Steam mops are excellent steam cleaners as they are practical for many types of floor surfaces, and as no chemicals are used in the cleaning process, safer for households with pets and children.
However, there are a lot of products on the market, so to ensure that you choose the best steam mop for your families needs, you should consider the following factors:
Type of Floor Surface
Practically all hard surfaces can be cleaned using steam, but special considerations should be made for specific surfaces (like hardwood).
If you plan on cleaning hardwood floors, ensure that it has an adjustable steam setting so you can control the levels of heat and moisture that your floors will receive. Also, if you intend on using it to freshen up your carpets, ensure that it comes with a carpet attachment, which raises the bottom just enough to keep carpets safe.
Size of Cleaning Area
This is a very important factor, particularly if you have a larger home, or multiple stories. There are number reasons why you need to consider this:
- Larger homes require a larger water tank. If you choose a machine with a tank that’s too small for your needs, you’ll find yourself wasting time running back and forth just to refill.
- People with smaller homes, or even those that intend to clean a smaller area, will find most cord lengths acceptable. However, in the case of a larger cleaning areas, finding a machine with a cord long enough to do multiple rooms without unplugging will be much easier and less time consuming.
- A larger mop surface will also clean more floor at once, which is great if you have a large amount of surface to cover.
Cleaning Cloth Material
If you intend to use the mop on wood, or other delicate surfaces, you will need to make sure it comes with microfibre cloth, as other types of cloths may scratch or otherwise damage delicate surfaces. Microfibre is also great at trapping dirt, and can be washed and reused multiple times.
Ease of Use
Look for steam mops which are easy to swivel and fold flat. This will make cleaning around furniture a lot easier. An adjustable, ergonomic handle is best if you have mobility issues, as this will reduce your need to bend and stretch.
Fast Heat-Up Time
Approximately 30 seconds is ideal. In today’s busy world, you don’t want to waste too much time just sitting and waiting for it to heat up. This is especially important if you have multiple cleaning jobs spread throughout the day.
Ideally, you should be able to easily and inexpensively purchase extra cleaning cloths when required. Without extra cloths, the steam mop will be unusable while the original cloth is being washed. Other accessories to keep in mind might be attachments to clean other areas of your house beside your floors, such as windows.