Category Archives for Steam cleaners and mops

What is the best steam cleaner or mop?

Best steam mop for wooden floors

Shark steam mopSteam mops and cleaners have grown in popularity in recent years and there continues to be new innovations and new models regularly launched. So what is so great about using a steam cleaner?

  • High temperature steam is used to clean floors and surfaces rather than water and cleaning products. This is generally more effective and also has the added benefit of killing bacteria
  • No need to use other cleaning products so cheaper in the long run
  • They are safe to use on a variety of surfaces including various floors, upholstery and even clothing
  • They can also be used to clean kitchen ovens and grills, BBQs and tiled surfaces.

Use our handy guide below to ensure you get one of the best floor steamers for you.

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Best selling floor steam cleaner and mop comparison guide

ImageMake & ModelRemovable handheld steamerRetail priceLatest price
Vax S7 steam cleaner_TBVax S7Yes£59.99Click here
Karcher SC3Karcher SC3Yes£159.99Click here
Vax S2S-1Vax S2S-1No£50.00Click here
Vax 15-in-1 Steam Fresh Combi_TBVax 15-in-1 Steam Fresh Combi (S86-SF-C)Yes£129.99Click here
Shark Multifunction LiteShark Multifunction Lite (S2901UK)Yes£99.99Click here

Choosing the best steam cleaner or mop

The term “steam cleaner” and “steam mop” are often used interchangeably but although they both have the same technology, there are some fundamental differences. Basically, steam cleaners and mops can be categorised into three main types:

  1. Handheld steam cleaners – these are typically lower priced and smaller units that are used primarily to clean smaller surfaces areas and items such as grills, tiles and BBQs. Typically, you would not buy one of these for floor cleaning alone.
  2. 2-in-1 steam cleaner and mopSteam mops – basic steam mops are designed for cleaning sealed hard floor surfaces, such as wood, laminate, lino or tile. Some of the best steam mops also come with a carpet “glider” attachment that allows you to “refresh” carpets when steam cleaning. This does not replace a carpet cleaner but does a decent job of making them look revitalised. Steam mops are often available cheaper than a steam cleaner/mop unit.
  3. Steam cleaners – these are generally 2-in-1 units that feature a steam mop with detachable handheld unit (both mop and cleaner share the same steam generator). This is great because you can clean different floor surfaces with the added benefit of having the detachable unit for more portable and detailed steam cleaning (such as tile grout, ovens or upholstery). Steam cleaners will often come with a wide variety of attachments such as different steam nozzle sizes and special fittings for upholstery, oven or even steam cleaner attachments for grout cleaning.

 

Each of the three types offer their own pros and cons. For floor cleaning, avoid the standalone handheld cleaner and look for a steam mop or 2-in-1 steam mop/cleaner combination as these will offer the best value in the longer term.

Features to consider when buying a steam cleaner or mop

There are many different features to compare when researching, below are the main ones to look out for:

