Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Try It" Tuesday- Swiffer SteamBoost

If you're like me and you've seen the recent commercial for the Swiffer Bissell SteamBoost, you get excited. Like really excited. A simple way to get the cleanest floors?
I couldn't wait to find a good excuse to go to the store and pick one up! 

So last night during a Walmart run, I checked them out. It was a few cents under $50, and I was a little apprehensive, but I went ahead and took the plunge anyway. Here's what I found:
The steam mop is compact and barely even requires any assembly. 
All you have to do is attach the handle to the base.
Then, you place the pad on the bottom:
Then, fill it with 10 ounces of water and plug it in for 30 seconds to activate the steam. 
This is when the fun starts.
I had already swept the floor and had it ready to steam mop.
Basically, you place the mop on the floor and squeeze the trigger on the handle and mop to
activate the steam.
Check out that steam action!
You mop the floor as you would with any other mop...except that you have to keep the handle squeezed pretty much the whole time. This gets kinda painful after a little while. 
When you release the trigger, you probably get 10 seconds or so of steam before you 
have to activate it again. I just found it easier to keep it held the whole time.

Now one of the main reasons I bought this steamer mop is because I thought it would sanitize and truly deep clean my linoleum floors. What I discovered, just before I typed up this post, is that this is not necessarily true of all steam mops.
I have to say: Swiffer never claimed that the SteamBoost would sanitize my floor- that was just my assumption. 
In fact, your steam mop would have to reach 130 degrees to start killing germs- at the very least.
I did a little test and  placed a thermometer under my SteamBoost to see how long it would take to reach 130 degrees. Without the pad, it took almost 10 seconds. So if you want it to start sanitizing, you'll need to leave the steam mop in one place for at least 15 seconds. This will take forever and may also damage your floors. SO- don't expect that the SteamBoost will kill germs like I did.

Also don't expect it to deep clean textured linoleum.
Here's an upclose shot of the floor after I let the steam sit there for a while:
I guess there really IS NO SUBSTITUTE for a good scrubbing brush and a little "elbow grease."
(It's obviously been too long since I've scrubbed the floors.)

HOWEVER, the SteamBoost really DID clean the floor. Here's what the pad looked like when I finished:

(In case you're wondering: I have no shame...)
This is WAY better than any Swiffer WetJet ever thought of cleaning!
In fact, it cleaned spills and stains very quickly and the floor dried a lot faster than if I'd actually mopped it, which is nice.

(Just so you know, I used the second pad that came with the kit and cleaned the floor again. 
It was much cleaner the second time!)
After the floor dried, I asked my husband to come take a look and tell me his thoughts.
He was impressed and thought the floor really did appear to be clean. 
I had an idea...You know how sometimes when you mop the floor and you think it's clean- until you walk all over it in white socks? 
Well, I went to the closet and grabbed a clean, white cloth and began to rub pretty hard on the newly "mopped" floor:

And guess what?
The picture really doesn't do justice, but the rag really had NO trace of dirt on it. 
That was pretty impressive!
So...here's the dilemma. Am I going to suggest that you go out and spend $50 on one of these?
Honestly, I can't tell you to do that, but I hope that I've given you something to think about.
Here's a list of the pro's:
It's fast and easy to use.
You don't have to keep changing mop water.
The floor dries a lot quicker than regular mopping.
It cleans, in my opinion, WAY better than a Swiffer WetJet.

It's a little pricey ($50) and the pads are $6-$9 for 20.
It does not sanitize like mopping chemicals (eg. Pine Sol)
You have to keep the trigger engaged for full steam, which can be a little irritating after a while.
Bottom line: If you want a quicker way to really clean your floors versus traditional mopping and you don't mind the cost, meet your new "mop."
However, if you can't justify spending the money and would rather lug out the mop bucket and Pine Sol,
 I feel you, too.
It's up to you, but now that I have the SteamBoost, I will gladly use it and be satisfied. 
Let me know what you think!