Freshly cleaned floors can make your home feel and smell great. By using the right tools, the correct amount of water and the best cleansers, you can clean and extend the life of your flooring at the same time.
For those of us who have to struggle constantly with mopping floors, especially when pets are involved, know how difficult it can be.
Our top pick has to be the Bissell PowerFresh Pet Steam Mop because steam power can tackle tougher messes and the power of steam can kill bacteria and germs.
Check Price: Bissell PowerFresh Pet Steam Mop on Amazon
In this guide we will cover the best mops for all types of flooring such as tile and hardwood. We’ll cover everything you need to know about dust mops to steam mops by breaking down features in our mop reviews.
Twist and Shout Mop
One feature that makes the Twist and Shout Mop an award winner is that it can easily and comfortably spin dry the microfiber mop head when you push down on the mop handle.
This is great because there are no foot pedals that can accidentally get broken.
This self-wringing mop can rotate up to 2500rpm, which helps to wring out the mop as needed.
- The mop can be used wet or dry.
- Easily cleans under furniture and along baseboards.
- Mop heads can be machine washed.
- Mop must be straight up and down to spin correctly in the strainer.
- The mop handle might be too short for some.
Additionally, you can machine wash the mop heads and they will last anywhere from 6-12 months, which keeps you from constantly buying mop heads.
On the other hand, the mop only has one bucket for the water so you may need to change the water frequently if your floors are very dirty.
Another downfall is that the mop might not easily pick up old stains or grime that is stuck to the floor, meaning you may have to manually scrub some areas with brush that is safe for your flooring.
Bissell PowerFresh Pet Steam Mop
The Bissell PowerFresh Pet Steam Mop is helpful for anyone who would like to tackle germs and bacteria on tile or hardwood floors.
This this mop has a flip-down scrubber that can clean up dried on spots or the grout between tiles, which means you won't have to carry around an additional tool to remove the grime.
Furthermore, there are odor-eliminating fragrance disks that can add a pleasant scent as you clean, but are not necessary for the mop to work.
- Heats up quickly and it's easy to refill the tank.
- Has the ability to clean grout and dried on spots.
- Kills 99.9% of bacteria.
- There is no on or off switch.
- Cap on water tank could break.
- Must use distilled water.
One possible issue with this mop is the cap on the water tank is not made of heavy duty material and could possibly break after a few uses if you aren’t careful.
Another problem is the steam could stop working if it becomes clogged, which defeats the purpose of steam mopping your floors.
Shark Steam Pocket Mop
If you are looking for a mop with the ability to deep-clean your floors, the Shark Steam Pocket Mop might be a good choice for you.
One beneficial feature of this product is the ability to heat up within 30 seconds so you can quickly begin mopping.
Another advantage is that it releases steam whenever the mop is pushed forward, which is great for anyone who does not want to push a button or pull a trigger while they are mopping.
- Micro-fiber Steam Pocket pad has two sides for cleaning.
- Extra-large water capacity.
- Easy to operate.
- May leave streaks on your floors if you don't clean with a vinegar-wash first.
- Must be plugged into an outlet to work.
- You will want to sweep or vacuum before using the product.
You may need to go over your floors with a vinegar wash before using the steam mop if you have never steamed your floors before, because more often than not there will be a residue left from previous cleaners, dirt, or stains.
Otherwise, you could end up with floors that look dull and streaked, which might be frustrating if you try to use the product right out of the box.
Types of Mops
When selecting a mop, it's best to consider them for light vs. heavy duty work. A steam-cleaning mop is an excellent choice for heavy-duty cleaning, while a simple sponge mop may be just the thing for touch-ups.
Additionally, some flooring types can be cleared of dust with a wet mop, other surfaces need a pre-treatment with a dust mop. If you'd like to take an automated approach with a floor mopping robot, see two top models in our Braava vs Scooba comparison.
Wood floors in particular need to be kept dust free. If your wood floor has been paste-waxed, do not use water but be sure to keep dust picked up. To test this, rub your finger down a plank of your wood floor. If the finish streaks, it's probably got some wax on it.
Once large debris has been removed, dust mop the floor to brighten the finish.
Treat laminates, cork, bamboo and hardwoods with the same basic care by picking up large debris with a vacuum on the high setting to raise the beater bar and reduce the risk of scratches. Depending on your vacuum it may or may not be safe for this type of flooring.
