A steam mop gives you a clean floor using hot water steam. It kills 99.9% of bacteria and dirt mites, making it more suitable for allergic people than a regular mop. It is versatile, easy to use, and gives a shiny floor. Although a steam mop is an excellent choice for floor cleaning, you cannot use it on all floors. It is safe to use over marble, porcelain and ceramic tiles, concrete floors, and grout lines. In comparison, a steam mop is unsuitable for engineered hardwood floors, solid hardwood floors, vinyl and linoleum floors, painted surfaces, and laminate floors.
This guide covers the cleaning process of a steam mop, suitable surfaces for a steam mop, unsuitable surfaces for a steam mop, and precautions while using a steam mop on your flooring.
How Does a Steam Mop Work?
A steam mop works by heating the water in its reservoir up to 245 degrees Fahrenheit. Such a high temperature creates a pressure of steam, which sends it down the jet to soak up the microfiber mop pad. When it comes in contact with the floor, this heated microfiber mop pad cleans the dirt and bacteria.
Unlike traditional mops, steam mops have pressure and temperature regulators to protect your floor. These regulators are beneficial when you are dealing with a sensitive area. The high pressure of steam also kills bacteria and dirt mites without any cleaning agent.
What Floors to Use a Steam Mop On?
A steam mop is unsuitable for unsealed and broken floors because water will seep down into the floor and cause irreversible damage. The floor surfaces you can clean with a steam mop are described below.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Indeed! You can use a steam mop on your ceramic and porcelain tile floors. The mop will clean the tile surfaces and the grout, leaving a streak-free surface that is at the same time sanitized. These tiles are implanted into a mortar and concrete board surface; broke tiles can be securely cleaned without damaging the floor.
High-intensity steam cleaners might make harm permeable marble floors; however, steam wiping is as yet an obviously successful approach to eliminating dirt from marble. Keep your steam mop damped, and avoid using commercial strength floor cleaners to clean your floor with a steam mop safely.
Concrete Floors and Tiles
Porous surfaces like concrete are great for steam cleaning, as steam can easily remove dirt accumulations and build-up. Depending on how the floor is fixed (polyurethane versus wax, for instance), you ought to check with the product manufacturer before utilizing steam cleaning apparatuses.
Steam designated at grout lines between tiles won’t cause harm. Try it out, and look how simple it will be to release dust, grease, and stains.
Floors to Avoid Using Steam Mop On
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwoods are sturdy floors that are reinforced utilizing glues so that the steam cleaning can affect the functioning of those adhesives. Moisture can leak between the layers, damaging the bond and damaging the floors. Try not to utilize steam mops on engineered hardwood floors.
Solid Hardwood Floors
Solid hardwood floors can endure the moisture and heat from a steam mop, and they clean actually pleasantly with a sans streak finish. It is in your best interest if you do not utilize a steam mop on unsealed hardwoods, as they’re more vulnerable and readily damaged by extra dampness.
Try not to use a steam mop on laminate floors. Steam mops make an excess of dampness for these floors, which are frequently manufactured with a compressed fiberboard layer. The steam can cause warping and swelling of the laminate floors.
Cleaning over a painted surface is hazardous, regardless of whether the paint layer is sealed. The heat from the steam cleaner can cause swelling and bubbles underneath the paint, which will cause peeling of the layer. It’s best to avoid steam mopping on all painted surfaces, either sealed or unsealed.
If you use a steam mop on a surface that is bonded by adhesives is a severe mistake. Heat and moisture from the steam mop will cause peeling and erosion of the laminate floors. Persistent steam exposure will loosen the adhesive strength, and the tiles’ corners will move upward, causing damage to your flooring.
Precautions and Tips for Steam Mopping
Follow these precautions and tips to maximize the efficiency of steam mopping.
Don’t Idle Your Steam Mop
Don’t let your steam mop stay in one place. You have to keep it moving. Keeping it idle can damage the floor and your mop pad. Besides this, swipe the steam mop on the floor in smaller strokes for better cleaning. Keep a slow pace!
Don’t Use It on Walls
A steam mop on the wall can peel off the paint and damage your drywall. Avoid using it on walls.
Wash the Dirty Mop Pads
Always wash your dirty mop pads immediately after cleaning. Moisture can grow mold on your mop pad if you let it stay. While washing the microfiber mop pads, avoid fabric conditioner. Use only water and detergent. Let it air dry to maintain the quality of cleaning.
Keep a Stock of Microfiber Mop Pads
Your microfiber mop pad will get dirty much faster in steam mopping. A dirty mop pad will only move the dirt around instead of cleaning it. Make a habit of keeping a stock of clean microfibers mop pads. This trick will speed up the process of steam mopping.
Using a steam mop on a floor without the proper knowledge could be dangerous for your flooring. Please avoid using chemical cleaners with steam mopping as a steam mop works efficiently with water. You must not use a steam mop on sensitive, unsealed, and laminate floors; otherwise, it will ruin your flooring.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to get maximum cleaning?
You can maximize cleaning with a brush or a vacuum before steam mopping. This ensures better cleaning and will save you from a mess.
2. Why do you have a sticky floor after using a steam mop?
A sticky floor after steam mopping is because of a product residue or a dirty mop pad. Always start with a clean mop pad and a clean floor.
3. Can you use a cleaning agent with a steam mop?
No, you cannot use a cleaning agent with a steam mop, as it can damage the steamer. Use only water. With that, you should always check the product manual before using anything with your steam mop.