Dec 21, 2012 (Updated Mar 20, 2013)
Review by xyzwyatt
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Has a second tank for optional floor cleaner. Triangle design works well.
Cons:Slippery when wet. Can damage wood floors.
The Bottom Line:
Awesome for bathrooms. Nice option for throw rugs. Works well on sealed wood floors, but could easily ruin one.
Over the last decade I’ve been using a Hoover Floormate Hard Floor Cleaner on wood and tile floors. This round I opted to go smaller and try the Hoover steam mop. Most places sell this for $99 - $124 but I found it for less at the Home Depot.
There are several reasons why I chose this model over other steam versions. The most important feature that set this apart from other steam mops for me was the option to put store-bought hardwood floor cleaner into the tank. The instructions indicate that 99.9% of germs can be eliminated with just steamed water however I’ve been using Hoover floor cleaner for so long I couldn’t bear to give it up. The solution is 100% biodegradable and non-toxic and one of the few products we have found that does not irritate asthma or sinuses in our fragrant-sensitive family. A bottle of cleaning solution is more than $10 so using just water can be a huge money saver over time. For this model, the cleaning solution is just designed for spot cleaning areas that are particularly dirty and not so much for the whole floor. There is a separate on board tank for a cleaning solution that is completely optional to use. I have tried using just water but there are some spots like dried on food that do not come up with just steam. Changing the setting to the cleaning solution cleans it right up.
Another feature that kept drawing me to this model was the triangle shape. I like how the mop stands upright and the base is wide enough that it never wobbles. This is handy for stops while mopping. The small compact design also stores well. The triangle shape mop head is ideal for cleaning corners and baseboards and swivels so makes it easy to clean around odd-shaped things like the toilet. I have used rectangle dust brooms and mops for years and definitely prefer the triangular design.
I have mixed feelings about the removable blue microfiber washable pads. I have a Swiffer for the bathroom that I loved because I could just use a disposable cleaning pad and throw it in the trash without contaminating the laundry with germs or cross-contaminating the kitchen with whatever may be lurking in the bathroom. On the other hand, I feel the Hoover Steam Mop wins with cleanliness as it kills 99.9% of the germs including MRSA, Staph, and Salmonella. Luckily there are 3 washable pads in the box and more can be purchased separately.
Per the instructions: In order to “disinfect” hardwood surfaces it has to be set to “steam only” and run a minimum of 4 strokes at a minimum pace (5-7 seconds per 32” stroke) across the same area. Allow to air dry.
The Hoover Steam Mop also “refreshes” carpet. I would stick to regular carpet cleaners over this, but if I had a baby crawling on the carpet, the carpet tool may be of greater value.It may be useful for to disinfect the area around a litter box or pet areas. There is a special plastic triangle that gets placed over the microfiber pad that acts as a glide over carpet. This is much too small for large carpeted area, but ideal for throw rugs. I love being able to freshen the throw rugs especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
The mop has a 30 foot power cord which is longer than many models. There is virtually no noise from the motor when the steamer is on so does not irritate those in another room watching TV or wake sleeping babies.
I have a very large amount of hardwood floor and it takes about an hour to clean it all regardless what tool I use. I have to use a small amount of energy to physically push and pull the mop old-school because this mop doesn’t have wheels however there is no lifting out of a bucket or wringing a mop out which is a real back saver. The mop only weighs 6 pounds (little over 7 wet). The trigger has to be manually held down for steam and my fingers get sore as time goes on. There can be a lot of bending over to change the setting on the cleaner, get to the water containers, and to pick up the microfiber pad. It also leaves water behind and I’ve slipped several times. Sometimes it causes my back to hurt from pushing, pulling, and leaning over to knee height many times. This would be absolutely perfect for a bathroom, but I’m doing a whole house which may call for a different product. I’ve found that mopping smaller sections at different times works much better than trying to do the whole house at one time.
The microfiber pad stays dry enough until the cleaner solution option is turned on. The extensive use of the cleaning solution makes the microfiber pad too wet to work properly. Even with just steam, a layer or water is left behind. The manufacturer says to let it air dry, but it takes up to 10 minutes to dry while leaving the floor slippery and subject to footprints. Maybe I’ll get one of those yellow wet floor tents to set up when I’m mopping. In the meantime, I go behind the steam mop with a separate dry microfiber mop and dry it up. The reservoir for water is very small but lasts for around 25 minutes of use. Overall
I have mixed feelings about this steam mop. I really love is the streak-free shiny floor without spending money on cleaner solution but I have to sacrifice the freshly mopped clean smell as a result. It’s very compact, lightweight and easy to store, but more time consuming for me since I have a mostly hardwood floor home. The added “carpet refresher” feature sounded useless at the store but has proven to be a treasure for throw rugs. The handle is ok at first, but a real pain to pull the trigger over large areas. The washable microfiber pad is great, but wet floors are a hazard in our house. The steam mop does a nice job now, but I can tell this might cause damage to the floor in the long run. The floor looks good when I’m done cleaning it, but it sure doesn’t stay clean for long.
This may not be the best (or safest) choice for hardwood floors baed on how long it takes to disinfect an area, but it does work well and produces nice results as long as the wood is sealed well. I think the mop is definitely worth the purchase for bathroom use and small kitchen clean ups.