Whether you have linoleum, wood, or tile, steam mops are a terrific way to clean your hard floors. The steam soaks the pad making it easier to pick up all the dirt on the floor without leaving a residue. Steam mops can also disinfect your floors which is important if you have small children crawling around.
One word of caution – If you have laminate flooring, read the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some laminates need to be kept as dry as possible so you won’t want to use a steam mop or a regular mop.
Benefits of a Top Steam Mop
Steam mops will clean, disinfect and sanitize without chemicals. The best ones also kill dust mites and sometimes restore the shine to your floors.
As an added benefit, the floor dries quickly unlike a Swiffer or a regular mop. This is important if you have pets who love to walk over where you were cleaning. My two cats are always waiting just outside where I’m cleaning.
What I also love is you don’t have to clean the mop or cart around a mop bucket.
The bursts of steam will also help loosen up a stuck-on mess (hello, spaghetti sauce) and may be able to deep clean what you thought was a stain.
How to Use a Steam Mop
It’s important to remember that steam mops are not vacuums. You will need to vacuum or sweep before running your steam mop. The steam mop can handle some dirt, but it won’t pick up cereal or pet food.
Some steam mops can handle regular tap water while others require distilled. You should use filtered water if your steam mop doesn’t specify or if you can use regular water. It reduces the mineral buildup in the mop.
Follow the directions for your particular steam mop for how much water to put in the tank. Most mops need at least 30 seconds to heat the water to steam. Some require longer.
Press the nozzle to generate steam and dampen the cloth.
It’s a good plan to work from one corner diagonally to another corner. And if possible, end near a doorway so you can exit. Thankfully, the floor will dry quickly.
Top Rated Steam Mops
I chose these steam mops because my research showed they had the best reliability as well as the effectiveness with cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing hard floors.
Bissell Power Fresh
This easy-to-use steam mop cleans and sanitizes sealed hard floors killing 99% of germs and bacteria. You can adjust the steam level from low to medium to high. Bissell also provides three types of cleaning pads including a carpet glider. So if you need to steam clean part of a carpet, you can do it.
The Bissell Power Fresh can also be used to clean upholstery with a variety of included tools. The main handle is removable to allow for easy cleaning of things like stovetops, countertops, grout, and more.
This unit is corded with an extra-long 25-foot cord and uses washable mop pads.
Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop System
The Shark Steam Pocket Mop has an 18-foot power cord. It uses plain tap water and special microfiber pads.
It’s extremely easy to use. You fill up the tank, let it heat up, and the steam gets released directly where you want it to go as you move the mop around. You don’t have to pull a trigger to release the steam.
What makes the Shark genius is that you can flip the mop head over and keep on cleaning. This doubles your cleaning time without having to change the mop pad.
PurSteam ThermaPro Steam Mop
The 10-in-1 cleaning machine is a best seller because of the price and the flexibility of the unit. The main upright mop comes with a variety of other cleaning accessories. It has a detachable built-in handheld steamer which is great for around the bottom of a toilet. It includes a window squeegee and a straight nozzle for corners and baseboards. There is also a bent nozzle for hard-to-reach areas and other nylon brushes for grout, countertops, and more.
While the mop pads are washable, they’re not intended to last as long as the mop pads on the other steam mops. My research shows that people buy a third-party brand that covers the steam mop head as it stays on better.
Bissell Spin Wave
This is the only cordless steam mop I could find. It gives you 20 minutes of power and it does a great job too. It has dual rotating mop heads that scrub the floor for you while it steam cleans. You can also spray shoots of cleaning solution to loosen up the tough spots before you go over them. It uses microfiber pads which are machine washable and should last a long time. You get two soft-touch pads and two scrubby pads along with two 8oz trial size multi-surface cleaning formulas.
This is a great option if you have a lot of spills or messy eaters (like my cats) and need some extra help scrubbing it off of the floor while you clean and sanitize.
Which Should You Buy?
You can’t go wrong with any of these options. You should evaluate how much cleaning you will do and what type. If you just want to clean your floors, you can choose a simpler model. If you want to steam clean other areas in your home, you should get the multi-function.
What other questions do you have about steam mops? Leave a comment and I’ll answer them.