Damp places like tiled floors in baths tend to see a lot of stains develop over time. Steam cleaning can reduce the gunk without the need for toxic chemicals. We cover the latest steam mop from the firm that invented these tools, in our Light N’ Easy steam mop review.
With steam cleaning, you can get things in shape at low cost. This floor model’s upright design features a soft grip and an ergonomic lightweight housing that handles with little physical effort. It provides the cleaning power of hot steam wherever it is needed around the house.
Does this steam mop offer a good balance between portability and effectiveness? Read on about the things we liked or not.
- Effective against 99% of bacteria without toxic chemicals
- Microfiber pad leaves hard surfaces drying in seconds
- Steam dissolves and displaces dust and grime
- Easy to use and lightweight at less than 4 pounds
- Ergonomic design with telescoping handle
- Energy-saving 600-Watt boiler
- Capacity of 90ml
- Convenient filling flask
Why Steam Mop?
Grout around bath tiles is porous and becomes slimy as gunk accumulates and hardens over time. The stuff can be tough to remove, even vigorous brushing with wire bristles might not be enough. Many homeowners resort to steaming cleaning to dissolve and flush stains on hard floors.
The method also offers a natural means of managing the dust and grime that can build up on laminate flooring. Although the occasional spill can be managed, too much wetness will eventually lead to internal damage.
Steaming can work here, but be aware that high-pressure steam produced by commercial carpet steamers can get past the lines and in-between the laminate layers. A steam mop is the safer option for use on such floors.
The smaller amounts of moisture left in place does not damage laminate boards as readily as the copious streams generated by conventional wet mops and carpet steam cleaners. As long as steam does not force its way through the seams and forms no condensation, steam mopping should be fine.
Most parents take quickly to its regular use, for steam mopping tidies up and sanitizes bath floors and counters with no need for detergents and other chemicals that can be harmful to children.
How Do Steam Mops Work?
Mop heads generally feature plastic nozzle ends, to which microfiber or other fabric padding is attached. Steam streams down through both the nozzle and pad. Dust and slime on the floor is dissolved and lifted up by the damp fibers.
Since only small amounts of water are used, any wetness is promptly absorbed, with most surfaces drying in less than a minute. It is the combination of heat, mist, and streaming vapor that generates the cleaning effect, which the triple-layer pad evenly distributes.
Users will still have to scrub off the worst stains by hand, though. You could always try renting a professional-grade steamer, to first check how steaming works.
One good alternative are dry-type microfiber mops, which lift dirt and polish floors with little need for water. Daily cleaning dry mopping is generally safest for wooden and laminate floors, with only the occasional steam cleaning to help out on tougher jobs.
Light N Easy’s upright steam mop is constructed mostly of plastics, but seems well-made for a lightweight floor model. Weight is about four pounds, so the entire unit readily stores in tall closets after jobs.
Operation is simple enough. Users only have to top up the boiler with water then switch it on to produce steam continuously, without need of manual pumping. The 20-foot cord may not have long enough reach in larger homes, though.
Included in the package are the following:
- Telescoping handle
- Glider attachment for carpets
- Mop head with cable
- Microfiber pad
- Measuring flask
- User guide
The unit is small but powerful enough to produce steam with temperatures of about 175 degrees Fahrenheit, which kills 99% of all microbes when used properly.
Hot steam is produced in half a minute, after the tank has been filled and the unit switched on. Once steam is applied to hard floors, everything dries out in about half a minute.
There are one or two inconveniences though, depending on the amount of cleaning to be done. The problem is the small tank, which stores only a cupful of water at the most. This is just enough for about 10 minutes of steam cleaning at any one time.
A bigger volume of ready water would have allowed for longer cleaning sessions between refills. Users will also have wait for things to cool down before water can be replenished, then pause again as the boiler produces more steam.
Tip: The microfiber pad slips on snugly enough, but a washcloth tied to the end with rubber bands will work just as nicely.
Wide mop head. Narrow mop heads have to make multiple passes to clean the same area, which can result in missed applications as the user tires out. The wider end helps to avoid this situation.
Hot steaming. The unit steams with temperatures of 175°F or more, enabling you to do faster passes.
Cost. This steam mop is reasonably priced for what it provides. However, for handling many large jobs, professional-grade steam cleaners can be more economical to run over many years.
Boiler capacity. Compact units like this have smaller tank volumes than larger professional models but are easier to transfer between different floors.
Cord length. The housing tends to fall over when pulled by its power cord, so you will just have to move between most rooms.
Warranty. Only a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. Boiler parts are notorious for uneven factory quality, so it pays to shop from sellers that offer extended warranties.
Light N’ Easy steam mop is a compact but easy-to-use floor model that steams with enough power to cleanse and sanitize most trouble areas.
Its capacity should suit most homeowners with smaller areas to maintain. For the largest jobs, the small tank can be something of a letdown, though. The manufacturer has a long history, but this design obviously trades tank capacity and operating time for good power and portability.
That said, for basic and effective cleaning that is free of chemicals, the Light N’ Easy steam mop is a handy and affordable steam mop that can be very useful in short cleaning tasks.