If your home has mostly hard floor surfaces rather than carpet, then you need a piece of cleaning equipment that is lightweight, versatile, and powerful to keep all your floors looking good. A steam mop is the perfect solution because it fits that description perfectly. Most steam mops weigh less than ten pounds so that they are easy to carry from room to room and easy to use as well. They are appropriate for cleaning all kinds of hard surfaces such as ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, stone, marble, or sealed hardwoods because they do not use any harsh chemicals that could damage the floors. In addition, the steam mop machines usually do not leave a lot of water behind so there is no risk of damaging your floors that way either. Finally, steam is a great natural cleaner. It is hot enough to kill most bacteria that can be found on your floors and it will break up almost any stain.
Bissell Steam Mop Hard-Floor Cleaner, Green Tea, 1867-7
Eureka 313A Enviro Hard-Surface Floor Steamer
Euro-Pro Shark S3501 Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop
A steam mop has an electrical cord because you need power in order to heat the water to make steam. Most steam mops have steam on demand meaning that the steam is dispensed with the push of a button on the handle. However, certain models work slightly differently. The Euro-Pro Shark S3501 Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop, for example, dispenses steam whenever the mop moves in a natural mopping motion. That gives you a continuous supply of steam as you mop the floor. With this Shark steamer you do not have to worry about how much steam to dispense because the mop does it for you.
With all steam mops, the longer you dispense steam with the mop in one position, the hotter that area of the floor will get. Therefore, if you have a particularly bad stain or an area that you are particularly concerned about when it comes to bacteria, you should hold the mop in place and push the steam button. Some steam mop manufacturers recommend eight second of continuous steam to reach an appropriate temperature. With the Shark steam mop, you can pump the handle to dispense steam while it is in place since normally the steam is dispensed when the mop is in motion.
Some people might be concerned about the longevity of a product like this because over time and after much use, most mop heads wear out and the mop needs to be replaced. Steam mops come with reusable mop pads that are usually washable so that you do not have to buy a new mop every time the pad wears out. You can remove the pad after each use and wash it. Some mop pads are machine washable and others have to be washed by hand. If a pad does wear out then you can replace it instead of replacing the entire mop.
Eureka 60978 EnviroSteamer Magic Cloth
Bissell 3252-5 Steam Mop Delux Pad Kit – 2 Pack
Shark All-Purpose Micro-Fiber Cleaning Pockets, 2 Pack, XT3501
Certain brands of steam mops have special mop pad features that make them more desirable than others. For example, the Eureka! Magic cloths are machine washable and can be washed just like any other piece of laundry. The Bissell Deluxe Mop Pads for the Bissell Steam Mop have a ribbed bottom and are thicker than other brands so they are more durable and better at scrubbing hard stains and rougher surfaces such as slate tile. The Shark mop pads come in different shapes to go with the interchangeable mop heads. The Shark Pocket Steam Mop has a rectangular and a triangular head and there are mop pads to match both orientations.