You may have seen the television commercial, "Introducing the all-new, double-sided Shark Steam Pocket Mop!"
The Shark is just one of a growing number of steam mops - the latest innovation in household cleaning that claims to make short work of big messes.
"Watch it effortlessly eat up the toughest grime!"
Consumer Reports put the Shark and nine other steam mops through tough tests, including ones from Bissell and Oreck.
Bill Taylor with Consumer Reports says, "Well, the first thing we did is we went into the lab and got the floor dirty, very dirty."
Testers used ketchup … syrup … mustard, and other stuff to create a scientific mess.
Since you can't always get to spills right away, the mess was left overnight to really set in.
So how did the mops do? Well, some weren't very good, taking a long time to steam away soils.
Others don't soak up much, leaving gooey gunk to be pushed around the floor. Yuck!
And once the steam mop is finished cleaning, you still have to deal with a mess.
Taylor says, "All these mops use removable pads that you need to wash. And you might want wash them separately from your clothes."
When all the tests were done, Consumer Reports did find a good cleaner it named a Best Buy. It's the $70 Eureka Enviro Steamer. It steams for a full 20 minutes on a tank of water and has a long cord so you can clean larger areas.
However, Consumer Reports says a $15 squeeze mop and some hot water will do just as good a job, and cost you a lot less.
As for the Shark, Consumer Reports found it did a good job, but not as good as the
less-expensive Eureka or even the squeeze mop.