How Does A Steam Mop Work? (Everything You Ever Needed To Know!)
If you don’t already own a steam mop you are probably wondering what they are and how they work. These steam cleaners are far pricier than a traditional mop, so it makes sense to know what this latest home cleaning device actually is as well as researching how steam mops work before you part with your hard earned cash and invest in one of the best steam mops you can buy.
How A Steam Mop Works: The Basics
Like most of the steam cleaners available in the marketplace, a steam mop utilizes steam which deep cleans any flat surface such as hardwood floors, tiled floors, or laminated flooring. They do this by heating up water inside of tanks to temperatures of about 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit) which are fixed to the steam mop.
Typically, cheap steam mops have one jet of dry steam that moistens a microfiber pad that is attached to the mop head. However, the best steam mops can have as many as 15 steam jets and also come with scented microfiber pads.
The steam produced by the mops dampens the microfiber pads which in turn loosens and removes dirt and stains from your flooring. Unlike traditional mops that often leave streaks and leftover residue, steam mops do not leave any marks and they will clean straight through any dirt instead of just moving the dirt around, which is the case with a regular mop.
The intense heat and temperature achieved by steam mops mean that they can kill up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria as well as dust mites and even fleas plus anything else that might be present on your home flooring. This makes them one of the best home cleaning devices to use if you have small or young children that play on the floor.
The best steam mops feature a two-sided cleaning head which offers up a two cleaning approach. Typically, one side is a soft mop pad which is perfect for cleaning hardwood flooring or laminated flooring while on the other side of the mop head is a slightly more abrasive cleaning head for scrubbing tiles and other tough messes and stains.
How To Use A Steam Mop
Steam mops come in a variety of different sizes, styles, and various ways to attach the mop heads as well as the amount of steam produced, but they are all designed to do one thing and that is to steam clean. Regardless of what type of steam mop you have, you still need to take a few things into consideration before you plug in your steam mop and get busy cleaning.
Using a vacuum cleaner or simply sweeping your floor before you start is often overlooked by many but it is an important step to carry out before you start steaming. Dirt, dust, lint and other debris will dirty your mop head unnecessarily. Many of the best steam mops now feature a dual cleaning system which will hover and mop from just the one unit.
Prepare The Mop
Before you plug in your steam more to the electrical outlet put the mop pad on first. Steam mops heat up fast and the last thing you want to do is burn yourself or even get an electric shock. Once you have attached your mop pad fill the water tank/s up with water until the indicated water level.
Every steam mop has some sort of indicator to let you know that the water has heated up to the desired temperature, once your mop is at the right temperature it is ready to be used. Its best practice to begin in one corner of the room and then work your way across to the far side. Using a steam mop is very similar to a regular mop, simply push the mop back and forth releasing steam as you go, the steam will dry fast (in a few minutes) so you can do the rest of the floor area.
Changing The Cleaning Pad
Many of the best steam mops feature dual heads or two-sided mop heads, so when one side gets dirty you can use the other side. Replacing or changing your mop head is important otherwise all you will be doing is pushing germs and dirt around the floor. Also, don’t forget to unplug the steam mop and wait for it to cool before you change the cleaning pads.
Steam Mop Storage
Unlike regular mops, steam mops take up very little room because there are no additional buckets required or cleaning chemicals. Once you have finished steam cleaning ensure that the water tanks are completely empty and remember to remove any dirty and wet mop pads, as dampness can damage your stream mop with limescale and mildew which in turn can clog your steam mop.