Correct use of a Bissell steam mop varies according to model, but it typically involves filling a water tank with clean tap water and then pressing the spray button to force the heated water or steam out onto the floor. Some Bissell steam mops use pads to wipe the floor, while others use suction to remove the excess moisture. Pads require cleaning after use, while suction models have recovery tanks to hold the dirty water for disposal.
Steam mops have an advantage over traditional mops and buckets in that they are easier to use and keep both the cleaning water and dirty water well contained for easy disposal. However, they work best as a maintenance cleaning tool rather than a tool for cleaning heavily soiled floors. Additionally, a quick vacuuming or sweeping of the floor prior to use of the steam mop allows a more thorough cleaning by removing excess dirt that might become muddy after exposure to steam.
Steam mop pads require frequent changes during mopping in order to remove dirt properly rather than smear it across the floor. Not all floors are able to safely withstand steam cleaning, especially unsealed floors. Always test a small section of the floor for its reaction to steaming prior to using the steam mop on the rest of the floor.