A steam cleaner can kill 99.99% of bacteria and germs from your floors with the help of heat. The best thing about a steam mop is that it doesn’t use harsh chemicals, so it’s an eco-friendly and natural way of killing 0germs from your home and office floors. A steam mop is an excellent cleaner used to clean multiple surfaces except a few. Vinyl floor is one of those surfaces that are not likely to make for steam mopping.
A steam mop uses water and heat to clean floors, while a luxury vinyl floor can’t withstand heat and moisture. The intense heat of a steam cleaner is harmful to vinyl floors, including vinyl planks and tile. Thus, I do not recommend using a steam cleaner on the vinyl floor.
Also Read: Mop and Glue Ruined My Floors- How to Fix?
Disadvantages of Using Steam Cleaner on Vinyl Floor
Using a steam cleaner instead of harsh chemicals on the floor is undoubtedly an eco-friendly choice. However, this extremely useful cleaner is not made for sealed and vinyl floors. Using a steam cleaner on a vinyl floor may cause irreversible damage.
- Steam in the steam mop is made by boiling water, so when it enters the vinyl planks, it will be at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This much heat from the steam mop is too intense for vinyl floors. It can damage vinyl tiles, sheets, and planks and reduces their shine.
- A steam mop can melt the glue of glue-down vinyl floor because of its intense heat. As a result of melting glue, the vinyl floor may lose its connection with the subfloor.
- Steam mop forces steam into the gaps and cracks and cause swelling and warping. It also causes delamination and joint-line separation.
- Steam mop heat can also cause discoloration of the vinyl floor, and the vinyl itself can melt down.
If you steam mop your vinyl floor, your warranty will also void.
Also Read: can you use acetone on vinyl floor?
What Mops to Use on Vinyl Floor?
Choosing the best mop for a vinyl floor depends on how dirty your floor is. If your floor is much dirtier, you should use a mop with a larger surface area. A string mop is the best choice for this purpose. Every string of the string mop absorbs more water and dirt with each swipe. To use a string mop, you must be patient as you need to dump a dirty water bucket every time your string mop gets dirty and fill your bucket with fresh water. Ensure you are just damping your mop head as you do not have to over-wet it.
If your floor isn’t much dirty or messy, you can opt for a microfiber mop. For regular vinyl floor cleaning, microfiber cleaning pads are a good option. For vinyl floors, you should be careful with the moisture your mop has. Over-wetting the mop will cause severe damage to your vinyl floor. Besides this, you must dry your vinyl floor immediately after mopping to eliminate moisture from the floor.
If You Must Use Steam Mop on Vinyl Floor
Although steam mopping isn’t recommended for vinyl floors, you should follow the right protocol if you must use a steam mop on a vinyl floor. If you do not carefully steam mop your vinyl floor, you may end up damaging it. Please follow the steps below to use a steam mop on a vinyl floor.
- Before mopping, sweep or vacuum your vinyl floor to remove debris and dirt particles. These small particles may cause scratches on the floor when you use a mop over them.
- It will help if you have enough mopping pads so that you can change them frequently when needed or in the case when your floor is much dirtier.
- Fill the water reservoir of the steam mop and attach a mopping pad at the base.
- Plug in your steam mop and preheat it for 30 seconds. Make sure you choose a low heat setting instead of moderate or high heat.
- Start mopping your vinyl floor with constant back and forth movement. Avoid too much heat exposure at one spot as it can damage the vinyl planks.
- Steam your entire vinyl floor with a light steam setting, and never opt for scrubbing mode for the vinyl floor. Scrub mode will damage vinyl sheets.
Things to Avoid While Using Steam Mop on Vinyl Floor
- Steam mopping the floor on high heat settings.
- Placing steam mop on a specific spot for a longer period.
- Steaming the recently waxed vinyl floors.
- Using the dirty mop pad.
- Using any cleaner in water reservoir instead of water.
Steam mopping is the safest and eco-friendly cleaning method for floors but isn’t suitable for vinyl and sealed floors. The intense heat of a steam mop damages the vinyl floor and causes its swelling and warping. You may use a microfiber mop or a string mop instead of a steam mop.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is shark steam mop safe for vinyl floors?
The shark steam mop has three steam settings: high, medium, and low. You can safely use a shark steam mop with low settings on the vinyl floor. High or medium steam settings aren’t suitable for vinyl and other laminate floors.
2. What floors cannot be steam cleaned?
You must avoid using a steam mop on porous surfaces. Sealed on unsealed floors that have gaps or cracks aren’t suitable for steam mopping. You should avoid steam cleaning wooden or laminate flooring, including vinyl tiles and vinyl planks.
3. What is the best cleaner for vinyl floors?
Natural homemade cleaners are best for vinyl floors, especially for spot treatment. You can take one cup of apple cider vinegar into a gallon of warm water for cleaning vinyl floors. Moist or damp your mop with this solution and scrub the vinyl floor with it. Do not over-wet your mop with any cleaning solution because a lot of moisture can damage vinyl flooring.