I'm excited to test a steamer. I fully believe that Steam Cleaners are the best way to clean Jewelry. Nothing makes a Diamond shine and sparkle more than a Steam Cleaner.
Steam can reach deep into the grooves of your ring and get into hard to reach places like underneath the Diamonds where they get the dirtiest.
This is why Jewelry Stores can get your Jewelry and Diamonds so clean. They use Professional Steamers. Customers are always impressed with how clean their Jewelry gets. Their comments are usually:
"When I clean them at home, they never look this good!"
But, Professional Steam Cleaners are extremely Bulky, Dangerous and Expensive. They are NOT made for home use.
Enter the Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner
First impressions are great. I'm excited because I've never used a Steam Cleaner at home. I still am surprised that Hammacher Schlemmer even sells a Steam Cleaner for home use. I look at the box. It boasts how easy it is to use. So easy in fact, they give it 3 simple steps!
1) Fill with regular tap water
2) Power on to quickly build steam
3) When the green LED light illuminates, press steam activation button
Professionally Clean Diamonds, Gold, Silver and Platinum Jewelry
Powerful high-pressure Steam Safety Blast away dirt, grime, oil and more
Includes a 12.5 ounce tank capacity plastic coated stainless steel jewelry holding tweezers, removable stainless steel basket and water funnel with measuring fill cup
Designed for safety - ETL listed
Advanced LED indicator lights show when unit is heating and when it is ready to steam
Convenient blue LED light illuminates Jewelry while being steam cleaned
Unrestricted cleaning zone and convenient on/off power switch
Easy lift handles for moving
Cabinet made of durable, long-life ABS, with contemporary stainless steel accent panels
1 Year Limited Replacement Warranty (Hammacher gives it a lifetime Warranty)
The box also boasts that this is a Superior Instrument! We'll see about that...
I unbox the Steamer. Here are the contents:
The Accessories look pretty cool. I like the funnel and the measuring cup (with fill line indicator). It will make filling the Steamer with water painless and easy.
It also comes with Stainless Steel Tweezers (that have plastic rubber tips). Very cool. Seems like they really thought things through.
The Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner is very light weight. I love that. It's easy to move and transport. That's when I see that the Black Rubber Legs on the bottom of the machine are leaving black skid-marks all over the counter (they do wipe up). Not cool! Note:Set the machine on a dish towel or paper towel.
The Brilliant Spa is small, very clean looking and durable. I like how stylish it looks! I'm impressed with the design. I give them an A+ for looks.
The Box also includes a Full Color Instruction Booklet Manual. This Manual is very easy to read and simple to follow. It really doesn't get any easier than this:
There are 12 steps to operating the unit, but it's really so simple, that it could be done in just a few. It's a no-brainer. Do the first couple of steps with the unit un-plugged. You don't want to mix water and electricity! :)
First things first:
Install the Basket
Push the Stainless Steel Mesh Basket all the way into the steamer. There's a slot on the front panel that the basket pushes into. You may have to push hard, it's a snug fit.
After you get the basket in place, it's time for the fun part...
At the top of the machine is a large black knob. It's called the Fill Cap, and for good reason; It's where you insert the water.
The first time I removed the Cap, it was tough to unscrew. But, after you take it on and off a few times, it gets easier to rotate.
Unscrew the Cap all the way off (this takes a lot of turns). It leaves a hole behind. This is where the water goes.
Prop the funnel into the hole (it's loose and rocks back and forth, but that's not an issue). Fill the measuring cup up to the 5 oz line (see picture below) with plain tap water, then pour it into the funnel. Pour slowly so it doesn't overflow.
Repeat this process a second time. Fill the measuring cup up to 5 oz of water and dump it into the funnel so it goes into the machine. You add in 10 oz of water all together. The cup states not to overflow! I agree. Otherwise water will run out over the machine and all over the counter (good reason why you don't have it plugged in yet).
Once 10 oz of water is in the machine, put the Fill Cap back on snugly. Tighten it all the way down until you feel it snug up. Once back on, position the Steamer so it sits up against your sink (as you can see in the video below). This way the steam and any water will flow into the sink and not harm anything. Now that that's done, it's time to plug the steamer in.
Plug the machine in. You'll notice that there is a power switch on the cord itself. Flip the switch to On. - means On, O means Off (see picture left).
The red light comes on telling you that the steamer is active, heating up and building pressure.
The Instruction Booklet says that the Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner will heat the water up in approximately 3 minutes. To me, this is highly impressive. 3 Minutes to Steam Clean your Jewelry is nothing. Professional Machines can take a 1/2 hour to warm up.
Here's the funny thing... I waited and waited and waited for the green light to come on. It never did. I waited 20 minutes. I re-read the instructions... I was confused.
Only after inspecting the machine closer did I see that the green light WAS already on (a second test proved this DID come on after only 3 minutes). It's just faint. I had to put my hand over it to see that it was on (my kitchen lights are bright) In the picture above, the Green light is on. See how faint it looks?
Plus, for some reason I was expecting the red light to shut off as well, but no, that stays on the whole time the machine is on.
There are other signs that the machine is ready to steam as well. When the machine is building up pressure, sometimes water will drip out, or steam will flow slightly out of the spout. It's letting off pressure. It's not a big deal, but it is an indicator that it's ready.
