Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
Whether you’re already halfway through your spring cleaning regimen or are putting it off until the fall, you need a plan to get your floors bright and sparkly. The tricky part is that the mop you clean your kitchen tile with may not be the best tool for hardwood floors, and if you have pets or small children, the sanitizing agents in many cleaning liquids may not be totally safe — at least for housemates who take the hands or paws that they walk on and put them in their mouths. Disposable wet mop products are also a bit wasteful.
The smarter way to tackle all your floor cleaning is with a steam mop. By using nothing but a spray of pressurized steam and washable cloth heads, steam mops are cheaper to use in the long run than disposable wet mops and much neater and quicker than traditional mops. One brand our editors trust the most in this category is Shark, and right now you can head to QVC to save nearly 25 percent on the steam mop that we rated best in class.
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As far as steam mops go, they don’t get much easier to use than this. After filling the tank up with water and plugging the mop in, choose one of three steam control settings — low, medium, or high — and you’re ready to go. A tiny spout at the front of the head sprays out bursts of steam that unstick layers of dust or stubborn stains so the cloth pads can wipe through them without a problem — leaving you with glistening floors. The low steam setting is ideal for hardwood floors, and when you need to disinfect more durable surfaces, such as the tile in your bathroom, the high setting will get the job done.
What makes this device stand out is its versatile and no-fuss cloth pads. You can attach and remove the pads without having to touch them with your hands (the head folds down and slides into and out of the pads like a glove). Because the head swivels around, you can flip it over and use both sides of each pad to get more cleaning done in one go. And when you need to reach into tight corners, just pop on the triangular head. After you’re done, you can toss the cloth pads into the washing machine and tumble dry them on low to be ready for your next clean.
With its sleek, minimalist design, this steam mop can be tucked into a closet or a corner to stay out the way. That makes it great for small spaces and anyone who doesn’t plan to use their cleaning products as decor. When our contributor Erin Cavoto reviewed the Steam Pocket, she appreciated how thick and absorbent the cloth pads were — “capable of collecting a ton of dirt and grime,” she wrote. She also boasted that they cleaned her grout (which most steam mops aren’t capable of).
Erin also found that this tool made it easier to cut down on cleaning procrastination, which can be a real barrier for spring cleaning. “I can honestly say I look forward to cleaning my floors now with how simple this steam mop is to use, from setup to cleanup,” Erin wrote. So switch to a smarter mop and get through spring cleaner in less time and with less effort. Just be sure to grab one while they’re still on sale.