  1. Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner water tankWater tanks – all steam mops or cleaners need to be filled with water to generate the steam. This is normally done by removing and filling a small plastic container. Most models have tanks that are between 400-500ml so make sure the steam cleaners or mops you compare have a specification similar to this.
  2. Heating time – the cleaner or mop need to heat the water once filled. The heating time varies depending on the water tank size (how much water to heat) and heater power. For steam mops, the typical time to heat is between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
  3. Steaming time – once you are ready to go with steam then another important factor is the actual time you will have to steam clean before you have to stop and refill. Most steam mops will provide you with 10 to 15 minutes steaming time before you have to return to the sink. Some models offer up to 20 minutes cleaning time which provides decent cleaning time between fill ups.
  4. Vax S7 steam 2-in-1 accessoriesAttachments & tools – most steam mops and cleaners come with attachments that can be used for a variety of applications and surfaces. Makes sure the model you choose has at least some attachments so you have the flexibility at a later date (even though you will probably end up not using some attachments!). Common accessories include extension nozzles and attachments for upholstery, garment cleaning, worktops and window cleaning. Also included with some models are brushes and angled jet nozzles for cleaning kitchen appliances and difficult to access surfaces. Look out for “2-in-1” steam cleaner/mops – these are models that are steam mops but have a detachable steam unit so can be used as a handheld device.
  5. Weight – as with other home cleaning appliances such as vacuum cleaners, the weight of the steam mop or cleaner can be important. Steam mops are relatively light, between 2-3kg, but you have to add the filled water tank weight on top of this; so the bigger the tank , the heavier the unit will become. If you plan on using the steam mop frequently or you may have difficult handling a heavy unit then it may be a better option to choose a lighter weight model.
  6. Using a steam mop to clean tiled floorsType of steam mop head – two things are important regarding the steam mop head. The first is the size and manoeuvrability of the mop head. Smaller mop heads will be able to fit into tighter spaces. Some models also have a swivelling head and are great for getting under furniture (some models have handles that lay flat in use) and up against skirting boards or kitchen plinths. The second point to check is what type of cover is on the mop head. Two common covers are used – disposable ones are easier to use but mean you have to keep buying, whereas re-usable covers can save you money in the long run.

 

Karcher steam cleaner reviews

 

Karcher SC3 All-In-One Review

Karcher SC3Top Features
Automatic Descaling System: The descaling system makes this steamer ideal when it comes to limescale and hard water stains.

Compact: The SC3 is very small and compact and easy to take around the house with you. It is not a big clunky product that you have to drag in tow.

Quick Heat Up: This steamer heats up remarkably fast. In just 30 seconds it is steaming and ready to use, making cleaning all the more faster.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of this steamer is that you are able to kill 99.9% of bacteria in your home without having to use harsh chemicals. All you need is water and you’re ready to go.

Disadvantages

The disadvantage, if you could call it that, is that this steamer only holds 1 litre of water. But in the big picture, this is still a lot for a steamer. Plus, it is super easy to refill.

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Karcher SC1 Review

Top Features
Karcher SC1High Pressure: This hand-held steamer produces 3 bars of pressure. Water heats up within 3 minutes allowing you to clean your home much faster.
Compact Design: The Karcher SC1 is constructed with sturdy and lightweight materials which result into a compact model. On the handle you’ll find a simple on and off button which allows you to control the steam volume much easier.
Multiple Accessories: The SC1 comes with multiple accessories which provide a seamless cleaning experience. These are hand cloth, floor nozzle round brush, detail nozzle, power nozzle, power brush and a storage bag.
Multiple Cleaning Applications: It eliminates the need to scrub floors or apply expensive chemicals. Steam power is enough to remove greasy stains from your floors and appliances. Karcher SC1 is a great companion when cleaning carpets and removing limescale and mould from tiles. This appliance allows you to perform quick cleaning in your home.

Advantages
The main advantage of SC1 is that it cleans only with tap water. It also allows you to clean all places in your home from kitchens to bathrooms to living room floors. The SC1 comes with an array accessories which makes the whole cleaning process much easier. It delivers an exceptional amount of pressure and heats up faster. Steam release buttons, safety boiler caps and a child lock make it easier and safe to use.

Disadvantages
One of the downsides is a stiff handle which makes it hard to clean small spaces. Refills are an inconvenience when cleaning large areas at once. The cable is also a bit shorter which has a negative impact on cleaning efficiency.

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Karcher SC2 Review

Top Features
Karcher SC2All-In-One Cleaner: The SC2 is another model from the Karcher series which allows you to clean your home without using chemicals. Its great for cleaning carpeted and tiled floors, mirrors, table surfaces and other appliances.
Ergonomic Design: It is designed with a lemellae floor tool which improves cleaning effectiveness. An adjustable steam control, on-board accessory technology and a child proof lock provide a safe and a seamless cleaning experience.
Cleaning Potential: The SC2 produces 3.2 bars of steam which allows you to remove dirt and stains much easier. This model claims to be capable of killing 99.99% of germs using heat, without chemicals. Its great in cleaning greasy surfaces especially ones found in your kitchen. The SC2 makes use of a nozzle and a round brush to clean your surfaces instantly. A large water tank allows you to clean areas up to 75 meters square.

