Vacuum Mops: What Are They & What Makes Them Different From Other Cleaning Tools?

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The right cleaning routine helps keep floors clean longer. Cleaning tools are an essential component of this upkeep that can make the entire process easier. However, it can be tricky to decide which products are actually worth purchasing. Vacuum mops are a cleaning tool that you may want to consider adding to your collection. These innovative vacuum and mop combinations can clean liquid messes while also sucking up dry dirt and debris. Vacuum mops are unique in that they perform both of these functions simultaneously.

In short, this appliance is the perfect way to cut down on the amount of time it takes to clean your floors. You can grab your vacuum mop and go over an area once, rather than using both a vacuum and a regular mop separately. While you can use vacuum mops for routine cleaning of your entire floor, they are also ideal for spot-cleaning wet and dry spills. If you're curious whether this tool is compatible with your living space and cleaning needs, you should know that they are typically safe to use on sealed hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate floors. Vacuum mops can be far more convenient than using a normal mop and vacuum separately, so it may be worthwhile to make the switch. However, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind. 

Vacuum mops are easy to use and can clean messes that vacuums can't

Before purchasing a vacuum mop to simplify your vacuuming and mopping routine, here's what to expect. First, keep in mind that these cleaning tools can either be corded or battery-operated. Battery-operated vacuum mops need to be charged. However, they provide the flexibility of not having to navigate around a long cord that can get in the way while cleaning. 

Corded vacuum mops are great for those who do not want to deal with the hassle of charging. Thanks to the mechanics of vacuum mops, they offer unique benefits that are not found in traditional cleaning tools. For example, the suction power of vacuum mops allows them to pull in messes rather than just absorbing them, unlike a regular mop. Their ability to clean up liquid spills in a way that a traditional vacuum cannot is also impressive. However, analysis from Consumer Reports reveals that most vacuum mops aren't entirely stand-alone floor cleaning tools. While they work well on hard surfaces, you'll still need a dedicated vacuum for serious dust-busting, especially in hard-to-reach, carpeted, and upholstered areas. Joan Muratore, the engineer in charge of the vacuum mop analysis at Consumer Reports, says, "If you purchase a combo vacuum mop hoping to use it as your primary vacuum, you will likely be disappointed." Also, seeing as they can suck up everything from pet dander to spilled tomato sauce, emptying and cleaning a vacuum mop can be messy.

Purchase a vacuum mop within your budget

There is a wide variety of vacuum mops available to purchase, either online or in-store, and narrowing down your options can get overwhelming. Luckily, online ratings, reviews, and interviews with janitors give guidance on which cleaning tools are true must-haves. Vacuum mops typically range in price from about $100 to $500. Searching for a budget-friendly option? Highly rated on Amazon, the Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop is on the low end of this range. The product's Amazon list price is just $99.99.

The Black and Decker Vacuum, Wash Duo also has good reviews and was named the best overall vacuum mop of 2024 by Better Homes & Gardens. You can purchase this product from Home Depot for $199.99. If you're looking for a vacuum mop with steam and sanitization features, you might want to consider the BISSELL CrossWave HydroSteam Wet Dry Vac. It is available on Amazon for a list price of $349.99, but you might be able to snag a sale discount. If you are on the fence about whether to add a vacuum mop to your collection of cleaning tools, they can be a seriously smart investment if you have a lot of hard floors. Vacuum mops can cut your cleaning time almost in half compared to using a traditional vacuum and mop separately. However, they aren't versatile or powerful enough to fulfill all vacuuming and mopping needs — so don't go throwing out your Dyson just yet.