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Steam Mops....the good, the bad, the ugly.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steam Mops....the good, the bad, the ugly.

I'm not naturally the most tidy person in the world.  In fact, know what, let's just keep it at "I'm not naturally tidy."

But once in awhile, I get bit by the super cleaning bug and when I do, I better get on it because it may be some time before it happens again.

Case in point....the day I bought a steam mop.

I have what appears to be a Mexican-type tile on the floors in my kitchen and laundry room. See...

They're not quite as yellow looking as this picture shows, but you get the idea.  And I guess I should be partly thankful that it takes a whole lot of junk to actually make these floors feel really dirty....since they sort of always feel dirty because of the shading.  Ok, so if I'm honest, I am kinda glad it takes a lot...I don't mop every day.  Alright, alright...I maybe mop once a week.  It's quick vacuuming or dustbusting for me most days.

But once in awhile, I want these babies as clean as they can possibly get.  So I decided that what I needed was a steam mop.  Now thankfully for me, The Hubs is a research kind of guy.  And if he wasn't, then it's ok because I think that I inherited some bizarre product research gene from my dad (you remember from the Hanky Panky post, he won't watch a movie without Wall Street Journal approval.)  Anywhoo....I wasn't going to just go to Lowes and buy the first one I saw...which would have been the Shark steam mop because it's everywhere.

And I'm glad I didn't...because doesn't rate nearly as highly as several others.

So at the time I checked which was a few months back, the Eureka EnviroSteam 313A was the highest rated on Consumer Reports (which you have to be a member of fyi to access their ratings....obviously with the research gene I have, we are members.)  That's the one I ended up with...ran about $89 when I bought it probably 5 months ago, is about $65 now. Currently on Consumer Reports though there is one called the H2O Ultra that is rating higher (although I will say it's not getting great user reviews.)  One thing I will tell you that I LOVE about about this mop is that the pads you use are easily washable.  Also, instead of using their custom pads, you could clip any old thick dishrag on and use them to clean your floors.  It's the hot sanitizing steam that gets the floors clean.  And with this model, you only have to hold the mop in place for 3 seconds over any area to actually sanitize since the water reaches about 220 degrees.  Both this and the next one I'll tell you about (the Haan FS-20) actually get hot enough to sanitize.  If they don't get hot enough to sanitize, then there's really not any benefit to getting this over a regular mop besides not having to wring it out periodically. 

<----- The other highly rated mop is the Haan FS-20 which in some places actually rated higher than the Eureka that I have.  I didn't get that one because I was in the mood to clean my floors THAT day that I bought it and I couldn't find the Haan in a store easily, plus the Eureka got higher reviews on some sites as well.  On Amazon they are roughly the same price.  Both this one and the Eureka take about 3 minutes to heat up, but they each sanitize a section by keeping in place for just 3 seconds (this one heats to about 212 degrees)'s a slow pace cleaning, but not nearly as slow as some that require you to hold in place for a full 15 seconds to sanitize.  The longer you have to hold it in place by the way, the wetter it'll leave your floors in the end.

I'm just gonna go ahead and tell you....if you have a Shark, you probably like it....but that's probably because you haven't compared it to what these other mac-daddy mops can do.  The shark only heats up to 110 degrees and just fyi, that's warm enough to mop, but can't begin to touch sanitizing.  Which also means that glob of unknown goop that's been stuck on your floor for ages...well, it's not coming up with the Shark.  At 220 degrees, the Envirosteam heated up dried-on paint enough to scrape off with my fingernail.  I couldn't hardly get it off with a knife before.

If you want to keep reading more, HERE is a link from Amazon to a customer review I found very helpful in addition to my other research.

In the end though, if you are in the market for a steam mop...I'd recommend the Haan FS-20 or the Eureka Envirosteam 313A.  And if there are men reading this thinking of grabbing one of these gems up for your wife for Mother's are awesome.  As long as you give her a gift certificate for a massage for Mother's Day as well.  Do NOT...I repeat...DO NOT only give your wife a mop for Mother's Day.  It just doesn't send the loving message I know you want to send.  There's really nothing like saying "enjoy your day now honey, but get back to cleaning the floors tomorrow!"  I'd recommend coupling this gift with something that lets her take a load off for a couple of hours as well!

Well friends, happy cleaning!  And if you think I'm completely wrong, or have comments to add to my research, then please by all means post away!

I guess I should tell you that the above is my opinion but it's based upon reading easily 10 different site reviews and loads of consumer comments.  And don't I wish that I'd been compensated for these reviews....but I wasn't.  So this is straight up, my opinion.  If anyone would like to pay me for that though, I'm open to it! LOL!

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At March 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Skye Durrer said...

I have the Eureka Envirosteam also. I did a ton of research and came to the same conclusion you did. I love it!

And, by the way, I think vacuuming and dustbusting "most days" and mopping once a week puts you in the "tidy" category! That is much more than I do. :)

At March 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous Daiva said...

Logan, this post is so timely! I'm in the market for a steam mop and recently saw the Shark being pushed on TV, of course. I hadn't begun researching yet, but this gives me a huge leg up. But are these two models too hot for wood floors? I need a steam mop for our main living space (all wood) plus our bathrooms (all tile). Is 220* too hot for wood floors??

At March 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Blogger LoganW said...

Skye...please note that I said I mop "MAYBE" once a week. :-)

As far as wood floors go, I think it depends on how the floors are finished. If they are prefinished floors (meaning the finish is on each board prior to being laid) then I believe it's typically not recommended to use steam on them at all as the steam can cause buckling as it seeps between the boards. If your floors are finished all at once (with for example a coat of poly over the entire floor at one time) then my understanding is that it depends on the finish. If you have wax on your floors, the high temps can melt the wax. I think that the link I put with more information may address the wood vs tile floors a bit more in depth. Good luck!

At March 23, 2011 at 11:01 PM , Blogger Ashlee said...

I've wanted one of these for a while... thanks for the reviews!


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