Advantages
This compact cleaner produces great pressure to leave surfaces spotless. It cleans multiple surfaces with safety and efficiency given the large water tank. Advanced accessories like specialist nozzles allow you to clean your home much faster.

Disadvantages
Its not that durable especially when used daily. Another disadvantage is the storage since there are many cables and hoses attached to the cleaner.

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Vax steam cleaner and mop reviews

 

Vax S7 Total Home Master Review

Vax S7 steam cleanerTop Features
Angular Floor Head: The unique angular floor head makes it easier to get in those awkward crevices around your home without moving furniture.

Handheld on Demand: The S7 easily converts to a handheld unit so you can clean mirrors, countertops, windows, or whatever else without having to wave around a huge steamer.

Easy to Use: The S7 is also very easy to use, with minimal buttons and minimal maintenance. Just fill the tank and you’re ready to go.

Advantages
This is a complete 16 piece kit with everything you could possibly need to give your house a good cleaning. An affordable and well rated model.

Disadvantages

Sometimes when I use it, it takes a while for the steam to generate. But this is an easy fix, and if it really bothers you there is always a 2-year guarantee included with the steamer.

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Vax S2S-1 Hard Floor Pro Review

Top Features

Lightweight: The Vax S2S-1 is super lightweight, weighing only 2 kg. Which makes it super easy to operate and carry with you. It isn’t one that is going to wear you out as you use it.

Effective: Right on par with what you expect from Vax, this steamer kills 99.9% of bacteria for up to 7 days. That means you can rest easy knowing that you and your family are protected from illness causing bacteria.

Special Formulated Cleaning Solution: Vax has made its own, gentle but tough, special formulated cleaning solution. It works better than just regular steam, keeping your home cleaner longer.

Advantages

This steamer has a quick warm up time of only 1 minute so that you can clean almost instantly. It also comes with everything you need. When you buy this steamer, you get the mop, detergent, a microfiber cleaning pad, a carpet glider, the specially formulated Vax steam detergent, and a guarantee card.

Disadvantages

A possible drawback of this steamer is that it does not come with the cooling base. In my experience, however, this is not crucial and the mop works fine without it. But, if you want to purchase it, it can easily be purchased separately.

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Vax S86-SF-C Steam Fresh Combo Multifunction Steam Mop Review

Vax 15-in-1 Steam Fresh CombiTop Features
Angular Floor Head: The angular floor head of this mop makes it easier than ever to get in corners and glide around furniture. You don’t have to break your back trying to get every inch of your floor clean.

Scrub Brush: The built-in compact scrub brush helps lift away stubborn stains and dirt by agitating it and combining it with the power of steam.

Built In Handheld Steamer: The handheld steamer, which performs just as great as the upright mop, is perfect for any steaming you need to do above the ground. It works great on sinks, showers, tile, windows, mirrors, countertops, and more.

Advantages

The best thing about this one is that you don’t have to do any scrubbing or real work yourself. It is a quick and effective solution to the backbreaking housework you’ve been doing for years.

Disadvantages

The only disadvantage is that it can only hold .56 liters of water at a time. This isn’t too bad though since it is easy to refill and it will last you a lot longer than you would expect it to. One of our best buy recommendations.

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Shark steam cleaner and mop reviews

Shark Multifunction Lite Steam Pocket Mop (S2901) Review

Top Features

Swivel Steering: The ergonomic swivel steering of the S2901 makes cleaning a breeze. You don’t have to struggle to get around corners or break your back trying to get to those hard to reach places.

