This is not a rigorous scientific study, but here are my latest test results:
|On the right: The mop pad removed from the most recent device I brought home from the store to try. This photo shows the results after the device had "steam cleaned" approximately 100 square feet of ceramic tile in my kitchen. A light coating of dirt is visible on the pad. |
On the left: A damp wash cloth that I then rubbed over approximately 16 square feet of the same floor area that I had just cleaned with the steam mop.
In other words, the hand print indicates the degree of dirt that the mop left behind in a small subset of the "cleaned" area. I estimate that the fancy steam mop picked up about 10% of the total dirt on the floor. The rest it just spread around, causing visible streaks. The floor looked worse after steaming than it did before.
And I did RTFM on this one. I followed the manufacturer's directions carefully.
|Here's a low-light photo showing the surface. It's textured enough to be fairly non-slip, but not textured to the point where there are grooves and ridges that trap dirt.|
But there's a silver lining to all of this. Properly approached, a hand-done floor wash can provide a good yoga-style work-out, combining elements of Plank, Down Dog, Cat-and-Cow, as many Sun Salutations you want to add as you jump up repeatedly to rinse your cleaning cloths. Unless you have physical disabilities that restrict your movement, the old way is certainly better for your health and it's absolutely better for your pocketbook, as many of those fairly useless steam mop gizmos cost one to two hundred dollars apiece (!!).
|Picture this dude wearing rubber gloves and with a cleaning cloth in each hand. |
Image screengrabbed from this "Yoga For Healthy Aging" BlogSpot post.