They promise to eliminate up to 99.99% of viruses, germs and bacteria through the action of heat.
These devices do not require the addition of detergents or chemicals. You only need tap water. Steam cleaning loosens grease, softens and loosens encrusted dirt. Exposure to heat (100°C) sanitizes, disinfects, kills bacteria, germs, mites and even certain viruses and insects.
Their construction is fairly simple: a water tank connected to a pressurized steam unit feeds it through a pipe to the mop, which is attached to the mop head. You just have to connect them to the mains to make them work. A controller allows the adjustment of the steam flow to the type of floor to be cleaned. The performance of the device, expressed in watts, provides information about the maximum steam output available.
Monotasking or Multitasking?
The advantage of a steam mop over a basic mop is that it easily wets floors while they are being heated. They dry much faster after cleaning. On more sophisticated models, the tank and steam generating unit detach from the broom. It is then possible to connect various accessories (hoses, brushes, nozzles or caps) supplied with the device. This makes it possible to clean small, hard-to-reach corners, vertical surfaces, faucets, etc.
A window squeegee or a small wire brush, for example to scrub the grate of a grill, is sometimes part of the equipment. Some steam mops go so far as to boast of being “15-in-1” products. The number of possibilities can be tempting on paper. Nevertheless, in practice it is not always so interesting. Cleaning the floor with a steam mop after vacuuming is very easy and often gives impeccable results.
A simple steam cleaner with no frills
For other tasks, it’s less obvious. For example, it takes a lot of skill to make windows without leaving squeegee marks and drips. If you attempt to steam clean the grease deposits in an oven, you run the risk of ending up leaving large clumps of bituminous material at the bottom of the walls that are difficult to remove with a cloth or paper towels.
In addition, the device has more difficulty producing vapor properly when positioned upside down. The included accessories are not all useless. Some are even very practical, especially the nozzles that make it easier to clean the joints of tiled walls. As with any other device, a simple and effective steam cleaner is often better than a complicated model full of gimmicks.