A steam mop is an eco-friendly cleaning item that can be used for deep cleaning. It uses steam to get rid of dirty surfaces, floors, furniture, upholstery, etc. The usage is quite simple, it works by heating the water stored in the reservoir. At about 120 degrees Celsius, steam is emanated which moistens the microfiber pad placed under the mop. The wet pad cleans dirt on a surface.
Some mops are even equipped with a two-sided flip mop head that allows you to clean two different types of surfaces at once. This means that you can handle a hard and delicate surface at a time.
Can You Put Floor Cleaner In a Steam Mop?
The question is, can one use floor cleaner in place of plain water in the mop? Sadly the answer is no. Floor cleaners like Eco-Me Herbal Mint Natural, Black Diamond Stoneworks, Bona Hardwood Cleaner and so, on provide an extra cleaning edge. In terms of eliminating germs, getting rid of stubborn stains, and also providing a refreshing cleaning smell.
Using them directly on the floors and other surfaces pose no problem at all, only with regular mops that is. The water tank or reservoir is not designed to house chemicals at all. It will only lead to corrosion. The only recommended liquid to use is your demineralized water. Using ordinary steam is as good as using any floor cleaner it seems. But surely are there no other alternatives?
Suitable Cleaning Agents That Can Be Used In A Steam Mop
As stated earlier, floor cleaners can’t be used in steam mops. Rather some brands come with a specific liquid that can be used. This, however, can be more expensive and does not sit well with the cleaning budget of some customers most times. But some cheaper alternatives will take care of your extra needs and at the same time, do not corrode your mop. They include
1. Laundry detergent
Laundry detergents are the perfect solutes to go with the steam mop. They are easy to procure and are safe to use. Good detergents give you clean laundry, so does using it with a regular mop. The same goes for the steam mop as well. Just mix in a proportionate amount with water and commence cleaning.
You want to ensure a germ-free surface area, but you are satisfied with just the steam, then get your vinegar. Vinegar chemically is a weak acid and is common in homemade cleaning agents. It is suitable for killing germs and it is steam mop-friendly. Its aroma is also sweet to the nose receptors of some people. The quantity of vinegar used should be a quarter of the water level.
3. Eucalyptus oil
Looking just for the aroma, then this is what you can use. When vaporized, it releases a pleasant smell. Plus it diffuses over large surface areas and can fill a room. A few drops are enough to get what you are looking for, plus it will not affect the mop.
Another agent suitable for just the aroma and is safe to use with this mop is these citrus fruits extract. The juice is extracted before adding to the water for cleaning. For best usage, combine the juice with vinegar and mix it up.
Apart from eucalyptus oil, other essential oils should be used on the microfiber pad. It will still give that aromatic cleaning experience, at no risk at all. The use of antiseptics should be avoided. It tends to produce more steam than the mop was designed to produce. This will shorten its lifespan and void its warranty.
Can You Put Disinfectant In a Steam Mop
Yes. You can add disinfectant to your steam mop. Some disinfectants give off offensive fumes that are toxic to human health. So you have to make sure you use products from a known brand to do your cleaning.
Best Steam Mop To Use in 2021
For most items, there are multiple brands or types. It gives you options and alternatives but choosing the right one can be tedious and more of a chore. Here we narrowed down the list for you, with only the best from which to choose from;
The water tank capacity of this mop is 0.25 liters. It heats up in just 30 seconds. Also, you can refill the water tank that comes with it, even when the steam is on. It works well on all surfaces, including vinyl flooring, and as a bonus, glass windows. Since it has a handheld feature, its range of cleaning is very extensive.
It is a bit difficult for maneuvering around corners and spaces. And since it does not come with an indicator light, you can’t be exactly sure when it’s ready for usage. But if you ask me, it is a small price for a guaranteed good cleaning.
The cord length is 4 meters and it comes with a small round brush, detail nozzle, detail nozzle, extension tube, and cleaning pads for floor head, and storage bag as accessories.
