A steam mop is essentially a mop that uses mainly steam to clean floors, carpets and other heavy fabrics. A steam mop differ from a regular mop in that a regular mop uses cleaning agents such as bleach while the steam mop uses heat generated from the steam to disinfect floors and any other fabric being washed.
A typical steam mop has a micro-fiber pad located right bellow the steam jet to help trap dirt. The best steam mop models comes with varying sizes of reservoir tanks and will often give dry steam.
How A Steam Mop Works?
A steam mop essentially works by first heating the water inside the reservoir to about 120 degrees Celsius. A steam mop may have one or more jets for releasing dry steam which moistens the microfiber underneath it. The steam help in soaking of the pad and dirt is drawn off the fabric material or ground surface. The high temperature generated from steam can kill up to 99% bacteria as well as household dust mites.
Benefits of a Steam Mop
Do not leave residue on the floor and it capable of cleaning through the dirt.
The best steam mop is capable of effectively removing all the stubborn stains from the floor and fabrics as well disinfecting them by killing bacteria and a wide range of dust mites.
Simple and effortless to use
Compared to the rather time consuming manual use of mopping rags, a steam mop requires only a little effort of sliding and guiding on the grounds within areas intended for cleaning.
Utilizing manual mops can be harmful to the overall hygiene of the area involved. This is because it gets filled with dirt and grime and may turn brown after some moments. A steam mop offers a comprehensive cleansing every time you swipe this gets rid of actual grim instead of distributing it.
No requirement for repeat
Using steam mop often requires a single mop for comprehensive cleaning and this makes it a great time saver.
It doesn’t utilize chemicals that might harm the environment but rather uses steam for disinfection
Steam Mops Are Quite Multifunctional And Their Uses Include
- Cleaning of upholstery and carpets
- Removal of stains from tiles, surface floors, windows etc
- Disinfection of floors and upholsteries by killing of bacteria and dust mites
- Refreshing and removal of dust from floors and carpets
Features To Look For When Buying The Best Steam Mop
Size and Weight
You should make sure that the overall size and weight is ok with you. Consider any additional features or modifications that make use of the mop easier, they may include a fold-down or telescoping handle and removable water tank that you can use to refill the water at the sink.
The best steam mop for hardwood floors model should have this feature that lets you control the amount and speed of moisture released. Some models have continuous steam release while others have trigger steam release mechanism. I would advise that you to go for the one with trigger steam releases mechanism as it offers you more freedom and flexibility.
The water tank that comes with the steam mop is meant to act as a reservoir for water that is later heated to form steam. The higher the capacity the longer it takes to refill, but this may also mean that you will bear a little more weight while at task.
Add-water indicator: The best steam mop comes with this feature, a light that will indicate to you when to refill the reservoir tank.
This is a basic feature that lets you turn on or off the power on the steam mop. You may choose a model that has a flick switch (recommended) or you may go for the one with the pull plug.
Most models come with a rather flexible swivel head. If you intend to work in tight areas, this will be the best steam mop model to go for. It offers flexibility, convenience and saves time.
Built-in vacuum cleaner
The latest models of steam mops have in-built vacuum cleaners. It might be a little extra costly though, so you also need to consider your budget.
Most models of steam mops have code length ranging from 16 to 30 feet. Consider this when ordering for your steam mop. A short cord length is more likely to limit your cleanup to a small room or area. Avoid however using an extra extended cord as this may cause accidents resulting from wattage or tangling.
High steaming power/High temperature steam
A steam mop mainly relies on very hot steam to kill bacteria and germs, and loosen up dirt. The best steam mop will therefore have a higher power rating with temperatures ranging from 120-150 degrees Celsius.
Fast heat-up time
First heat time means that sanitation and overall cleanup time will be reduced. Most models will take about 25-40 seconds to heat up. The maximum temperature attained, overall efficiency and flexibility of the model will also affect the time required to do your cleanup.
Other Considerations When Buying A Steam Mop
Different models of steam mops have varying features and capabilities and so does their prices. The best steam mops that have additional features such as in-built vacuums may be a bit expensive. The best thing is for you to list your desired features and compare against the available models.
Brand name reliability
Naturally, there are many manufacturers and dealers of steam mop. You therefore need to look at the reputation and reliability of the provider in order to get the best steam mop. You can do this by searching for reviews and testimonials from previous customers on the internet.
Germ killing power
The germ killing power of given model of steam mop will depend majorly on the maximum temperature of the steam attained. The hot dry steam temperature rating should be capable of killing germs, bacterial and any dust mites that might surface.
Mop head fabric
These are basically micro-fiber pads that are put underneath the steam jets and delivers superheated steam to the surface being cleaned. The best steam cleaner for tile should have tough, reusable pads that are able to release steam and absorb dirt. The pads should also be machine-washable.
Check for accessories
As already mentioned, check to see that whichever model of a steam mop you choose has all the essential accessories. Some models may came with a carpet drier, which will allow you use steam on carpeted floors. Other important accessories include brushes, landing tray or pad and other replacement parts.