Friday, May 6, 2011

The Saga of the Shiny Floors

I'm just going to come right out and say it; I love clean floors.  It's not so much that I love the physical act of cleaning them (insert your joke here about how I can clean your floors anytime), I just love when they are clean.  I will admit that in the past few months I've found the actual act of cleaning them at least mildly therapeutic,  but it's mostly that as far as I'm concerned there's nothing quite like a floor that passes the white sock test.  Around here, a clean floor is something you have to really strive for.  Between Aias and the dog, keeping the floor clean sometimes feels like an exercise in futility.  Some of our major floor offenders are:

- The sticks and leaves that come off the dog when he comes in from a walk (seriously, it's not like he runs through bushes. Is he somehow magnetically attracting this stuff? The world may never know)
- Melted popsicle remnants that Aias smears around on the floor
- Crumbs from snacks
- Crayon
- Stickers
- Drool
- Sippy cup spillage
- Smoothie (Morgan's breakfast that he shares with Aias)

I affectionately refer to most of the above as "baby dander." 

I could probably make my life a little easier and just follow Aias around with a cloth, or make him eat in his high chair only (he considers this a form of cruel and unusual punishment) but I would prefer to just let life happen and then deal with the consequences during nap time.  So when nap time comes, I put away all the furniture, run the vacuum, and get mopping.  I have a specific order I do this in, and I have it down to a science.  For about 2 hours I have a shiny floor, and I love every second of it.  It's not really a big deal if it gets messy again, because I know it always will, and I know I can always just clean it again.  I've accepted this reality.  Life happens.

Last week my Vileda Tri- Active mop head started looking pretty tragic so I knew it was time for replacing, but this time when I went to purchase my beloved replacement mop head I was in for a bit of a shock.  There were none to be found!  At all my usual mop head replacement spots, instead of my Tri-Active, they had entirely different ones... they also didn't have my mop anymore!  Sitting in the place of my beloved mop was this thing:  the Bee Mop Classic.  I glare at you Bee Mop Classic, I GLARE.

You see, I do not want the Bee Mop Classic.  No Vileda, I want the replacements for my Tri-Active.  Why every store in this neighborhood has decided that the Tri-Active is a second class citizen in the land of mops is absolutely beyond me.  I was absolutely not going to give in and buy a whole new mop when the one I have already is perfectly fabulous.  I don't want to send my Tri- Active to a landfill!  And so, I stewed.  I stewed for 3 days.  For 3 days I did not wash my floors.  I know, the horror /sarcasm.

Today I expressed my woes via Facebook, and a few friends suggested I get a steam mop.   So of course, I Googled steam mops; and I liked what I saw.  After lunch, I walked to Canadian Tire and Home Depot to check out my options.  This is where I stumbled upon the Shark Steam Blaster.

Quite frankly, the first thing I noticed was the price; it was marked down 47% from $169 to $89. The price seemed pretty fair.  I went home and looked at the reviews, and people didn't seem to hate it.  My floors were starting to get to me, so after dinner we went and took the plunge.

For some reason I remembered the box being smaller so I assured Morgan we could just walk to Canadian Tire and put it underneath the stroller in the basket, but I was wrong.  So Aias got booted from his spot on the walk back home with our new toy. 

When we got home, Aias was pretty sure it was a new toy for him, but isn't that true of all things I own? This is why we can't have nice things, right?

Eventually he got off the box, I tore it open and put the Shark Steam Blaster together.  Now, to be entirely honest, I found the thing pretty intimidating.  First off there are all these warnings about steam burns and the contents being under pressure; cue all my fears about the thing somehow hurting the baby.  I managed to put those thoughts aside and gave it a go.  It's really dark in here at night, so I won't actually be able to put it to the true shine test until tomorrow, but it was interesting to see how it worked.  Here are some of my observations, both positive and negative, based only on this one test run:

+ It seemed easy enough to put together and fill
+ It's light
+ It seems to clean the floor fairly well
+ It doesn't require (or even allow) for cleaning products to be used, so no poisons
+ The floors dry really fast after using it
- The cord doesn't retract into the machine so you have to just deal with the cord
- It doesn't have a vacuum function so it doesn't suck up any of the bits on the floor, vacuuming really well first is essential
- The point where the "mop head" meets with the mop handle doesn't rotate or swivel
- It makes a terrifying noise when you initiate the steam spraying
- It isn't a beautiful Vileda Tri-Active with a satisfying "squish squosh" when you ring out the excess water

At this point, I'm still trying to decide if I want to keep it.  I'll probably give it a few more days and then decide.  Surely someone somewhere has a Tri-Active refill, so I could always go back to that.  Maybe I didn't put in enough effort, relying only on this neighborhood to support all my cleaning needs.  Then I'd be back to filling up the sink with castille soap water and walking around on a towel to dry the floors, you know that whole song and dance I'd been doing for the past year.  At the same time, I think maybe I sort of miss it.  Like I said, I'll give it a few days. 

Vileda, if you are reading this, I think you should send me some mop heads. Surely I'm your biggest fan ever.

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't ever heard of a steam mop before. sounds amazing. I have waged a battle with fur in my home and it seems the fur wins out every single time. Drives me mad! I'll try anything to make the war easier.


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