Back to the bucke.........anyone know of a better way to mop?

ebear1271May 14, 2009

OK, I've given up on finding a steam mop that actually works on my floors. Tried the Shark and it left residue all over my house. Looked at a few on Amazon but some reviews mentioned residue on the floors so I give up! Back to the mop and bucket. Here's my question: It always seemed silly to mop the floor, put the mop in a bucket of what will soon become dirty water, and then put the mop back on the floor. Anybody know of a better, cleaner way? Or am I being silly? After all, we've done it like that for years and everyone seems to have survived.

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I found a double-sided bucket. Soapy water on none side, clear rinse water on the other. Dip the sponge mop in the soap side, scrub a small area-maybe 2 feet square. Squeeze out, then dip in the clear water and use that to go over the area just washed. It helps to dry with paper towels.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:46AM
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I tried a Shark steam mop and had the same issues as you.

I do all of my mopping with a squirt/spray bottle and a large, flat, microfiber mop. I have several covers for the mop; if I see my current one is grimy, it gets replaced with a clean one and I can keep moving.

Floors dry within 1-2 minutes, and there's no bucket for me to kick over LOL.The covers go into the washing machine to be cleaned for the next use, and air dry.

(For my hardwood, I use Method brand hardwood floor cleaner or just plain water. I've been experimenting with different cleaners for the kitchen's tile floor - any all-purpose spray cleaner seems to work, as do the standard homemade cleaners.)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Phobie Privett

I have done exactly like embees does (which kills me!) and I also have a shark steam blaster, which I liked, but I'm while I'm certain the floors are cleaner than they would be if I mopped the traditional way, I KNOW they are STILL dirty. I can run a wet paper towel over a tile right after I mop either way and it comes up dirty!

So, I finally bit the bullet and bought a lady bug steam cleaner just today. Hopefully I'll have it by next week and I'll try to give you a report!

I know they are horribly expensive, but DARNIT, I want my floors CLEAN and I'm tired of working for an hour and still having dirty floors!!! So I used my husband's motto against him to plead my case for the purchase..."always buy the best tool you can afford to do the job!" HA!

These are actually VAPOR steam cleaners, which are many times over hotter than the shark mops. Plus, they are actually lab-rated to sanitize.

And since I'll use it every other day for possibly the next fifteen years, I think I'll get my money's worth out of it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:45PM
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Scooba! This little robot does an amazing job keeping my floors clean and shiny. The cleaner has a plesant smell too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 7:52PM
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I'm going to join in with Embees -- a sh-mop type of thing with a bunch of covers works for me. I vacuum first and then use Armstrong's once and done floor cleaner. Probably, like Superchick, if I checked there might still be dirt -- but I'm not aiming for perfection. The whole thing, including the vacuuming stage, takes me 15-20 minutes for my downstairs, which helps make sure I actually do it!! :-)

I am curious about that Lady Bug steam cleaner: someone, post a review!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 9:40AM
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I recently switched from the bucket method to Embees method. It does seems less onerous and faster. Makes me not hate mopping *quite* so much.

