Steam Mops

Lisa_H OK(7)March 18, 2009

Since, the vacuum thread floated back to the top, it reminded me I was interested in a steam mop. Does anyone have one? Do you like it?


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I don't tend to buy anything for housekeeping other than basics. A sponge or mop, a jug of bleach, some soap and my knees work for me. It is just so easy to accumulate all the newest doo dads, they break in months or you have to buy special solutions to use in them. And then the old equipment just goes to a landfill.

Not that it would be so in your situation. It might actually be something to make your life much easier, or necessary for the type of flooring you have. Whatever. But I cringe when I go down the supermarket isle and see the expensive solutions and pads to use in one very popular cleaning system. If you own one, you are forever obliged to pay for the priveledge until the novelty is worn off.

I do understand, however, they're supposed to be disinfectant and without the chemicals. They're an interesting idea. I would be afraid to cook my resident arachnids, though and prolly a bare foot now and then.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 4:19PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I have ceramic floors. I don't know what I was thinking....I hate to mop, and vinyl is MUCH easier to mop :) My grout looks fairly nasty. I've cleaned it before with chemicals, but I was hoping the steam mop would work as well, or better.

I'm with you, I don't like to buy the latest thing. I have a VERY small house and I just don't have room for them.

I will say I bought a dry swiffer mop after I had my wood floors refinished to help "mop" down all the walls. I love it. I use it with great pleasure :) I grew up with the string dust mop and I hated trying to shake it out.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 4:37PM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I REALLY REALLY want one, but I want to know someone that's used one, before I go buy one. I think it would work wonderfully on the floors in my kitchen, bathroom, and dining room (all faux wood floors) that you can't really USE chemicals on.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:51PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

I've used them. (Both when working in a restuarant kitchen, and at home.) Both floor models and hand-held models.

Do they work? Yes, within the limitations of their design. They aren't magic. Are they easier to use than mopping? IMO, yes but not by much, depending on how you feel about wringing mops as opposed to changing applicator covers. Some folks do think the steam cleaners do a better job while cleaning faster. I think it depends on how dirty the floor is and what type of dirt you are trying to remove and how good you are at replacing the dirty applicator covers with clean!

As far as disinfecting is concerned, using a vinegar solution or an alcohol wipe is far more dependably disinfecting than plain warm water... oh, and that's the other thing: "steam" rapidly cools from hot to warm when applied to the surface you are cleaning. Commercial machines do emit steam (within an inch of the nozzle); most home models do not. Very much depending on the machine's design, you are most likely to be applying a hot mist (which quickly cools). Heat does disinfect, but not instanteously and not unless very, very hot. The sort of heat that would truly disinfect is hotter than you actually want to apply to most surfaces, and requires a longer period of time than just a few moments of moving the applicator back and forth. Many of the systems require using a special solution which actually contains a surfactant to assist in loosening the dirt particles and which may or may not contain additional disinfectants.

"Steam" cleaning is superb for removing grease and soap scum; and only fairly good at lifting dirt. That's because you are applying a mist and the applicator is what actually removes any loose dirt. You can get the same effect by wringing out a mop or a rag in very hot water, and rubbing it back and forth. Change the applicator cover often because otherwise you are just spreading dirt from one place to another; if cleaning by hand, change the solution often -- don't apply dirty water to a surface and then expect to have a clean surface.

If you want both speed and effectiveness in cleaning: invest in a couple commercial spray bottles, a stack of cotton wash clothes, and a gallon of white vinegar. Mix some of the vinegar with water (1 to 5 for windows and walls; 1 to 1 for filthy places) in the spray bottle; spray the area to be cleaned and wipe off with a clean cloth. That's it. Truly. That's all it takes! Ground in dirt does require more effort to remove, so remember that if you don't let dirt build up, you won't have to work hard to remove it.

