Sears Knowledge Center

Steam Mop vs. Regular Mop

Steam technology might have you wondering what the advantages are of owning a steam mop over a traditional mop. Because they use the power of hot steam to wash and sanitize floors and surfaces, they're actually quite different from a regular mop. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, so it makes sense to own both.

  Steam Mop Regular Mop
Ease of Cleanup Quickly and evenly dries and sanitizes floors Can be messy when lathering water and soapy solution over floors
Maintenance Uses inexpensive microfiber pads that can be washed and reused Uses mop heads which aren't entirely durable and can come loose
Cost $75-$150 $10-$50

Advantages of steam mops

  • Time Efficiency – Water heats quickly and the steam works quickly to sanitize floors. Surfaces will dry more quickly too.
  • Extra accessories – You can use square or triangle mop heads to reach corners and other hard-to-reach spaces.

Limitations of steam mops

  • Less safe – Any time you're working with hot steam, there's an added burn factor that forces you to be more cautious.
  • Heavier – These mops have a water canister and, while they can be sleek and lightweight, they're still not as easy to store as a traditional rag or squeeze mop.

Advantages of regular mops

  • Thin design – The mop head sits below a thin stick, so you can store this cleaning tool virtually anywhere.
  • More absorption – You can tackle bigger messes because mops are more absorbent than their steam-powered counterparts.

Limitations of regular mops

  • More hassle – You'll need to fill a bucket with water, carry it around the house and wring out the mop after each use.
  • Extra preparation – With a regular mop, you need to add extra cleaning solution like soap, vinegar or bleach to the water.

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