Love this Quickie Steam Mop for hardwood and ceramic floors

On my quest to get the house into some sort of order – from the shambles it usually looks, the next cleaning tool I bought was a Bissell Powerfresh Clean Mop. There is a Sharp version in this price range, but Bissell got overall better ratings. I especially liked that Bissell fluid container could be re-filled and that it stands upright when not in use (the Sharp does not).

PRICE

It was initially listed cheaper at Target than Bed Bath and Beyond, and it was on a 10% off sale so purchase price was $90 with free shipping. Bissell routinely goes on sale so keep an eye out for deals. Again no freebies on this AD FREE BLOG! 😀

This was my first time ordering from the Target website and sorry not impressed. After buying, the only email I received was one telling me I would be told later when it would be shipped so two days later I have only a delivery range of dates and no tracking number. Not cool, Target.

USING IT

This is not a broom or vacuum – floors need to be swept clear of debris for this machine to be effective in cleaning your floors. Also, it does not suck up water like my old Hoover Floormate did although it would be effective on small liquid spills but so would a dishcloth.

It is easy to assemble – takes one screw and you are ready to go.

One thing I liked about this steam mop was I could fill it directly from the sink (or in my case, a distilled water jug). From reading the Sharp reviews you had to Jerry-rig the canister to be able to refill it. This wasn’t something I wanted to bother with doing. Remember, I hate housework and need quick and easy.

Heats up fast! You’ll be ready to go in less than 2 minutes. It has three options on how hot the mop can get – experiment and see what works best on your floor. I use a light or middle setting for my wood floors and use the hottest on the ceramic.

Unlike the Sharp steam mop, this mop can sit upright when not in use, so stores better. Always be sure to turn it off when done to prevent heat damage to the floor where it is sitting.

WATER TANK

I personally love that it uses water – not chemicals – to clean my floor. Distilled water prolongs the life of the machine and the cost is minimal if you compare it to floor cleaner. My area has heavy mineral content in the water, so I definitely want to use distilled water.

There is an option for a scent disc to be put into the mop head but I found it gave minimum scent (if you love heavily scented products like Febreeze or Lysol, this product is not like that) so I doubt I’ll buy that product insert again.

I’ve started using a suggestion on an Amazon review: to one gallon of distilled water I add 1/4 teaspoon of Essential Oil (Lavender, Eucalyptus, Orange, Rosemary, Pine, Tea Tree oils are good ones to try as long as they are not blended in oil – check the label), with 1 Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Shake the jug well before pouring into the tank. It should release a nice scent into the air as you clean!

CAUTION: Do no overuse or you could get streaking. Do not use essential oils containing oils like Jojoba (such as found in Vanilla and Rose Essential Oils) or you can clog your machine and streak your floor.

MOP PADS

The mop comes with two cleaning pads which can be washed and reused. One pad is for hardwood floors (100% white) and the other pad is for ceramics or where you want to scrub (it has a blue chevron pattern on the bottom).

I bought two extra pads as this will give me the greatest flexibility in having one clean as I don’t do a white-wash every day and I have over 1,000 square feet of floor I use this on. Be sure to buy the Bissell brand for the correct steam mop type (the Freshmop doesn’t fit the other brands of Bissell’s steam mops). People have complained about Bissell look-alike pads so buy the Bissell brand for the best fit.

When finished do NOT leave the covers on the machine! These become very damp after use and need to dry out or be washed or it develops a mildew smell.

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Remove the cloth, mop head cover and immediately rinse and squeeze until water comes clear. Spray with a Resolve carpet cleaner, and set aside to be tossed in the washer with Oxy Clean. Don’t use bleach. After use, they will never be white again. If this bothers you go back to the Swiffer with disposable mop heads (which I think is like taking a huge step back in technology, like forgoing an oven and using a camp fire to cook).

mop_pad_covers_bissell_steam_mop_new_cleanedThey can pick up a lot of lint so if washing with other items, you might want to tie them up in a pillowcase or use a mesh laundry bag like you find for washing lingerie.

PROS

Very lightweight and easy to use. Would be perfect for someone with disabilities, back issues or someone who is restricted in their ability to move about. Because it is lightweight, I found it easy to take it up and down the stairs.

The cord is crazy long – I was able to do the huge L-shaped area of laundry room, bathroom, kitchen and breakfast room from just one plug in. The cord is not retractable but winds on the exterior of the unit.

The mop head swivels 180 degrees. It makes it fantastic for moving in and around baseboard, cabinets, furniture etc… It even moved around the toilet for me to clean most of that floor! LOVE THIS FEATURE!

