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The previous owner of the place I wound up purchasing seemed to have a similar sentiment: the house was carpet free. I shortly realized that keeping up on that much tile was no joke, either. Not to mention, more than half of the floor was done in white tile!
Over the years, I’ve tried every tool, from brooms and deck brushes to vacuums and steam mops. Here, I’ve summed up the best vacuum, mops, steamers, and solutions for life with pets.
The house is older, which means it has some strangely narrow hallways, a few tight corners, and several other eccentric elements. The carpet vacuum I had at the time worked well in the previous house, but once I moved in here, it became impractical. The head was simply too large and the body too bulky to deftly navigate. Instead, it left behind almost as much dirt as it had picked up.
I used brooms and Swiffer Sweeper, both wet and dry, for a while—too long, but we get stuck in our routines—but I was not completely satisfied with the results.
Finally, someone suggested a stick vacuum, and my life was forever changed. Shark is usually considered the king of stick vacuums, and they can go from carpet and tile with a press of a button.
Trading in the broom for a stick mop was a significant enough change, but replacing the old standard mop with an electric spin mop was life changing. (Not even an exaggeration.)
I originally started with the Shark Sonic Duo, which seems to have been phased out. After it broke, through no fault of its own, I changed to…you guessed it: Bissell! I purchased their Spinwave mop at Bed, Bath, and Beyond during a Black Friday sale, though you can get the mop for nearly the same price on Amazon all year around.
The Shark Sonic Duo was a great mop, but the Spinwave is slightly better. Like the Sonic Duo, it is easy to navigate, has an awesome ‘power glide’ so it requires next to no effort to use, and it does a great job on dirty floors. I feel like it’s just slightly better at all those things, though. The Bissell Spinwave is so easy to use, I can keep it handy for both big and small jobs.
Because I use the mop so often, I also keep extra pads on hand.
I had a steam mop years ago but rarely used it. While it did what it should, the head didn’t swivel so it was difficult to get it into corners and around furniture. The pads didn’t stay entirely fixed in place. And the mop took a while to warm up enough for use. I eventually gave that steam mop away, but I wound up circling around to finding a new steam mop. I just love the idea of using steam to get the tile that next level clean.
There are a lot of messy creatures around here, after all.
It won’t be a surprise to you at this point who eventually won me over. The Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop was everything I had wanted the other steam mop to be. The head has a nice, easy swivel, the pads are high quality, and the mop is ready to use in almost no time. As a perk, the pads even have a little pocket where you can tuck a scent disc—available from Bissell and third parties—which leave a nice light scent as you clean. The scent doesn’t linger very long after you’re done with tile, so I don’t use them often, but they do make the task of cleaning more pleasant.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Bissell continues to add more well thought-out features. The Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop also comes with a brush attachment so you can steam stubborn spots on the floor as you scrub.
I really can’t say enough positive things about this steam mop.
However, I do like having extra pads on hand for all my mops. I change them once or twice with every major cleaning, but I don’t wash them until I have a full load of laundry. Luckily, Amazon makes it easy to find quality mop pads such as these replacements for the Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop.
For a while, I used the Libman Wonder Mop, but while a decent mop, it didn’t entirely meet my needs. I had a Swiffer Wet Jet, briefly, but I didn’t like having to throw out the entire bottle to replace the solution. Instead, I wanted one with a refillable bottle.
I ended up with the Bona Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop.
First, the pros. It’s a great replacement for a standard mop. I don’t miss the Libman at all. Also, the pads wash up much nicer than the Libman heads did and are much more practical to replace daily to keep the mop cleaner all around.
I also like the practicality of a spray mop—no bucket of water for quick cleanups. While I don’t use this mop for cleaning the entire floor, it’s perfect for spot cleaning.
And, of course, the solution bottle is refillable. So much less waste and so much more convenience.
However, that bottle is also where the only real con comes from. The bottle has a notorious habit of sticking when trying to remove, no matter how much you press down on the release button. Inevitably, the top of the bottle snaps off and remains stuck inside.
This isn’t the deal breaker it could be though. You can still refill the bottle and reinsert it while the mop is upside down, and the bottle will click back into place. I just pretend it was meant to be that way and not a design flaw, and so far, so good.
Considering I use this mop multiple times a day, I keep the most spare pads on hand for it. They are durable enough to rip off the mop, wash, air dry, and put right back into use repeatedly without showing a hint of wear.
Around here, we need the heavy gear.
That said, due to the strange issue with the refill bottle on the Bona Mop, when it comes time to replace it, I would consider the O-Cedar ProMist Max instead.
You may have noticed the glaring omission of a robot vacuum. In our current setup, even the best robot vacuum wouldn’t be worth the investment. However, if I were to get one at some point, I would get the iRobot Roomba J7.
Why? The J7 is engineered to avoid making a bigger mess in the event of a pet accident. With cats and dogs of all ages around here, that’s a real possibility and one I would like to avoid (the internet horror story already taught us that lesson).
A robot vacuum isn’t joining our household anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that should that change, Roomba has been hard at work with us pet-lovers in mind.