How does a steam mop work?

Written by audrey pannell
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How does a steam mop work?
Replace old methods of mopping with a steam mop. (John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Rather than sloshing water around the house with a wet mop, steam mops allow you to quickly wipe floor surfaces clean with dry microfiber cloths. They produce steam that loosens dirt and sanitises floors. The steam dries in seconds, eliminating the need to dry the floors manually. Steam mops completely replace the mop-and-bucket method of cleaning floors, and they use no chemicals.

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Cleaning With a Steam Mop

A steam mop quickly loosens stuck-on dirt and spills with a flow of hot steam. The mop's microfiber mopping pads adhere to the dirt and remove it from the ground. Not only does the steam mop efficiently loosen and whisk away messes, but it sanitises floors in the process. The temperature of the steam kills 99.9 per cent of germs without the use of chemicals. The microfiber pads are easily removed from the mop and can be thrown into the washer and dryer.

Filling the Water Tank

Steam mops consist of a water tank to hold the water it converts into steam. Unplug the steam mop before filling it with water. Set it on a flat floor or countertop and remove the water tank cap by turning it counter-clockwise. Fill the provided filling flask with water and slowly pour the water into the water tank. Fill the water tank until it reaches the recommended fill line. Use distilled water in the steam mop water tank to prevent calcification and mineral deposits.

Creating Steam

After plugging the steam mop in and turning it on, leave it for 30 seconds to develop steam. Prime the pump by pumping the handle up and down about 12 to 15 times. Once the steam starts coming out, begin mopping the floors. The motion of mopping back and forth will continue to produce more steam.

Mopping the Floors

A steam mop works to loosen dirt and clean the floors quickly. After filling the water tank and waiting for the steam to produce, mop the floors in a normal back-and-forth motion. If you notice streaking, replace the microfiber pad with a clean one. Set the mop on top of dried-on spills and pump the handle to release a large amount of steam, breaking the dried-on spill up. Mop back and forth to absorb the residue. After mopping, remove the microfiber pad. Wash and dry all used mopping pads.

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