As a long time employee of a Glendale based cleaning company, it pleases me beyond words when I have the opportunity to evaluate a cleaning product that lives up to its claims.  For the most part, the under-$100 HAAN FS-20 Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer is a remarkable house cleaning product, a real game-changer for every consumer with compatible bare floors to clean.

Here are some observations & quick tips toward product satisfaction:

• Use distilled water if your tap delivers very hard water or get yourself a Fleck 5600SXT water softener.

• This is a sanitizer and cleaner and NOT a vacuum.

• Steam cleans without chemicals

• It is NOT a carpet or fabric cleaner.

• Sweep, wipe-up or vacuum loose debris from floors and other surfaces before use (It’s not a vacuum, right?).

• This product is designed for cleaning ONLY sealed hardwood & laminates, linoleum, ceramic tile and other hard surfaces.

• It is NOT to be used on unsealed wood or waxed surfaces, so read the directions thoroughly before use and call the company before purchase with any question as to suitability for a purpose you have in mind.

• Change the pad for a dry one when the one in use becomes dirty or water-saturated leaving a wet wake during operation.

• Machine wash on gentle cycle with only laundry detergent and machine dry the pads without dryer sheets.

• Some areas may require pre-cleaning or after-cleaning attention to remove dirt and gunk beyond the device’s design capability.

• Keep it in motion while on a surface and do not leave it in the same place for more than a few (less than 15) seconds.  If ON and at rest, place it on its supplied resting pad.

• When finished, unscrew and remove the reservoir cap and dump out as much water as possible before storing the unit (This is in the instructions).

• I live in southern Cal, so I have no idea of any operational considerations necessitated by those who live in very cold and wet climes or in very hot or humid and otherwise nasty weather areas of the country.

• All floor steamer products bear, at the least, the same caveats and limitations as listed here.

• Uses only 800 watts of electricity

• Carries a one-year manufacturer’s warranty

• Operates for 20 minutes per eight-ounce fill of plain water

 

Who knew I even needed one of these?  I had never thought of having such a product.  I’ve been a traditionalist when it comes to floor care – bare floors have received the mop-and-bucket treatment.  Occasionally, the surfaces require extra care, such as when an area is extra dirty or when there is a spill.  Sure, the old way is not the most sanitary, and that is the point here.  Any deviation from the traditional method of using a mop-and-bucket would mean extra work – rinsing the dirty mop in the sink before dunking it back in the bucket of cleaner-laden water.

Since using the lightweight HAAN, I will never look at that job the same nor do I plan to go back to the old ways.  Sure, I’ll keep the mop around, but only for emergencies, when there is a big spill.  With the under four-pound HAAN, we can clean our tile entry and the other bare floor surfaces without the mess, without the chemicals and buckets.  We will do it in less time, with less effort!

 

Using the HAAN the first time was revelatory.  It unpacks and assembles with ease.  Just as important, it also disassembles easily!  Directions are simple (see them HERE as a PDF).  The handle telescopes to any person’s height. It’s just so smartly designed!  One good example is the cord’s path out of the unit.  It comes from the back of the steam head and can be fed through clips up the handle and through a relief clip at the top of the handle, just below the grip, so it is up and out of the way during use.   When finished, the cord neatly wraps around tabs on the bottom of the handle and at the top, again, just below the ergonomic grip.

I used the supplied eight-ounce cup to fill the device with plain tap water (which is not particularly hard where we live).  I applied one of the two supplied ultra-microfiber pads to the bottom of the HAAN, adhering it with Velcro-like sticking power.  Next, I placed the HAAN on its protective floor pad (an important part of its operation, for this is where it sits when on and not in motion on a surface to be sanitized.

I moved everything but the fridge for nearly total access to the kitchen floor’s surface.

Plugged in and switched on with the green foot-operated power button, I waited just a couple of minutes until I heard the sound of percolating water and saw just a bit of steam emanating from the unit. There’s a light to indicate when it’s on and another to show when there is no more water in the water tank.  You’ll also know the water is depleted because of the absence of steam and the absence of the characteristic sound of the steam as it is released through the jets.  Well, duh!

During the warm-up, I vacuumed loose debris from the kitchen floor with our Hoover Platinum Collection Stick Vac (the best and only Mr. Gadget® recommended product of its kind!).  Then, it was do-or-die time.  I moved the HAAN along slowly, letting the steam do what steam does.  The steam comes out at more than 212 degrees slowly and systematically introduced from 15 jets through the attached ultra-microfiber pad, which is what scrubs the floor.  The steam cleans and sanitizes the floor.  I watched as darker areas of walked-in dirt and marks disappeared before my eyes.  As I walked with my sneakers on the cleaned areas they were noticeably squeaky clean and shiny, and the floor looked immaculately clean.  And I know that steam can kill germs and bacteria, too.  According to the company, the steam should also kill such nasties as e.coli viruses and salmonella bacterium in less than one second.  Germ eradication is not a primary objective with this product, in my opinion.  I also noticed that the floor was dry in just a few seconds after it was passed over with the steam from the HAAN.

I’d describe the speed of use as slow motion. I pushed and pulled in a motion similar to using a vacuum cleaner, only much slower.  I went over the floor in one direction, then I did the same at a 90-degree angle from the first pass, you know, up and back, then across, covering the area from the other angle.  The time it took to clean the kitchen floor was less than the time devoted to wet-mopping The result was more satisfying and the floor appeared and felt cleaner.

One full fill from the eight-ounce cup yields about 20 minutes of steam. Need more steam?  Just add water, without waiting for cool-down!