ps I tried the Shark too and had problems with streaks.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 4:15PM
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What type of floor are you cleaning?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 4:18PM
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I don't have the lady bug steam cleaner, but I do have a REAL steam cleaner (it seems like when I got mine the real ones were $250+). It's not fast, but it really cleans your floors. I've actually moved to a different country (220v)and I missed it so much, I cried, whined, and plunked down $$$ for another one. You really notice the difference when you have bare feet. The floors feel clean in a way they never do with a bucket. I bought a couple of those mongo packs of microfiber towels from Costco and just change out the towels as needed. My sister had the shark--hated it--so I avoided that piece of garbage. She has a steam cleaner that she got from Costco in the automotive section. It's a Wagner about $100 and she does like that. I haven't used it so I don't know how it compares, but she likes a clean house. I know you cannot adjust the temperature. Since I have wood and tile, I wanted one with an adjustable setting, but I've found that as long as you keep moving over the wood--don't let it sit in one spot--you can use the higher settings too. I do this 1x a week and do the dust mop in between. Oh, and if you do get a steamer with an ajustable setting, you can use it to steam wrinkles out of clothing. It's also mighty fabulous for cleaning the shower and that filthy grill. I know there are steamer sites that will educate you all the necessary verbage. I just don't remember it. My current steamer has 5 bars of pressure and is adjustable. I suspect you need at least 3 bars of pressure to get the job done.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 5:22PM
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I use a large push broom as the base and wring out a light weight (old style) bath towel in a solution (1/4 tsp to 1 pint water) of Shaklee Basic H2. This non-toxic all purpose cleaner doesn't require rinsing; also saves your grout from staining (dirty water does that). Safe for wood floors too. This technique covers a large area and you're done in no time. Leaves no streaks and is non-static, so it doesn't attract dust. (For effective dusting, spray this solution on a micro cloth.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Basic H2

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 8:09AM
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Ditto some of the PPs. WE have tile throughout our main floor, and the least obnoxious and most effective way I have figured out to mop is-

1) Take my spray bottle with H2O, a bit of vinegar and castille soap, some essential oil for a yummy smell and spray the entire main floor, getting obviuos goop especially wet.

2) Take my microfibre mop and rip around mopping my brains out :). The current mop I'm using is from WalMart (store brand). It was inexpensive, the mop covers are too, and it's got a nice big head, so it covers a big area per "swipe". I just switch to a new cover if it gets really filthy.

I find this method so pain free that I actually mop way more often than I used to, resulting in a nice and clean floor, without too much effort.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:16PM
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Phobie Privett

Well, I got my Lady Bug steam vapor cleaner and have been using it for about a month. I have lots of tile and we live out in the country, so I really need to mop about once every three days or so.
As someone else also said, steam cleaning is not necessarily faster, but I'm convinced it is MUCH easier and more effective. I use either a terry cloth or microfiber towel with the large brush attachment and you just wouldn't believe the dirt that comes up. You don't "scrub", you move the brush head back and forth slowly and let the towel and the steam do the work. I usually change the cloth about 4 times just to do my kitchen area. Just like darenka said, the floors feel "different" after steam cleaning. Like they are REALLY squeaky clean.

There's no chemicals and I've really come to appreciate that. It's cheaper and I've found that now that I don't use them, I can't tolerate the smell anymore.
You can clean/sanitize anything you can think of, although it seems to be too hot for my painted surfaces. It does a great job on my wood floor. I cleaned my oven, the disgusting drain stoppers in the bathroom sinks, grout, you name it, it's clean!

I'd say vapor cleaning definitely has a learning curve, but I'm completely satisfied with the purchase. While I think the good steam cleaners are ridiculously expensive, I think that nothing else does as good of a job and they are made REALLY well and seem like they will last for many, many years.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:34PM
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OK, I so lied... I know no one was waiting with baited breath for this, but I was curious so I looked up my US steamer. I paid $400 for mine, but it's now selling for $700, I knew I got a pretty good deal but I didn't want anyone looking for the real Mccoy for $250. I decided not to spend more to get continuous refill because mine is good for about 2 hours, and honestly, that's plenty of time for me. If you had a detailing shop, I'd spend more. My sister's is a Mcculloch, Costco had a coupon at the time and she paid $80. She admits it's limited, but far, far, better than the other cheap ones. I guess if you just cannot face dropping $500+, it's the best of the starter machines to see if you like steam cleaning. It is the most powerful of the cheap ones out there. There are lots of excellent machines and choices between $500-$1000.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 8:43PM
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on a prefinished wood floor???

