Floor Steamers

floor steamers general information floor steamer what to look for floor steamer reviews

General Information

One type of steamers for the home is floor steamers or steam mops. These types of devices are concentrated on cleaning hard floors and nothing else. The only type of special attachments that come with these devices are for cleaning different types of floors. Do not get one of these and expect them to be able to clean your stove with a special gadget.

The reason people get floor steamers over multi-function steam cleaners (also called canister steam cleaners, the kind that has a pull around unit on wheels and a hose that can clean stoves and bathrooms and floors and…) is that they are so dedicated to one task, that they do them GREAT. They are also less cumbersome and awkward to move around, and lighter as well. Finally, obviously since they don’t clean everything in your house, they are much more conservatively priced than the multi-purpose steam cleaners.

What They Clean

The floor steam cleaner can clean all types of hard surfaces, including carpet. This includes

  • hardwood
  • laminate
  • tile
  • stone
  • marble
  • cement

With the low water in the vapor, these devices excel because they don’t leave a bunch of water on the flooring. Now when used for long periods of time, the cleaning pads will probably end up getting saturated, so you do need to pay attention and change the pads as needed while cleaning.

DO NOT use a hard floor steam cleaner on

  • unsealed wood
  • waxed floors

. With the high heat and water vapor, this can ruin unsealed wood floors. The high heat on waxed floors will just make a huge mess as the wax is melted.

These devices do not clean the grout between tiles. They will sanitize the grout, and loosen dirt, but the pads used will not even come close to being able to getting the dirt off the grout. You can steam it and immediately get in there with a brush and rag and get it pretty clean, but the steam mop will not effectively clean grout on its own.

Floor Steamers and Cleaning The Carpet

Now, when talking about cleaning the carpet, it doesn’t clean it the traditional way that most people are thinking. There is NO vacuum feature on a floor steamer**. When most people talk about carpet cleaners and carpet steam cleaners, they are talking about the same thing – and it isn’t the same as floor steamers. Traditional carpet cleaners for the home, even ones called carpet steam cleaners, use NO steam. They use chemicals and water to saturate the carpet, rotating brushes to lift the dirt and soil, and a vacuum to remove the water and debris. However, in this process, it also leaves a chemical film, and this film actually attracts dirt to it.

Now, when talking about a floor steamer, it simply applies a dry vapor steam and sanitizes the carpet. It kills bacteria and bugs (such as dust mites) and loosens dirt. This is great in getting stains out of carpet, as well as smells and allergens. You actually should vacuum before and after steaming the carpet – for a fantastic, clean smelling carpet, with no chemical residue.

**UPDATE:There are new devices on the market now, called steam and vacuum, where the name says it all. It is one unit that you use to do two separate jobs – vacuum first, then steam. Currently on the market are the Bissell Steam and Sweep, Haan Duo, and the Shark 2 in 1 Vac Then Steam.

Click here to go to “Steam and Sweep Cleaners”

What To Look For In The Best Steam Mops

  • High heat: No heat equals no sanitizing. Steam needs to be at least 155°F to kill some bacteria. Should be closer to 212°F for overall sanitizing. This is another reason why having the water tank on the head is much more preferred than on the pole – as the vapor steam travels down the hose to the head, heat will be lost.
  • No Water Filters: You don’t want to have to worry about getting water filters for your steamer. Some of the cheaper steam mops must use a water filter, as the water directly touches the heating coils. If a water filter is not used for these, you will start developing deposits and the heating capabilities of the unit will slowly diminish. Buying one that needs a water filter is just added monthly expenses.
  • Long cord: At least 20 ft, 30ft is even better. Last thing you want to have to do is constantly unplug, and wait for water to heat again, just to go from room to room. Also, forget about rechargeable devices – a steam mop with rechargeable batteries just doesn’t seem to ever work long enough or get the water hot enough.
  • Multiple Steam Vents: More than one steam hole/vent on the head. Some of the cheaper brands have one hole to emit the steam – this means the ends of the mop head won’t be seeing much heat or steam for thorough cleaning.
  • Adjustable height: If you are short, you may want to look for a adjustable height.
  • Constant Steam: With some of the cheaper units, you must constantly squeeze a trigger to produce the steam. Not so much that it makes it an inferior unit, but all the squeezing can get tiresome if you are doing a large area.
  • Re-useable cleaning clothes and multiple clothes: The clothes, also known as pockets, are what are attached to the steam head and remove the dirt after the steam has loosened it. Do yourself a favor, don’t look for disposable ones – it will just rack up the cost of cleaning. And make sure you have at least 2, if not 3 or 4, as to get the best clean, you need to replace them when they get saturated or too dirty.

Steam Floor Cleaners Reviews

Most people LOVE their steam floor cleaners. The usual 10% of reviews were dissatisfied, mainly with non-operational units. The rest of the users rave about them. This gives you a lot of peace of mind about this particular type of product. If you get a lemon, send it back.

Click here to go to “Best Floor Steamer/Steam Mop Reviews”

If you are looking for the combo floor sweep/steam units, click the link below:

Click here to go to “Steam and Sweep Cleaners Review”