Steam mops are ideal to clean any kind of floor including sealed hardwood and laminates; they are very effective for tile floors and walls because they also clean the grouted areas. They just use water, which they turn into steam. Thus they can be used and maintained at minimal costs, even because you don’t need to use detergents.
Step 1 - Clear the Room
Put all removable pieces of furniture out of the way either in another room or to one side of the room you are about to clean. This will leave a wide expanse of floor to be cleaned at one go and saves you time.
Step 2 - Sweeping
Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dust and debris. This is an important step which must not be skipped if you want good results and keep your steam mop in good condition.
Step 3 – Prepare the Mop
Never put on the cleaning pad when the mop is plugged in. Put on the pad first and then plug in to the electrical outlet. Steam mops heat very quickly and you could burn yourself or worse still, get an electric shock. Fill the reservoir with water up to the indicated gauge and if the mop needs refilling do not forget to unplug it first.
Step 4 – Start Mopping
When the indicator light on the mop goes on, it means that it is ready to be used. Begin mopping on the far side of the room; push the mop forward to release steam and backwards to pick up dust and dirt on the cleaning pad. Steam dries quickly so after a few minutes you can do the rest of the floor.
Step 5 – Changing the Cleaning Pad
Some mops have flexible heads so you can use the other side when one side gets dirty. It is important that you use a clean pad otherwise all you will be doing is pushing the dirt around and streaking the floor. Again, when changing the pad do not forget to unplug.
Step 6 – Storing Your Steam Mop
Mops are designed to last quite a long time but you have to take care of it. When your work is done make sure that the reservoir is completely empty before storage, and always remove any dirty or damp cleaning pad. Dampness can create mildew and ruin the head.
There are many models of steam mops on the market; some are simple, strictly designed to wash floors only, while others come with quite a range of attachments like a cloth pad for garments, or with an optional short handle to sanitize counter tops or stove tops. Some incorporate a flash heat system which means you have no need for the tank to cool before refilling, while another accessory gives you the option of giving your short-haired carpet a thorough cleaning.
Try to shop around before buying and get the model which best suits your needs and your budget.