The earliest record of the use of a mop was back in 1496 a “mappe” was used by Shipwrights to apply pitch to the hulls of English boats but it wasn’t until the 1600s that “maps” or rag mops as we know them were used to clean houses in Europe. In terms of design the look remains the same but the introduction of steam now means we have alternatives to pushing water-soaked, chemical filled mops around our floors.
I took the Lakeland Steam Mop for a test drive around the house and it’s clear that my mop and bucket’s days are over.
This lightweight mop cleans, sanitises and leaves floor surfaces dry and squeaky clean. It doesn’t use chemicals, so it’s good for the environment, ideal for those who suffer with allergies and kills 99.9% of germs. No more over-soaked floors, shifting dirt from one room to another, dragging heavy buckets of lukewarm water around the house, buying cleaner, scrubbing at stubborn stains or breaking my back bending and over-exerting.
Our floors at home are ‘cleaned’ with a micro-fibre mop each week although after using the steam mop you wouldn’t believe it. I’ve just taken a closer look at the mop head and it is not a pretty sight. It’s filthy, harbouring bacteria and germs and dipped in and out of harsh chemicals. Obviously, when the hot water cools there’s no way bacteria is killed so in effect I’m slopping dirty, germ-filled water from room to room.
When I unpacked the mop the instructions were easy to follow and it took about 3 minutes to put together. Initially I thought the handle looked flimsy but when it’s in action it measures up and is height adjustable. The cord is almost 8 metres (25ft) long and allows you to cover a decent amount of flooring before unplugging the device and moving to another area.
After vacuuming the floors (you must do this as surface dirt will stick to the mop head and smear it from room to room). Before plugging in the mop make sure, you’ve filled up the water reservoir (hard water areas will need distilled water) and make sure the Velcro pad is on. The mop comes with a funnel which could prove fiddly for some so make sure that you don’t overfill. The locking button is also quite small and some may struggle. The mop heats up quickly and it will be dispensing hot steam over your hands if you try to attach pad as an after thought.
It’s quick and ready to go just thirty seconds after plugging it in – there’s no on or off switch – a light turn green when the unit receives power. It delivers steam on contact and a quick pump of the handle and the 250ml filled reservoir lasted me for the entire ground floor or about 15 minutes of use. Of course, they’ll be critics requesting a bigger tank but with that comes extra weight and it doesn’t take any time to refill. The mop comes with 3 thick micro-fibre pads which velcro into place and you can order more if you need them – either from Lakeland or the phone number on the instruction booklet.
Easy to manoeuvre, this mop goes back and forward with relative ease and didn’t jar or jerk when I moved from sealed wood floor to slate tile, and even tackled stained areas. Because the mop allows water to evaporate as soon as it touches the floor surface there’s no need for more drying. You won’t use harsh or specialist cleaning products either its all about the steam at a high temperature shifting the dirt. The instructions advise not to use the mop on unsealed wood or unglazed ceramic floors or on surfaces that have been treated with wax, the sheen could be removed by the heat and steam action. It’s definitely worth checking with flooring manufacturers whether you can actually clean with steam before going to the trouble of ordering the mop. It’s easy to carry and great for small spills because the finish is totally streak-less so there’s no need to mop the entire floor.
Is it worth the cost? I think so because it actually cleans and sanitises floors which has got to be worth any price. But when I did the mop maths I was convinced. My mop and bucket cost me around £20. Each month I buy a bottle of Method wood floor cleaner which costs around £4 and I also buy Flash or something suitable for the bathroom floors which is roughly £2. A replacement head is about £8. Living in London means hard water so the only thing I need to buy for the unit is distilled water.
I don’t have kids or pets but my home just looks a lot cleaner where the mop has been. After the first use, the pad was embarrassingly filthy, but washed up a treat, no damage to the velcro and ready to use for the next use. These are washed with liquid detergent at 40 degrees without fabric conditioner.
Don’t answer the phone, door, or pause to watch telly while the mop is on and idle. Heat builds up quickly and if left in one place for too long it will concentrate steam and heat, causing clouding or streaking on your floor. Unplug it but don’t stand the pad on the floor.
This Steam Mop is £59.99 and comes with three cleaning pads. If you’re after a handheld steam cleaner and mop which also tackles carpets then you may want to consider the Shark 2 in 1 Electronic Steam Mop but that costs almost £80 more and it handles on the heavier side in comparison.
It’s now standing where the mop and bucket was. Mum is desperate to get her hands on it. She may have lost the kids but she’s got two black Labradors who love a long muddy walk. I’ll update the post if I let it leave the house.