Cleaning with steam is all the rage these days and lots of steam cleaners are being rushed out to meet demand. But it’s likely your regular mop will out-clean your steam mop, so have you stuck to bucket dunking?
Our last test saw us taking nine steam mops and six 2-in-1 steam cleaners – a steam mop with a removable handheld cleaner – and put them through our gauntlet of floor cleaning tests. Costing between £30 and £150, you can see how they did in our steam cleaner reviews.
We also popped down the shops and picked up a regular Vileda SuperMocio mop and some Flash floor cleaner for £11.50, to see how it would compare.
Analogue vs digital
The results were very interesting. In each of the tests – removing muddy footprints, pasta sauce and strawberry jam – there was a steam cleaner that did a comparable or better job than the regular mop.
But there was not one steam cleaner that did better than the mop across all three assessments. So while there were very good steam cleaners in our tests, and the potential is there to trump the regular mop one day, steam didn’t take the top spot for overall cleaning.
Steam cleaner reliability
There is also the ongoing reliability factor. A large number of customer views on the Which? website bring up reliability problems with steam cleaners. Off the back of this, we added durability testing to our steam cleaning test program as standard.
Personally, I’ve not had any major reliability problems with my non-steam mop – other than a bit of moulting when the mop was old, and breaking one of those thin plastic wringers. But both problems were solved with a relatively inexpensive trip to the shops.
Have you stuck with your steam mop?
Where steam cleaners universally triumph over the traditional mop is that floors are usually left much dryer after cleaning, so less tip-toeing about from patch to patch as you wait for the floor to dry.
Steam cleaners also offer the ability to tackle floors without chemicals, which will appeal to many. Incidentally, some steam cleaners have detergent dispensers for dealing with stubborn stains.
Steam cleaners are also a bit easier to use than regular mops, as they are an all-in-one device and save you from having to repeatedly dunk the mop in a bucket that you have to slide along the floor as you clean. That said, steam cleaner cloths will have to be cleaned in your washing machine.
There are arguments for and against steam mops. So my question is: if you have a steam mop, do you always use it? Or have you given up with your steam mop and gone back to traditional cleaning means – and if so, why?