Pros: Best Home Steam Cleaner
Cons: Short Cord
I've been looking for a way to clean my hardwood laminate floors for several years.
At first, I tried the Swiffer Sweeper Wet Jet, but found that my floors had a nasty chemical build up after a while, plus the refill wipes were costing me quite a bit so I stopped using them.
Next, I bought iRobot's Scooba (you can see my full review of the Scooba here http://www.epinions.com/review/iRobot_5800_Scooba_Vacuum/content_415073799812), which I do enjoy for cleaning my vinyl/linoleum floors using vinegar & water, but there is a warning not to use the Scooba on hardwood or hardwood laminate floors so I was left searching for another tool.
Then I tried Shark's Steam Mop (http://www.epinions.com/review/Shark_S4100SB_Vacuum/content_462102761092), but I always felt that I was going to break it half when I used it given the "pumping" action you have to use to keep the pressure built up behind the steam.
After watching one of the Haan Steam Cleaner informercials I logged on to Haan's website & made my purchase. I figured if I didn't like it I could always send it back, goodness knows I've shelled out enough money trying to find a good way to keep my hardwood laminate floors clean.
I decided to really put the Haan to the test, it's the beginning of December in Colorado which means we have snow storms & then periods of 50 degree weather which is enough to melt the snow. Well, when there's that much snow followed by that much warmth, you pretty much get mud...and lots of it. Since all of the entries in to my house lead you onto either the hardwood laminate flooring or the vinyl/linoleum flooring, I let the mud accumulate for about a week (which drove me nuts the entire time, but I really wanted to test the limits of the Haan).
After a week & a misunderstanding with the post office which Haan customer care remedied without my having to ask, I received the Haan.
I took it out of the box, bypassed the instructions & it was very easy & intuitive to put together as it snaps together & there are only three parts & which parts belong where make absolute sense. So far so good, now it was time to use it.
I was impressed by the fact that Haan included a pad to place under the Haan Steam Cleaner while it heated up so that it wouldn't do any damage to my flooring while it heated up.
Additionally, it came with 4 microfiber pads, 2 blue & 2 pink. With the pads being different colors it was easy for me to allocated two to use on cleaning the floors, while I'm able to reserve the other 2 for use on things like counters or upholstery.
In the two weeks that I've owned the Haan, I am already considering purchasing 2 more pads specifically for the floors since those seem to see more use. The website has a set of 4 additional pads for sale for about $22, which doesn't seem too bad, but I haven't checked in to the shipping cost of these yet. I would hope that it would be negligible, but we'll see.
I figured out where the water went & that it could only handle a cup of water at a time based on the cup that it came with to fill it. I even managed to figure out how to turn it on without referencing the manual. From my use with other cleaning products I figured I should probably check the quick read directions just to make sure how long I should wait for the water to heat up before it started to steam, it took me two seconds to find that 3 minutes was considered ideal.
After my microwave timer indicated three minutes had passed I began using the Haan. I found that there were two methods of use.
The first method included several passes over heavily soiled muddy areas to get the mud up, but left the floors relatively dry...or at least dry enough that any water left behind dried within seconds.
The second method was to allow the Haan to sit over the soiled muddy area for a longer period of time before passing over it, this left the floors much wetter, but still got the mud off the floor.
Using both of these methods I was able to clean up all of the mud that had accumulated, several spaghetti sauce blotches from the previous nights dinner, & a section of flooring in the pantry that was spilled dried vegetable oil.
The Haan made quick work of all of these obstacles, it didn't smear the messes on the floor as a mop would have & I didn't have to "pump" anything to build pressure causing me to think I would break the Haan in half.
Almost Overlooked Feature
About halfway through cleaning I thought, this thing is very short (I'm 5'8") which woudn't have worked well for my husband who is 6'9", but after a quick inspection I found that the handle was a telescopic handle that can be adjusted to a person's height. Since this wasn't a feature I had even considered before purchasing this item I was happily surprised that this wouldn't be an issue.
If there is one thing that I'm not happy about it's that I don't think the electrical cord that comes with the Haan is long enough. To clean my kitchen, pantry, study, & front room, I had to unplug & replug in the Haan no less than 4 times.
Even with heavily soiled areas & the number of times that I had to unplug & replug in the Haan I only had to fill it twice to get all of the areas that are approximately equivalent to 1500 sq. feet clean. I will say that by the time I was finished with that area the steam had stopped, but that's an amazing feat for such a lightweight item in my opinion.
I did read the directions regarding maintaining the item, it says to let the Haan cool before removing the pad & then empty the tank from any leftover water in order to store it.
Since I had no leftover water I'm not sure how easy or difficult emptying the tank of water would be, but detaching the pad & tossing it in the washing machine was a breeze.
The pad appears fairly well made & held up to the washing machine very well.
You can imagine how hard it is to get mud out of carpet, so my husband and I opted to continue the hardwood laminate upstairs. Well, after the hardwood laminate was installed the installers tried to clean up the sawdust using a broom & dustpan, but tons of sawdust was still left behind. I was able to plug in the Haan, let it heat up & clean up the sawdust & mud that they had left behind before they had even finished packing up their van. While I would recommend always going ahead & using a dustmop & dustbuster prior to using the Haan, I was very happy that all of the leftover sawdust clung to the microfiber pad, my new floors looked gorgeous & again I was able to just toss the pad in the washing machine.
I'm very happy with my Haan purchase. I'll be getting rid of my Shark Steam Mop & am contemplating purchasing a second Haan, one to keep downstairs & one to keep upstairs just for convenience. Though the Haan is so lightweight there really wouldn't be a need to do so.
What I'm even more impressed with is that cleaning my hardwood laminate floors which had become aggravating & cumbersome actually became fun again and anything that I can do to make cleaning fun...I'm all for.