Steam mops are a new invention in the cleaning industry that makes cleaning easier and more efficient. The best steam mop on the market in 2017 should hygienically clean your floors without the need for detergents and other leaching agents. The steam mop produces steam and the heat from the steam is used to decontaminate the floors. Most of the steam mops featured in steam mop reviews will have microfiber pads underneath the steam jet that are used to trap the dirt collected from the floors and the carpets. They may also have water tanks that are small and also provide dry steam. The steam mops are increasingly gaining more popularity due to the efficiency and the convenience they provide to users. It is always the best option for people who are affected by chemicals contained in cleaning agents such as bleach and detergents. This review features the top 10 steam mops in 2017.
- Shark S3601D
- Steam settings: 3
- Microfiber Pads: 2
- Attachments: Rectangular Mop Head, Triangular Mop Head, filling flask
- Other: 2 Quick Release Mop Heads (rectangular and triangular)
- Smart Living
- Steam settings: 1
- Microfiber Pads: 4
- Attachments: Carpet guide, filling flask, funnel
- Other: high temperature steam (110°C)
- Bissell 1940A
- Steam settings: 3
- Microfiber Pads: 2
- Attachments: Easy Scrubber on mop head
- Other: 12.5 AMPs, Spring Breeze fragrance discs insert, Built In Heater
- Steam settings: variable
- Microfiber Pads: 1
- Attachments: snap-on glider
- Other: steam in only 20 seconds, weighs 5 pounds
- Shark S3501
- Steam settings: variable
- Microfiber Pads: 1
- Attachments: Filling Flask
- Other: Swivel Steering, Ready in 30 seconds, natural mopping motion to deliver super-heated steam
- Shark S3101
- Steam settings: variable
- Microfiber Pads: 1
- Attachments: Filling Flask
- Other: 30 Seconds steam heat up, Push to Pump Steam on Demand
Top 10 Steam Mops Reviewed
BISSELL Powerfresh 1940A
The BISSELL Powerfresh 1940A features among the top 10 steam mops due to its easy to use design. The easy scrubber is designed to reach down up to the grout and the crevices. The smart set steam control helps you to control the amount of steam needed. The steam can be set to dispense for cleaning light dirt to cleaning heavy and sticky messes. For light messes, the low settings are advised while medium settings are for everyday messes. Heavy messes are better removed using the high settings.
Bissell 1940 Power Fresh pad has an allowance for Spring Breeze fragrance discs insertion that gives a fresh and clean scent when you are using the steam mop in the area or room. The disc is inserted into the pocket of the mop pad where it gives a fresh aroma as you mop. The fresh scent makes the room feel cleaner and look better.
The low profile mop head is designed to clean better. It can easily fit into corners and other hard to reach areas making cleaning easy and convenient. The water reservoir is detachable and refilling can be done at the sink or at your own preference. It also has 12.5 AMPs which is recommended. The power cord is 23ft. long which increases the space you can mop before having to connect to another power source. It also has two different mop pads. One has scrubbing strips while the other is for everyday cleaning. The machine measures 11.6 x 7.1 x 28.6 inches and weighs 6.2 pounds.
Shark S3601D Steam Mop
This model of the Shark steam mop offers 99.9% chemical free sanitization. The mop pad has a two sided cleaning style. This is convenient as you can flip the mop pad over when one side gets dirty. This gets a larger floor space covered before you have to change the mop pad.
It also has a shark intelligent steam control. This offers three steam settings that are distinct i.e. dust, mop and scrub. The three steam settings are ideal for different cleaning needs and different floor spaces. The highest rated steam mops will have this feature as it provides for multiple uses in different rooms with varied floor types. For light dusting, low settings can be used and medium settings can be applied for everyday mopping. The high settings are ideal when dealing with messy floors and stuck-on dirt.
The machine comes with two quick release mops. One is a rectangular head mop that facilitates normal cleaning of the floor space. It helps cover a larger surface area. The other is a triangular head mop. This facilitates cleaning of corners and other areas that are hard to reach. The microfiber pockets are washable allowing for easy maintenance. They help collect the dirt that other mops may often leave behind. The unique sides allow for quick drying of the floors. Each pad can last for about 20 washes. The product measures 11 x 6.7 x 28.7 inches and weighs 7.5 inches. The water reservoir has an XL water capacity and does not need to be refilled too often.