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 2:58AM
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Use two buckets -- one hot, soapy water for cleaning and one with clear water for rinsing. Then empty and replace the water in the rinse bucket as needed. If you really want to clean floor, use a wet vac to suck up the dirty water.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:12AM
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I want to second the microfiber mop suggestion. I love it for my vinyl, tile, and hardwood floors. I also love that the mop pads are machine washable.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:24PM
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I have had a Smart Mop since a Home and Garden show I attended demonstrated them almost 15 years ago. I love it. I really don't even have to sweep before mopping unless there is an extraordinary amount of dirt.
I also use my steam mop but I tend to fall back on the mop and bucket.
Below is the link to the one I have but there is also a GREEN version made of microfiber.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smart Mop

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Phobie Privett

Joyjoy45-yes, steam cleaners can be used on prefinished floors. I turn mine down to the lowest setting and since it leaves very minimal moisture, it won't damage the wood, dries in seconds. Mopping left ALOT more water on the surface. Steam does a good job so far!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 3:41PM
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I have tile floors and use the Hoover SpinScrub thing ... it dispenses soapy water from one tank, scrubs with rotating brushes, and then you vacuum the water into a separate tank.

Spraying the soapy water onto the tile from a garden sprayer, letting it sit a few minutes, then using the spinscrub to scrub and vacuum up the dirty water works better for me.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:15AM
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geezz... I haven't been on here in moons. I know you were up and down about the steam mop from way back. I was not happy with the new shark either, not because it left residue, I did not like the way you had to constantly push the handle for steam and I also found it very hard to push. As far as residue, itÂs not from steam.. steam is just water. Your residue is from the cleaners you were previously using on your floors , the steam activated it and it will take a while to remove it completely. What you may really like is the Hoover floor mate. It beats the mop and bucket for sure and your floors are scrubbed clean. I have one but I do not use the cleaners it comes with. I use my natural or organic cleaners instead. In between, I use a microfiber mop. Check it out, I think you will like it.
ps..did you ever get the Charlies Soap?


I am sooooo jealous!! I have wanted a ladybug for a long time, someday I will buy one for sure canÂt wait! Enjoy it!!!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 7:33AM
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We have all tile floors (big tiles, small grout!) I'm currently happy with my Hoover Floormate which I use only as a wet vac. I use a mop to spread around a solution of Bio Green Clean and hot tap water, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then suck it up with the Floormate. If I've let the kitchen floor get bad, I pre-clean the grout with Finazzle, but since I found the BGC, I haven't had to Finazzle grout any place else. I used to use Oxy Clean, but that left a bit of residue that I could feel with my bare feet. The steam mop and a hand held steamer were too slow for me.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I have the Shark steam mop and use 50/50 alcohol and water to clean the matt finished procelain tile floors. Works like a charm, no streaks or residue.

Grout is another matter, requires more scrubbing with a brush and cleaner every so often.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:49PM
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I know you have a lot of feedback here already. however, my method (though sometimes back breaking) is the only way I can feel good about my floors.

1. Have whatever cleaning solution in a spray bottle.
2. On hands and knees, spray, scrub.
3. With separate microfiber towel, I wipe off the now dirty cleaning solution and dip cloth into a bucket of "rinse" water.
4. Dry with towel.
5. Re-rinse with Swiffer sweeper WET cloths.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 2:45PM
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Sorry, it's been a while since I could get on. I'm cleaning all different sorts of floors. We have laminate, glossy and matte bathroom tiles (standard 4X4 tiles) and ceramic tile. I finally gave up and found a method that seems to work. Once a week I steam the floor with my canister steamer. I do it in sections and as I go along I dry it with a rag attached to a swiffer sweeper. Then during the rest of the week I attach a rag to the swiffer and spray vinegar and water on spots that need touching up. I don't use toxic cleaners so the Swiffer wet wipes aren't an option.
To reeree: I haven't had a chance to try the Charlie's. I was just about out of my regular detergent and Costco got some more in. It's just too good of a deal to pass up!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 5:11PM
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