Removable Handheld Steam Cleaner: The removable handheld steamer makes spot cleaning possible as well. You can tackle smaller messes with the handheld units and messes all over the house. You can use it on toys, sheets, countertops, windows, anywhere that get dirty.

Works on All Surfaces: The S2901 works great on hard wood floors, obviously. But, it can also freshen and deodorise carpets with its carpet glider.

Advantages
In my opinion, the biggest advantage of this one is that it is super lightweight and easy to carry around the house.

Disadvantages

The only disadvantage of this steamer is that the bristles of the brush attachment are quite soft, whereas some people prefer them to be a little tougher and more wiry, but this is a matter of personal preference and does not affect the steamers performance.

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Shark Lift Away Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3901)

Top features

Shark S3901 Lift Away 5 in 1This Shark Lift Away steam mop features a removable hand-held steamer that is aimed at producing professional results.

It also has a variable steam delivery that allows you to adjust and regulate the amount of steam depending on your needs.

Last but not least it features Shark steam pocket reusable microfiber pads that clean and sanitise on both sides for a longer period without having to change the pad.

Advantages

This steam mop has a long list of advantages ranging from its high steam rate, it leaves little to no water on the floor, glides smoothly during its use, plus comes with a 2-sided cleaning pad.

Disadvantages

Two things that will give you a headache about this mop are its inconsistency in removing sticky and oily stains on vinyl tiles and ceramic and its inability to stand upright on its own.

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Choosing the best handheld steam cleaner

Hoover SSNH1000 attachmentsAs the name indicates, handheld steam cleaners should be light enough to hold. Generally handheld models come with nozzles and sprayers so that they can be used on a variety of areas in your house.

They are very cost-effective, as with one appliance you can clean almost anything right from your clothes to wardrobes to kitchens to bathrooms to windows. The uses of these cleaners are endless!

When looking at a handheld steamers, first and foremost, you should note that handheld steam cleaners should be purchased only if you are looking to clean small areas like grills, BBQs, tiles etc. Due to their compact size, they cannot be used to clean bigger areas. If you are looking to clean larger areas, you should consider buying steam mops or cleaners, but these are bigger and heavier (and more expensive).

Hoover SSNH1000 Steam Express Handheld Steam Cleaner Review

Hoover SSNH1000 handheld steam cleanerThe Hoover SSNH1000 is one of the best selling handheld steamers in the UK. This is a high pressure hand-held steam cleaner which uses the pressure of its steam to clean off stubborn grime.

This model from Hoover is one of the lightest models available in the market, which makes it easy to carry around. With this handheld unit, you can wipe off all traces of grime from oven tops, grills and other small areas. When you buy this, you also get a several accessories including nozzles, shovel plates, brushes and combs for better and effective cleaning.

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Vax S4 Grime Master Review

Vax S4Top Features
Lightweight and Compact Design: The Vax S4 is very light allowing you to clean windows, mirrors and other vertical surfaces. It also makes its storage much easier. This handheld design allows you to clean places that were hard to reach before.
Variable and Adequate Steam: This steam cleaner allows you to adjust the amount of steam with regard to the surface being cleaned. The Grime Master allows you to enjoy up to 10 minutes of steam power given the 260 ml water tank. It allows you to clean curtains as well with ease. The powerful steam helps in removing steam easily on different types of surfaces.
Accessories: A 7-piece accessory kit provides everything you need to clean your home. Vax include a brush, mattress/upholstery tool, concentration nozzle, cotton cloth, tile tool, pouring jug and an extension tool.

Advantages
This is a compact and easy to use steam cleaner, offering a one hand operation. It comes with multiple attachments and a large capacity water tank which makes the cleaning process much easier. One great aspect is the inclusion of a very comprehensive manual.

Disadvantages
Despite being hand held, this steam cleaner performs poorly when held at an angle because its heating element is found at the base. Placing it at an angle can result in gurgling and spitting.