Smart Living Steam Mop Plus
This model can be used ideally for hard surfaces. The steam technology used, offers no need for toxic chemicals and other substances contained in detergents. The machine can be used on ceramic floor tiles or floors laminated with wood and vinyl. The temperature steam can be heated by the heating module up to 110 degrees Celsius in a few minutes. The wait time is short and you can start cleaning almost immediately.
Just like other steam mops, the machine uses distilled water since hard water that is not filtered will cause buildup of dirt in the water tank thus limiting dispensation of steam from the steam jets. The process involved in using it is simple as you only need to fill the water tank with water and attach a mop pad. When you turn it on, the water will be heated to steam and then ejected on to the mop pad.
The color is green with a surface that is easy to wipe clean and maintain. It can also be used on carpets following the same procedure. It removes visible dirt such as grease that often requires a little bit of scrubbing in order to remove it. The product measures 22 x 8 x 14 inches and weighs about 7 pounds. The mop pads can be re-used and only require a little bit of cleaning. The mop pads provided are also machine washable and thus easy to maintain. It is lightweight and can be manipulated easily. This design also makes it easy to assemble and use.
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
The O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop is a convenient machine as it only takes 20 seconds to heat from water to steam. It is rated among the best value steam mops for various reasons. The steam level settings can be adjusted depending on the type of dirt you are trying to remove from the floor. It has been tested on E.Coli bacterium and was found to kill 99.9% of bacteria without use of detergents and cleaning chemicals.
It only weighs 5lbs. Since it is lightweight, this means that it can be easily used without the need for you to exert too much effort in order to move it around. It has a snap on glider that is used to refresh carpets. It also has an extra microfiber pad when you need to change the first one after it has accumulated enough dirt.
This model is ideal for all types of sealed hard floors. The floors can be tiles, wood, vinyl or laminated floors. It can also be used on carpets. The mop head can be moved on all angles and thus easy to use on the floor. The cord is long enough to facilitate cleaning an entire room without having to switch the power sockets. A full tank of water can be used to clean 2 medium sized rooms in a house. The water tank is detachable making refilling easier. The head not only rotates but also fits into tight corners and can be able to reach hard to reach places. Assembling it is also easy as minimal parts and tools are needed.
Shark S3501 Steam Mop
The Shark S3501 is purple in color and has a sleek design. Anyone looking for a steam pocket mop with a classic design then this may be it. It offers 99.9% sanitization without the use of chemicals. The mop pad is two sided which is more effective than a one sided mop pad. This means that it can be flipped over to cover more floor space before the pad has to be removed and cleaned.
The water tank has an XL water capacity thus needing fewer refills and can be used to mop a large area before the water is finished. The swivel steering makes manipulating it easy. It should however not be used on unglazed ceramic floors or unsealed wood as it may damage them.
The design makes it light requiring minimum effort from the person who is using it. The water is heated up into steam in 30 seconds making it convenient for fast use as the wait time is small. It releases steam with push forward motion of mopping. Once done, the floor is left virtually dry.
The package includes 1 microfiber cleaning pad made using the shark steam pocket technology. The double sided microfiber clean pocket pad allows you to cover twice the area by just a quick flip of the mop head. The cleaning pad is washable by machine providing easy maintenance options. It helps loosen, lift and lock in the dirt and the grime easily. The product measures 7 inches by 13 inches by 51-1/2 inches and weighs about 6.5 pounds.
Shark Light & Easy TM S3101
The Shark Light & EasyTM S3101 has an on demand variable steam ejection system. The system super heats the steam in less than 30 seconds and dries the floor almost immediately. It works using a natural mopping motion which is a forward to backwards movement of the steam mop. The steam mop technology used offers 99.9% sanitization against germs and bacteria found on floors and carpets.
The microfiber pads lift and lock in the dirt leaving the floor clean. They are washable using machines and need to be dried away from sunlight which may damage the fibers. It is designed for comfortable usage and ensures that you do not strain by bending too much. It can be easily maneuvered without physical strain.
This model can be used on most floors even hard wood floors apart from those that are unsealed. It has a lightweight design as it weighs only 3 lbs. which is one of the least weights for steam mops found in the market. Unlike the traditional mops, it leaves the floors dry. It measures 6.6 x 10.5 x 24.8 inches.
