What are the best steam cleaners for hard floors that are safe for tile floors? Let’s look at steam mops / steam cleaners in general?
What Is a Steam Cleaner?
Steam cleaners, also called steam mops, generate steam. This is used to disinfect the floor, in place of the bleach water many traditional mops require to do more than mop up a spill. Steam cleaners, if they get hot enough, will help kill bacteria on surfaces and beneath them, such as in tiny cracks and grout lines that traditional mops don’t reach. You avoid most detergents when you use steam mops, so there is less chemical exposure and you eliminate the sticky residue left by using too much soap in the water with a traditional mop.
The reason steam mops aren’t as common as traditional mops is their typically higher price, the challenges some of them face getting grime out of tile grout, and their limits cleaning up wet/dry messes. The ability to clean a floor with minimal scrubbing and no need to wring a steam cleaner are major draws for those with limited upper body strength or arthritis.
What are Some of the Best Steam Cleaners and Steam Mops on the Market Today?
1. BISSELL Powerfresh Steam Mop, Model 1940
It comes with a scrubber you can flip down to clean hard to reach areas like the grout lines between tiles as well as scrub stuck on stains and dried stains. However, you don’t have to use the scrubber all of the time.
You can adjust the steam level; its three built in options are low, medium and high.
The Bissell 1940 steam mop has a space for Febreeze fragrance disks, but you don’t have to use these. However, you cannot use chemicals like soaps or bleach in the water tank for the same effect. You can use distilled or demineralized water in the steam mop; the manufacturer recommends again using tap water with this steam mop. Do not use various floor cleaning solutions with this steam mop, even others by Bissell.
This steam cleaner cleans almost all hard floors, including sealed hardwood, tile floors, stone, ceramic, laminate and linoleum. Do not use it on carpets and unsealed hardwood floors. In the case of the latter, you’ll warp the wood.
At only six pounds, this model is easy for someone with limited strength to use.
The only weaknesses of this product are its limited run life, though given the price, it is easy to replace.
2. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
One of the benefits of this design is the fast heat up time, generating steam in as little as twenty seconds. Another point in favor of the O-Cedar is the light weight, only five pounds.
One of the downsides of this product is the difficulty in getting it serviced, but given the price, replacing it isn’t a big deal. The water reservoir is not clear, so it is harder to see the water level, so make sure that you check whether the unit is generating steam before you continue cleaning the room.
This is the best steam cleaner for those who want to sterilize carpets at a low cost, since it comes with a glider that lets you use it to sterilize where you just vacuumed or spot cleaned. The replacement mop pads and glider are simply to put on and remove.
So consider the O-Cedar if you want to clean more than hardfloors.
3. Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner, Model FH40160PC
You can buy it with the regular handle, or you can buy the version with a foldable handle for easy storage. Hoover sells hard floor cleaners for things like sealed concrete and linoleum floors and tile and grout specific formulations for cleaning tile floors. You’ll pay five to ten dollars for a 32 ounce bottle of either formulation.
If you need to scrub the dried juice stains out of the tile grout in your kitchen or soap scum in the bathroom floor, this is the best steam cleaner for you. Its scrub brushes actually scrub as the steam mop sterilizes, so you rarely even need to scrub like the Powerfresh might need.
The unit has a large one and a half quart tank. The model FH40160PC of the Hoover Floor Mate Deluxe doesn’t have as large of a cleaning head as its preceding models, but it can fit in smaller areas it cannot.
The unit promises to clean tile floors, but it can’t scrub the deep valleys well. If you have shallow tile or linoleum, it will scrub and sterilize. The model FH40160PC does have stronger brush heads that do a better job with tile grout than the older Hoover steam cleaners.
This is the best steam cleaner for cleaning up after pet messes like coughed up fur balls and minor pet accidents, since it will pick up the solid and most liquid material while sterilizing the area. You can switch between vacuum modes, low steam and high steam so you don’t make the dog vomit wetter, stickier and drive it into the carpet.
It has disposable mop pads to help contain the mess without pulling it into the machine, if that’s what you’d like to do, and the vacuum can handle pet hair in vacuum mode without clogging.
5. Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop, Model S3601D
One of the attractions of this steam mop is the selection of cleaning heads. The regular mope head is rectangular, while it comes with scrub pockets and a triangular mop head. The mop heads readily release so they can be switched out. At eight pounds, it is lightweight, while the head design helps it reach areas other steam mops can’t. It does a good job sterilizing, but scrubbing stubborn stains can take some effort.
This is the best steam cleaner for those who need to clean in the corners under their kitchen cabinets and around the toilet all the time, though you may need to scrub mold and juice stains out of the grout lines before you use this steam mop to sterilize them.
The BISSELL Symphony Pet is the best steam cleaner for cleaning up after young, old or sick pets. The Hoover FloorMate is a great choice for cleaning and sterilizing homes with linoleum or tile that doesn’t have deep grout lines. The BISSELL Powerfresh is the best choice for scrubbing tile floors with deep grout grooves. The O-Cedar is the best steam mop for sterilizing both hard floors and carpet. The Shark steam mop is the ideal choice for those who have to clean and sterilize in all the nooks and crannies the other steam mops can’t reach.