The heat of summer has faded, replaced by the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. But with cosy knitwear, falling leaves and pumpkin spiced everything comes one, more decidedly unwelcome, seasonal trait - mud.
Autumnal rain and wet winters means mud, grime and other outdoor detritus gets tracked into the house - no matter how thoroughly you wipe your feet on the doormat. With many of us opting for laminate and tied flooring in our homes, it can all add up to filthy floors that are tricky to keep clean, especially for households with pets and children.
Luckily there’s a new generation of mop that not only gets your floors sparklingly clean, but kills bacteria, germs and other nasties too - often with nothing more than plain old water.
The age of the mop and bucket are long gone. Now it’s all about powerful steam machines that can cut through dirt and stuck-on grime effortlessly - all in the size of a modern vacuum cleaner, good news for anyone with a lack of storage.
From steam power to cordless models so there’s no excuse to reach every inch of floor, we've rounded up the best below.
VAX Glide ONEPWR Cordless
If you want a piece of cleaning kit that can do it all, say hello to the Vax Glide ONEPWR. This powerful cordless machine won’t just wash your hard floors, but it can vacuum and dry them too. Saving you time and slicing through dirt and bacteria, it's powered by a 4a rechargeable battery that gives you up to 30 minutes of running time following a three hour charge.
Not that you’ll need it, mind you. Cleaning floors with the VAX takes no time at all and, dare we say it, makes a hum-drum household chore almost... exciting.
There’s even a little light at the mop head which is helpful when cleaning under heavy furniture to ensure not a spot is missed. And as further proof of intelligent design, you can switch between vacuum, wash and dry modes using the controls at the handle. The auto-clean function makes cleaning the machine itself fuss-free.
Comes with the Advanced Multi-surface Brush roll, a storage & cleaning tray as well as 250ml of ONEPWR Multi-Floor solution.
BISSELL CrossWave Cordless
This three-in-one cleaner offers cleaning solutions for all the floors in your home - hard floors as well as rugs. The CrossWave can vacuum, wash and dry multiple surfaces all at the same time, so you don’t have to keep going over the same areas again and again. It uses two tanks to separate dirty water from clean, helping it run more efficiently and you can go all over the house without running out of cord length or tripping over wires because this unit is cordless. One charge delivers 25 minutes of running time, enough to clean all the floors in your home.
Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop S6003UK
Stand back, for this is no ordinary mop. The diminutive design boasts, as it says on the tin, Klik n’ Flip Technology, which cleans and sanitises 99.9 per cent of common household bacteria using intelligent steam controls. It works on all kinds of floors: as well as bathroom and kitchen tiles or laminate, you can use the Klik n’ Flip mop on hardwood, lino, marble and stone too.
The best part is that once you’re done with one side of the microfibre pad, flip over the head and continue with the opposite side - no more grappling at manky cloth. You don’t even need to use any chemicals or detergent as the microfibre works effectively with just water. Simply sling the pad in the wash once you’re done, ready for your next cleaning session.
If you’ve got really tough stains that no amount of hand scrubbing seems to shift, it’s time to call in the big guns - in this case, the mop’s steam blast function. Use three settings to blitz away stubborn debris.
Super slim at 119cm x 11cm x 10cm, it takes up far less space than a traditional mop and bucket and as far as mops go, looks pretty slick too. Comes with a 12 month guarantee.
£99.99 | Shark *On sale from £149.99
BISSELL SpinWave 205E Hard Floor Cleaner
A night on the tiles may be largely out of the question for the time being, so a literal one may have to do. Besides, there’s something satisfying about a deep clean - just ask Mrs Hinch’s 3.8m followers.
‘Mop’ is such an elementary term for this machine, it’s so much more. Designed for hard floors, it boasts swivel steering with cleaning pads that can hit all those hard-to-reach spots and there’s a ‘trigger’ button that allows you to spray an extra burst of cleaning solution to see to those stubborn messes.
The water tank can hold 830ml so there’s no need to refill when you’re halfway way through a job. Standby for gleaming floors you could probably eat your dinner off - if you wanted to.
Karcher FC3 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner - Floor
Employing a roller instead of cloth pads or steam, this Karcher cleaner is ultra-slim and only uses the precise amount of water it needs in its 360ml tank to clean hard floors. Without any excess, this means that your floors will dry super quickly - almost as you go along, in fact.
With a fast charge and simple filling and emptying procedures, it’s perfect for busy families as well as small homes.
£199 | AO *On sale from £279
Karcher FC5 Hard Floor Cleaner
If you’re looking for something with more spec, try Karcher’s FC5 model, which does the same as the FC3 but comes with a larger tank (400ml) and can vacuum as well as wash. It has twin tanks to keep dirty and clean water separate,which does make it slightly chunkier, but a minor drawback we're willing to overlook in exchange for the souped-up capability.
BISSELL PowerFresh SlimSteam
With over 140 years of technical floor cleaning expertise, what Bissell doesn’t know about cleaning floors isn’t worth knowing. For the spatially challenged as well as chore-shy, the PowerFresh Slim Steam is the perfect piece of home cleaning kit, operating quickly and storing away afterwards into the slimmest of spaces.
Hit the steam trigger to loosen those really worn-on stains, whether that’s on the floor or on top of cupboards or work surfaces. It can turn into a portable handheld steam cleaner too.
Hoover Steam Capsule CAD1700D
Whether you have kids or pets, small curious creatures and household chemicals are never a good mix. If you like the idea of gleaming floors cleaned with nothing but H2O, look to Hoover’s Steam Capsule cleaners. They use high temperatures to make short work of any dirt and grime, loosening it and dissolving it quickly.
Get hard floor sparkling with the mop pads and scrubbing nozzle, and use the included glider accessory to give rugs and carpets once over too. Too much steam can be bad news for certain types of flooring such as parquet, but the Hoover steam cleaner allows you to control the heat with low, medium and high settings.
Comes with a 12 month guarantee.
£69.99 | Amazon *On sale from £101.30
10 in 1 500W Neo Hot Steam Mop Cleaner
If you like the idea of steam cleaning floors, but you’re not so wild about the hefty price tag that comes with many models, this budget option may be just the ticket.
It comes in a choice of three colours and boasts a large 400ml water tank capacity. The triangle-shaped head needs to be wrapped in the microfibre cloth (included) before you turn it on - this is what will trap the dirt. The entire thing comes dismantled making for easy storage (in fact, all the components can fit neatly inside a standard shopping tote) and there’s variable steam control so you can adjust the heat to suit your floor. It can also transform into a handheld steamer, handy for reaching awkward spaces.
While it is a cost-effective option, it wasn’t as elegant as the others but if you’re not bothered about it winning any beauty contents, this is a great budget buy for a steam cleaner.
Vileda Turbo spin mop and bucket
If you haven’t got loads to spend on a floor cleaning solution, there are more budget options such as this set from Vileda. While it looks, and functions, like a traditional mop and bucket, there are a few updates that makes household chores a breeze. First, the mop head is made of microfibre fabric, so you can use just water to wrap dirt in its tiny bristles. It’s machine-washable too, so no forking out for replacement heads. Second, this design incorporates a foot pedal which takes on the hard task of wringing out excess water from the mop. It can rotate the mop head an impressive 500-1000 times a minute, saving you the effort and getting your hard floors cleaner quicker.
It’s not the most elegant or compact design, but it does the job more effectively than its predecessor, and for the price, it’s a real steal.
Cordless and multi-functional, the VAX Glide ONEPWR has everything you could wish for in a hard floor cleaner. Thoughtfully designed and pleasingly efficient, it will help you keep your home spick and span in no time.