A steamer with little or no maintenance will only have a life span of 5 to 6 years.
First of all, drain your steamer daily. Do not leave any water overnight. This process should not take more than 30 seconds.
Secondly, check for mineral build up bi-monthly that could clog the heating element. When these build up falls from the heating element into the water, foam is created at the top of the water. This will caused the steamer to "spit" and project hot drops of water on the customer's face. This will cause serious burns.
Distilled water should be used instead of regular tap water.
If build up is detected on the heating element, fill the unit completely with water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Switch on the steamer and let the water to heat up to begin steaming. Do not steam for more than 30 seconds. Switch off the steamer and let it cool down with the white vinegar solution for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and refill with water. Switch on the steamer and let it steam for 5 minutes to eliminate the vinegar odors. It may be necessary to repeat the rinsing process for 2 or 3 times.
If distilled water is always used in the steamer, then it is necessary to do this cleaning once or twice per year.
Thirdly, do not pour cold water into the steamer that just run out of water. Allow the steamer to cool off for 10 minutes before refilling. When cold water is poured into the steamer, the sudden rise of temperature will cause the heating element to crack or even burst. The glass jar will also crack. Therefore, it is not advisable to pour cold water into a hot steamer! Also, do not fill over the maximum level mark on the glass jar.
Lastly, when starting a steamer, always point the steam towards the ground for 2 to 3 minutes. This will prevent the steamer from spitting at the customer's face in case it is overfilled or if condensation has built up inside.