HOWEVER, as the HAAN is in use, the more it is used repeatedly, consecutively with the same pad, the more water from the condensed steam that it absorbs.  In addition, the dirtier the floor, the more dirt there will be on the pad. So, it is possible that the pad can become so dirty and saturated that it will be difficult to use the device and leave a clean and quick-to-dry path in its wake.  For those consumers with a great deal of surface area to clean and sanitize, remember to put on a dry pad as needed.  This may require that the customer purchase more pads than the two supplied with the unit.  I do not see this as a negative, but I do see this as a source of customer misunderstanding leading to dissatisfaction.  So, avoid it by putting on a dry pad!

After the kitchen, I checked the pad.  Not too terribly dirty.  All this means is that the floor was not very dirty. I can see that this appliance works best when the surface is not filthy at the start.  That is, if the floor is a dirty, sticky mess, you’ll want to attach a clean pad more often, as detailed above.  I can also tell you that it is easy enough to use so that as you see the floor beginning to become dirty, this is a no-mess way to clean it.  I am sure you hate to get out the mop and bucket and this is why you may wait to clean with it until the floors are really in need of attention.  Because the HAAN is so easy and convenient to use, I think you will feel comfortable using it daily if necessary because there is no mess and there are no chemicals.  All that is needed is the HAAN, an ultra-microfiber pad or two or more and the stationary resting pad that the HAAN sits on while it’s on and not cleaning a surface, that is, at rest.

Next up, I cleaned the tile entry way to Gadget Central in similar fashion.  Though it did not clean the wide grouted areas as I would have wished, I can see that once we scrub the grout, with regular use, the HAAN’s steam should help keep the grout cleaner, longer.

When the entry way was clean, I moved on to the laundry room floor and bathroom floors throughout with similar results. It’s fun to use this gadget!

The underside of the HAAN FS-20 Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer

HAAN also make available an optional $20 cleansing and sanitizing tray, useful for sanitizing (killing germs, bacteria and dust mites) on carpets, fabric, such as couches and chairs, as well as bedding. This attachment is used without the pad.  While I cannot verify that “bugs” were present and killed, I can say that the steam should have done the job on the carpeted areas I tried and on the couch cushion I tested.  Remember, this is NOT a carpet or bedding cleaner. On those surfaces it is a sanitizer.

Allow me to digress and to rant for a moment, please!  I know it is popular today to talk about killing germs and dust mites and other scary little creatures, but sometimes I think we are all just a bit obsessed with cleaning.  For my part, I am thrilled with the perceived ability of my Dyson vacuum to pick up these little things on the carpeting.  I am not the least bit concerned with normal household germs on the floors.  It’s a floor!  It’s going to be dirty and to have whatever is tracked in living on it until it’s cleaned. DON’T eat off your floor and certainly do not lick the floors or other surfaces.  They’re dirty.  Get over it.  Besides, a little bit of dirt never hurt anyone. As my own children did and I did before them, you and your kids likely put EVERYTHING in your mouths when you were young and innocent.  That you are reading this today is testament that you survived the ordeal.  In fact, there is something to be said for being too clean and that we all should be exposed to more environmental dirt for our own wellbeing.  That we live with antibacterial gels and lotions and so many antibacterial products has been said to not be good for us. It’s almost a national phobia and it’s just plain crazy.  Wash your hands more during flu season. Wash your hands before eating or preparing food and after using the rest room. These are my rules. So, for my part, I care only that steam is a great cleaner.  Period!

 Sanitizing tray

I even tried it on the kitchen counters, with the pad, of course (sure, it’s a bit odd and awkward to use it on those high areas, but it works!), and on bathroom countertops.  I could see the good job it did on the kitchen counters.

The HAAN product is different from competitors in meaningful and important ways.  This product’s design allows the head to pivot so it can remain flat on the floor while you push and pull it, in similar fashion to operating a vacuum.  Not all floor steamers pivot.  Some swivel to fit more easily in tight spots, but I did not find the design in any way a disadvantage. The ultra-microfiber pads on the HAAN have a larger surface area than competitors, which translates into more cleaning power.  Competitors do not have as many steam jets as the HAAN, so the HAAN, at least in theory, should do a better, faster cleaning job.  The pads on the HAAN are ultra-microfiber, whereas the competitors’ pads seem to be of lesser quality and capability.  I cannot say that they will be longer lasting than competitors’ pads.  Steam is emitted continuously from the HAAN directly through the bottom surface aimed at the area to be cleaned.  Some competitive models release steam only with the pull of a trigger-like mechanism.  HAAN’s design appears more efficient in my view.

The HAAN FS-20 Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer has made us all very happy.  This is our new and permanent appliance for general floor care and maintenance.  It will save money and lots of time.  As with any appliance, one must consider where it will live when not in use. Here, I added it to the brooms and other things hanging on walls in the garage. Now, it’s easily accessible.  The 20-foot cord wraps and stores easily and is long enough for ease-of-use in any area here at Gadget Central.

The pads are machine washable and come out perfectly clean.  The unique design acts to scrub the surfaces upon which it is used while allowing the steam through for cleaning and sanitizing.  I have no idea how long they will last, but there is no discernable wear in the few uses to which we have put them.  They come out of the washer and dryer looking like new! Remember to use no fabric softeners when washing the pads. The machine itself uses only 800 watts of electricity, so it is not an energy hog.

 

We’ve used this gadget for three weeks and integrated its use in our housecleaning routine.  After our experience, I am proud to recommend it to you.  Like no other product at its price, it not only does the job very well, it represents long-lasting value and an opportunity to do a better job, easier than the way you now do it.

You will find this and other HAAN products and accessories at Amazon.com, conveniently linked HERE. This product is covered by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.  Get one for your home and get one as a gift to spread the joy.

More information is at www.haanusa.com or call (877) 422-6347 (HAAN DIRECT).  HERE is a link to a PDF of the product info and specifications sheet.

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