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Bissell 2635S Steam Shot Review

Top Features
BISSELL 2635s Steam ShotErgonomic Design: The Bissell 2635S weighs only 2.3 kg plus it comes with a 4.8 m cable. As a result, its very portable and easy to use. This compactness allows you to clean up multiple surfaces without strain.
Tools: This model comes with up to six accessories which are provided to make the cleaning process much easier. They include an extension hose, a detail brush tool, a nozzle, a flat scrapping tool for removing sticky mess, a grout brush tool, fabric steamer tool, an angle concentrator and a window squeegee tool.
High Pressure and Reliable steam: It makes use of sturdy nozzles to deliver high pressure steam which removes greasy stains. A 360 ml water tank allows you to clean large surface areas. An indicator light is used to monitor the amount of steam.

Advantages
A sizeable extension hose allows you to clean hard to reach places. Blasts of steam eliminate the need for chemicals and scrubbing.

Disadvantages
Not recommended for large scale cleaning applications. The switch for the activation of the steam has been reported as occasionally faulty.

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Quest Handheld Cleaner Review

Top Features
Quest Handheld Steam CleanerPower: The Quest makes use of 100 watts to deliver steam at high pressure. Its very effective in removing stubborn dirt and killing bacteria. A powerful and hot steam makes way into greasy stains and food spills allowing you to clean kitchen surfaces and appliances much easier. A light is used to signal to the user when the steam is ready.
Accessories: It comes with multiple accessories which allows you to clean all places in your home. You can also clean clothes, curtains and upholstery around your home.
Large Tank Capacity: The Quest comes with a 250ml tank which helps in cleaning multiple surfaces and appliances in one go

Advantages
The Quest is easy to use with a simple set up. It gets rid of greasy stains on appliances with a quick application and can easily remove limescale from your sink and draining board.

Disadvantages
The lead is a bit short which makes its hard to clean places like your bathroom. The heating element takes up space which would have been used to hold more water.

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Vax S86-SF-C review: Steam Fresh Combi 15-in-1

Vax 15-in-1 Steam Fresh Combi

Vax 15-in-1 Steam Fresh CombiWe like: Competitively priced. Innovative detergent cleaning system. Good usage time. Variable steam and scrubbing brush. Long power cord.

Not so good: Vax detergent is expensive but should last a decent number of steam cleans.

Our verdict: A great 2-in-1 steam mop and cleaner with clever detergent and steam cleaning. Plus, has every tool you’ll ever need. Go for this over the 10-in-1 version as the price difference is often minimal. 

 

The Vax S86-SF-C Steam Fresh Combi steam mop is typically around £10 more expensive than the 10-in-1 Steam Fresh Combi model. For the extra money, the 15-in-1 adds variable steam control, extra usage time and includes a useful scrubbing brush attachment. Is it any good though? Find out in our Vax S86-SF-C review.

 

Detergent cleaning

Vax steam mop detergentVax’s Steam Fresh Combi models combine both steam and liquid detergent to provide a better clean. The detergent also leaves a pleasant smell in your room after cleaning. You’re going to have to use the Vax branded detergents however if you want to avoid invalidating your warranty. Typical prices for the detergent are around £6 per litre and this will generally last a decent amount of time as long as you add smaller amounts rather than the larger quantity suggested by Vax. The Vax 15-in-1 can always be used without detergent if needed but the detergent addition is one of the key features of this machine so we would use it, but sparingly.

Cleaning applications

2-in-1 steam cleaner and mopThe Vax S86-SF-C is a 2-in-1 cleaner with a steam mop for cleaning all sealed floors such as laminate, wood, tiles and lino; and a detachable handheld cleaner (which is removed by simply pressing a button) for other steam cleaning jobs such as tackling ovens & grills, tile grout, work surfaces, windows, upholstery, mirrors and shower screens. The Steam Fresh Combi can also be fitted with the carpet glider attachment for refreshing carpets. It won’t give them a deep clean but does a decent job of giving them a new lease of life.