For the tiles' grout: Clean as above. Repeat until the applying cloth or mop no longer picks up grime. If the grouting is white, mop on a solution of 1 part clorox bleach mixed into 4 parts water. Let stand wet for a couple hours. Use plain water to dilute and rinse off the bleach. To make future cleaning easier, apply grout sealer being careful to follow the manufacturer's directions. IMO the sealer literally stinks and should only be used when all windows are open, and with a fan to move the air out quickly. However, it really does seal the porous grout and lasts for a couple years. BTW, if sealer wasn't applied soon after the tiles were set, then dirt may have become so embedded in the grout that it can't be whitened. Sealers are available in white and colors as well as transparent, and using a colored sealer may give you a more desirable finish.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:33AM
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Thank you Meldy. Your comments are usually very objective and helpful. In this case, it validated my method for my type of cleaning, and I'll stick to my mop and sponge and bucket and rags. I have pretty good impulse control when it comes to wanting things I see advertised, thank God. But, I'm human and when I saw the ads, of course the first emotion was "I WANT THAT!" I also wanted the Zowee sponges, food choppers and Ginzu knives, but resisted. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:00AM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

My problems with regular mops if that the stores keep changing the types that they carry and then they stop carrying the refills for the head of the one that I really like. This just drives me crazy.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:48AM
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Me too, Andie. I think they all must be subisiaries of Microsoft.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:58AM
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i've seen the ads and have a regular steamer but not the mop, one thing, they only use just water, no there is not buying cleaners..and they are washable and have several applicators, so they aren't needing replacements all the time either..very sanitary..great for people with babies i would think..or pets

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:15PM
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As Heloise has written many times, plain old baking soda and white vinegar are the two most effective cleaning agents on the market. All else is "fluff and fiction"!

I have a Swiffer to use on our wood laminate floors and think it works well. I'm amazed by the amount of dust that accumulates over a few day's time! (I get double duty by turning the pad over and mopping the floors a second time. I also use the store's brand of the replacement pads, which are less expensive. If I were really thrifty, I'd cut old towels to fit; they could be washed and reused.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:46PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Oooh, I like the relationship to Microsoft.

My favorite mop was a thick finegrained sponge with a metal head and a metal plate to press the excess water out of the sponge. Replacement sponges were cheap, and easily screwed onto the head. After about twenty years, the hinges holding the metal plate finally wore out. For ten years following, I probably bought every model of mop invented. Only plastic plate models were available for sponge-type, and they seemed to break within a few months. Ragmaps? Yuck and ouch if you wring by hand, but no twist or squeezer system seems capable of removing more than about 80% of the water, leaving the mop to drip across the floor and smear wetly. In sponge styles, folding, twisting, or pressing with a lever control designs were even less effective than for string mops.

Luckily, my favorite hardware store (of the private owner type so you pay lots, but he finds the best of anything) found a metal-plate sponge mop. Not as good as my old faithful, the sponge is coarse grained and the plate isn't quite as flat as it should be, but worlds better than any of the other types.

And if you're wondering why I have and use a mop, when I recommend spritz and wipe for cleaning... removal of the floor finish requires a strong ammonia solution, and no way can it be used spritz-style. Plus, several old socks pulled over one end make very good pads to apply the fresh finish.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:13AM
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I'm a white vinegar and baking soda cleaner, too, so I tried a steam mop and I really like it. Actually, I got two, but I took one back and kept the Haan. There was no comparison in quality or the way it cleaned. The other one made a lot of steam but when we looked at the bottom, it was not all directed at the floor. It was a lot harder to push, too.

It's been a few months now and I don't know what I ever did without it. It's great on all my floors. Hardwood, vinyl and laminate. I wash the pads in the washer and keep using them instead of throwing them away. I love that I can clean with just water. It's better for my family and Mother Earth.

I would recommend the Haan steam mop to anyone who wants very clean floors with hardly any effort. You won't believe how easy it is and what a great job it does.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 8:41PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Well, I decided to try it....I've held out for over a year, that makes it not an impulse buy :) The one I ordered was Bissell.

