Steam Mop: Your Home-Cleaning Buddy
Do you sometimes wish that you’re a germaphobe so that you will be compelled to clean your whole house? Or, do you want to have more time and energy to do manual cleaning after an exhausting day at work?
Those wishes may not happen, but it doesn’t mean you have no way to get the floor clean. If you hate cleaning or simply don’t have the time for it, consider buying a steam mop. This tool efficiently cleans various floor surfaces fast and easy.
What Is a Steam Mop?
Using the traditional mop-and-bucket methods get your floor squeaky while cleaning. On the other hand, a steam mop heats ordinary tap water to produce steam to clean the floor with lesser noise. The steam is released in the mop head while in contact with the surface. The heat of the steam helps in dissolving grease and sanitizing the floor. Various studies confirm that vapor with a temperature between 175 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit kills 99.9% of bacteria without any cleaning chemicals.
The microfiber cloth attached to the mop wipes down the dirt, stains, and other elements. After cleaning, you can remove the fabric. Wash and dry it so that you can use it again on the next cleaning session. This practice makes buying a steam mop a worthy investment in the long run.
The chemical-free cleaning helps improve indoor quality, but some surfaces are not meant for heat cleaning. Avoid using a steam mop in the following:
- Painted surfaces as heat can melt paints;
- Porous surfaces, such as stucco, brick, and marble;
- Large industrial spaces and food plants;
- Large areas of a dirty carpet;
- Delicate items, such as silks, thin plastics, and velour upholstery.
You might have used a steam mop on these surfaces before, and it worked fine. However, repeated exposure to heat can damage them over time. Also, a steam mop can clean sidewalks and crack, but the result will never be as good as a pressure washer.
In short, steam mop works great in many situations, but not on all surfaces. Make sure you understand this to avoid damaging your floor when your purpose is to clean it.
Pro Cleaning Tips
Steam mop comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and features. Some are better than others. Whatever model you choose, make sure you follow these practices:
- Prepping the floor. A steam mop is not the only tool that you can use for cleaning. Make sure to sweep or vacuum the floor before using the steam mop.
- Combine traditional methods for heavy-duty cleaning. While steam mop is a great tool, it has some limitations. It cannot remove tough stains and dirt on its own. You can treat the surface first to remove the soil using a scrubber and a cleaning solution.
- Use multiple mop pads. Many steam mops come with up to three microfiber cloths. This allows you to change a dirty pad with a clean one. If you need more mop pads, you can always order online from the device’s manufacturer. Read the manual to see where you can order mop accessories.
- Don’t use it on unsealed floors. As explained above, do not use a steam mop on some surfaces.
In terms of frequency in use, it depends on your lifestyle and how many family members you have (including pets). If you’re single and you spend most of your time outside, once a month will do. For more active families, especially those with kids and pets, you may need to use a steam mop at least once a week.
Use the tool when necessary, but not on all occasions. You can still do deep scrubbing using the old-fashioned way to substitute for steam cleaning.