Black & Decker Steam-Mop with SmartSelect Technology

If you have problems bending or kneeling, or if you don't like having to deal with harsh cleaning chemicals, then you'll appreciate the Steam Mop

Black & Decker Steam-Mop with SmartSelect Technology

Black & Decker Steam-Mop with SmartSelect Technology

No one really likes to clean floors, though everyone certainly likes clean floors. It's all that bending, scrubbing, and rinsing. With the Black & Decker Steam-Mop with SmartSelect Technology (SM1620) cleaning sealed hardwood, laminate, vinyl, tile, stone or marble floors is a heck of a lot quicker, and less onerous. As the name implies, the SM1620 uses steam to clean, rather than hot water and household cleansers. In order for steam cleaning to be effective it has to be hot, very hot.

The SM1620 produces steam at 374°F (190°C), which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is hot enough to kill a wide range of germs, including e-coli, listeria, and salmonella. The steam then cools as it exits the mop and disperses in the pad. Even if the steam looses 100 degrees or so, it's still hot enough to scour away most dirt and grime.

The SM1620 comes unassembled, but only takes a few seconds to put together
It comes with a resting mat, 3 pads, and measuring cup

The cleaning pad can be washed up to 100 times
The SM1620 comes disassembled, but only takes about 20 seconds to assemble - everything just clicks together, no tools are required. The whole unit is very light - just under 4 pounds.

It also comes with three reusable (washable) microfiber pads, a resting mat - on which you place the mop while it cools down - and a measuring cup to add water to the mop. The cup can be stored on the handle of the mop.

The SM1610 doesn't use any chemicals or cleansers - just ordinary tap water. The steam comes out of a small nozzle on the base of the mop and is channeled onto the reusable pad that is attached to the base via a hook and loop type system. There is a small tab on the pad that you can press on with the toe of your shoe to easily.

Smart Select dial makes it easy to choose the right setting
Convenient storage for the 25 foot power cord
The Smart Select dial makes it foolproof to select the right steam setting for the type of floor you're cleaning. There are three settings -  Stone/Marble, Wood/Laminate and Tile/Vinyl. Just turn the dial to the right setting, and then press the on/off button, located just above the Smart Select dial.
The SM1620 comes with a long, 25-foot power cord that can be stored on the handle. You'd have to have a pretty large floor to need a longer cord.

Filling the tank is easy with the spouted measuring cut
Fill line is impossible to see
The supplied measuring cup has a spout that makes filling the mops reservoir pretty easy. However, the fill line on the cut is virtually impossible to see. Still, once you know where the line is you can guestimate the amount of water for subsequent refills. Once you finish cleaning the floor Black & Decker recommend emptying the reservoir of any remaining water. Fortunately, the SM1620 is ridiculously light - just uncap, lift and pour.

A blue light says go
The SM1620 is highly maneuverable
The Steam Mop heats up incredibly fast - in about 10 seconds. A blue light lets you know when the mop is ready to go. Once you move the handle backwards, the steam is released from the mop -  in the upright position, steam release is turned off.
The SM1620 is not only light, it's highly maneuverable, making it very easy to work into corners, and under appliances.
When you use a mop or brush and pail of hot water to clean your floors, you can easily see when the mop water becomes dirty - it's then off to the sink for a pail of clean hot water. With the Steam Mop you need to occasionally turn the mop over to have a look at the pad. I found that I could mop an 18 by 24-foot vinyl floor with a single pad. The Steam Mop comes with 3 pads, so you can easily and quickly switch to a clean pad if needed.

There are two issues with the Steam Mop - its ability to clean floors, and its ability to kill germs. After using the Steam Mop over a four week period, I'm very pleased with quality of the cleaning - and so is my wife. I found it best to sweep the floor before using the mop - it keeps the microfiber pad from picking up all the loose hair and dust balls.
I can't speak to it's ability to kill bacteria. Black & Decker claim that it kills 99.9% of germs, though they don't specify what type of germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that steam at  374°F (190°C) kills many of the harmful bacteria (and probably some good ones as well). Still, I like the idea of not using harsh chemicals in the house.
Overall, the Steam Mop did an effective job of cleaning the floor. If you have problems bending or kneeling, or if you don't like having to deal with harsh cleaning chemicals, then you'll appreciate the Steam Mop - it's light, easy to manoeuver, and you can operate it in an upright position.


  • 1500 watts
  • Uses regular tap water
  • SmartSelect dial for selecting floor type
  • 15 seconds to heat up
  • 17 oz tank size gives 25 minutes of cleaning
  • 25' power cord
  • 3.8 lbs weight
  • 2 year warranty
  • Includes: 3 washable microfiber pads, resting mat, measuring cup, instructions

RETAIL PRICE:$89.99 (SM1620)
$19.99 (SPM20)
MODEL #:SM1620 (Steam-Mop)
SPM20 (2 pad pack)

Carl Duguay
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