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I know that TikTok is currently filled with videos on how to wash your wooden floorboards rigorously with dishwasher pods, and while I wish I could be on that level of cleanliness, I can never seem to force myself to go through that kind of deep cleaning. Instead, I look for shortcuts.
I’ve tried a bunch of different methods and products, but I didn’t feel like I was getting my floor as clean as I could. Rags kept coming up dingy after a few passes, hinting there was still dirt to be cleaned, and a regular mop with a microfiber pad was ineffective, too. Since the head was too big to dunk into a bucket, I had to use a “squeeze and mop” floor cleaner, where you squirt the solution directly in front of you and mop the dirt away. It did barely anything.
I was about to resign to the fact that maybe mopping had no real shortcuts when my boyfriend bought the Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop. You guys. This was it. The shortcut I’d been looking for.
Steam mops deep-clean the floor by forcing powerful bursts of steam into crevices that a regular mop might not get into. The microfiber pad gets moist from the steam and picks up the grime from the floorboards, while the hot steam kills bacteria.
The Shark Genius also has a “steam blast” function, which shoots a strong gust of steam directly in front of it, loosening any dirt or dust stuck in corners or wedged into crevices. The head maneuvers from side to side, allowing you to get into tight-ish spaces and around furniture legs.
The Shark Genius cleans my floors just as well as the mop-and-bucket method, with two clear advantages: It negates the need to buy floor cleaning products — all you need is water — and there is virtually no clean up after the task (other than throwing the used cleaning pad into the washing machine.)
There are few caveats to consider before trying the steam mop, though. It may damage or warp unsealed wood, and it can potentially warp laminate floors. And at nearly $140, it’s certainly pricier than a regular old mop. Also, this type of mop won’t work on spills or big messes. It’s purely for maintenance cleaning, since the pads aren’t efficient enough to soak up large spills.
But if you have sealed floors and are looking for a way to wash your floors with much less hassle, I can’t recommend a steam mop enough. It’s worth the small investment.