Not sold

After the mop conversation last week, I became intrigued by the steam mops mentioned by several commenters. They sounded like a great deal. They used only water and killed germs with their heat. The water was internal, so no buckets for the toddler to splash around in. They were mops, so no hands-and-knees cleaning. I went to Amazon, which offers customer reviews, and looked at several models. It doesn’t matter which one I picked, because I think my thoughts will be the same.

My new steam mop came yesterday. I immediately stopped everything to assemble it and try it out. Yes, it mopped the floor. I am sold on the idea of using a mop to clean. I definitely covered the large area I need to cover in a short period of time. In fact, I mopped and re-mopped and kept mopping until the water/steam ran out and probably did the floor about three times in the time it would normally take me to do it once by hand. Nice.

Yes, the steam mop got hot. But. In order for the tiles to get hot, in order for the germ-killing steam to be effective, you need to keep the mop in the same place for about 10 seconds. The directions even suggest only doing this in very germy places like near the toilet. Otherwise, you spend way too much time mopping your floor, bit by bit.

I am definitely not going to stand around waiting for the steam to kill off germs when I can use a cleaning solution to kill them faster. I know some people do not prefer harsh chemicals, so the steam mop may be right for them. But I’m the sort of person who thinks bleach is a wonderful thing (bring it on, I say). Since for me, the biggest draw to the steam mop was the killing of germs, but the killing of germs is time-consuming with a steam mop, the steam mop loses out when compared to an ordinary mop and a bucket of Lysol floor cleaner.

One other major drawback was the electric cord. In order to do the areas I have, I needed to use at least 3 different outlets. That is extremely inconvenient and annoying.

Also, some people raved about the steam mop cleaning up sticky things. I tried several different areas. Just going back and forth over an area (scrubbing) didn’t do it. But holding the steam mop over the area for it to get hot enough, and it did do a great job of cleaning stickiness. So I will grant you that convenience.

I’m not saying that steam mops are bad. But they cost a lot of money and their benefits, for me, are not worth it. I’ll be sending mine back today and heading out to buy some other kind.

12 thoughts on “Not sold

  1. I thought about getting a steam mop, too, but after reading several reviews and instructions, decided it wasn't going to work as well as it ought. πŸ™‚ I'll stick with my regular terry mop, hot water, and whatever cleaning solution I'm into at the moment. I'm a big fan of bleach, too, and ammonia, but I'm using vinegar on the floor right now. That's supposed to be anti-bacterial, too, though I haven't found any information about how long it has to be in contact with the surface in order to disinfect. Any ideas?

  2. No. I love vinegar and generally have the kids use it because they are very liberal in their application and vinegar is cheap. Just don't like the smell. Have any suggestions for that?

  3. You can use an essential oil like peppermint or lavender to alter the smell of the vinegar. You should know that it will change the smell but it will not make vinegar smell like peppermint, YKWIM?

    I have never tried a steam mop but a few years ago I made the switch from sponge mop to terry cloth mop. I love the fact that I can use a fresh terry cloth whenever I feel like the one in use is too grimy and then toss them all in the wash with some bleach and make them clean again for the next round.

  4. I've been tempted in the past over the steam mop. But the friend who raved to me about it later found that it wrecked the finish on her linoleum and wood floors. It's fine, apparently on stone/tile, but I can also understand all of the other reasons you cited.

    I use the Libman mop from Target. I like the twisty wring you do with it, and the “strings” are actually strips of soft, scrubby material. These do well cleaning in general, and like someone else mentioned, I step on them to scrub stubborn spots.

    My cleaning solution? One teaspoon Murphy's to about a gallon and a half of hot water. Then I (shhh!) don't rinse. I use scalding hot water and just let it dry. If I need it dry in a hurry I find the child who is causing the most trouble (because they need something to do) and let them do the towel-skating-thing.

  5. Nope, 'cept it wears off quickly. And no one's going to need emergency help if they ingest it. Big selling point for me. Penelope will eat anything. 😦

  6. Thanks for the review. I was contemplating a steam mop for our PCS to Italy but am rethinking it now. Have you tried adding lemon to the vinegar?

  7. While I don't have any advice on cleaners, I do have a suggestion on steam cleaning. A Steam Buggy is cheap, portable, & gets the corners, sticky stuff, etc.

    For the others out there who participated in the discussion, I just finished the downstairs powder room. My Wet Jet did such a poor job, that when we “Scooba” the kitchen (after the Roomba vacuumns), I will turn it loose on the powder room to clean up after the Wet Jet. The rest of my cleaning is done, too. God bless technology!

  8. My all time favorite cleaners: bleach, vinegar, and baking soda. Oh, yes, and good ol' hot water.
    Sorry the steam mom didn't work out. It did sound promising. Personally, I think you should take Bill up on the maid. πŸ˜‰

  9. Maids are nice but personally I always figured I'd have to do the daily messes to keep it orderly for the once a week or twice a month total clean so I just invested in less back breaking applicances that didn't break the budget.
    For bathrooms that aren't too big I still do hands and knees. On the floor area away from the toilet and corners the hoover floor mate. You can put in hot water and solution, scrub and suck up water. Not a big appliance, just go a little slower than warp speed!
    I tend to use ammonia more than bleach. I don't like the risidual smell of vinegar. but vinegar is animal and kid friendly. Is it perfect? no
    On wood I never used water hot cold or other except to clear up a specific mess. Always a wood floor cleaner. Preen. with a terry,swifter mop.
    Rugs also require different treatment. Water again is not friendly it soaks and allows mold if you can't dry it out. They don't make the best product anymore — Glamoreen. It was work but rugs smelled clean. You brushed it in and let it sit and vacuumed it up. A little like glory is but without that wetness. Now all I do is vacuum, use baking soda and spot clean a rug. (until you spill a gallon of paint and then it's time for a new rug!)

  10. Glad I read this. I've been looking at buying a steam mop (our house has NO carpet), but I think I'll stick to my handdandy rope mop. You saved us some money! πŸ˜‰

  11. I have a cheap answer. I get an industrial cotton string mop from our local warehouse club, along with a package of three refill heads.

    I put the electric kettle on to boil.

    When I have boiling water, I pour a bit on the floor (not from hip level or it will splash) and hit it with the dry mop.

    The boiling water dissolves the dirt and the dry mop absorbs the water. What little is left dries very quickly because the water is so hot.

    When I'm done, I dump that mop head in the laundry and put on a clean one.

    The only downside is that I have to watch where I rest the kettle to make sure a little one doesn't go for it, but, when I really need to (I do not say “want to”) mop, Blues Clues is my friend!

  12. Forgot to mention, I do add a little bleach or floor cleaner occasionally, but most of the time, it's just water.

    Also, for dried ice cream/jello/yogurt, I let the hot water sit for a moment and then mop it.

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