Is your neighbor telling you how fast she can clean her house with her steam mop? Have you been watching all those infomercials about the numerous advantages of owning a steam mop? Are you or one of your family members sensitive to cleaners? Maybe you are just one of those who are searching for a viable alternative to the cleaning with the classic mop. Various different steam mops are widely available on the market. Despite the great variety, they basically do exactly the same thing. There might be small differences between various models, but they all clean flooring surfaces with steam, without using detergents or soap. Steam mops are great to be used on most surfaces, including sealed hardwood flooring, linoleum and ceramic tile. There are even models equipped with accessories to safely clean the carpet. Although the steam mop can be used on numerous surfaces, don’t use it on no-wax or unsealed wood floors. Also, even if it is safe to be used on linoleum or other similar flooring, keep in mind that it is possible for the hot steam to have a negative impact on the glue beneath such flooring. In case you have questions or concerns about how or on what type of floors to use your steam mop, you can get in touch with the manufacturer of your flooring. You can also test the mop on small part of your flooring in an area that is hard to see. To start using the steam mop, read the user’s manual that comes along with your machine. However, the basic steps are roughly the same with model, so here is a quick overview on how to operate it: Use distilled or tap water to fill the water tank. If you have hard water, it is recommended to use distilled water. Next, the cleaning pad should be attached to the base of the unit. Reusable and washable cleaning pads are also available with many models, while others use disposable ones. Plug in the steam machine it time to heat. This is roughly half a minute or so with most brands. The machine is now ready to begin the steaming process with a pumping motion or with a trigger, based on the model you have purchased. Clean the floor by sliding the head of the mop throughout the floor. When you are done, turn it off and unplug it. The machine should also be turned off when you change the cleaning pad or refill the water tank.