What is the difference between a steam cleaner and a steam mop?
Steam mops and steam cleaners are both great for a deep clean of sealed hardwood floors and can get the job done without harsh chemicals. However, a steam cleaner is a cleaning device that is able to clean multiple surfaces, like kitchen appliances or patio furniture, not just the floor. Commercial grade steam cleaners also tend to have a lot more powerful in their steam output. Steam mops, however, can filter and trap the dust, dirt and other small particles into the mop pads.
What is a steam mop?
For sparkling clean floors that do not require harsh chemicals, buckets and vigorous scrubbing, a steam mop could be the answer. Instead of chemical cleaners, steam mops turn regular water into hot steam to help deal with grout lines, pet messes, and everyday dirt. Another benefit of a steam mop is the ability to sanitize areas with it. Because you are using hot steam, the steam mop will kill the bacteria from places full of germs like bathroom floors and pet spaces without the need to use vacuum cleaners or a regular mop.
Why use steam mops instead of regular mops for cleaning floors?
Dry steam has been proved to be great for tough cleaning jobs like dried up stains and pet messes. Unlike a traditional mop, the hot water in the steam mop will help absorb the dirt and kill 99.9 percent of the bacteria invisible to the human eyes. Using continuous steam does not only cut the cleaning time, but is also a more sanitary way.
Factors to consider when choosing the best steam mop
Quality and Versatility
Even though steam mops are great, most of them are only good for hard floors. Grout can not always be cleaned with just steam, they might need a small brush to get rid of the dirt.
Since a steam mop only has one function to do, it should not take long for it to heat up. Most steam mops should no longer than 2 minutes to heat up.
Mop and Vacuum feature
Some brands have also make an all in one vacuum. The vacuum part will trap hair and debris, while the steam mop will help you remove stains from the floor. If your vacuum is getting pretty old, think of switching to a 2 in 1 device which will clean better and help save space.
Different Cleaning levels
Most of the time, a steam mop will only have one button to press, steam. However, some mops come with multiple steam settings that will allow the mop to release more moisture into the mop head, helping you clean off very dirty or stained floors.
A steam mop on its own is great, but when accessories are included for special types of flooring, that is even better. Look for multiple microfiber cloths that can be included with your steam mop.
Top three steam mops on the market:
You may find that depending on your budget and the type of flooring you have, some steam mops may suit your home more than others. Here are some of the best steam mops that range in price and possibilities.
1. Bissel PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop
This steam mop comes with a the detachable SpotBoost Brush attachment, which is great for scrubbing away tough cleaning jobs. Just like any other steam cleaner, this one also kills 99.9 percent of bacteria. When buying this steam, you will be getting various attachments: a washable soft mop pad, washable scrubby pad, and Spring Breeze Scent Discs. If you are looking for a two in one cleaning and fresh scent, you can insert their Spring Fresh Breeze Fragrance Disc into tray for a burst of freshness while you steam mop. The mop also comes with a water tank that is easily refilled with a water cup provided for you that can also be attached onto the handle for storage. The mop is very easily maneuvered around, underneath the furniture and tight corners, so you will not have a hard time with this easy steam mop. The scent waters can be bought additionally for use in the steam cleaner.
2. Pronto Plus 300CS two in one steam cleaner
The Pronto Plus 300CS steam cleaner is both a handheld steam cleaner and a steam mop at the same time. The Pronto Plus comes with a wall mount that make storage easier for the consumer. You can store the steam cleaner and all the 14 piece various attachments that come with it in one place. To start using the steam cleaner, just click in the desired attachment, set the volume of the steam flow and start cleaning time. With this steam cleaner, you will be able to clean tile floors, kitchen appliances, and even bathrooms, making it a very versatile cleaner. However, one reviewer mentioned that this steam cleaner is not very sturdy, making it hard to maneuver, the mop head is too big to clean hard to reach areas.
3. Shark steam pocket mop
This Shark steam pocket mop is the best steam mop on the market because of how affordable it is compared to others. Ready to use in 30 seconds, it produces steam to your mop head. The microfiber cloth pads can be flipped over to cover twice the cleaning area without having to wash it. Its water tank is big enough to cover a big area that will cut your cleaning time of running around to refill it. With continuous steam in this mop, it will clean and sanitize the area with ease. However the steam flow can not be regulated in this Shark steam mop, so if you were looking to clean a really dirty grout lines or sticky and dried up messes, you might need to look for an option that lets you control the steam flow. The Shark steam pocket mop is great for beginners or people who are naturally clean and just want to sanitize their hard floors as well.
What is a commercial grade steam cleaner?
