Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mops, and other exciting things (just kidding! it's only about mops)

I already waxed ecstatic about my Roomba on here, so this post probably won't surprise anyone. Blogs are tough because whenever I get excited I want to share something with you, but I think I'm supposed to be getting excited about wall weavings and fancy new candle scents. And I do like some of those things! But I really, really like gadgets that make my chores easier.

I grew up cleaning floors on hands and knees and while I've tried to make a transition to a Bona type system (which is basically an upscale Swedish Swiffer, in case you don't spend your spare time thinking about cleaning products) I always reverted back. Especially after I bent the handle of our Bona by trying to scrub too hard. I really like to put my back into it, I guess. I needed another solution.

new friend
{new friend}

I've had this Bissell floor steam cleaner for a month and it is a game changer. Our floors have never felt so good. It doesn't use any cleaning products, just distilled water. It comes with two pads and they're machine washable (but they have to be air dried, so don't toss them in the dryer. I have no idea what will happen if you do, but I'm not taking any chances).

Basically, you fill it with water, plug it in, wait for it to warm up and then select your steam level. I use level three on my tile floors and level two on the wood. Then you just run it over the floor, not too fast. The contact time matters since you aren't physically scrubbing and you want the steam to have a chance to work. I just run the cleaner along the floor at a slow pace. If you have a stubborn spot, you just hold the steamer in place for 10 seconds or so and it usually steams it right off. The head swivels well so getting into corners and under furniture is easy. The floors feel amazing when I'm done and because it's so quick I end up cleaning them once or twice a week.* I won't tell you how often I was cleaning them before because then you'll be horrified.

The only thing that drives me a little nuts is that there is no on/off switch. You have to physically unplug it to turn it off. This is incomprehensible to me. Every other appliance I own has an on/off switch so it can't be super advanced technology. Backtracking over freshly steamed floors in order to unplug the machine, while the machine itself is still spitting out steam, is a bit of a pain.

One note - some of the reviews are annoyed because you have to sweep the floors first. Um, duh. A steam cleaner is not a vacuum. This is exactly the same process as mopping your floors. Of course it would be nicer if the steamer also sucked up all your hair for you (I'm half convinced that I'm going bald, based on the amount of hair I vacuum up regularly) but that isn't how it works.

* As I write this I realize it 100% sounds like a glowing sponsored post. It is not. To date, I have never run a sponsored post and while I don't anticipate doing so, I would certainly give you a heads up if I did. There are a ton of steam cleaners on the market. We checked out the reviews and the prices and finally ordered this one, which is the most basic model available. Bissell has no idea that I exist, let alone that I'm in love with their glorified mop.

22 comments:

  1. I, too, get excited about mops and other appliances/tools that make my relatively boring day-to-day life easier. I skipped a pedicure the other day because I was too excited to buy the perfect broom and dustpan. So thank you for this incredibly useful information AND validation.

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  2. I get really excited about solutions to decades-old problems. I've hated mopping my hardwood floors since I moved into the house in 1986. This just might change my mind:).

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  3. Three days of posts in a row?! Welcome back. I'd missed your writing, and am loving these practical posts.

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  4. We have the same tiled floor. I am curious if this steam mop cleans/scrubs the gap in between the tiles well. Ours can get quite dirty and a good scrubbing with soap has been the only way I can get it really clean.

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    1. I'm pretty sure it's doing a good job! It's hard to tell on our floors because they used a dark grey grout so I'm never entirely sure whether it's gotten completely clean. Good for camouflage, I guess, not so nice for peace of mind.

      The steam cleaner does a much better job on this textured tile floor than I did scrubbing, I have to say! I don't now what it is about this particular texture but I feel like it's the harder to properly clean than any floor I've ever had!

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  5. This sounds like a dream, Rachel! I totally want one! And yay for more posts!
    Xx from the Girl in the Houndstooth Coat

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  6. i had a shark steam mop, which i think is similar to your bissell. in a flash of decluttering, i decided to give it to goodwill b/c i figured it's sometimes easier to just mop on hands and knees. well, now that i'm almost 8 mo preggers, hands and knees is not an option. and really, i don't think i gave my steam mop a proper chance to prove itself. now i'm torn- do i buy the bissell? minimalist problems :))

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  7. This is awesome. I've been looking at getting a floor steam cleaner for ages, as the hands and knees methods kinda sucks, but have never pulled the trigger because I'm too lazy to do any research. But now you've done it for me!

    Also, welcome back!

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  8. Rach!
    I'm in the market for one. Do you know if it requires the use of distilled water? We've killed two clothes steamer using tap water.
    Alicia

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    1. Yes, they recommend only distilled water! I meant to mention that! It's a minor bummer because I have to buy it, but the steamer doesn't actually use that much water (way less than my humidifier, for example) so a gallon every 2-3 weeks seems to be plenty and I can live with that.

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  9. Rachel. Between our convo the other day and this post, I think I'm sold and we may be pulling the trigger on this mop in the very near future. I feel like the Roomba/steam cleaner combo is going to be pretty effective. Now if only Brian could remember to wipe toothpaste off the faucets when he cleans the bathroom.

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    1. Or, I can bring mine over next time and you can test it out first. Man, we have the most exciting dates, don't we?

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  10. Wow, thanks for the great review. PowerFresh has been one of our best kept secrets :) Really appreciate your clarifying it's not a vacuum - we recognized that was a need and created Symphony - vacuum and steam mop in one - and you can do both at the same time. No kidding! Just thought we'd let you know. http://www.bissell.com/symphony-vacuum-steam-mop/

    And I hope you don't mind I can answer some of your reader's questions:
    Alicia - distilled water is recommended, but it does have a filter you can change. I personally use tap from time to time.

    Kristin-- here is a video so you can see the difference between the two mops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_LqR-9cw9Y&list=PL8ixIZvSBPc-beDRKukeHaB3IeBqyl8FB

    Hope that's helpful! TGIF!

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  11. Thanks for the review because I have been considering one of these for awhile. Love, love your blog! It's one of my favorites and I have missed your posts lately!

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  12. I actually don't think my crappy off-brand Pergo can handle much of any moisture, let alone steam (I can just imagine all of the possible peeling!) but this post still made me pretty happy because it reminded me that a) I'm not the only one who spends a lot of time thinking about these sorts of things and b) these decisions and findings make for totally legitimate blog post topics. Plus c) when you find something you like, it's totally joyous!

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  13. You've totally convinced me on this, because I have a little crawling baby now (my first!) and my rental's gross linoleum kitchen floor is where he wants to be whenever I'm in there. I hate mopping, so this will at least give me peace of mind that the floors are sanitized!
    A question for you, if you have the time - how do you store your mop after you've used it?

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    1. After I unplug it I let it cool down (I do this on the kitchen tile floor, not the wood floor!) then I pull off the cloth cover to let it dry out and tuck the mop into a corner of the kitchen. I really don't have space for it, so right now it's just living next to the refrigerator, where it's out of sight but definitely in the way if I need to access the microwave. The storage situation in my apartment is not ideal! The mop doesn't really take up much room, but unfortunately I'm using my broom closet to hold baking sheets and other cooking supplies. : (

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  14. I literally JUST ordered this thanks to your recommendation! (Actually, I think I ordered it through your link!) I've done extensive research and kept coming back to this one. I cant wait to get it!! I actually broke our swiffer throwing my back into it a little too much. Living in humid Miami, I am SO excited to get this!

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  15. Just wanted to say I really appreciate these basic kinds of posts! I'm also a hands-and-knees floor washer and ordered this after thinking on your review. So happy! It really works brilliantly and saves so. much. time. Thank you Rachel!

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