Pros and Cons: Traditional Mops vs. Steam Mops

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day.

Whether it’s time for spring cleaning or you’re just doing your regular apartment cleaning, traditional mops and steam mops are both great choices for making your floors shine like new. That said, with so many different types of traditional and steam mops on the market, you might not know whether traditional or steam mops are better for your needs. Below, learn the pros and cons of traditional mops versus steam mops.

Pros of traditional mops over steam mops

More affordable

When you need to clean your apartment floor on a budget, you can choose a traditional mop since it should be far more affordable. If you do go the traditional route, you should choose a mop best suited to your floor type, and this variation shouldn’t introduce many price changes.

Pros and Cons Traditional Mops vs. Steam Mops

If your apartment’s floor has a lot of texture, you’ll want the more classic string mop or a strip mop, which may include a bucket with built-in wringers. If you have a smooth floor, a sponge mop works better. Additionally, microfiber mops are great for deep cleaning.

No electricity or batteries

When you use a traditional mop, you won’t need to use electric power or buy batteries. On the other hand, many steam mops require power. And if you clean frequently, it can be a hassle to buy batteries or find an outlet for your cleaning. Even better, with traditional mops, you won’t have to clean with a cord bothering you. Traditional mops are thus more portable. 

Easy care 

Traditional mops are easier to maintain than steam mops. The only thing that’s advised for maintaining traditional mops is to avoid mopping with a sopping-wet mop. Overall, maintaining traditional mops is very low maintenance, especially since you can easily clean and dry them. 

Safe for most floors

Traditional mops are versatile for quickly and deeply cleaning many types of floors. You can use a traditional mop on most flooring, including hardwood. However, you can’t use a steam mop on unsealed hardwood floors. 

Traditional mops are safe to use on tiles, vinyl, and laminate floors. If you decide to do some dry mopping, traditional mops can be used on practically any flooring (except for carpet).

Pros of steam mops over traditional mops

More sanitary

Steam mops are more sanitary and can disinfect your floors quicker than traditional mops. Steam mops don’t require cleaning solutions – as their name suggests, most steam mops only require water in their tanks. Just the steam from the mop can do an exceptional job of sanitizing and cleaning your apartment’s floor.

Kid- and pet-safe

Since the majority of steam mops don’t require cleaning solutions, they are more kid-safe and pet-safe than traditional mops, which may require chemicals for adequate cleaning. After you use a steam mop, you won’t have to worry about kids or pets being exposed to chemicals. Additionally, steam mops dry quickly, so kids and pets can walk in recently cleaned areas and avoid slipping hazards.

Better for tougher grime

Steam mops are better at cleaning tougher grime than traditional mops. That’s because the water vapor from a steam mop can loosen grime and tough stains better than chemicals. Steam mops are also better at tackling mold removal, and regularly using a steam mop can lower the chance of further mold growth in the first place.

Requires less physical effort

Cleaning is physically easier with a steam mop. Whereas traditional mops may require you to mop or scrub hard, using a steam mop is generally quick and easy.

Do you prefer to use a traditional mop or a steam mop? Do you have both? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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