Commercial steam cleaners are known to have a better cleaning power than steam mops that are simply made to steam mop the hard floors. Aside from being a powerful steam cleaner, a commercial steam cleaning system has more steam settings available to the consumer. The biggest pro of using a steam cleaner is that the user is not going to be needing chemicals to clean almost any desired surfaces. The heat trades off for the use of chemicals, making it an eco friendly and safe cleaning option. Aside from not having to use harmful chemicals, steam cleaners have better steam output as they are more powerful than steam mops.
Why use steam cleaners to clean hard surfaces?
By using a steamer, you are essentially freeing yourself from using heavy duty chemical cleaners to just using hot water in vapor form. Continuous steam will be the one thing that will help with cleaning appliances, heavy duty stains and dirt. The steam will also kill the bacteria on all the areas it touches, which is such a crucial part for all of us, especially people with kids and pets.
What is the best commercial steam cleaner?
A commercial steamer is the best cleaning device for hard surfaces. The dry steam provides exceptional cleaning without the use of harmful chemicals. Depending on your purpose for steam cleaning will heavily rely on the type of a commercial steam cleaners you will need to look for.
Factors to look for when choosing your steam cleaning system
You do not want to be waiting for too long for your steamer to heat up. A commercial steam cleaner will only start working properly when the water is heated to become vaporized. The faster your steamer heats up, the faster you will be able to start your cleaning process with steam. Heating times vary depending on the price and the watts of the model. Hot steam can be produced by a commercial steam cleaner anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. The higher the power rating of a steam cleaner is, the less heat time it will require to heat up the water tank.
Weight and Size, portability
Commercial steam cleaners that are smaller and lighter in size are easier to move around and store on the contrary of the big and heavy machines. If you are looking for a steam cleaner that is solely for home use, there are still is still a powerful steam cleaner for you that will have enough pressure to actually help you clean off surfaces and floors. If you are looking for commercial cleaning, a bigger steam cleaner will ultimately have more energy than a smaller commercial grade steam cleaner.
Water tank size
The size of your water container also plays a big role in the amount of time you will need to clean with a steam cleaner. The larger the water tank is, the bulkier and heavier the machine will be. With bigger water tanks, you will not have to refill the machine with water as often, but there are options of smaller steam cleaners that let a continuous water source to be poured in, so at the end of the day, it is really a personal preference.
Max temperature and adjustable pressure
A steam cleaner is more efficient when the heat and pressure is higher. The pressure is expressed in psi or bars. When choosing your steam cleaner, look for a machine that will have the biggest maximum temperature as it will be more effective to kill germs and bacteria in your house while also using less time to clean. Keep in mind, the closer you point your steam gun to a surface, the hotter the steam output will be.
The steam output by the steam cleaner is also called the flow rate. The rate can be measured in grams per minute (g/min). The higher the value of the pressure is, the more efficient your steam cleaner is. Some steamers will let the user adjust the flow rate according to the surface being cleaned and the amount of steam needed to get rid of the dirt. If you are thinking of cleaning more than just hardwood floors, make sure to look for a steamer with an adjustable flow rate
Water tank capacity
When the water in your tank runs out, you will have to turn off the unit to refill it and wait for it to heat up again. A larger water tank or a continuous refill option will help you avoid these issues.
Cable and hose length
Depending on how big the area that you are trying to clean is, consider it when looking for a steam cleaner. If the steamer is fairly light and compact, you will have no problem moving it around as you go to different parts of your house or office. However, if the steam cleaner you are looking to buy is quite heavy, make sure that it has either a long hose or a long cord, so you will not have to worry about moving it around so much.
A variety of attachments is what makes the steamer a versatile cleaner. With extra attachments, the steam cleaner becomes a multi purpose machine that is able to tackle any types of dirt around the house or office, on the floor or on hard surfaces. When choosing a steam cleaner, look for these attachments:
- large and small brushes
- a nylon brush
- mop head
- detail jet tool
- squeegee for window cleaning
Most accessories can also be bought separately and used with your hands while having the steam cleaner help you, but is always nice to have a cleaning device that has all the right extra tools to help you achieve a clean looking home.
If the steam cleaner you are looking to get comes with attachments, double check the company's store to see if they have those attachments for sale separately or if they have a warranty on them
Other things to consider when looking for the best commercial steam cleaner
Even though there are many things to consider when buying a steam cleaner, the small things matter too. If you are not familiar with steam cleaning, make sure the steamer you decide on is user friendly and has enough resources and DIYs to show how to use it correctly. Another thing that people forget about is the noise level. Just like a vacuum, a steam cleaner produces some noise. If you are not one who likes to work/clean in loud environments, take that into consideration. Lastly, check the warranties of the steam cleaner you are buying. Some companies offer limited warranties on the steamer itself but have longer warranties on the boiler. Some companies might have neither. If you like to have the extra security for your machines, do not forget to note the warranty times when buying a steamer.
