Definition: A steam mop is an electric appliance that uses only water (no cleaners or chemicals) to sanitize and clean sealed hard floor surfaces. To protect this appliance, you should use demineralized or distilled water in a steam mop.
During the cleaning, the water in the small reservoir is heated to boiling and steam is produced which flows through the removable cloth floor cleaning pad, when the mop handle is either pumped or a steam button is pressed. Because of the hot steam, the floor usually dry quickly.
Though there are exceptions especially with dual function or heavier models, pushing a steam mop usually requires less effort to clean the floor, than washing with a regular mop and bucket. And most are also easier to store. However, changing mop pads as needed is a must to achieve a clean floor with a steam mop.
Sanitizing your floors can help cut down on bacteria and germs, but understand that steaming capabilities depend on whether the mop is designed to produce sufficient steam and numerous steam vents to do a good job. So steam mops differ in performance, handling and how effective the fabric mop head is at picking up and holding dirt, while giving a smear-free clean.
Check the manufacturer's notes regarding what floors can be cleaned with a steam mop. Generally, as long as you do not idle the damp mop, they can be used on a variety of sealed hard surface floors.
Steam mops vary in price due to design differences, temperature achieved and accessories.
Read Steam Mop and Other Mop Reviews
Read More About Steam Cleaning Tools:
Steam Mop Buying Tips
What Not to do With a Steam Mop
Definition of a Steam Cleaner
Steam Cleaner Use Tips
Before You Buy a Steam Cleaner
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Pronunciation: Steam Mop
Also Known As: Electric mop
Alternate Spellings: steam mop, electric steam mop
Examples: Use a steam mop on a tile or vinyl floor to sanitize and clean quickly.