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My most recent household purchase was this, the Thane H20 (symbol for water) mop ULTRA. There are two versions of this mop, and the ultra is a multi-purpose variant.
~~~ The Mop ~~~
This is not just a full size mop for cleaning and sanitising flooring, but the body can also be detached from the main frame and become a separate hand held, and therefore portable unit in its own right. With the addition of a carpet glider attachment, the whole unit can become a carpet cleaner. This is what sold the appliance to me; I love anything that is multipurpose, thereby saving space, and money.
~~~ Set up ~~~
To set it up once out of the box, is simplicity itself. It can be undertaken by one person in less than a minute. That is of course if you don't get a faulty one, like I first received. The object is to slot a cylindrical shape of the head attachment (that cleans the floors) into a square fitting that's on the frame that the handheld machine sits into. Sounds easy right? A circular should fit into a square, the circular section being ever so slightly smaller, allowing for a tight fit right? Wrong! The nozzle didn't align, and therefore wouldn't fit properly.
Not being one to worry about such trifles, carried on using the appliance. It worked wonders, bringing my ceramic tiles in my kitchen up like new. Shame the same can't be said about the grouting, but I think the cream grouting in a busy kitchen was a silly idea in the first place, and the fact that it is now grey, means that only a miracle can ever get it as new. Once completed it was clean and fresh, and I could probably eat my dinner off them if I so desired, as the steam had sanitised and killed germs effectively.
As the mop head wasn't sufficiently attached, it kept falling off, thereby I was faced with a sudden jet of steam, as the head was not there to disperse it. I am happy to report that so such problem has appeared with my replacement and it's worked perfectly from the off. I have my fingers crossed that the problem was a one off.
~~~ Heavy cleaning ~~~
For heavy cleaning it is recommended that you use the blue microfibre cloth. This looks similar to a traditional mop, with its curly strands, only as this is so tightly woven, you will find, it grabs hold of the dirt and entraps it in the fibres, and then the blast of steam kills all the germs.
~~~ Lighter cleaning and dusting ~~~
In the pack you also receive two of the short pile microfibre cloths. These are white, and can be used for light cleaning, dusting, and sanitising any sort of tiling, marble, stone, parquet, laminate, wooden, or even carpets and rugs. You will need to apply the carpet glider to the base of the head, when it is used on carpets though. This will allow the machine to glide, and will enable the pile of the carpet to rise, and look newer.
~~~ Caution ~~~
There are some surfaces that should be used with caution. Linoleum may become unstuck from the floor if heat is applied for too long. If floors have been waxed, the steam may melt the wax, and also, do not leave on wooden floors for any length of time, as the grain may rise. There are a couple of things to worry about here, but if you do have wooden or laminate flooring, you will know to exercise caution anyway.
~~~ Hand held steamer ~~~
The hand-held steamer, the main body of the appliance, is probably to most useful thing about it. This houses the tank which you fill with water to make the steam. The mop is supplied with a ridiculously small jug with which to fill it up. Don't bother with that, you will be there all day, and could have mopped your floor and sat down with a cuppa, by the time you have filled it up. Just use a normal pint jug, or whatever you have to hand, to fill it up. Once the machine is powered up, a red light will come on, and once the water is heated up to boiling point, and therefore producing steam, the light will turn to green.
To sanitise and clean work surfaces, kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathroom fittings etc, it is recommended that the steam is applied for 15 seconds.
This is great for cleaning windows and shower screens etc, but please be careful and hold the jet of steam further away, as the heat may break the glass.
~~~ Attachments ~~~
The mop is supplied with three attachments for the hand held steamer. One is a scraper, it wouldn't be suitable for stripping wallpaper and indeed it isn't intended for that, but rather for cleaning the insides of ovens and removing stubborn, baked on food. One is a nozzle that forces the steam into a jet, which is great for cleaning around taps, and grooves, and awkward places where dirt gets trapped, and nothing can get it out. Finally, the last attachment is a brush, with rather stiff bristles, I have used mine to clean grout lines in the tiles on the wall of our bathroom, it wouldn't be much good for the grout lines on my kitchen floor, as like I have mentioned before, they are too far gone, to come up as new.
There is the option of buying additional tools for this online. I've seen them on the manufacturer's website, but also on eBay. I have yet to purchase these though, but will do shortly. These include an extension hose with which to distance the steam from the appliance, so it cools a little, making window cleaning safer, and also to get into even harder to reach areas.
~~~ Maintenance ~~~
There are a few things you have to do in order to keep your machine running at optimum use. You need to decalcify the water tank, and also remove lime scale from the interior. This may lead to the machine producing steam more slowly, or even stop producing steam at all, so this may need to be done every three months or so or more depending on the water in your area. As I have had my mop almost three months, I need to do this sooner rather than later, although I have not seem any diminishment in the steam as yet, saying that though, I live in an extremely soft water area.
~~~ In conclusion ~~~
I find the H20 Mop; a great asset is our home. Its multipurpose qualities are endless. It does perform some tasks better than others though. It certainly hasn't made my carpet any cleaner, but it is fresher, no more lingering pet smells for one, which is a benefit, I hadn't even noticed until the other day. I suddenly realised I was spraying air freshener much less than I used to.
I feel every home should have one of these, even if it's so that you use less chemicals which pollute the environment and our homes. What can be safer than water to clean with? With this in mind, I give this appliance a 5 star rating, even with the problems I had with my first model, and having to wait two weeks for a replacement.
~~~ 5*'s from me. ~~~