Hardwood floors give natural beauty and warmth to a room. To stay that way, they need regular sweeping and mopping. Mops have come a long way from the old days of a head full of strings on a long wooden handle. Mops pick up more dirt, crumbs, pet hair and debris than a broom or vacuum cleaner and don’t wear on your floor like a vacuum’s beater bar, either.
If you are looking for a steam mop that cleans and deodorizes pet messes equally well on hardwood and tile floors, check out the Hoover Complete Pet Steam Mop from Hoover, one of the most respected names in floor-care tools.
String mops are the oldest type of mop. Traditional mops have dozens of long, thick white cotton strings. They are best for soaking up spilled liquids, and not as effective for cleaning. Mops made with synthetic “strings” are better for scrubbing and cleaning. Another drawback of string mops is that they require the use of buckets and wringers.
Sponge mops have detachable heads for easier rinsing and replacement. Like all household sponges, they are highly absorbent. Because they are more durable than string or microfiber mops, they are good for using strong chemicals to clean tough areas.
Flat mops also have detachable heads that may be disposable or reusable. They are easy to use, get into corners nicely, and are a great solution for cleaning on a daily basis.
Strip mops are sponge- and synthetic-head mops with a wringer built into the handle. They are easy to use because they are built to squeeze themselves dry.
Spin mops allow you to squeeze out the water without touching the mop head or wringer. You dunk the mop head in the water and pump the handle up and down to activate the spinner mechanism, which works with centrifugal force, just like your salad spinner.
Spray mops are sponge or flat mops with a tank for cleaning fluids and a trigger or button to spray the cleaner on the floor right in front of the mop head.
Steam mops are mobile electrical appliances that look like slim, upright vacuum cleaners. They have refillable water tanks and a heating element to turn that water into steam.
Dust mops can be used to clean floors, walls, ceilings and more. The mop heads may be made of natural fabrics, synthetics or microfibers. They are used for dry cleanup of dust, dirt and pet hair, and are not meant to be used as wet mops.
A telescoping handle adjusts to the personal preferences of the user. It also allows you to shorten the handle to get into tight spots.
You are all set if your mop comes with its own bucket and wringer, like a spin mop does. If not, choose one that is the right size for your mop heads.
A mop that includes a tank, spray head and trigger saves you from having to bend over to apply water and cleaning fluids. Look for easily detachable and refillable tanks with enough capacity that you can do all your mopping without having to reload.
Inexpensive models cost less than $20. In the $20-$30 range, you will find sturdier, more heavy-duty mops. Hardwood-floor cleaning systems that include additional useful features and attachments tend to cost upwards of $30. Dozens of fancy models cost more than $500 each.
A. The quickest way is to check the grain patterns. Natural wood floors have random patterns, while synthetic wood floors repeat the “grain” over and over again.
A. It is easier to wet-mop floors that have been swept or dusted first, and they get cleaner that way, too.
A. Really hardened grime removes more easily if it is softened first. Wet your trouble spot with a cleaner and allow it to soak. Use a scrubber if you have one, and if that still doesn’t work, try steaming your trouble area.
What you need to know: This steam mop works equally well on hardwood and tile floors.
What you’ll love: This mop comes with 10 different tools that are designed to handle any situation. The steamer detaches to clean tough spots. This mop is perfect for homes with pets because it cleans and deodorizes their messes. This mop safely steams hardwood, sealed flooring, carpet, tile and grout. The two scrubbing pads are washable and reusable.
What you should consider: If the water canisters were larger, you would not need to fill them as often.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This mop is designed for cleaning professionals, but makes cleaning easy and effective for everyone.
What you’ll love: Large microfiber dust pads take up dust, dirt and pet hair quickly from hard floors of all types. Premium microfiber wet-mop pads clean with only water, avoiding the need for harsh chemicals and cleansers. The sturdy stainless steel handle adjusts from 42 to 70 inches, and the mop head swivels 360 degrees for maneuvering around furniture.
What you should consider: Removing stubborn sticky spots is hard work using only water.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This kit is made to dust, clean and shine hardwood floors.
What you’ll love: This floor care kit comes with spray bottles of original-formula hardwood-floor cleaner and high-gloss hardwood floor polish. The microfiber dusting pads trap dirt, dust and pet hair. The cleaning pads are designed to break up, trap and absorb grime. The machine-washable pads can be laundered up to 500 times before needing replacement.
What you should consider: Some customers said this product does not effectively clean bamboo flooring.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.