A steam mop is a small steam generator designed for sanitizing and cleaning floors. The appearance resembles an electric broom, a stick with the tank/boiler mounted above, and ending in a large head for the delivery of steam, on which a microfiber cloth is applied to remove dirt. The steam mop is light, easy to handle, and stands up on its own. But be careful because this is not a replacement tool for the vacuum cleaner or the electric broom. It is indeed recommended to always pass one of these two appliances on the floor before treating it with a steam mop, to maximize results. The action of the steam is indicated for the removal of the most stubborn or sediment dirt, while the suction machines eliminate only the lightest dust and debris.
In addition to the cleaning function, the steam also has a well-known sanitizing function. It, therefore, helps to eliminate bacteria and viruses, helping to create a healthier environment. But what are the factors that you need to consider while buying a steam mop? Can steam mops be used on hardwood floors? Let’s have a look at the decisive factor for the choice of the steam mop.
When to use the steam mop
Those who care more about cleaning the house can safely pass the steam mop every week, as part of the “general” cleaning that we all normally do once a week. In particular, if there are small children or pets in the house, we may want to pass it even more often to maintain a high level of hygiene and cleanliness.
Cleaning is more effective. The fresher the dirt is: if we spilled liquids or make the floors dirty with mud after the rain, we can pass the steam mop immediately to prevent dirt from getting encrusted.
The first factor to consider when purchasing a steam mop is what concerns the performance it can offer. You will be interested in knowing what temperatures the steam delivered can reach, and whether it can be regulated to treat different surfaces, even delicate ones. But let’s go in order and try to see one by one the characteristics that influence the performance of a steam mop.
The power absorbed by a steam mop is important for a fundamental reason. It depends on the rapidity with which the water inside the tank reaches the temperature necessary for the steam supply. Therefore it is crucial for the times of waiting needed before you can start using the broom. On the market, you can find electric brooms with an absorbed power ranging from 800 to 1600 W, the difference in terms of waiting times, for the same amount of water loaded in the tank, is significant. An 800 W steam mop can take a minute or so to heat 500 ml of water, while a 1600 W mop can only take 15 seconds.
A second important factor in evaluating concerns is water management. We refer first of all to the capacity of the tank, which is directly related to the duration of use of the steam mop before having to stop to top up the water. It limits the formation of limescale deposits; contributes to the maintenance of the steam mop.
This feature depends on how long you can use the steam mop without having to stop for topping up. We underline that, in general, all modern steam brooms allow immediate refilling, that is, without having to wait for the tank to cool down and lose pressure.
As said, steam brooms generally have tanks with a rather limited capacity, from a minimum of 350 ml to a maximum of 500 ml. In any case, the capacity/autonomy ratio is generally very good, a 400 ml tank, for example, may already be enough to wash about 100 square meters of floor.
The accessories supplied with a steam mop are also very important, especially if you want to use it not only for cleaning floors, but also rugs, carpets, curtains or windows. Some particularly versatile models, then, will allow you to separate the tank from the broom and adapt it for use with a flexible hose or a special nozzle for cleaning surfaces placed at the top. Let’s see below what the most common accessories supplied with steam brooms can be.
- Replacement cloths: practically all the steam brooms on the market are supplied with at least two microfiber cloths that are reusable and machine washable.
- Insole for carpets and rugs: another very common accessory is this plastic insole, which allows the steam mop to slide well even on rugs and carpets.
- Topping up dispenser: this too is a very frequent accessory, especially for those steam brooms that do not have a removable tank.
Also, you can find other accessories, such as additional vents that allow you to treat different surfaces and rigid or flexible pipes that allow you to extend the range of action of the broom and to reach glass or shelves placed on the wall more easily. Let’s see what these additional accessories can be:
- Steam concentrator: it is a long and thin nozzle which allows acting with particular incisiveness on the joints between the tiles or in particularly narrow passages.
- Round brush: a small round brush with bristles that allows a localized action on very greasy or resistant strains.
- Glass brush: a special glass cleaning brush.
- Reviving cloth: this cloth, sometimes supplied with its plastic support, is useful for reviving and “ironing” cloths left hanging and unused for a long time or for cleaning upholstered furniture, such as armchairs and sofas.
The most frequently asked questions about the steam mop:
How do you use the steam mop?
Using the steam mop is really very simple. It is advisable first to pass the vacuum cleaner on the floor to be treated to maximize the performance of the steam cleaning.
- Apply the cloth: the microfiber cloths must be applied beforehand to the head of the broom.
- Fill the tank: to do with the broom off, of course.
- Turn on the broom: usually, the switch has a small light that signals the turning on.
- Wait for the preparation of the steam: time will pass from the moment the broom is switched on to the first delivery of the steam.
- Passing the mop: the steam mop is passed on the floor exactly as an electric mop is passed. If you pass it on a carpet or rug, you will need to use the plastic slab usually included in the supply.
Is the steam mop for sofas okay?
This is also not a use for which the steam mop is designed. On the market, you can still find models equipped with accessories for this particular type of cleaning.
Can steam mops be used on hardwood floors?
Yes, steam mops can be used on hardwood floors. They are designed to clean the hardwood flooring, including vinyl flooring, marble, stone, laminate, ceramic tiles, and more.
Benefits of Steam Cleaning Over Traditional Methods:
Steam washing is environmentally safe because it does not contain any additives, and
there are no residual contaminants left on the floors that may be dangerous to
residents of house. The benefit of steam washing is that it incinerates thousands of
pathogenic strains that inhabit the household.
Some of the benefits of Steam Cleaning are as follows,
- The application of steam cleaning does not necessitate floor scrubbing.
- The drying time is less and not a lot of residual water is left behind.
- This is a chemical-free approach and is may prove very beneficial to you and everyone else in your house who might respond adversely to the chemical detergents.
Is Steam Cleaning harmful for your Wood Flooring?
Steam is a common supply of hot water that is heated to produce a strong washing
force. High temperatures dilute and soften the sticky soil and stains therefore, it can be
easily washed away. It’s an incredibly safe, simple and cost-effective way to clean your
Normal cleaning requires a lot of time and energy also with the risk of making
your house smell typically from the scent of the chemicals that clean it. While cleaning
fluids are engineered to smell good by the manufacturers, the fact that chemicals they
use can be very poisonous and a fair amount would be difficult to does not go away.
Steam cleaning is not only healthy and easy but also a lot faster. It also provides
thorough cleaning of difficult to extract micro-organisms. The use of a standard mop
and bucket might cause the water to seep in to the wooden floors and cause it to swell
and hydrate, steam cleaning removes any chances for these irreversible hazards.