Hershey_Lady, I'll keep your recommendation in mind. I have heard good things about the Haan as well.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Anyone have recent experience with Haan Steam Cleaner? Or something better to use? I'll pay more for one that really works great, but I'd love to get some input. Thanx! DD

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 6:58AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Here's my report: it's not a miracle mop :) I found that mine leaves my floor wet and for that reason I certainly would never use it on my wood floors. BUT, I like it. It's easy and I'll use it. I've mopped the floor twice ....that makes it a miracle mop all by itself!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:52AM
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I love my Shark. I am a professional, organic mom of a 15 month old, food-throwing son and have 'food stuck' hard-wood floors. Between thorough cleanings, my Shark steam mop is easy to do a quick, 'truly clean' sweep. They just launched a new model with a bigger tank, multiple cleaning heads that move 360-degrees. I can clean about 30 minutes with it. But, let's be honest - I won't clean that long. I just like the ease of it. It has a 5 year warranty - so no worries!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 2:34PM
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I just bought two Shark steam mops.
The first one I bought at Target and it works fine.
However, Costco just got in some that offer the extra large head giving you three heads and 4 pads.
I just tried out the Costco model and it seems to do ok for awhile and then it stops putting out the steam and I have to pump the handle 10 to 15 times to get the steam going.
I though that the normal mopping action was enough to keep the steam coming.
Has anybody else had this situation and is this normal?
Thanks for any info as I'm thinking of returning both units and just keep on looking.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Are there any problems using a steam mop on ceramic tiles? Do the tiles get loose from the steam?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 12:49AM
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I bought a Shark steam mop from the recommendations of the people who posts here on Garden Web and I've been very happy.
I'm using it on all my floor coverings, especially on my tile floors. I don't see any way that steam can damage anything on tiles or grout.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 8:33PM
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I have a Bissell steam mop. I love it. Every once in a while I have to get on my hands and knees to get close to the baseboards, but I definitely clean my floor more now just because it's so easy. I also have pets so I love the idea of not using any chemicals.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:49PM
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I bought a Shark steam mop a couple of years ago and returned it because it was hard to push. Being a creature for punishment, I just bought the Shark Delux that has a few heads and pads, but I haven't opened it yet. The overall reviews for Shark are not good. How about the Shark Delux and is it hard to push. I want to sanitize but also looking for convenience. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:39PM
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I received mine I cant wait to use it

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:19PM
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I use mine for the first time last night it is fantastic so nice and clean. I washed the mop head too they came out clean I dint use any soap just a little rub while the washing machine was filling up. very happy with mine.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:37PM
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I'm very happy with my Shark steam mop. Yes it can be hard to push in the beginning, but once the floor has been cleaned it works very well.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:55PM
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I've been using a Shark steam mop for a year now on my vinyl kitchen floor. I've been pleased with the fast steam production and quick drying, but I recently realized that after I'd been over an area with the mop, if I wiped the floor with a damp paper towel it was still dirty! Here I'd been patting myself on the back for doing a good job cleaning the floor, and come to find out it's not really clean. Is there such a thing as a steam mop that has a brush? My floor is a dark, multi-colored brick pattern that hides dirt excellently.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 1:29AM
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Alice McKenzie

It has been awhile since anyone has added to this post. I wondered if anyone can add info about steam mops and their success or failure?

I have a lot of ceramic tiles in my house that seem to have a regular layer of dust on them. My dust mop doesn't help much and I don't know what else to do to keep them clean. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 11:53AM
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I still use my steam mop, it works very well on tile.
Re: the dust issue, the steam mop picks up dust and collects it on the pad, it does not spread the dust around.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 7:43PM
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I find that the steam mop just deposits the dirt the vac. and dusting did not pick up onto the edge of the tile at the area of the grout lines, it also leaves smudges on my wood floor.
I have read some of the posts, but seriously, who has time to mop every day? It does an OK job, but hands and knees cleaning is probably the only way to get it right.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 2:13PM
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I've had a Bissell steam & sweep for a year. For stuck-on grime, I carry a multipurpose cleaner sprayer in the other hand. They're great on laminate or vinyl or wood, meh on tile. If you only squeeze the trigger going forward, it doesn't leave the surface wet.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 4:23AM
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I still use my steam mop and it works as well today as the first day I used it.
What appeal to me about mop is the steam feature. I don't have to use any additional cleaner.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 7:56PM
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