The mop also has a system or a pivot that helps to keep the cord away from your feet while you use the machine. With this model however, you do not get swivel steering or a telescopic pole. It does, however, function well without any mishaps. The color is a light shade of purple giving it a good look. It is also easily assembled after purchase.
- Bissell 1132A
- Mop pads: 4
- Variable steam control: high and low
- Other: Digital Controls, Steam Mop & Cyclonic Vacuum
- Bissell 94E9T
- Mop pads: 1
- Variable steam control: steam trigger
- Other: 17 oz. removable tank, maneuverable triangular mop head
- Shark SK460
- Mop pads: 2
- Variable steam control: 3
- Other: Cordless Spray Only Mode, Includes Steam Energized Cleanser
- Reliable Steamboy T1
- Mop pads: 2
- Variable steam control: no
- Other: Carpet Glide, 180-Degree Swivel Head, 248-Degree Cleaning Temperature
Bissell 1132A Symphony
The Bissell 1132A Symphony is an all in one vacuum and steam mop. It can vacuum the floor and steam it at the same time. This is a convenient function since you have to vacuum the floor before you steam them. When done on the same machine, a lot of time and physical effort is saved.
The system has been tested and eliminates 99.9% of germs and bacteria found on floors using only steam. It does not use detergents and other cleaning agents. It is equipped with easy touch digital controls used to regulate the amount of steam ejected from the steam jets depending on the floor type being steamed. It also has a 5-way adjustable handle.
Other than that, it features a quick release mop pad tray. When you purchase this product, the package includes 4 mop pads that can be interchanged when you have accumulated enough dirt. The dry tank technology used on it helps keep the tank dry while you steam the floor.
The vacuum is a Powerful cyclonic action vacuum that is used to pick up dry dirt and debris. It has edge bristles that are used to sweep debris on the edges away. It is grey in color with the outer surface made of plastic. It measures 9 x 11 x 46.5 inches and weighs about 10.1 pounds. The dual function system makes steaming and vacuuming possible in half the time as before. The mop pad tray makes it easy to store as you need to plug it out and then place it on the tray where it will cool down.
BISSELL 94E9T Steam Mop
This model has a design that is easy to understand and also easy to use. It includes 2 washable mop pads. The two are triangular shaped making it easy to clean corners and also to reach hard to reach places such as under pieces of furniture. One of the microfiber pads is soft for everyday use while the other has built in scrubbing strips. It provides 100% chemical free sanitization for your floors as it only uses tap water.
The water reservoir has a capacity of 17 oz. which is a large capacity that requires only few or no refills during the steaming process. The tank is also detachable making it easy to refill it. The product measures 10.8 x 4.8 x 25.2 inches and weighs about 6 pounds.
The steam trigger is easy to use and requires no pumping for steam to be ejected. The steam trigger helps control how much steam is produced during the cleaning. The amount of steam chosen should be dependent on the type of floor being steamed. The steam is produced in less than thirty seconds which is convenient for people in a hurry.
The cleaning is done using no cleaning chemicals or detergents, making it safe for use in a place with small children and that have pets. The high temperature of the steam sanitizes the floor and also leaves it dry not as is experienced when using traditional mops. It is easy to assemble the product after purchase and also easy to learn how to use.
Shark SK460 Steam Mop
The easy to use design of the Shark SK460 places it among the best sanitizing steam mops. It has three levels of intelligent steam controls. The settings are for dust, steam and mop. The three settings are ideal for different floor spaces and for different cleaning needs depending on the specific user. The low settings are used for less messy areas and places with little dirt. Medium settings are used for every day steaming while the high settings are preferably used for places that have sticky stains or messier floor.
The machine deep cleans and sanitizes hard wood floors as long as they are sealed since unsealed wood floors will get damaged. The power cord is removable and makes it possible for the ‘cordless spray only mode’ to function. The technology used provides for a steam energized cleanser that breaks down messes that are sticky, tough and greasy.