See Also: Best Robot Vacuum
Microfiber mops are easy to rinse and quick to wash. You can also add a disposable cover to some microfiber mops and easily discard and replace them.
Spin mops are ideal for sheet vinyl, ceramic and porcelain tile, and natural stone. While you may spend a bit more for a spin mop, know that the cleaning head can be washed multiple times and be ready for the next round of cleaning.
Sponge mops can be more of a challenge; it seems that every new sponge mop design requires a new replacement head. If you prefer a sponge mop and need a replacement, pick up several replacement sponges at the same time.
Steam mops come in standard and cordless varieties. On some units, the cordless feature refers to a spray steamer at the front of the unit, which is very handy for spritzing the floor in front of the mop head.
Most manufacturers of laminate flooring do not recommend steam cleaning.
Other steam mops offer attachments and adjustable features that turn it into a hand-held steam cleaner, or even a clothes steamer. These units are ideal for cleaning and disinfecting sheet vinyl natural stone and tile.
A plain steam cleaning of water will never leave a sticky residue or a dulling film on your floors.
Best Mop For Your Flooring Type
Wood flooring, whether hardwood or laminate, should be cleaned with as little water as possible to avoid buckling caused by water seeping under the laminate.
Once you've vacuumed away the debris and used a dust mop, use a damp microfiber mop and a spray bottle of the manufacturer's recommended cleaning solution.
Rinse the microfiber pad when it darkens to get the best quality clean.
If possible, use a microfiber mop head with disposable covers so you can be assured of a clean surface.
Natural stone should never be cleaned with acid; it can become discolored. Neutral pH cleansers are best, or you can use plain water or steam.
Never use any scented products on natural stone flooring as your floor may end up discolored.
Many steam mops offer variable steam levels and can offer a terrific level of clean with very little water.
Ceramic & Porcelain
Sealed ceramic and porcelain tile can be easily cleaned with a sponge mop or microfiber pad. Grout, however, can be a challenge.
Discolored grout can make even a spotless floor look dingy, so perhaps the first step is to pick a dark grout for your flooring layout.
If you didn't get to select your grout, consider mixing a paste of baking soda and water, spreading that over the grout lines, then spritzing it with vinegar. This will foam! Also, test this process for colorfastness; the chemical reaction may change the color or weaken the bond of your grout.
Vinyl & Linoleum
Sheet vinyl can tolerate water and can be steam cleaned. For small cleaning projects, the mixture of dish soap, water and vinegar as listed above is ideal.
Acid may damage the mineral pigmentation in your linoleum flooring, and excess water will seep at the edges and can damage the subfloor.
Be sure to touch the surface of the floor once it dries; if it's sticky, do another quick sponge mop with plain water.
Vinyl tile and linoleum need to be treated more gently than sheet vinyl. Mix warm water with a drop of dish soap and spritz the floor, wiping away the water with a microfiber mop.
Sealed concrete flooring can appear dingy if left dusty or if cleaned with a product that leaves a residue.
The best way to maintain a bright finish on your sealed concrete floor is to steam it with plain water and keep the dust picked up.
Best Way to Mop Floors
Basic Cleaning Tip: Work from the top down and let gravity help you out. Wipe down ceiling fans, dust the corner between the wall and the ceiling, clear and wipe down cabinets and table tops, and then clean the floor.
Use a mild cleanser that won't leave a sticky film, as this will just collect dirt and dust for the next mopping. Also, consider weekly mopping with a spray bottle and a light touch.
Using a large bucket of soapy water only guarantees that you'll eventually be cleaning a dirty floor with dirty water. If you really prefer the bucket method, work with small amounts of water and change it frequently.
- For wood flooring, laminates and vinyl tile, use as little water as possible. If excess water seeps under laminates and vinyl tile, you can damage your subfloor and face buckling or mold in time.
- Sheet vinyl flooring and sealed ceramic and porcelain tile can be easily cleaned with a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 drop of dish soap and 2 cups / .5 liter of warm water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spritz the floor as you mop.
- Natural stone flooring should never be cleaned with anything but water, and they can be steam cleaned.
- Sealed concrete can be cleaned with a mild cleanser, but be absolutely certain to rinse this cleanser away or your finish will be sticky.
Flooring can be a costly investment and is problematic to change out.
By carefully cleaning the floors in your home or business with the right amount of water and proper cleansers, you can keep this investment looking great.
Remove debris first, then take up the dust, and finally, add a little water or steam for a bright, clean finish.