Does it work?
I grabbed the tweezers, picked up my ring (left the plastic ends on the tweezers so I didn't scratch my jewelry), held it under the spout and pushed the activation button (the big black button on the back of the machine).
Hot steam came blasting out. It worked!
A burst of steam came out and allowed me to clean my jewelry just like the professional steamers do. I'm impressed. It does exactly what it states. I cleaned my Jewelry without any issues (Your Jewelry will be hot after cleaning. Let it cool down before you touch it).
This machine is not just for cleaning jewelry either. You can put Chains, Coins, Loose Diamonds, and other items into the stainless steel mesh basket for steaming.
Even though you can use the convenient Stainless Steel Mesh Basket, I probably wouldn't because...
1) It's kind of low for the steam to really be effective.
2) The Steel Basket can scratch your Jewelry.
I prefer to hold the jewelry in the tweezers a couple of inches under the steam. This allows you to turn and rotate your jewelry so that you can get into all the cracks, crevices and grooves. Not to mention, inside the mounting and underneath the diamonds.
Just be careful, because the steam is extremely hot. There is a danger of scalding! If your hands get too close, you could burn yourself. Hot steam and skin do not mix! You may want to wear gloves if you don't feel comfortable doing this.
You also have to be careful, because sometimes the water does spray out. A couple of times it splattered. I didn't get hurt, but it is shocking, and it showed me you could get injured if you don't pay attention! When dealing with steaming water that's under pressure, Caution is Advised.
Which reminds me...
Don't let your kids use it!
Once your pieces of jewelry are clean, unplug the machine and push the steamer activation button. This releases built up steam and pressure from the machine.
After all the excess steam is removed, you still want to let the machine sit for at least a good hour so it completely cools before you store it.
Also note, that even though all the steam comes out, there is still water inside the tank. After cooling, I recommend removing the Fill Cap, turning the machine upside down over a sink, and dumping the water out (double check that it's unplugged first). Emptying the water out does 2 things:
1) Prevents water build up, like hard water deposits
2) Makes filling the machine easier the next time (you know it's empty to start).
The only thing that would make this machine better is if it had a visible fill line. That way you could see how much water was still inside the tank. Because the second time I used this machine (thinking it was empty), I filled the machine with 10 oz of water and it ran all over the counter. I didn't know the machine still had water in it. The instructions only say to push the steamer activation button to let the steam out. It doesn't mention emptying the tank! Now you know so you won't make my mistakes! :)
All in all, it does what it says it should. It produces steam (just like an Espresso Machine). It's quick, simple and easy to use. For a home personal Steam Cleaner I really don't think you could do better. And at less than $100, it's a steal! It cleaned my jewelry much better than any standard jewelry cleaner could.
P.S. The blue light on the front of the machine didn't work for me. Whether it makes it any easier to see your jewelry when steaming, I couldn't tell you. I do think it's not necessary anyway... Who's going to steam their jewelry in the dark? lol
Easy to operate Lightweight Easy to fill One touch button Quick heat up
Useful Accessories Easy to empty
Stylish Easy to clean Carrying Handles
Spurts Hot Water (could be from my over-filling)
Can't see the Green Light Blue Light didn't work
No visible Fill Line in Tank
Rubber legs left marks on counter
Basket can scratch your Jewelry
All in all, I give this Brilliant Spa 4 Stars (out of 5).
This Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner was great. For home use, it's perfect. For Business use, the tank is too small. But if you're looking for a lightweight, portable, easy to use, quick heat-up steamer, you can't go wrong with this machine. It cleans your Jewelry and Diamonds just like professional machines do... And it only takes minutes!
Word of Caution!
You can't steam clean all of your Jewelry with the Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner! Some items should not be subjected to steam. Items like: Emeralds, Opals, Pearls, Colored Diamonds, Costume Jewelry, anything glued in, or anything that shouldn't be under direct heat.
My rule of thumb is; if you can't put the items in an Ultrasonic Cleaner, they shouldn't be put under a Steam Cleaner either.
This steamer works great, but you have to use common sense with it.
Never do this!
Never unscrew the Fill Cap while the machine is still hot. It could ERUPT... Think Radiator! Always let the machine cool all the way down. I recommend you give it at least an hour (unplugged), before you attempt to unscrew the Cap to empty the water out.
The Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner comes with the best Warranty in the business. Really, it does! Hammacher Schlemmer gives a Lifetime Warranty on this product (and all of their products in fact). If the item breaks, needs a replacement (like the blue light doesn't work), you want a refund, or just don't think it totally lives up to its name, Hammacher Schlemmer will return your money or replace the item for FREE for a lifetime. That's awesome! Hammacher Schlemmer stands behind their products, that's how much they believe in them. That's Quality! That's Service!
So if you're in the market for a Steam Cleaner, look no further. The Brilliant Spa Steam Cleaner is the machine to buy. You've got nothing to lose! The Product is fully Guaranteed!
As a side note, if you want a good laugh... Look at the picture above. Hammacher Schlemmer shows a woman Steam Cleaning her Jewelry. The problem is, no one is pushing down the Steamer Button! lol It's a ghost!
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