The Premier Commercial Bed Bug Steamer
Vapamore has just released their new flagship steamer, a commercial steam cleaning system called the Vapamore MR-1000 Forza. We are one of the first to receive a Forza unit in-house, and we’re excited to be the first to publish a review for it.
There are a handful of very decent bed bug steamers on the market. You can find a steamer in every size and price point, from hand-held 40-PSI bug killers to more larger commercial machines. The Vapamore MR-100 Forza is of the latter variety. Its 45-pound heft filled comes with purpose, though: the Forza has a large 1.1-gallon tank that continuously fills into a .8-gallon boiler, all enclosed in a rigid steel body. Being larger means having a larger boilers, larger tanks, more capacity, higher tip temperatures and dryer steam. Being continuous means you never have to wait for the steamer to cool down before you refill it. Simply fill the tank as you go and it will never run out of steam meaning 0 down time.
A good indicator of a steamer’s quality and capability is its PSI rating. Higher pressures result in hotter and dryer steam, which is ideal when killing bed bugs and eliminating any slippery wet spots afterwards. Most bed bug steamers have a pressure rating between 40 and 60 PSI, but the Forza is rated at a whopping 90 PSI. This makes it the most powerful steamer we carry and one of the hottest steamers on the market. No bed bug will stand a chance as the steam can easily pass deep into cracks and crevices where bed bugs are often found.
Vapamore set out with the intent of making the best commercial steamer available, and it shows. All of the features a professional needs is here, like continuous fill, extended nozzle attachments, and adjustable steam output. The Forza even has an onboard circuit breaker, which allows users to reset the fuse without having to send it to the manufacturer. This is something that most commercial steamers don’t have, and makes the Forza much more reliable.
Unboxing and First Look
The Vapamore Forza comes in a pretty typical and unassuming box, sitting lower on the floor than I expected. I knew before I opened it that there was going to be some assembly required, but Vapamore has always provided the instructions and tools needed to get their steamers up and running. Inside, there aren’t any felt-lined goody bags or any other packaging gimmicks. This is a commercial steamer for professional property managers and exterminators; the packaging is composed of what’s needed, and nothing more.
I felt like the box should have been smaller after I laid out all of the parts and attachments that came with my Forza (it’s likely large to keep it from becoming damaged in transit). The amount of nozzle attachments is dizzying. There is at least one option for every application under the sun. Hardwood, carpet, tile, and every manner of nook and cranny — whatever you’re steaming, you’re covered out of the box.
This steamer is quite the feat of Italian engineering. Its bright yellow steel enclosure feels as good as it looks. The handles and controls appear sturdy enough to endure years of punishment, and every nut and bolt is solidly fixed in place.
With the wheels attached, I was surprised by how elegantly the Forza glided across our hardwood floor. Even with a full tank, getting the steamer to follow you as you go about steaming should be no trouble. If anything, it sometimes moves a little too easily, making me wish it came with brakes or locks of some sort. This is just me nitpicking with the unit under the microscope, though, and I doubt it will bother anyone who’s on the job with one.
While the Forza does come with a storage basket (and cup holder attachment) that work very well, I preferred the feel to go without it. This is strictly a matter of personal choice, and I’m sure most users will find the basket essential. Regardless of the route you take, you will find the handles to be of top-notch quality, with lightweight aluminum rods leading to grippy rubber ends.
One item of unexpected quality that really struck me is the Vapamore Forza’s hose. Not only is it of generous length and flexibility, but the braided design is simply superb.
The Forza’s gun is very suitable for the job, with a spacious trigger guard and a modular barrel to accomodate the wealth of extensions and attachments that come with the unit. It would take exceptionally large hands (or exceptionally bulky gloves) for there to be an issue with gripping and triggering the gun.
There is a locking switch behind the trigger. When engaged, it locks the trigger in whatever state it’s in: if you’re not spraying, it acts as a safety; if you are spraying, it acts as a cruise control. I wish that the switch was easier to push into place, but I suspect that it will loosen up after some more extended usage.
With both of the included extenders attached, a person of average height could steam their floors without bending or leaning. This means less backache and risk of injury, so I definitely recommend that professionals who are steaming for hours a day use the extenders whenever possible.
Using the Forza
The water reservoir includes a debris filter that can be removed for cleaning; this helps reduce the likelihood of mineral buildup in the tank or boiler. Filling the tank is standard fare: remove the cap, stick a funnel in, and start pouring. The tank has a 1.1 gallon capacity, so don’t be shy with the distilled water. Once you finish filling up, plug the steamer into the wall and power it up; you’ll hear the boiler get to work right away. Again, the Forza is capable of continuous fill, meaning you don’t have to wait for it to cool down between refills – when the Fill light comes on, just start pouring in more water. No downtime, no trouble.
While I was waiting for the water to boil and build pressure, I consulted the manual for help selecting the right attachments for the job. Since I was working with walnut hardwood, I opted for the smooth-surface floor head with a micro fiber floor pad attached. The floor pad captured the moisture let out by the nozzle, ensuring that the floor stays dry while being treated, and that the heat is applied more directly.
After about 9 minutes, the status light will switch from red to green, and the pressure gauge should read over 90 PSI. This means that the Forza is ready to get to work. All I had to do from there is pull the trigger.
It only took about 2 seconds (if that) for the gun to warm up before steam starting blasting out. I was expecting the output to be dry, but I had no idea it would be this dry; at 90 PSI, the Forza was delivering deadly heat without any excess water vapor at all. Even immediately after I covered the floor, the section that I sweeped appeared bone dry.
Like most commercial steamers, the Forza comes with an output pressure control, where you can adjust how high or how low the pressure coming out of the gun will be. Even though I felt that the high-pressure setting was where the Forza shines, I got curious and turned it down to about 20% the maximum setting.
Within seconds, the corner of the room that I was treating began filling with dry vapor. At low settings, the amount of steam pouring out of the nozzle was clearly overkill, but it was quite the spectacle.
The best way to kill bed bugs with the Forza steamer is with the hammerhead attachment wrapped in cloth (referred to by Vapamore as the bed bug / fabric tool). This setup has a flat base, so it can be used on virtually any surface without any bumping or pulling. The cloth wrap allows direct heat without excessive vapor or blowing pressure; you want to kill bed bugs, not push them around your bedroom.
On low pressure settings, the Forza sets the standard for bed bug eradication. The hammerhead attachment delivers deadly heat right on target, without allowing heat or steam to leak out anywhere else. This configuration is safe to use on floors, walls, furniture, and just about anywhere else that is safe for wet cleaning.
The low-pressure display really solidified my admiration of the Forza’s capabilities. This tremendous application of direct heat is sure to kill any bed bugs of any life stages that should be so unlucky as to cross your path. The Forza is clearly a professional’s bed bug steamer, a role for which it was designed from the beginning. Using low pressure is important when conducting a bed bug treatment as you do not want to blow them all over the place. We suggest using the toweling cover to catch a majority of the moisture. Using the lowest setting provides excellent heat without force, which is what you need when steaming for bed bugs.
We would not hesitate to recommend the Vapamore Forza to any pest control or property management professionals looking for the ultimate steam cleaning solution. It has incredible power, high capacity, continuous fill capability, solid construction, and is backed by a lifetime warranty. While the price tag may be above most private consumer’s budget, I would suggest that anyone who is serious about killing bed bugs and keeping their home clean take a good look at the Forza.