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Experiences with Steam Mops
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1 Shark
A Shark steam cleaner was purchased in 2011. Avena Catalog number: RA-61-0149-7.

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2 Shark
Look under the hood: a steam cleaner is a water tank connected with a heating unit (reverse condenser). Problem with this product, the particular inline-arrangement. The water tube from the tank encircles the heating unit before entering it at the sweeper end and the steam tube exits the heating unit at the top, to be U-turned back to the tapered off business end. By necessity, a lot of tube is bent in hairpin fashion. In a manner of speaking, there is only so much tubing that can be crammed into the heel of a pump. A stress break is nearly preordained. Telltale symptoms, the whole cleaner will emulate a whistling tea-kettle with steam escaping at all the wrong places. The exterior of the heating unit, basically an immersion heater in cylindrical shape, will also be piping hot. No short-circuit though. The seller offered a replacement (shipping costs included) but I had already opened it by the time.

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3 Shark
tagged parts

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4 Shark
The sprung free coil belongs inside the split tube. Exact benefit unclear. Thermal equalizer?

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5 cleanmaxx
Cleanmaxx (Ebay article). Low-end product, also available from Pearl, sales outlet in Buggingen. It is tempting to call it comparable to the Aldi model but that is based on visual similarities.

Back strain warning. The handle is custom tailored for rather small users. Not adjustable.

The cleaning rag is attached by Velcro fasteners. Glove type rags (offered as supplementary accessories) work better.

The bent nozzle (included accessory) is useful for bathroom applications. Never used, the carpet glider. Color description, of the casing, limegreen.

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6 cleanmaxx
There are some good parts. The click in water tank is rather elegant. Saves one decanting step (via a carrier vessel). The LED lighting is indirect, via panels in the side walls of the tank receptacle. It turns from blue to red when a refill is in order (or during the 'boot up'). Attractive underwater effects. That would not work with a coffee machine. Some liquids are simply too opaque. It should be possible, at least in theory, to combine it with a percolating coffee machine and a still for upgrading fermented grape juice (the suggestive signals, from watery blue to wine red). One could probably even boil eggs at the side. The ultimate in Swiss Army knive versatility. The siphon tube (with lead muzzle) is flexible. This should enable a water intake even when the tank is tilted.

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7 cleanmaxx.mov
The light show. Some appliances still come without nerve-racking buzzers.

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8 cleanmaxx
Demerits, the device is not very rugged. It should be possible to transmit a certain amount of force. A steam mop is no magic wand, some old fashioned mechanical action may still be required. And if the handle is hollow plastic it will simply snap at its weakest point. Repairable (by internal splicing). Verdict, there is still room for improvements.

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