The package also includes disposable sanifiber pads. The pads are for use on floors that are germ filled. Once the cleaning is done, the pads can be disposed of. It also includes washable multilayer pads. These pads can be re-used and are easily washed using steam energized cleanser that helps produce heat which is needed to kill the bacteria since bacteria does not survive in too hot conditions. The product measures 11.7 x 8.7 x 28.1 inches and weighs 10.6 pounds which might be a bit heavy as compared to other steam mops. They are easily assembled which is facilitated by the comprehensive user manual.
Reliable Steamboy T1 Steam Mop
The Reliable Steamboy T1 is ideal for either hard wood floors or ceramic tiled floors. Care should also be taken so that it is not used on unsealed wood floors. It features a cleaning path width that measures 11 inches. The mop head swivels 180 degrees making it easy to maneuver the machine since swivel head can easily rotate. The water reservoir has a 3.3 cup water capacity. The water capacity has been tested and can last for up to 30 minutes producing continuous steam.
It also comes with two microfiber cloth pads. The cloth pads can be cleaned and reused. They are however not to be dried in sunlight as it may damage the fibers. A water filter is also included to help filter the water so that it reduces scale build up in the tank.
The machine also has a carpet glide that helps when steaming carpets. The carpet glide makes it easy to clean carpets without damaging the texture of the carpet. It also has a powerful heating element that uses 1500-Watts. The tank is removable and can be easily refilled when it runs out of water during steaming. The heating element delivers steam that has temperature as high as 248 degrees F. The product measures 7 x 11 x 47 inches and weighs 5.7 pounds. The steam mop heats up in less than 30 seconds keeping the wait time to a minimum. The 180 degrees swivel head coupled with the triangular shape allows it to clean corners as well as hard to reach areas that are often out of view.
What Is a Steam Mop? – How Do Steam Mops Work?
Steam mops are small machines used to clean floors and carpets by producing steam. It is made unlike a regular mop such that it does not require use of detergents to clean the floors as the steam and heat produced help in disinfecting the floors. A pad is placed under the steam jet which is used to trap the dirt from the floors. The top steam mops have great stain busting powers. They are also able to remove the stain using very few stokes. An efficient mop is one that removes the stains easily no matter what type of a stain it is.
The steam mop will first heat the water in the water reservoir. The water can be heated up to 120 degrees Celsius. Once the water is heated, the steam produced will moisten the microfiber pad that is underneath. The steam is passed through to the microfiber pad through the steam jets. Depending on the model, the steam can be one or even up to 15 steam jets on a single machine. The steam will help soak the pad which will in turn help to draw the dirt off the floor.
The steam mop will clean through the dirt on the floor and will not leave any residue as you may have experienced when using regular mop. The steam produced, has immense heat that can kill most bacteria and other micro-organisms found on floors and carpets. Bacteria only survive in places with optimal temperatures and die when exposed to too much heat or too much cold. The steam mop uses this theory to kill the bacteria from the floors without need of detergents and bleaches. The heat from the steam helps kill the bacteria while the mist nature of steam enables the microfiber pad to clean off the dirt on the floor.
Some mops have two sided flip mops heads. This help to clean up more floor space before you have to change the mopping pad. The texture of the mopping pad will determine the type of mess that the steam mop can clean through. For delicate floor and carpets, you can use a soft mop pad as it will clean through the dirt without damaging the carpet. When passed over the floor, the mop pad will wipe off the dirt. A scrubbing strip can be used to clean through messes that are more persistent.
How to Choose a Steam Mop? – Buying Guide
Buying a steam mop will not be tricky if you know the features you should look out for to suit your mopping needs. It is crucial to look for features that improve the efficiency of your mop and also ensure convenience and fast cleaning. Some of the features you should consider when buying a steam mop include;
Styles (one sided and two sided)
A single function steam mop may be one sided or two sided. The two sided cleaning mop will enable you to flip it over when you have used the first side and it has collected enough dirt. The two sided steam mops are more convenient and practical. Once the first side has accumulated enough dirt, you do not have to switch off the power to change the mop. All you have to do is flip over the mop and continue cleaning.
The steam mop can also be a dual function steam mop. This means that other than mopping, it can be used for other functions such as sweeping or scrubbing. Most steam mops will provide you with the same functionalities except for the dual function steam mops. For such mops, the steam mop is the primary function while the other functions are secondary options for use.
