Steam Mops - Are They Worth It?
Researching Steam Mops
My sister recently bought a new home. Where she used to live was mostly carpet. Now where she lives is mostly tile and hardwood. She has found that it is a lot of work to clean her new floors with a traditional mop and bucket. She wants to make her life easier and believes a steam mop is the way to go. For whatever reason I have been deemed the technical guru of my family so I set out to start doing some research to find the best steam mop for the money.
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What I found
In doing my research I found a wide variety of reports. Some steam mops were basically completely useless as they did not get hot enough to really deep clean and disinfect. Some were heavy and cumbersome to try to move around to clean with. So this would be just as bad as lugging around the traditional mop and bucket. You could also have ones that would only clean for about 7 minutes and then you would have to stop and refill it. People also had issues with the length of the cord for the room they were trying to clean. There also seemed to be a lot of customer reviews that talked of the steam mops not working right from the beginning or breaking not long after they got them.
Perhaps the most important thing I found out was that a steam mop could potentially damage your floor. Flooring is being made with a wide variety of materials these days. If it is a porous material using a steam mop may damage it. Certain coatings on the floor could also be harmed using a steam mop. Consumer Reports steam mop buying guide tells you what they did to test the steam mops. What I got out of the article is a steam mop is works if your floor is not actually dirty. A steam mop is also a good way to go if you do not want to use any chemicals when cleaning. Just make sure you get one that gets hot enough to actually do the job.
Below are the two that actually get hot enough to disinfect.
This is the one that got the best rating and it is one of the lower priced steam mops on the market. It has an indicator light that will tell you when it needs to be filled.
Go Old School
It seems the old way is still the best way. A tip I learned along the way: If it is heat you are looking for to kill germs don't use water straight from the tap to fill your bucket. Boil the water first before you use it. You should also use a string/microfiber mop as opposed to a sponge mop. The string/microfiber mop can be put into the wash to be disinfected. A sponge mop can not be washed so it will retain bacteria in it. So the only way to avoid the bacteria would be to change out the sponge frequently and this would become quite costly.
This is the string/microfiber variety of mop with a washable head.
This is the sponge mop type. Where if you want to truly clean, you will need to replace the sponge often.
One of the more popular choices lately seems to be the Swiffer series of cleaners. They have different models for a variety of floor surfaces. These are good for a quick clean. Which is fine if you are going to clean often. However they are not really of much use at all at absorbing up a spill. They also are not much good at removing residue from a spill that has sat for awhile. They are generally lightweight and have the convenience of having the cleaning solution built into the mop. Therefore no need to take time to get a bucket, fill it, and lug it around.
This video shows you how to open the Swiffer Wet Jet Bottle. Then you can put in whatever kind of cleaning product you want. You could even put in your homemade and / or environmentally friendly cleaning products.
This comes with the mop, a bottle of cleaning fluid, and a box of 6 cleaning pads
The Best Choice
Since a steam mop does not seem to be worth it, I thought I would do more research and find the best mop. There are many floor surfaces that we clean these days. Which mop, that is lightweight and convenient, is the best for handling them all?
The Rubbermaid Reveal Mop seems to be the best choice. The mop heads are thick so they can actually absorb a spill. It has removable mop heads that can be washed approximately 100 times before you need to replace it. That is better for the environment and saves you the money since you will lower the frequency of having to buy replacement heads.
You can put a variety of cleaning solutions into the mops dispenser. This is great as then you can use different solutions for your different floor surfaces. It will save you money as you can use whatever cleaning solution you want, including homemade. It is also better for the environment as the bottles are reusable and you can use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
It is easy and light weight. No bucket required to be lugged around. There are no batteries required for the spray trigger. This is the product I am going to recommend for my sister to buy.
Rubbermaid Reveal Mop
It comes with the mop, 2 refillable bottles, and 3 microfiber wet mop pads.
These can be attached to your Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop to use to dust your floors.