Cleaning with steam
Steam mops are an effective way to clean your home and many people are opting for these over the traditional mop and bucket. Using only water to clean, steam mops do away with the need for chemical cleaning agents that can be potentially harmful and costly. They come in stick and canister forms and many claim to kill bacteria and germs, however, we haven’t tested for this. They’re suitable for most hard floors, including vinyl, tiles and sealed timber. They work by:
- heating up the water inside the reservoir to create steam that is pumped out of the cleaning head
- the steam loosens dirt and grime while wetting a microfibre pad that’s placed underneath the cleaning head which wipes it away.
Stain removal is dependent on the flooring you have, as some stains soak more easily into certain types of floors over others. However, we find that steam mops remove stains better than a mop and bucket.
But don't discard your mop and bucket yet. Unlike vacuum cleaners, steam mops don’t have suction power; if you need to clean up large amounts of spilled liquids, you’ll need a conventional mop or a wet and dry vacuum cleaner.
For more information on Floors and surfaces, see Laundry and cleaning.
Brands and models tested
- Airflo Easy Steam AFS102 (A)
- Aqua Lazer Steam Mop ALM_R (A)
- Bissell Healthy Home Steam Mop Max 1957-F
- Bissell Lift-Off Steam Mop 23B6-F #
- Bissell Powerfresh 1440-F #
- Black & Decker Steam-mop Deluxe FSM1630-XE #
- Dirt Devil Easy Steam Express II DDSTM1500 #
- Haan Multi SI-A70 #
- Home Hero Steam Mop BS290 (12100065)
- Hoover 5630 Heritage 12100081 #
- Hoover Enhanced Clean Disinfecting Steam Mop HSTM1500
- Karcher SC3.000
- Kenwood Ariete Steam Mop SC4160
- Kenwood Ariete SC2705 #
- Monster EZ1
- Monster Superclean EZ2 #
- OptimPlus Steam Clean SC263 (12100069)
- Piranha Aqua Force Steam Mop 900158 NV-608 #
- Piranha Steam Mop 900121 JJB-603
- Shark Pro Steam Pocket Mop S3601NZ #
- Shark S3501NZ (A)
- Smart Living Sonic 7128 #
- Thane H2O Mop X5 (B)
- Vax Steam Hard Floor Master VSTM1500
- Vax Steam Multi Master VSTDUO1600 #
# Newly tested models
(B) From Danoz Direct
How we test
Performance Our tester, Matthew Tung, applies six different household substances to vinyl floor tiles in a set pattern. The tiles are dried overnight. Any easily removable residue is wiped off, by hand, using sponges and water. This leaves hard, dried residue which Matthew then tackles with the steam mops. After cleaning the tiles as much as possible with each mop, he assesses how much visible matter or staining is left and scores the results.
The six household substances used are:
- red wine
- soy sauce
- tomato sauce and
- black shoe polish
Where models have other functions or tools, such as for cleaning tile grouting or sweeping floors, Matthew tests these too.
Ease of use Matthew assesses each mop for moving the mop head over the floor, using the controls, how wet it leaves the floor and ease of filling the water tank.