Weight and Easy Handling
The ideal steam mop should be easy to push around as you mop the floor. Most steam mops are made to be light weight and thus easy to manipulate. For some, like the dual function steam mops, the model may make it larger or bulkier. Easy handling is accommodated by the swivel head that enables you to clean under cabinets and other pieces of furniture without straining too much. The features should make lifting and handling easy. When buying one, it is important to look for one with an ideal height that will not cause your back to strain as you use it.
The cleaning ability of a steam mop is measured by the wattage that the steam produced can attain. Very hot steam will result in better cleaned floors. Some steam mops will include the wattage or the intensity of the steam produced in the product descriptions while other models will not. This may make it harder to compare the best one. Most will however differ on how they generate steam and also how many bursts they eject. The best mop should eject bursts of steam that will cover the whole microfiber mop.
Some have steam that is pump driven and ejects the steam as you continue mopping. Other models will feature a trigger control to control the ejection of steam while others offer continuous steaming. The different types offer the same cleaning ability though most people prefer the trigger control model.
The water reservoir should be large enough to hold enough water that will sustain your entire cleaning. This will depend on the place you intend to use the steam mop on. Some models can steam continuously for 45 minutes without running out of water while others only steam at their highest settings for only 10 minutes. Those with smaller water reservoirs may limit their convenience as they may have smaller spills.
Easy to fill Design
When looking for a top rated steam mop look for one with an easy to fill design. This design should make it easier to add water when the water levels are low. An add water indicator should be part of it. The indicator will show you when the water levels are low and the machine needs a refill.
- Variable steam control – Other features you need to look out for when shopping for a good steam cleaning mop is a variable steam control. This will help you control the mount of steam ejected. You can control the mount of steam delivered depending on the type of floor you are cleaning.
- A detachable steam generator – This will enable you to detach the steam generator. When detached, it can be used as a hand held device for steaming.
- Cord length – The length of the cord can range from 16 ft. to 30 ft. The longer the cord, the better since your movements will not be limited due to the distance from the power socket. However, a cord that is too long may be unsafe when using a high wattage heat appliance.
- Swivel head – A swivel head makes cleaning under cabinets and other things easier and it can easily rotate around. It is best when cleaning places with lots of furniture and cabinets.
- Heat indicator light – A heat indicator light will help show you how hot the steam is. It is a great feature as it shows you when the steam has attained appropriate temperatures.
- Built-in power switch – A power switch is more preferable to pulling the plug when you want to turn off the steam mop. The power switch should help you turn the mop on or off.
- Add water indicator – The indicator is important as it lets you know when the water levels are low. It will light up and alert you when the machine needs a refill.
- Cooling mat – A cooling mat is a safety feature to reduce damage caused to other items after you have finished using the steam mop and it is still hot. The cooling mat is used to place the steam mop on once one is done mopping.
Choosing a mop that comes with additional accessories is always best. Some have two or more mop heads that have different shapes. The mop heads can be either triangular or rectangular to facilitate cleaning corners and other areas. They can also have moping pads that have replacements. Other models will have extra tools that will facilitate cleaning windows, carpets, drapes, blinds and countertops among other areas. It is always important to choose one that comes with spare mop pads. If none are included you can also purchase one when buying the mop for more convenience while using the machine.
Best Steam Mop Brands
Different steam mop brands offer different models of steam mops. The features may differ depending on the specific model. The pricing also differs among the various brands available.
- Bissell – This is one of the well-known brands in the steam mop industry. Their products often cover a large surface area and give a good edge in cleaning. Their steam mops are often suited for laminate, ceramic tile, hardwood and vinyl floors. They are easy to assemble after purchase. The Bissell manufacturers also offer reusable mop pads that can also be washed using washing machines. They often offer the best affordable steam mops. However, some of their cords may be a bit short and it is thus best to adequately research before buying so as to find one that suits your specifications.
- Shark – The shark brand offers shark steam pocket technology. This technology ensures that a larger floor area is covered. The whole head can be flipped giving the user double the cleaning area. It does not use the traditional top plate design thus allowing the mop head to ‘breathe’. The head is veined and thus steam can be channeled evenly to the whole stem mop pad. Their models also use the intelligent steam control that allows you to set the amount of steam you need for the specific floor you are cleaning.
