Consumer Reports: Steam Mops—The Newest Cleaners

Consumer Reports: Steam Mops—The Newest Cleaners »Play Video

Steam mops are the latest gadget that claims to make cleaning your floor a cinch. Consumer Reports tested 10, ranging in price from $70 to $150, to see whether one can really cut your workload.

First testers got the lab floor very, very dirty. They used ketchup, syrup, mustard, and other stuff to create a scientific mess. Because you can't always get to spills right away, the mess was left overnight to really set in.

So how did the mops do? Well, some weren't very good, taking a long time to steam away soils. Others didn't soak up much, leaving gooey gunk to be pushed around the floor. And once the steam mop is finished cleaning, you still have to deal with a mess. All of those mops use removable pads that you need to wash. They get pretty grimy, so you might want wash them separately from your clothes.

When all the tests were done, Consumer Reports did find a good steam mop it named a Best Buy. It's the $70 Eureka Enviro Steamer. It steams for a full 20 minutes on a tank of water and has a long cord so that you can clean larger areas.

However, Consumer Reports says a $15 squeeze mop and some hot water will do just as good a job, and cost you a lot less.

As for the highly advertised Shark Steam Pocket Mop, Consumer Reports found it did a good job, but not as good as the less-expensive Eureka or even the squeeze mop.

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