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We have solid and laminate wood floors in our home and would spend an amazing amount of time having to rub marks off it with a cloth\ baby wipe and a couple of times a week with a mop.
We originally had one of those stringy mops where all the little bits of materials splay out but it was a real chore filling the bucket, adding whatever was under the sink, never sure whether it was all that suitable for wooden floors etc. If the mop was left curled up and stuck back in the garage it tended to get pretty smelly pretty quickly.
My wife ordered this steam mop online and it arrived within a few days. It took less than a minute to put it together and you simply placed the mop on top of the microfibre cloth which had little Velcro type pads on it and put water in it.
Steam generates very quickly and after about 20 seconds you are able to start cleaning.
This is easier to use than a water based mop as you don't need to lean so heavily, a particularly heavy stain say a scuff mark from a black shoe may take two or three sweeps over it to completely remove it.
The mop moves easily and it takes very little effort to get the dirt of the floor, you can go pretty much upto the edge of the cupboards but the steam doesn't seem to get into that very last millimetre of the edge.
When you are finished you throw the cloth into the washing machine. The floor will be dried in only a couple of minutes as no water actually touches the floor.
This mop can also be used on carpets if you add the plastic plate and I have seen it demonstrated where this can actually lift hardened chewing gum of the floor.
After the suggestion by Nar I went to find the glide plate to try the mop on carpet but it has disappeared, my wife bins everything that isn't in constant use. We didn't buy this for carpets so unfortunately cannot comment on its ability without still having the glide plate, we have used it without the plate to spotclean what looked like a chewed fruit pastille on my sons bedroom carpet and it did come out. I would imagine though that it would not be as easy to move across a carpeted floor as a wooden floor.
This unit is light and easy to carry and use with one hand and it comes supplied with one microfibre cloth. You can buy an extra three stick on cloths for about £12.99.
There is a bit of a hissing noise as the steam generates but it is nowhere near the noise of a vacuum and wouldn't annoy anyone trying to watch TV, although you walking in front of them with a mop might.
Advantages of a steam mop over a mop and bucket
Less manual work
Doesn't need a cleaning agent
Leaves floors sanatised and deoderised
Takes up less room
Leaves floors drier
Works on carpets (with the plate)
It is available at around £49.99.
I have Solid wooden floors in two downstairs rooms and laminate flooring in another two all sealed I'm guessing unsealed floors shouldn't use this though.
With three kids (12, 10, 3) and me being a little clumsy I seemed to be constantly mopping up crayon, sauce, tea stains etc. I have neck and shoulder problems and find using a mop which requires wringing and elbowgrease very difficult. I'm a bit of a gadgetaholic and after seeing this demonstrated on a TV shopping channel I was convinced it would be perfect for me.
I thought it was a little expensive once P & P was added so price compared on line and got it from duck.co.uk with free delivery for £39.99 (bargain).
As soon as it arrived, I had it straight out of the box, very easy to put together and all I had to do was put the microfibre cloth on and fill the water tank.
The steam began to generate almost immediately and I was able to start cleaning after about 30 secs, this is great as my steam cleaner takes several minutes to get up to temperature.
The mop glides easily along the floor, manouverability is impressive, with the large cleaning surface you can get right to the edge of cupboards and the microfibre cloth picks up small crumbs\debris as well. The heat, steam and microfibre cloth combine to clean such things as crayon, pencil, dried in pepper sauce (maybe thats just my house) easily, at most you might need to go over a really bad spot with two or three swipes.
Less elbow grease is required than for a normal mop as the steam and cloth appear to do all the work for you. My floors are left gleaming and practically dry. Much better finish than a normal mop. I can finish all four rooms without having to refill the water tank so guess one fill would allow about 20 minutes of mopping,
You simply pull the cloth off at the end (velcro dead easy) and throw it into the washing machine although you must put it in a wash without fabric conditioner.
It comes with a glider plate so it can also be used on carpets, I haven't needed to use this yet but wish I'd had the system when potty training was in full swing.
I have had this mop almost a year now and have had no problems with it. If anything did happen to it I would have to buy another one as it takes the hard manual work out of mopping.
Definitely recommended - well worth the money as you save on time and energy and get a better result. Get the extra pack of pads though a bit dear at £12.99 but you need spares while the one supplied is waiting to be washed.
Home-Tek Light 'n' Easy Mop uses continuous high temperature (110c) to clean and sanitise tiles vinyl and wood laminate floors / Use the deluxe mop on ceramic floor tiles and vinyl flooring to remove visible dirt and grease in minutes without the need for strong chemicals or powerful detergents / Comes complete with carpet slider for all carpets and rugs / Continuous 'dry' foot operated on/off switch 12 month guarantee / 230v~1550watts / Short name: Home-tek HT824