- Hoover – The Hoover brand has various models that provide dual functionalities to the user. The products also offer versatility as they work on various floor types such as ceramic floors, linoleum tiled and hardwood floors. Most of their high steam mop ratings arise from the twin tank models. They have two tanks – one accommodating the cleaning solution while the other accommodates the water. The models also have a replacement filter since steam mops require use of distilled or filtered water. One complaint for their new models would be the tanks as they take long to dry and may result in mold build up.
- Black & Decker – Black & Decker have made many appliances for the kitchen as well as cleaning appliance and they are very popular. Their steam mops are often toughly built. They have digital smart select technology that helps in steam control. The technology works such that when you select the type of floor you are cleaning e.g. ceramic, tiles, or hardwood floor, the machine will automatically release the right amount of steam suitable for the floor type. Their products are also easy to assemble at home. Black & Decker products offer functionality as well as durability.
- Dirt Devil – The dirt devil products feature either controlled steam settings or a continuous steam generating system. The technology used allows the steam to be evenly distributed on the mop pads. They are also designed to clean most types of floors such as ceramic floors, hardwood that are sealed and tiles among others. They can also be used with tap water for some models eliminating the need for filtering the water before us. The use of hot steam just as in other brands ensures that no residues are left behind.
- Haan – The HAAN brand was started by a housewife who came up with a way to help people reduce the labor input needed when doing house chores. She was looking for a way to clean floors without exposing themselves to the chemicals in detergents. The brand does exactly that as the Haan steam mops offer a way to sanitize floors without using detergents. The technology used on the steam mop has continued to advance as years have progressed. Some Haan models may be pricier than other models but they offer the functionalities of a steam mop plus a steamer that is hand held.
- Steam fast – The steam fast models started with products that took minutes to heat the water and have evolved to products that take only seconds to heat the water into steam. Their models are also quiet and emit very little to no sound. This may however make it hard to know when the machine is emitting steam. The brand offers comprehensive manuals making them easy for first time users to maneuver around. They also offer easy assembly due to the well-designed parts of the product.
How to Use a Steam Mop Efficiently
Using steam mops is an easy process as it makes it convenient to clean the floor. As compared to using a bucket and the traditional mops, cleaning floors is much faster. It is however important to ensure that you follow the guidelines properly so as to ensure that you fully utilize all the functionalities provided by the machine. Different models may have different features but the process involved in cleaning will basically be the same. You may follow the steps provided in this steam mop review together with the guidelines provided in your user manual.
- Prepare the floor you are about to steam – It is important to prepare the floor before you use the steam mop on it. You can vacuum it first. In case you do not have a vacuum cleaner, you can sweep the floor or the carpet first. A vacuum cleaner is more preferable as it will provide suction power to pull the dirt, lint and debris from the cracks. This reduces the particles that tend to dirty the steam mop pad.
- When using a steam mop with dual mops, you can be able to change the pad after a while. A vacuum cleaner may not be necessary when you only intend to clean up a small mess. The mop pad can be used also in small areas. However, when you intend to clean a large floor space or even a whole room you will need to clean with a vacuum first.
- Steam mops are only maintenance tools – Steam mops are only maintenance tools and are appropriate for use on slightly dirty floors. If the floors are dirty the steam will mix with the dirt giving you results that are not desirable. If you are using the steam mop for the first time, you may need to thoroughly clean the floors first just as you did before. You can use the steam mop regularly to clean the floors before a lot of dirt has accumulated.
- Cleaning hard floors using steam mops – It is important to note the type of floors you have first before using the steam mop. When using it on hard floors ensure that they are sealed floors. In case they are not sealed you may run a risk of ruining the floor boards. As mentioned above, the first step is to prepare the floor by vacuuming or sweeping them.
- Cleaning carpets using steam mop – When using it on carpets, you can spray a small amount of carpet spotter on the carpet before cleaning. Also ensure not to leave the steam mop on one spot for too long as you may damage it.
- Cleaning – First prepare the mop according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Cleaning is done by passing the steam mop over the dirty floor a number of times until the stains are removed. Once the mop pad becomes dirty you will need to change it. This will depend on how dirty the floors were. The microfiber is almost like a sponge. It cleans effectively but cannot hold too much dirt. For the average 4 bedroom house one may need about two to three covers.
