Pros: It's light and steam kills germs.
Cons: Does not do what the infomercial says it will do.
I get so frustrated every time I clean the tile in my house. It's not just the grout that is dirty, it's that the tiles are not smooth, they have little divets or pits in the top - I guess to resemble real stone. The tile is light and I guess the grout was at one point, too. The tile was installed when the house was built in 1999 and we are the 3rd owners, with kids. The tile is throughout the entry, main pathways, dining room, living room and kitchen, maybe about 800 square feet.
Now that you know the history of my flooring, let me tell you what I have used to clean it. I bought a nice Swiffer WetJet that pretty much cleaned the surface of the tile, but left the "pits" and grout dirty. I bought a sponge mop, same thing. I bought an industrial mop, same thing. I used heavy chemicals and no chemicals at all. I reverted to getting on my hands and knees with a scrub brush to clean the floor. It stayed clean for about a week or so. There's just too much tile in my house to do that once a week! We just can't afford to hire professionals at this point. But I was about to learn a big leason in "informercial sales".
I was up late watching TV and the Shark Steam Mop was the topic of the infomercial I came across. It promised to clean the tile, grout and all of this with only water! Plus, the cloth pads are washable? I'd never have to buy another floor cleaning product again! The next morning, I told my husband about it and he looked it up online. We were both convinced that this was the answer to the floor cleaning dilemma. So, we order it and it came to $140 with extra pads, shipping and tax. I was so excited and looking forward to getting the steam mop!
About a week and a half later, the steam mop arrived. This was a week before Christmas so I felt like it was a gift to myself! I opened the box and was able to put the steam mop together with no instructions. It was easy! I read the usage instructions and had it filled up with water and pad on the bootom ready to go. I kicked my kids and husband out of the house and I was on a mission. I swept the floor and then my experience with the steam mop began.
I quickly realized that I would be disappointed with the results. I was having to go over the same spot three of four times to pick up a little sticky juice spill. Then I tried holding the handle down to really steam the heck of one area of grout, which didn't come clean. It did loosen the dirt a little, I was able to get down and wipe at it with a dish rag and it came a little clean. Was I supposed to do that throughout the whole house though? Ugh. I kept going, thinking it was just me, not the mop. How could it be the mop? That thing cleaned every kind of flooring of crayon, paint and chalk on the infomercial. So, when I got to the play area where my daughter colored a little fish on the floor with an orange crayon, I thought, he's a good comparison. It took srubbing with that thing and at least a dozen passes before it loosened up. I think my anger really scraped it off of the floor. I had to refill it twice and unplug it 3 times to relocate to the next area.
So, I finished the whole house, trying to tell myself that it's ok, it steamed the floor and killed all of the germs. But the fact was IT DIDN'T WORK ANY BETTER THAN THE SWIFFER WETJET. My husband came home smiling, thinking I would be a happy Mommy after my floors were sparkling, but he found me reading the return instructions. I soon learned that after postage and restocking fee, I would be out about $50. I should have put the money toward a professional cleaning and sealant!!
I have continued using the Steam Mop, only because it gets the surface clean and I want to get the use out of it for the money we spent. I have a feeling I will be back to my trusty old Swiffer soon though as it is so much less of a hassel.
And now I have learned that I could have purchased this thing for $80 at Target. I'm sorta feeling sick!!
If you are thinking about buying this and have not tried the Swiffer WetJet, please try that first. It takes batteries, but you don't have to hassel with a cord. It needs pad and solution refills (the now have a germ killing solution), but you don't have to worry about washing pads SEPERATELY. If you still must try the steam mop, at least get it at Target, so you can return it!!!