The water in the tank goes a long way! I was really pleased at how much floor I got done and even went two sessions before having to refill it.

Floors dry really fast – ceramic floors faster than hardwoods.. It will leave some dampness on the floor and maybe because the water was hot, but the floors dried faster than just traditionally-mopped floors. If you live in a high humidity place it may take longer (but so would mopped floors) to dry.

TIP: On hardwood floors I found it streaking when I had it on the highest steam setting and when the mop head was saturated with water. If you find it streaking, try a fresh mop head cover that is dry and/or go back to the lighest steam setting.

TIP: if you need the floor to dry fast use the lightest steam setting. The higher you go on the steam, the more water that is applied to the floor, the longer it takes to dry, and the more chance of streaking on hardwoods. I had no streaking on ceramics and even at the highest setting, the ceramic dried fast.

CONS

HATE that there is no power-down switch and you have to unplug from the wall to stop the power. HATE, HATE, HATE! Before unplugging, move it back to the original light setting as it does seem to power it down somewhat on the top setting.

Trying to pull out the water tank can be difficult. It fits in snuggly and it can be hard to get enough grip to pull it up and out.

Some people have reported floor streaks after using. Use the lighest steam setting on hardwood floors to reduce or eliminate streaking (see Tip above). Another problem is your mop head cover may just be too wet, especially if you are doing a lot of floor on the heaviest steam/wet setting. Try a fresh pad and return to the lighter steam setting and see if this eliminates the problem.

Overlap the paths of your travel and go with the grain (if doing hardwood floors). Also, if your floor has a product on it (wax, chemical cleaners) it may remove this and cause streaking during the first few cleans.

While this has a carpet feature, I wouldn’t think this would be very effective in cleaning a deep pile rug. Without a scrub brush and a chemical tank, I don’t view this as a rug cleaner despite the water and steam. Might be okay on low pile carpet and rugs.

Overall, on clean-ability, this is a great steam mop to use on a regular (3x or more a week) basis on mildly dirty floors. While it doesn’t “scrub” your floors (so heavily stained floors may need more) I found it a great mop for keeping the kitchen tidy on a daily basis.

Between the Sharp Navigator cordless vacuum and this little baby, the floors have already started looking so much better!

Dealing with Pet Fluff and Hardwood Floors

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After installing the wooden floors downstairs, it became quickly apparent that the fluff from two dogs and three cats was way out of control. If using a broom or dustmop to gather pet fluff you will spend as much time trying to get the dustpan to the trash with all the dust bunnies as you will in sweeping!

From a blog recommendation, I bought a Sharp Navigator Freestyle vacuum from Bed Bath and Beyond with my 20% off coupon for about $86. Yes, I bought it – no freebies for this AD-FREE blog!

USING IT

So far I give this an A+ for daily housework – I’m using it almost every day and definitely every other day.  If you have pets and need something quick to clean hardwoods or ceramics on a daily basis, this is a great choice!

EASY AND QUICK FOR DAILY CLEANS! LOVE IT!

This is pretty easy to assemble with just one screw. It’s CORDLESS and it is LIGHT!

Initially, I gave it about 4 hours to get a complete charge; you will need an area where you can leave it plugged in. It looks like it shuts off the charging unit once the vac is completely charged which is good because if you overcharge these types of batteries you can damage it.

It has two settings: bare floor and carpet. I have used this only on concrete flooring, hardwoods and ceramic. I personally doubt the suction would be strong enough for a deep pile carpet but would probably be okay for low pile carpet and rugs, though I do not consider this to be a hard use vacuum (see below for more details).

What I don’t know yet is how long the filters will last. Also, how hard it’s going to be to find those replacement filters.

PROS:

This is awesome for daily and spot cleans! Just grab, go and vacuum and put away. No bending to plug in, searching for outlets, moving furniture to get to an outlet, or struggling with moving the card as you vacuum. I LOVE IT!

HUGE pluses were cordless and lightweight. Managing a cord is a huge pain in the neck as the cord never allows me to do the room without transferring plugs. Easy to take up the stairs unlike huge clunky vacuums.

Other pros include the handle height which is comfortable for me at 5’5″ and husband 6’2″. Other vacs have too low a handle and hurt hubby’s back after use. I hate short handled brooms!

Bagless so you just open the canister and shake debris out. Emptying the cartridge is a bit tricky until you figure it out. When you push the bottom button in, push down on the tabs that are at the bottom of the canister (they go opposite directions).

