How to compare steam mops

Written by teresa r. simpson
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Steam mops are convenient tools for cleaning your floors naturally and economically. They use plain tap water to produce steam which cleans and disinfects almost any type of floor, including ceramic tile, sealed hardwood, vinyl, linoleum and other floor surfaces. When it comes to choosing a steam mop, the options can be daunting because there are so many of them on the market. You can narrow your choices easily, though, by considering several factors.

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  1. 1

    Choose between disposable or reusable mop head covers. Steam mops come with pads that attach to the head of the mop. Disposable pads are used once and thrown away while you can wash reusable pads over and over again. While reusable pads require a little more work, they are cheaper and better for the environment.

  2. 2

    Consider weight versus water capacity. Some steam mops hold more water in their tanks than others, requiring fewer refills during the cleaning process. Keep in mind, though, that the more water the mop holds, the heavier it will be. If you have to carry the mop all over a large house or have difficulty carrying heavy items, you might consider a lightweight model.

  3. 3

    Look for a head that swivels. While a few steam mops do not have swivelling heads, most do because it is such a helpful and practical feature. A swivelling head can easily access floor space around furniture and under appliances while a stationary head limits the ease of such manoeuvres.

  4. 4

    Decide which features are important to you. Steam mops come with a wide variety of features, including attachments for steaming hard-to-reach places and upholstery, cleaning solution reservoirs to add optional commercial cleaners to the mop head and indicator lights to alert you when the water is running low.

  5. 5

    Compare prices. Depending upon brand, included features, capacity, and other factors, steam mops can range in price from relatively inexpensive to expensive. Fortunately there are quality mops on each end of this price range so it is possible to get a decent mop on a limitd budget.

  6. 6

    Read reviews. After you have considered the previous points and have a good idea of what you are looking for in a steam mop, read reviews of the steam mops that fit your criteria. See which mops have worked for other people and what problems, if any, people have had with them.

Tips and warnings

  • If you choose a steam mop with reusable mop head covers, pick up two or three extra so you always have a clean one ready.
  • Some steam mops have water filters that you must replace periodically. Factor in this cost when considering your purchase.

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