Practicality

There are two liquid tanks on the Steam Fresh Combi; a 260ml one for water and a separate 200ml one for the detergent. Heat up time is around 20 seconds which is the norm for most steam mops and you can get around 15-20 mins of steam from one water tank. The power cord, at 8 metres, is one of the longest we have seen on a steam mop and this is a useful thought as it saves having to move plug sockets as often as you move around the house.

Useful additional features

Using a steam mop to clean tiled floorsA couple of extra useful features stand out on the Vax Steam Fresh Combi S86-SF-C steam mop. There is a variable steam function that allows you to tailor the level of steam for your type of floor surface, although at maximum setting a lot of steam is generated so is more suited to deep cleaning. The second feature is the built in scrubber brush for tackling tougher cleaning jobs. The bristles in the brush make much easier work of those hard to shift stains and marks. We also like the angled steam head on this model as its great for getting into those difficult to reach areas such as corners, near skirting boards or around kitchen unit plinths.

 

 

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For more information on alternative models, read our steam cleaners and mops buying guide.

Vax S7 Review: A great priced 2-in-1 steam cleaner

Vax S7 steam cleaner

Vax S7 steam cleanerWe like: A great low price 2-in-1 steam mop and cleaner from a trusted brand. All the attachments you are likely to need. Extra long power cord. Light weight.

Not so good: Not a lot to be honest at this price! It’s missing some of the features of newer (and more expensive) steam cleaners plus heat up time and steam time per tank could be better, but that’s being picky!

Our verdict: Overall a highly rated and best seller when it comes to steam cleaners. Does everything you’ll need at an affordable price.

 

The Vax S7 2-in-1 steam cleaner (model: Vax S7 AV) is one of the best selling steam mop models available. This model previously sat near the top of the Vax steam mop & cleaner range with an RRP of nearly £150 but more recently it is being offered at a very tempting 70% discount! The reason for this is that newer (and improved) Vax steam mop and cleaner models now exist, but how does this best seller still fair? Find out in our Vax S7 review.

 

Features

Vax S7 handheld steam cleanerThe Vax S7 steam mop has the same power output (1600 watts) as the more expensive Vax Steam Fresh Combi models and this can heat the steam in under 30 seconds (the more expensive models cut 10 seconds off this time but in everyday use this will be unnoticeable).  The S7 is a “2-in-1” machine and can be used as a steam mop or as a versatile handheld steam cleaner; great for cleaning bathroom tiles or removing that long-standing grime from the oven! The S7 comes complete with 10 attachments for nearly every surface including a grout brush, scraper tool, detailer nozzle, squeegee tool, metal brush and carpet glider. One point to mention though is that there is no variable steam function on this model.

 

In use

Vax S7 steam 2-in-1 accessoriesAs with most steam mops the water tank on the Vax S7 2-in-1 steam mop is small (400ml) and this is only enough water to generate up to 12 minutes of steam so you will have to keep returning to the sink. It is worth noting that the Vax Steam Fresh Combi models can get upto 20 minutes use from their water tanks. The 7 metre long power cord is great and saves you having to keep re-plugging as you move around the house. The hose length on the handheld unit is 0.8 metres which is a good compromise between too short and so long that it becomes a nuisance to store and use. The Vax S7 is also considerably light, weighing in at only 2.7kg.

 

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For more information on alternative models, read our steam cleaners and mops buying guide.

Vax Steam Mop Reviews: How good is the S2?

Vax S2 Steam Mop

Vax S2 Steam MopWe like: Simple to use. Great price. Easy to store.

Not so good: Fairly basic. Can be slightly cumbersome in use. 

Our verdict: A great “no frills” steam mop for the price. Just make sure you do not pay full price as big discounts are available!

 

Steam mops are a great way to leave your floors hygienically clean without the use of chemical chemicals. The problem when chosing a steam mop is that its easy to get carried away with all those extra features and before long the price can increase significantly.