2. Vax S86-SF-C Steam Fresh Combi
This steam cleaner comes with two tanks; a detergent tank and a water tank. The water tank is detachable to fill and has a heating time of 30 seconds. Not only that, the steam output can be adjusted depending on the surface type and depth of soil. It is very suitable for cleaning greasy surfaces. The cleaner works on a lot of surfaces including carpets (low fiber types).
Also, it weighs 3.75kg and has a cord length of 8 meters. The accessories available for it are; 3 scrubbing brushes, metallic brush, carpet glider, 2 detail nozzles, grout cleaner, scraper tool, window cleaning tool, detergent bottle, and a storage bag.
3. Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop S6003UK
This is specifically designed for tough clean-up jobs. It comes with three steam settings plus a steam blast feature, to help deal with tough grime and grease. The dual-sided touch-free pads it comes with allows you to use the two sides while mopping before needing to change.
It also has a heating time of 30 seconds. Even though the cleaning result is impressive, it can only be used on the hard and sealed floor, due to the level of heat it emanates.
Its water tank capacity is 0.35 liters. The length of the cord is 8 meters and it weighs 2.8 kg. And the only accessory it comes with is double-sided cleaning pads for the floorhead (2).
This cleaning tool can be used on different ranges of surfaces including carpets. Grimes such as muddy stains are quite easy to remove due to the many steam functions it comes with.
Although its heating time is 11 minutes, the machine maintains steam for up to one hour. Also, it comes with an indicator to help. Though it offers a good cleaning experience it cannot be used properly on small surface areas of furniture.
The water tank capacity is 1,6 liters and comes with over 20 accessories that includes small nylon brushes(3), a small brass bristle brush, detail nozzle, carpet glider, anti-limescale cachets(2), microfibre protection covers for brushes(2).
Pros and Cons of Steam Mops
It is common to see traditional methods of doing things being replaced by more modern and advanced means. The driving force behind this is to find better ways of carrying out daily tasks more effectively. Still, it is noteworthy to bear in mind its advantages and limitations, enabling one to adapt fully to the uses of these advanced tools. In this case, here are the following pros and cons of a steam mop;
Pros of Steam Mop
a. Quick To Dry
Compared to traditional mops, the steam mop leaves a dry surface in record time. Most noticeable on hard surfaces, one does not have to worry about wet floors, since steam is quick to dry. This eliminates the issue of safety hazards.
b. Effective Cleaning
Due to the issue of having a germ-free surface, be it floors or furniture, fears of uncleanliness remain with regular mops. However, steam comes with a high temperature which has the cleaning power you need. Steam mops assure a customer of a germ-free environment, this is undeniable.
c. Less Usage Of Chemical
Due to the aforementioned issue, regular mops are compensated with the use of chemicals, unfortunately, they come with a risk. These chemicals are indeed useful in dealing with germs or bacteria, but the risk of poisoning of self, children, and pets remains.
Also, some of these chemicals may contain allergic substances, which is uncomfortable to deal with. Luckily the use of steam mops limits the use of these chemicals, which increases the safety of persons and pets within.
d. Multiple Cleaning Area
A regular mop is limited to just the floors, but its better counterpart can be used on car interiors, furniture, windows, doors, whatever that is plain, dirty, and non-susceptible to heat damage. This makes cleaning more efficient and lowers cleaning expenses to a minimum.
Cons of Steam Mop
The comparative price between the two mops is obvious, with the steam mop costing more. This is due to the high cost of production involved. Even though it is more expensive to procure, it lowers the cost of cleaning, especially In the long run.
b. Safety Issues
The heat of the steam is a double-edged sword, though the high temperature ensures its effectiveness in cleaning if properly mishandled can lead to some hazards. Example skin burns. Ensure to read the instructions and keep to them, the risk may be there but being safety conscious will help.
c. Long Drying Time For Carpet
Using this mop on a carpet is not a problem, it will give your carpet a fresh look. Plus a more sanitary state, even smells are eliminated. However it will take quite a while to be completely dry, 24 hours give or take.
In the end, the cons are just limitations that can be managed quite well. Adhere to instructions and take care of the cleaning tool before, during, and after use. It will give you a good cleaning experience which you will not regret.