- The best steam and spray mop will have an option to control the steam ejected. You can increase the rate of ejection when handling a spot with stains that are hard to remove. For normal areas a standard ejection rate is preferable. When steaming, you can open the doors and windows to allow free flow of air into the room. This will help in drying the room even though it is not an essential requirement as the steam mops dry the floor and don’t leave it soaking.
Do Steam Mops Work? – Is It Safe for Floors?
Steam mops are the current new trend in floor cleaning. They promise to provide a better alternative to the traditional bucket and mop idea. They offer a detergent free option such that you do not have to expose themselves to the chemicals contained in detergents and bleaches. It is often common to ask ourselves what is the best steam mop and whether the best really does work. Will the floor really be clean or will you need to go back to using soaps and detergents? These are valid questions if you intend to invest your money on a steam mop. We may also wonder whether they are safe for floors and if they will ruin your floors finish.
For starters, it is important for you to understand how the steam mops actually work. This way you can decide for yourself whether they are functional. The features may differ from one model to the other but the operating styles may be similar. The steam mops are corded units that have to be connected to an electric source for them to function. The electricity is used to heat the water at high temperatures to produce steam. Underneath the mop is a microfiber pad that is washable and can be reused. When you push on the handle or pulls the trigger, steam is released on to the microfiber pad. The pad picks up dirt as the machine is passed across the floor.
Most people pass the steam mop over the surface quickly and move on to other areas. This may not work in killing the bacteria and the germs found in floor spaces. Even the best sanitizing steam mops need to be left over the surface for a small amount of time for the heat to reach the bacteria. This is because the steam mops get their sanitizing properties by production of steam that heats the mop pad which in turn helps in sanitizing the floors. Heat is a good sanitizing agent since bacteria does not survive in very hot conditions. The mop pad may need to be left on a surface for about 15 seconds before you move on to the next area.
The mops are safe for floors as long as they are used appropriately. Leaving them on the floors for too long may damage the floor. For this reason, manufacturers often provide a cooling mat or you can purchase one separately. They are also unsafe when used on unsealed floors. The steam may ruin the floor boards on such floors. It is thus important to enquire from the manufacturers whether it will affect your floors finish before you purchase one. The steam mop does all the functions it promises to. It is thus up to you to ensure that you use it appropriately to ensure that it does wok. The safety protocols are just as in other heating devices. When guidelines are followed it is a relatively safe and well working sanitizing machine. Heating devices also need to be unplugged from the power source after use.
Benefits of Steam Mops
Steam mops offer a lot of benefits to the user when used according to the guidelines provided. The benefits range from having clean dry floors and convenience of using one.
- Fresh scent without chemicals – This can be said to be the main benefit of such devices. The steam mops only use water with no soap or detergents. This means that the scent left after cleaning is a fresh scent. The lack of detergents makes it safe when children are involved since they are not exposed to the chemicals in detergents.
- Clean floors that dry instantly – The steam mop operates by producing steam which helps clean the floors and sanitize it. The steam does not leave the floors soaked but leaves them dry. The steam produced is able to clean the dirt faster than traditional mops because the heat helps loosen the dirt. In the end, the floors do not absorb too much water and can dry easily.
- Convenience – Steam mops offer convenience since one does not need to keep ringing the mop. The mop has a water reservoir that holds the water thus a separate bucket is not needed. All the features of a steam mop are made to make the whole process more convenient for the user. The indicator lights and on/off switches also makes it easy to operate it.
- Easy to use – the steam mops can be used while standing offering you a better solution than traditional mopping. They also remove the hassle of bending and scrubbing the floors using your hands. It can be said to be a healthier choice. The steam mop does not also leave behind dirty water that needs to be disposed of. It eventually evaporates all the water into steam eliminating any need for cleaning after you have finished cleaning the room.
Steam Mop Maintenance and Care
The best steam mop on the market in 2017 also needs to be maintained to ensure durability. It is important to understand how to maintain a steam mop in good condition before you get to buy one. Most manufacturers will also include instructions for you on how to do this.
- Change the microfiber mop regularly – It is important to have a number of microfiber pads to enable you to replace them regularly. Most of them will be machine washable and thus easy to keep clean. When the pads soak in enough dirt you should change them and then wash immediately after you are done cleaning.