However you can still get a good steam mop from a trusted brand for a very reasonable price and out of all the steam mops and cleaners we have reviewed this is still one of our favourite “no nonsense”, well priced models. So why do we like it so much? Find out in our Vax S2 review.

 

What do you get?

Vax S2 Steam Mop in useThe Vax S2 (or Hard Floor Master as its also called) has a retail price of around £80. Don’t pay this though as discounted prices are usually around £40! The S2 consists of a Vax steam mop, 2 microfibre cleaning pads, a carpet glider and a measuring jug (which ensures you get the right amount of water in the tank). The S2 Steam Mop will clean any sealed hard floor so it can be used on most laminate, wood, vinyl and tiled floors. As a bonus the S2 will also clean bathroom and kitchen. If you do decide to go for the Vax S2 steam mop we would recommend you buy the longer haired cleaning pads as an extra (RRP £11.50 for 3) as we feel that they work more efficiently at cutting through grime.

 

In use

Once the water tank on the S2 is filled (tank capacity is 0.5 litres) the steam mop heats up in a under 60 seconds and then you are ready to clean. A full tank of water will give you around 10 minutes of steam and the 6 meter cord allows you to move around your home without unnecessary plugging and unplugging. Once cleaned with the steam mop the floors dry almost immediately so no worrying about wet floors or slipping. The S2 steam mop is quite slim so will store reasonably easy when not in use.

 

Pros and cons

Vax S2 Steam Mop padsThere are, like most things some downsides. For instance even though it is lightweight coming in at only 2.9kg the Vax S2 Hard Floor Master steam mop can be quite cumbersome so anyone with a mobility problem may find it tricky to manoeuvre. There is also no separate attachment to clean grills, BBQ’s and upholstery which some of the more expensive steam mops/cleaners include. On the plus side though it uses tap water rather than the ionised water (as a lot of other steam cleaners on the market require) so this make it more of a hassle free purchase.

 

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For more information on alternative models, read our steam cleaners and mops buying guide.

Shark S3901 review: How good is the Lift-Away 5 in 1 steam mop 

Shark S3901 Lift Away 5 in 1 front

Shark S3901 Lift Away 5 in 1 frontWe like: Dual steam mop and handheld cleaner functionality with all the attachments you’re likely to need. 3 different steam settings. Long power cord. Easy to assemble.

Not so good: Small tank capacity means more topping up. Cheaper models available.

Our verdict: A real “no nonsense” steam cleaner that performs very well at all household steam cleaning tasks.

 

The Shark Lift Away is a popular and highly rated steam mop & cleaner and it’s not hard to see why. At £150 retail price (around £120 discounted) it’s certainly one of the more expensive steam mops available. So how does it compare with steam cleaners such as the cheaper Morphy Richards 9-in-1? Find out in our Shark S3901 review.

Functionality

Shark S3901 Lift Away 5 in 1 steam mopThe Shark S3901 is both a floor and handheld cleaner, with the water tank and controls housed within the detachable handheld steam cleaner unit. The floor cleaner is undoubtedly one of the best on the market; it is sturdy, well built and lightweight. The swivel head makes it easy to manoeuvre and can get into awkward spaces. It has double sided steam pockets enabling you to clean an area twice as much as usual. The pads are re-usable and can be washed in a machine and when they finally need replacing a pack of 3 will cost about RRP £7.99 making the total costs of the Shark 5 in 1 steam mop & cleaner very competitive in the long run.

 

The Shark S3901 steam mop will also rejuvenate carpets and rugs with the included carpet glider but it is worth mentioning that it is not a carpet cleaner and is more for “refreshing” carpets and rugs. Both the floor steam mop and handheld cleaner have 3 settings: mop, scrub and dust with the scrubbing action being the most efficient at removing stubborn stains. There is a 7 metre power cord so unplugging and plugging in again is unlikely in most residential settings.

