Can You Use a Steam Mop on Hardwood Floors?

Are you taking care of your hardwood floors correctly? Believe it or not, there are many methods of cleaning and household cleaners that are actually harmful to your floors. Using a steam mop is a great way to achieve a deep clean, but is it actually safe for your hardwood?

What is a Steam Mop Used For?

Steam mops are just as easy to use as regular mops. The difference between the two is that steam mops boil water around 245 degrees Fahrenheit. The heated water releases a hot water vapor that is transferred to the head of the mop as you clean along the floor in a similar motion to a regular mop. 

In most cases, steam mops are used for thorough sanitation purposes. They are a great option for healthcare practices and hospitals, but are also a popular choice in family homes as well.  

Steam Mop Benefits

If you are thinking about using a steam mop instead of a regular mop, here are a few benefits you’ll get by upgrading. Steam mops are great for spaces where there is tough dirt or mold. Although owning a steam mop requires some prep work before you use it, there is less scrubbing effort required compared to regular mops. The vapor that steam mops use allows grime to loosen as you clean your surfaces. Their quick drying time tackles mold and decreases your chances of it returning as well. Depending on what you need, steam mops can come with different settings which enables you to choose the intensity of your cleaning. 

Keeping your home germ free can be difficult. Steam cleaners are a great way to clean your home especially if you have little children and pets. It is a safe disinfecting method that kills germs without the use of toxic chemicals. By cleaning an area on your floors for 5 seconds, steam mops have the ability to kill harmful pathogens and help those who suffer from allergies. 

Increasing the Longevity of Your Floor

Taking care of your hardwood floors will increase their lifespan. To achieve clean floors, reduce the dirt you track in right as you walk through the door. The grit on your shoes is one way to ruin the beautiful finish on your hardwood floors. Place mats by doors that lead to the outside and begin the habit of wiping your shoes before entering your home. 

 Shoes that can dent floors can be harmful as well and should be taken off to prevent denting as you walk around. Scratches and scuffs can occur by wearing certain types of shoes like heels or cleats, but there are other precautions you should take as well. Clip your pets nails so they don’t scratch the surface and always make sure to put pads on the legs of your furniture. These are simple prevention tactics that can increase the longevity of your floor’s finish. 

As far as cleaning and upkeep goes, vacuum your floors regularly and mop with a microfiber pad. If there happens to be a spill, quickly wipe it up and don’t let it sit because it will damage the finish and warp the wooden boards. When cleaning avoid using ammonia, vinegar, wax, polish, or oil soaps. These slowly remove the top coat of a finish. It is always a good idea to renew the finish from time to time as well to keep the natural wood protected from wear and tear.

Hardwood Flooring vs Laminate Flooring

The finish and texture is very important when it comes down to whether or not a steam mop is safe for these surfaces. Sealed hardwood floors and laminate flooring are completely different. Sealed hardwood floors have protective coating unlike laminate floors. Whenever you see hardwood flooring that does not have a glossy finish this indicates there is no protective seal.  

Is Steam Cleaning Hardwood Floors Safe?

From sealed, unsealed, or painted, it is important to know what type of wood flooring you are working with. Steam mopping can be a great option for title flooring and be completely safe, but we do not recommend you use a steam mop on your hardwood. No matter the type of hardwood flooring you have in your home, it should not undergo a steam cleaning because it can be easily damaged by excessive moisture and the wood may warp. The same goes for laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is manufactured with compressed fiber/particleboard layers and the moisture steam mops create will cause swelling and warping of the surface too. 

Painted hardwood floors have become trendy overtime. Using a steam mop on paint can be risky though. Although paint can act as a sealed coat, the steam’s heat can cause bubbles under the paint. These bubbles will cause paint to peel so avoid mopping on these surfaces. 

Our Services

Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular flooring options at Holmes Carpeting and Flooring. It compliments any home décor style and its polished surface is sure to grab your attention. To ensure you have beautiful flooring, be sure to keep in mind our tips on upkeep, cleaning, and damage prevention. We offer only the best hardwood flooring types and styles. Our hardwood floors are built to last, especially when you take advantage of our expert hardwood floor installation in Birmingham, AL. Make an appointment to visit our showroom, talk to our installation specialists, and view our wide range of hardwood floor materials and options for your home.