TORONTO— Reliable Corporation has advanced its Steamboy floor cleaner line with a new product, the Pro T3, developed to be more effective in all product applications.
With the Pro T3, Reliable continues to build on experience the company has in both consumer and commercial products that use steam as the critical cleaning mechanism, said Robert Kahn, Reliable’s president and CEO.
In creating the new Steamboy, Kahn noted, the responsible team at the company “wanted to develop the next generation of product and wanted to include a scrubbing function. The scrubbing device separates the product from other players in the market. You have high-temperature vapor steam and scrubbing. You have a product that can clean tile and grout and act as a carpet sanitizer as well.”
Prior to the Pro T3 launch, Reliable carried the T1 and T2 Steamboy. “We were one of the first companies to enter the steam mop segment,” Kahn pointed out.
While the T1 offered steam cleaning and the T2 provided a bristle sweeper, the T3 incorporates a scrub brush that can thoroughly clean a range of hardwood floors including tile and the accompanying grout, Kahn said.
Mops have become a growing part of Reliable’s steam portfolio, one that also includes canister products, which builds on knowledge that the company has gleaned both through consumer and commercial operations, he said. The company recognized that hard floor cleaning products have a double challenge. The main consideration is to ensure the products get surfaces as clean as possible, which lead to the incorporation of a scrubbing function in the Steamboy line. The second, applicable with popular tile floors, is grout.
“A major reason we’re successful in the commercial category with steam is grout,” Kahn said. “What cleans grout? Steam. Nothing on the planet cleans grout better than steam.”
That being said, Reliable developed the T3 to function as a flexible, broadly useful cleaning system. The product comes with a foot release so consumers can use it as a pure floor steamer, Kahn pointed out. Users select a Glide function to freshen carpet and area rug surfaces with the T3. Although Reliable developed a more rectangular head for the T2, the T3 design is a throwback to the original triangular head launched with the Steamboy T1. The triangular head is important to the T3’s purpose, Kahn related. While it developed the T2 brush to take care of dust and minor spills, Reliable wanted the T3’s scrubber to provide a more intensive cleaning capability.
“The T1 had a triangular steamer, and we firmly believe that’s the best technology for areas such as corners, particularly with the flexible head,” Kahn said. All three Steamboy products have a cleaning head that swivels on a 180-degree arc.
Product specifications for the T3 include a 1,500-watt heating element, an 11-inch cleaning path on the swivel head, a 2.4-cup water capacity and 30 minutes of continuous steam. An ergonomically
complements a 21-foot electrical cord with wrap around feature
to make use easier, and the product comes with two microfiber cloth pads and a replaceable water filter.
Among the key product advantages that Reliable wants to promote, said Kahn, the T3 can clean thoroughly without the use of any chemicals. In fact, the chemical-free factor has been important to Reliable’s steam mop program since its inception.
“It’s hugely important to us,” he said. “Our number one message is that the product is chemical free. We’ve been consistent in the company not to include chemical solutions. There is a wave of alternative approaches using traditional cleaning chemicals, but the whole point of who we are with our product is that it’s 100% H2O cleaning. Being in the commercial steam cleaning business, we know that’s what people want. If you can use 100% steam, why would you use something else? We’re interested in solving problems, not being the flavor of the moment. We sell our commercial products into hospitals, to people with compromised immune systems, to places where you can’t sell in unless the product kills germs. If you want to clean and make a surface look good, our point is nothing does it faster, better and more economically than steam.”
Kahn acknowledged that a steam mop isn’t an ideal cleaning product for every consumer. Someone with a 3,000 square foot fully carpeted home probably isn’t best served with a steam mop as a main cleaning tool. He pointed out, however, that for homes with considerable bare floors without or in combination with area rugs, steam can be ideal and not only best for hard surfaces. Kahn asserted that cleaning small carpets and area rugs with the kind of “dry” steam that the T3 has not only gets out dirt but also sanitizes without leaving chemical traces that can, themselves, attract dirt.
“For small carpets and area rugs in smaller rooms, a good vacuum and sanitizing with steam is fantastic. Dry steam isn’t going to affect the glue. Certainly, for people with pets or small children, it’s great. Vacuuming is important, but having a steam mop is important, too. Not many fungi or bacterial survive steam at that temperature,” said Kahn.
Reliable debuted a prototype of the product at the International Home + Housewares Show, then incorporated ideas and suggestions made by potential buyers into the final product, one that is shipping this month. The T3 sports a new look for Reliable products that uses a “sophisticated color palette we’ve developed,” Kahn said, one that “is a reflection of the product quality.” Suggested retail price is $109.
The company is backing the T3 product launch with public relations initiatives and has readied video of the product in action. “The grout cleaning brush is a very demonstrable feature,” Kahn said.
Reliable is exploring traditional media advertising with home lifestyle print magazines and plans digital initiatives, a spokesperson related, with digital slated as the main advertising vehicle. The company has performed SEO optimization and plans direct and e-mail initiatives in November. It also is working with bloggers who will test and review the product, and report to the consumers following them.