- When washing the microfiber pads, do not wash them using fabric softeners. The softeners may damage the cloth and make them less efficient while cleaning. You should also dry them in a shady area or in the shade since the sunlight may damage the fibers.
- Do not use detergents – The water reservoirs are designed to be used with water only. When detergents are used they may end up damaging the tank. Also when the detergents are heated they may end up ruining the whole system.
- Use filtered water – Hard water may cause the water tank to develop scale build up. This can block the steam line making ejection of steam impossible. Also such an occurrence may not be covered by ones warranty. In case you do not have a hard water filter you can use distilled water. Distilled water has already been filtered. Blockage of the steam line reduces the durability of the machine. The steam dispensed on to the microfiber pad will be small and this will reduce its efficiency.
- Cleaning outer surface – The outer surface of the steam mop can be cleaned using a dump piece of cloth. Wiping it regularly will help keep it clean.
What Not to Do With Your Steam Mop
Just as any other heating device, there are various things you ought not to do when handling a steam mop. The steam mops are more efficient and offer a cleaner alternative to traditional clean mops. There is no smell emitted as no chemicals are used and no ringing or bending is needed. Most have detachable water reservoirs making refilling easier and more convenient. The things that you should not do when handling a steam mop include:
Do not plug it in before attaching the mop head.
When handling an electrical mop that uses water you run a risk of an electric shock. It is thus important to ensure that all the parts are well attached before you connect it to the power source. Also the mop foot will already be too hot to handle if your plug it in first before attaching the mop head. All the other steps should be taken before you plug it in the socket. In case the water reservoir runs out of water before you finish mopping, ensure that you unplug it before refilling the tank.
Do not leave the steam mop idle.
It may be tempting to leave the steam mop idle before it heats up. Most people are also almost always tempted to multi task while doing house chores. This is not an option when using the steam. In no instance should the steam mop be left idle while it is plugged in to a power outlet. When left idle, the heat from the steam can damage the floor since the heat will be concentrated to one area. The mop only takes seconds for the water to heat and leaving it idle for more than the required seconds can be catastrophic. When you need to do something else, ensure that you have unplugged it from the power source.
Do not mop before vacuuming.
You may be tempted to start using the steam mop before you have vacuumed the room if the room does not look too dirty. Vacuuming is an important step without which the steam mop process will be less efficient. The dirt caught on the mop will be smeared all over the floor as you continue mopping.
Nothing else goes in the water tank apart from water.
The steam mop is designed to hold only water and nothing else. Adding substances such as detergents can cause damage to it. The whole system is also designed to function using steam and no other substances.
Do not use a mop head that is dirty.
Using a dirty mop head only serves to distribute the dirt to other areas. You need to regularly change it when working on a large area. You can check whether the mop head has accumulated enough dirt after you are done with one room. Also ensure that you have unplugged the machine when you are changing the mop head.
Do not use on unsealed floors.
When doing steam mop comparisons you will notice that none of them are ideal for use on unsealed hard wood floors. If the floor type is not designed to have hot water on it then it is not designed for use with steam mops. The steam produced by a steam mop can cause the unsealed wood and laminate to swell eventually giving it an unhealthy look.
Not designed for walls.
The steam mop is not designed for use on walls. Steam mopping the wall may seem like a great idea at first but you will notice that the paint may start to lift or bubble. On the same note, you should also not use it on your car. The paint will also lift due to the heat produced by the steam.
Do not store with mop pad attached.
When you are done using it ensure that you have removed the mop pad. The mop pad may be wet or just a little damp but storing it with the steam mop may make it moldy and filthy. Cleaning it then storing it dry is always the best maintenance option.
The best steam mops on the market in 2017 offer efficiency, convenience and a chance to sanitize your floors without using detergents and cleaning chemicals. The steam produced emanates enough heat to kill 99.9% of bacteria found on floors. The standard model will be used on ceramic tiles, hardwood and other floor types. They however are not desirable for use on unsealed floors. As seen in steam mop reviews they need to be well maintained and used so as not to damage the floors. Steam mops are appropriate for anyone with pets or young children who love playing on the floor. The mops give you an option of sanitized floors with no chemicals. The best steam mops should take only a few seconds before the water heats up into seam. They should also have steam controls to regulate the amount of steam in accordance with the type of floor being cleaned. It is however a good technological innovation in the house cleaning scene.