 

Handheld steam cleaner

Shark S3901 Lift Away 5 in 1 handheld cleanerThe handheld cleaner, whilst not as efficient as some of the more expensive dedicated handheld cleaners, still does a very effective job. It has a variety of attachments including direct steam nozzle, a flat surface scrubbing tool, a 1m accessory hose. A great selling point is it cleans grease from kitchen tiles and the oven like a dream. Upholstery, curtains and clothes can also be cleaned with the handheld unit’s garment & upholstery attachments. This unit can also make cleaning windows, doors and conservatories a much quicker task.

 

Any negatives?

There are a couple to consider when looking at the Shark Lift Away steam mop. In order for the unit to be lightweight it has a small tank so filling it more than once will be necessary if you are in serious cleaning mode! If it’s to whizz around the kitchen or downstairs floors then the tank should be ample (approximately 15-20 minutes per fill). The manufacturers also recommend using filtered water to prolong the life of the cleaner. If you don’t have a filter then tap water can be used with the life span in mind or boil a kettle. Alternatively reusable crystals can be purchased to clean the water before filling the tank.

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For more information on alternative models, read our steam cleaners and mops buying guide.

Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner review

Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner

Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleanerGood points: Great versatility with steam mop and separate hand held cleaner. Loads of attachments.

Not so good points: The handheld unit is rather large and heavy (when full). No variable steam control. Shorter operating time.

Our verdict: Offers good functionality at a competitive price but consider if you really need some of those missing features.

 

With an RRP of nearly £100 (although this model is often available for upto 40% discount) the Morphy Richards 9-in-1 720020 steam cleaner is one of the more expensive steam mops available. So what makes this Morphy Richards steam mop any better than the cheaper models available? Find out in our Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner review.

Functionality

Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner sinkAlthough called a “9-in-1” the 720020 is actually an upright steam mop with a detachable handheld steam cleaner unit (that contains the hot water tank). What gives it the edge is the number of attachments available; including carpet, upholstery, worktop surface and window cleaning fittings. Plus it also comes with an angled jet nozzle and a crevice brush. There is not much that the this Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam mop cannot actually clean (although it does not come with the grill and BBQ attachment found on the slightly more expensive Morphy Richards 720506 Luna 12-in-1 model).

 

Performance

The 9-in-1’s main area of expertise is floors: hardwood, lino, tiled or laminate plus it also revitalises carpets. It does this job very well by generating a high temperature of steam to hygienically clean the floors and cuts through any grime and dirt without the need for harsh chemicals. This is achieved by using a powerful 1500w motor that produces steam in around 30 seconds.

 

In use

Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner water tankTo use both the upright and handheld steamer you simply fill the water reservoir, which has a 400 ml capacity, with deionised water. It is possible to use ordinary tap water but this will make your 2 year warranty with Morphy Richards void. Crystals to deionise your water can be bought relatively cheap and are re-usable. Expect to get around 14-15 minutes use out of every tank of water; this is pretty average at this price range and will mean more topping up is required for longer cleaning jobs.

 

Pros

The Morphy Richards 720020 9-in-1 steam mop has a very quick heat-up time so you can clean without having to wait too long. The steam trigger is also easy to use and the water tank is clear to allow a view of the water level. Refilling the tank is also relatively easy. It also comes with a 2 year guarantee and is worth knowing that all of the parts are available for purchase individually if they require replacing.

 

Cons

This Morphy Richards steam cleaner does not have an attachment to clean BBQ’s and grills which is disappointing at this price point. The handheld cleaner is a little heavy, because you are holding the 400ml water tank when full. There is no variable steam control which is on some of the more expensive cleaners and the same applies to the slightly shorter cable of 5 meters; this is normally around 7m on some of the more expensive steam mops available. This means you may have to plug in as you move about the house but is not necessarily a feature we would consider paying extra for.

Read more Morphy Richards 9 in 1 steam cleaner reviews here.

 

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For more information on alternative models, read our steam cleaners and mops buying guide.