Suction and maneuverability is pretty good. I found the hinging of the upright handle/canister area to the floor sweeper to be a little hard until after a few uses when it limbered up. Now it works fine and is easy to maneuver.

CONS:

The biggest issue from reading reviews is that the battery doesn’t retain a charge or isn’t powerful enough to do the job. I’m keeping my receipt for 90 days but so far haven’t had an issue myself. I’m cleaning about 800 square feet of floor space.

Suction is not strong enough to pick up screws, pennies, paperclips – it’s ideal for fluff and dust. This is a daily, pick up quick vacuum not a heavy duty wet-vac.

It doesn’t have any hand tools so you can’t use it to on furniture or baseboards. Do not look at this as you would a regular full-use vacuum. I plan on buying a different vacuum for my upstairs deep pile carpet.

If you run it up to a hard edge, it doesn’t get the suction right up to the edge.

I found trying to clean out the brush of the floor sweeper area a bit difficult to get into. It would be nicer to get in there and fully remove debris like string that isn’t sucking all the way through (you can do it but it isn’t as easy as belt vacuum cleaners).

This is just one of several cleaning tools I plan on buying in the next 60 days. In the future, I’ll be buying a vacuum for the hardwood stairs, a steam mop (for hardwood and ceramic floors), and a new heavy duty, carpet vacuum for the upstairs, carpeted bedrooms.

EDITED TO ADD: My heavy duty carpet vacuum cleaner has died so I ended up trying out this cordless on carpet after all. If your carpet is lightly dirty it can work pretty well!! However, it still doesn’t like big chunks of fluff, dirt, paper bits etc… Yet, I am impressed and being a much lighter vacuum in weight, I will use it for quick clean ups in the bedrooms after all!

The Downside to Hardwood Floors

This blog post has been updated. Click here for the latest info!


Don’t get me wrong – I love my dark hardwood floors but now that I’ve lived with them for a year, I’ll tell you some things that you don’t want to hear.

1.) They scratch easily. Yes, don’t buy whatever the floor salesman tells you about how tough they are. I have a natural wood floor upstairs and a dark one downstairs. The dark one scratches more easily and shows it.

Dealing with it: all your furniture MUST HAVE felt foot pads installed. You can find them at Lowes or Home Depot for little cost. If you don’t put these on you will regret it. And forget your kid driving a tricycle through the house like they show on the commercials!

2.) Dark floors show dirt. You will need to clean them everyday or every other day, especially if you have pets or kids.

Dealing with it:

Option 1: Dustmop. A popular Pinterest post is showing this dustmop you can buy from Target and how amazing it is to clean hardwood floors. Yes, it is definitely easier and better than a broom. Don’t even bother with a broom. The dustmop head is washable so that is good.

However, if you are dealing with pet hair or a lot of dust/fluff it won’t do. It just pushes everything up in the air. And irregardless, you still have to use a dust pan.

Option 2: After working at a vet clinic, which had these stick vacuums in the rooms, I am sold on these if you have pets. No dustpan to use, and they are lightweight – lighter than a broom and easier on your back. Disadvantages are that they have a small container for dirt and they don’t have a nozzle like a regular vacuum.

Basically, it’s a Dustbuster with a long handle – if you have pets and hardwood floors – trust me buy it!

Option 3: Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – a CLEANING DREAM! Read about it here!

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Preparing for the new wood flooring

For some time we’ve been wanting to replace the flooring in three rooms: the entry, the front formal living room, and the dining room. Total square foot (Dining, Living, Entry) = 410

Originally we were going to go with the natural Bruce engineered wood, flooring product we bought from Lowes to do the upstairs hallway. It has proven durable and it is priced very reasonably. However we were put on hold with the project due to money and while time past we re-thought this and wanted to go with a darker wood floor. My only concern is in a dark room the dark floor would suck in light.

BTW before picking out a wood floor you have to realize that it’s the substrate that determines the type of floor you can install. Whether it is concrete (which needs a vapor test before proceeding) or plywood, does decide what type of wood flooring (i.e laminate, engineered hardwood etc…) you can install.

So the money is here, the floor materials (Lumber Liquidators, Bamboo flooring) bought and held for two weeks indoors to acclimate, and the project is now underway… Let’s follow along shall we?

Out with the old – the flooring and it’s plywood substrate is pulled out with a crowbar, revealing the cement foundation. Our kids jumped in for the money and got it all pulled out. It’s now boxed or wrapped in bundles and awaiting tomorrow’s garbage collection. Wow! I am getting way excited to see this new floor in! It’s only taken two years!!

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