You may have been hard-pressed to miss the advertising campaign for the h20 X5 steam mop by Thane. Thane have pushed out some impressive marketing for this mop and, for a while, it appeared to shown in virtually every ad break! The distributor of this mop, Thane, runs some of the UK’s most popular shopping channels and distribute products to a large number of retailers – meaning the X5 steam mop was not going to go unnoticed and currently has a lot of buzz surrounding it. Read our review below to find out if it lives up to the hype.
H20 X5 Steam Mop – Overview
The X5 certainly comes with some accolades and was voted product of the year by the Good Housekeeping institute in 2014. So, let’s begin by taking a brief overview of this mop and what it offers.
Cleaning time is an important consideration when deciding upon a steam mop and Thane have definitely factored this into the X5. Despite holding only 400ml of water this mop can get a very impressive 30 minutes run time between refills and is the longest cleaning time we’ve seen so far.
The cleaning head of the mop is angular in design, appearing almost like a slightly distorted triangle. we’re a fan of this type of design over the more traditional rectangle shape because of it’s maneuverability and ability to clean right up to edges of furniture.
The X5 is very lightweight and weighs only 2kg – making it easily portable. The power cord is only 6m which, in our opinion, is a little short. However, anything over 5m is usually more than adequate for cleaning a single room (in most typical houses) without needing to change sockets.
One nice addition to this unit is the inclusion of a cleaning pin. Over time it is inevitable that some limescale may develop on the steam vents of the machine. This pin is made to clean the vent holes and remove any blockages. Some devices recommend using a paper clip for this, so it’s nice to see an actual tool for the job supplied.
Inside the box:
As you might expect an array of attachments have been included. They are designed to tackle most common cleaning tasks around the home that would usually require scrubbing pads or detergents.
One particular attachment that caught our eye was the duster. Shaped like a rectangle over which a micro-fibre cover can be slipped, at first this seemed a little odd. On reflection we realized this could be very useful for removing dust that from places that do not get cleaned too often and, over time, the dust may have become a little grimy or stuck on. A prime example of this would be the slats on blinds or the top of kitchen cupboards.
The rest of the attachments are more ‘standard’ and are what you might expect with most steam mops such as plastic and brash strand brushes, an extension hose and window/fabric cleaning squeegee and covers.
The mop arrives in four parts and requires some assembly before use. This is easy to do and the parts can be pushed together – requiring no tools. Once connected properly they ‘click’ and lock into place. The mop head attaches to the base of the main body and handle arrives in two parts: the extension handle locks into the main body and curved handle locks into the top of the extension handle.
There is no power switch as such on this device and it begins heating as soon as it is plugged in. On the front top of the body is a switch marked (0/1) this is used to turn off/on the steam. When the switch is depressed (in the lower position) it causes the mop to start emitting a continuous stream of steam and pressing it again will cause the steam to stop. An indicator light (in the switch) will glow red until the mop has heated sufficiently to produce steam – after which it will turn green. This takes around 20-30 seconds and is around the average time taken by most steam mops to heat up.
To us this is not the most convenient way to work with a steam cleaner and we prefer the ‘trigger’ system offered by most mops. Typically with a trigger style approach a switch is located in the handle that will cause the emission of steam only whilst it is depressed. When no pressure is on the switch it will popout – causing the steam to stop. This gives a much greater degree of control over how much steam you use and reduces significantly the risk of getting burnt. It is a shame Thane did not follow this approach.
The mop body also houses the ‘steam regulation’ dial. It has four settings and allows you to control the amount of steam dispensed. Settings 1 and 2 are ‘low’ and ‘medium’ respectively. They are ideal for cleaning hard floors such as vinyl, wood and ceramic. Setting 2 is the ‘high’ setting and can be used to clean soft flooring like carpets and rugs. Finally we reach the 4th setting – hot spray. This is the setting that would typically be selected whilst being used as a hand-held steam cleaner and can be used for cleaning bathrooms, car wheels and kitchens for example. This is a useful feature that goes some way in compensating for the lack of a trigger mechanism on the X5.
How to use the mop
Filling the water tank on this cleaner is the first step to using it and must be done before the unit is plugged in. Rather disappointingly the tank does not detach (as with many other models) and you need to lay the main body flat and fill it through a hole in the top. This does create the problem of refilling the tank whilst using it, because the device needs to be unplugged and laid flat, which could become quite tedious to do – even once.
Thane does supply a measuring jug to help with filling, and there is also a maximum fill level line etched into the side of the tank which is very convenient. The water tank cap employs a turn-and-lock system – this helps prevent spillages or leaks. Turning the cap counter-clockwise unlocks it, allowing it to be removed.
One very nice addition to the tank, however, is a weighted cone which keeps the water extraction tube underneath the water at virtually all angles. This allows the cleaner to be used at most angles without stopping (particularly handy if you’re cleaning hanging clothing or blinds).
The mircofibre cloth supplied is attached to the mop head and can be used for cleaning most hard floors and carpets (to clean carpets the supplied carpet glider must also be fitted – this simply slips onto the mop head). The cleaning cloth is fixed on using Velcro style hooks simply by placing the mop head directly onto the cloth. One thing we noticed is that there is no overlapping part of the cleaning cloth which pokes out of the side of the mop head. Some manufacturers provide this to allow your foot to be placed on the overlapping portion and then lifting the mop upwards to remove the cleaning pad. This reduces the risk of burns by using your feet instead of fingers and would have been a nice addition to this model.
Using it as a hand held steam cleaner:
Rather disappointingly to use the H20 X5 as a hand-held cleaner you need to virtually disassemble the mop by removing both the handle and mop head. The main mop body now forms the steam cleaner. The supplied jet nozzle can then be attached to the base of the main body, this also serves as the adapter to allow the ‘brush’ attachments to connect to the mop.
A flexible hose attachment can also be fitted to the main body. This is a nice addition makes maneuvering the cleaner into tight spaces much easier and helps provide a much greater range of motion. This is particularly useful when cleaning windows or upholstery.
Whilst in this mode the mop can perform most cleaning tasks when using the supplied attachments from cleaning ovens and grills, to descaling taps or even cleaning upholstery – just to name a few.
What we think about the Thane H20 X5 Steam Mop:
The X5 fails to deliver any significant ‘wow’ in our opinion and is priced higher than we believe it should be. It is a good contender, but we feel it is priced more towards the top end models whilst being only an OK mid-range mop itself. At the time of writing this review it is currently priced around the £80 mark and there are typically much better value steam mops available for less than this such as the Vax Steam Mop S7 and we’d recommended taking a look at this or the Morphy Richards Steam Mop 9-in-1 before settling on the H20 X5.