What commercial steam cleaner is right for me?
Depending on the type of a cleaning job you want to get from your steam cleaner will be the main factor when picking which device is right for you. Even though all steam cleaners will have the same function of hot steam, some will be more appealing to those who are looking for more than just a clean floor.
Top three commercial steam cleaners for floors cleaning:
1. Fortador Volt Mini portable steam cleaner
Fortador Volt Mini is ideal for cleaning and disinfection of your home. Weighing in at 16.5 lbs, allowing operators to move it easily in and out of their home. Like other Fortador steamers, the Volt Mini's boiler heats quickly, taking only five minutes to start produce steam. Unlike other small commercial steamers for cleaning, the Volt Mini works at high volume and temperatures, giving you 101.5 psi power of steam at a maximum temperature of 338 degrees Fahrenheit. This steam cleaner also has a stainless steel body, making sure that it is going to last a long time. One reviewer mentioned that this steam cleaner made their kitchen and bathroom look like new again,
The Volt Mini comes with an outstanding selection of accessories and attachments (included steam mop), extension wands, and microfiber cloths that can cut your cleaning time. You will get a 15 ft hose which is five feet longer than the hoses from most of the other commercial grade steam cleaning units. When combined with its long power cord, you can get this cleaner into hard to reach places that larger steamers can not go into. The 4 inch display shows the pressure indicator, fluids level indicator, water level in boiler and signals when the water needs to be refilled.
This commercial grade steamer also comes with a long list of accessories and attachments that allow users to deep clean a lot of the areas that other steam cleaners will not be able to reach. This model of the steam cleaner also allows the user to add detergent to the water tank for situations where you need extra cleaning power and disinfection.
The current price for this machine is $1,949
Specs of the Fortador Volt Mini commercial steam cleaner:
- 15 ft steam hose
- 16.5 lbs
- 1650w power
- made in Intaly
- .53 gal water tank capacity
- USA 120V or EU 220V
- accessories included
- 101.5psi / 7 bar steam adjustable pressure (flow rate)
- 5 year warranty on boiler/ up to 12 months or 1000 hrs of work (can be extended to 3 years)
- 110g/minute steam production
- boiler power 1650w
2. Vapor Clean Pro6 Solo steam cleaner
This steam cleaner is used widely in commercial and home use. The Pro6 Solo offers well designed features like a detachable hose which allows for easier storage. The pressure regulator knob lets the user adjust the steam settings for your needs.
The boiler of the steam cleaner can get up to 75 psi or 294 Fahrenheit. It takes about 12 minutes for the steam output to begin, so make sure you have enough time from start and finish without rushing to get the job done. The commercial steam cleaner also comes a set of various accessories like extension tubes, a steam gun, and microfiber cleaning cloths. If you are looking for a steam cleaner that will have continuous steam, Vapor Clean also has a Pro6 Duo steamer that can provide you with that feature.
Even though this steam cleaner looks like a great option, the 5 bar maximum pressure is not worth the cost of the steam cleaner.
The current price for this steamer is $1,195
Specs of the Vapor Clean Pro6 Solo steam cleaner:
- 0-75 psi/ 5 bar
- 12 minute heat up
- 14.5 lbs
- warranty of parts for 5 years/ lifetime warranty for boiler
- made in Italy
- complete set of accessories
3. Dupray Hill Injection Commercial Steam Cleaner
This model of a commercial steam cleaner is designed for both commercial and home use. It can produce temperatures up to 345 Fahrenheit. This steameer excels at heavy duty tasks like floor cleaning grout and tile cleaning, and general sanitation of an area.
This machine features a display that provides information about the steamer like the operating temperature and steam pressure. You will also be able to add detergent to this machine for extra help with dirt. This commercial steam cleaner has a dual tank system allows the user to refill the steam cleaner with at any time while operating the machine, making the downtime close to none.
The current price for this steamer is $1,997
Specs of the Dupray Hill Injection steam cleaner:
- made in Italy
- 10 ft hose
- 27 piece accessory kit
- 14 ft electrical cord
- 0-121 psi/ 8 bar
- 7 minute heating time
- 1600w power
Learn about steam cleaniing of furniture witout any harsh chemicals.
Whether or not you decide to choose to get a steam mop or a steam cleaner, they are both great additives to your cleaning routine. A regular mop can not kill all the germs and bacteria that is invisible to us, but steam devices can. They are all a little pricey comparing to regular cleaning supplies, but they are a great investment for your home or business.
Learn more about vacuum steam cleaners for your home and business.