they didn’t have much grease build-up on them.
I then used the squeegee tool to clean a bathroom mirror, attaching the hose for overhead steaming. The steam cleaner was excellent and quick at removing superficial grime and pretty good of getting rid of limescale. The only thing that could be improved about this cleaning experience is if the squeegee was slightly larger – at its current diminutive size it will still take quite a lot of elbow grease to cover a large mirror or window.
Meanwhile, putting one of the microfibre covers on the squeegee tool, I refreshed two fabric-covered kitchen chairs, removing several stains in the process. Because of this steam cleaner’s tendency to wet surfaces, it’s best to steam the entire fabric area rather than go for spot cleaning – as you might otherwise be able to see water stains. However, the wetness isn’t particularly deep, only taking a couple of hours to dry off (this will also depend on your upholstery type).
Bizarrely, the label on the microfibre cover says these are handwash-only, while also adding that their recommended washing temperature is 60°C – something not to try at home.
Should you buy it?
If you need a steam cleaner for spot cleaning, this appliance doesn’t take up much space and is great for the occasional quick steam.
If you want to deep-clean your entire house, this steam cleaner has a small water tank and is only likely to manage one or two cleaning tasks simultaneously.
If you’re looking for a small handheld steam cleaner, the Swan Lynsey Handheld Steam Cleaner is quick and effective. While the water tank is quite small here, resulting in a shorter running time, the appliance is light and easy to move around.
For those looking for more features, such as using the steam cleaner as a mop as well as a handheld appliance, the Morphy Richards 720512 12-in-1 Steam Cleaner or the Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop offer more range. Check out our guide to the best steam cleaners for more choices.
How we test
We test every steam cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main steam cleaner for the review period
Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other steam cleaners
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It comes with a hose, squeegee, metal bristled brush and a curved nozel
It takes 250ml of water.