HOW WE TESTED
We assessed how long the mop took to remove food stains and muddy deposits from hard floors, and looked at the attachments and steam options. We also tested ease of use: heat-up time, how easy the mops were to assemble, their weight and manoeuvrability.
Steam mops can disinfect various floor types and other surfaces, and the high temperatures they run at kill bacteria and can eliminate dust mites, which cause allergies. Plus because they use steam rather than harsh chemicals, they’re better for the environment and your home. Consider the following when you’re in the market for one: Adjustable steam output: This allows you to crank up the heat to tackle tough stains. Steam is generally safe to use on most surfaces – but using a steam cleaner on an unsealed surface is not recommended.
Water tank capacity: A large reservoir means a more cumbersome appliance, but if you have a big area to clean, you’ll spend less time refilling the tank. Accessories: These include additional cleaning pads, brushes, scrapers and grout cleaners, ironing attachments for curtains, and squeegees for windows and glass. The mops on test all come with washable, reusable mop pads.
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KARCHER SC3 ABOUT R3699; KAERCHER.COM/ZA; MAKRO
We were impressed with the performance of this steam cleaner, which can handle deep cleaning with ease and efficiency. It moves easily over ceramic tiles – removing embedded dirt quickly and effectively – produces a streak-free shine and doesn’t leave surfaces too wet. We liked the variable steam release for different floor types, so moisturesensitive surfaces like laminate and wood benefit from less steam,
The mop is straightforward to assemble and the tank capacity sufficient. This model is quick to heat up-an illuminating light indicates when it’s ready to use – and releases steam in a matter of seconds. Steam isn’t produced continuously; you need to trigger its release. The mop feels sturdy and well balanced, though it can’t lock in an upright position, and the flat head moves well into corners and under furniture,
While it’s heavy to steer, this cleaner makes quick work of floors, as you can clean large areas with a single swipe. It’s quite bulky to store and comes with minimal accessories compared to other mops tested. If you need a steamer to clean more areas, you might prefer a model with a detachable handheld unit and the accessories that go with it,
Accessories include: one mopping pad, a carpet glider and a descaling cartridge.
Verdict: A superior model that is designed to be simple and efficient. It does an impressive job cleaning up tough messes and although it’s pricey, it won’t disappoint.
BLACK & DECKER 15-1N-1 STEAM MOP ABOUT R2399; TAKEALOT (available from 1 September)
This multipurpose steam cleaner is well constructed, has a neat, stylish design and a good tank capacity. It also has a wide range of functions and accessories. The mop takes about 15 seconds to heat up, and is operated with an on-off switch rather than a trigger to release steam, which is constant and can be controlled with a steam burst pedal if you want to apply extra power.
The auto select dial allows you to choose the floor type so that the mop can release the right amount of steam. It’s effective at cleaning spills on floors, but stubborn stains and sticky grime require a few more swipes. This model is sturdy and perfectly balanced, but a little on the heavy side, and it can’t lock into a standing position. The wide mop head covers a broad surface area and manoeuvres well around obstacles, but it’s trickier to get into corners.
An easy release allows you to switch to a handheld steamer to target tight spots along baseboards, grout or greasy ovens; the grill cleaning attachment is also quite handy. You can also clean and sanitise bathroom applications – the grout brush makes light work of grubby tiles – and the clothing steamer converts the mop into an entirely different appliance, We were impressed with the SteaMitt attachment, which is great for sanitising kids toys, kitchen appliances and more. But it struggled to remove burnt-in oil and ingrained dirt on cooker tops, Verdict: A versatile model that comes with a variety of well-designed tools to tackle a range of tasks – the ideal cleaning machine for a busy home with kids and pets,
GENESIS IO-IN-1 STEAM MOP ABOUT R1499; VERIMARK, TAKEALOT
This mop is ideal for smalls spills or big clean-ups. Steam is produced continuously once it’s heated, so there’s no need to use a trigger, But the pressure is quite high, resulting in a slightly damp floor. It leaves tiles shining and lifts dried-on stains, but tougher dirt requires a few extra puffs. We also noticed a few streaks left behind.
The mop is easy to set up, it’s lightweight and comfortable to steer, and can lock into a standing position. The head reaches under furniture easily and moves its way into tight comers. Also, the mop can be taken apart for storage. This model can be converted into a handheld cleaner and comes with a range of attachments, The carpet glider attachment refreshes area rugs and carpeted floors, and we thought it did a good job getting into dirty grout lines. The 350ml water tank is a reasonable size but will need more frequent refilling, Verdict: A budget-friendly appliance that’s capable of handling most tasks, It was the most comfortable of the mops to handle we also tested…
PHILIPS SPEEDPRO MAX AQUA ABOUT R9999; TAKEALOT HIRSCH’S
You can mop and vacuum at the same time with this cordless cleaner: the suction power is effective on carpets and hard floors, and the mopping function works brilliantly too.
TAURUS 9-IN-1 STEAMER (948050) ABOUT R1 995: CREATIVEHOUSEWARES.CO.ZA
Ideal for various cleaning tasks, this steamer is a great all-rounder that is simple to operate and assemble. Steam emits in a concentrated blast by pumping the handle; it takes slightly longer to heat up compared to some of the other models on test and the indicator light is not easily visible, Also, the water tank requires frequent topping up.
On hard floors, the mop wiped away dirt residue with ease, although embedded stains took longer to clean; it also left some streaking, The angular head is well designed and got into those hard-to-reach areas. The mop is sturdy and balanced, and can lock into an upright position.
The detachable handheld unit comes with a variety of accessories. It works well for quick clean-ups, scrubs grout with satisfactory results and erases sticky messes easily, We found the carpet glider attachment useful to freshen up carpets, Verdict: A modestly priced appliance that functions well on most surfaces and delivers good results.
It also comes with many attachments. While it’s a bit heavy, the mop is easy to operate, The flat head manoeuvres well under furniture and around corners, and is fitted with LEDs, so it’s easier to spot dirt. Verdict: This all-in-one cleaning mop is a great time-saver. Perfect for every household and particularly great for pet messes.