Handheld Steam Cleaner Reviews

Cleaning dirty floors can be one of the toughest chores we face.  Ground-in dirt, food and drink, and whatever we track in on our shoes can be tough to remove.  Too often, it seems we end up just smearing the smudge and making the mess worse–if we manage to make a difference at all.  

Traditional mops rely on thin woven ropes tied together and attached to a stick.  You submerge the head in a bucket of water.  The biggest problem with these mops is that, unless you get fresh water with every dunk, you’re using dirty water to clean your floors from the second dunk on.  That doesn’t sound right, does it?  Not to mention the fact that these mops generally aren’t any good at scrubbing stuck-on or ground-in gunk.  If you do manage to get the floor clean enough to make you happy, there’s the matter of cleaning the mop head.  Wet, dirty mop heads smell awful, and they’re dirty, so that makes it hard for you to rely on them to do any real cleaning.  Some heads are removable and machine washable, which helps, but it doesn’t seem to take long for those little ropes or cloth strips to start coming unraveled and fall apart, leaving a mess in your washer or all over the floor you’re trying to clean.

cleaning tools

Newer models have heads made of sponges.  This eliminates most of the shedding problem, and many of these mops are better at scrubbing, but you still have the problem of a bucket of dirty water and keeping the mop head itself clean enough to be effective.

If dealing with the frustration of old-fashioned mops isn’t bad enough, there’s the hassle of dealing with harsh chemicals to enhance cleaning or kill germs that can be present on kitchen and bathroom floors.  These cleaners can be expensive, and the fumes can be harsh.  Not to mention the fact that some chemical cleaners aren’t appropriate for all flooring types and increasing concern that they might not be as effective as we once thought at killing germs.


Thankfully, there is a solution that can work for everyone.  Today, there are quite a few different steam mop models available.  These mops generally have a reservoir that holds a pint or so of water.  Once the mop is plugged in or turned on, this water is converted to steam, which is directed to the mop head, usually a metal or plastic frame covered by a cotton or microfiber material.  As long as the reservoir contains water, you’ll get a steady stream of powerful steam.  The steam combined with the mop head essentially functions much the same way as hands-and-knees scrubbing with a rag or sponge without having to be on your hands and knees.  Additionally, the steam is hot enough to kill most germs, bacteria, and viruses that might be hanging out on your floors.  The steam is also great at loosening ground-in gunk, too.  You can get superior cleaning power without expensive and harsh chemicals or a bucket of dirty water.  Depending on how much square footage you have to clean, you might have to refill the reservoir during mopping, but most models are ready to use in a minute or less from the time they’re filled.  The cleaning pads are machine washable and reusable.

steam mop

In addition to steam mops, there are handheld steamers designed to clean upholstery and countertops.  Make sure you read any manufacturer’s care instructions before steam cleaning upholstery; some fabrics and dyes won’t tolerate the steam.  When it comes to countertops, the sanitizing and penetrating power of steam is a great way to clean grout and seams on your counters and, again, you can do it without bleach or other harsh cleaners.

This site won’t give you carpet maintenance advice, but you can find comparisons and pros and cons of several of the top-rated steam cleaners for your bare floors.

Check out these handheld steam cleaner reviews for information on the top contenders for cleaning upholstery.

Go to proper mopping techniques for tips on using a steam mop and reviews of top models to help you make your decision.

Top Reasons to Keep Your Home Neat

Let’s face it–nobody actually likes housework (at least nobody I’ve ever met).  Like it or not, though, it has to be done.  Too often, housework either gets in the way of time with family and friends, or maybe we let time with family and friends get in the way of housework, which just makes the job of cleaning the house that much tougher when we do get around to it.  In reality, keeping the house clean doesn’t have to be a weekend-eating chore if we view it as an ongoing, do-a-little-everyday process instead of something to be done all at once.  Doing your best to clean as you go means your house stays tidier, safer, and less likely to be the bane of your precious days off.

kitchen cleaning

The first step to keeping your house cleaner is to make sure that it’s reasonably well tidied up each night.  Teach kids to straighten up their rooms before going to bed.  Make an effort to do the same in the living room, kitchen, and other common areas.  Not only does taking a few minutes each evening to tidy up save time on cleaning day, but it also means that you’ll wake up to a neater house, which can do wonders for your mood.  Another advantage to de-cluttering every evening is that the clutter won’t get so bad that you have a hard time finding things when you need them.  It also means the kids are a little less likely to “lose” everything from backpacks to teddy bears to school shoes, which can save time and stress.  Less stuff lying around also means fewer things to trip or slip on.

cleaning tools

As far as the kitchen goes, keeping things clean is the best way to prevent infestations and those odd kitchen smells we all dread.  Make it a habit to wash all the dishes before bed and wipe down counters and the stove.  It only takes a few minutes a night and can keep messes from getting compounded and harder to clean in addition to making your kitchen less attractive to various critters.

When it comes to the bathroom, getting everyone in the habit of rinsing the sink or tub after use is a great way to minimize soap scum buildup.  If the kids are too young to help, a quick run through their bathroom and yours before bed can keep the bathrooms cleaner during the week, making it quicker to do deeper disinfecting cleaning once a week.

In addition to adopting these clean-as-you-go habits, consider trying to tackle one bigger job each weeknight.  For instance, plan on dusting one evening, vacuuming and mopping on another, “big” bathroom cleaning on a third, wiping down kitchen cabinets and appliances on a fourth, and anything still left to do on the fifth evening.  If you’re lucky enough to only have to do laundry once a week, make it an evening job instead of a weekend one.  If your family is big enough that laundry is never ending, you’ve probably already figured out that a load or two a day is your best bet.  If you can combine daily tidy-up work with one-per-day bigger jobs, you could find that you have way more free time on the weekends in addition to a house that’s never a mess.

In addition to saving yourself time and stress, having a house that’s at least mostly clean before you go to bed also means you won’t have to go into scramble mode if your mom (or mother-in-law) calls and says she’s in the neighborhood and wants to pop in for a visit.  

Given how little time we seem to have these days, keeping the house clean rather than having to spend the better part of a day cleaning it is a great way to get some of our time back, not only time we’d spend cleaning everything at once, but also the time we’d spend looking for things when so many things aren’t where they belong and time spent moving those misplaced things around so mom’s actually got a place to sit when she stops by.