“I own a steam cleaner that I use to clean surfaces at home. Can I use this steam cleaner on my laminate floor as well?”
The answer is NO!
What is a laminate floor made of? A laminate floor is composed of a melamine coat and wood chips compressed together with resin in a process known as lamination. A clear and protective layer is then added on top to look like it’s wooden. It is less costly to set up, and with proper maintenance and care, it’s a durable floor and very effective too.
Can You Use A Steam Cleaner On Laminate Flooring?
The laminated floor is scratch-resistant due to the resin coat, and it’s not easy to stain it. However, to have it long-lasting and effective, you will need to know how to clean it from dust, grime, and dirt. Steam cleaning is not one of the recommended ways of cleaning this floor.
Why you should avoid a steam cleaner on laminate flooring
Steam cleaning compromises the laminate bonding
The intense heat produced by a steam mop weakens the adhesives on the laminate flooring. It breaks down the glue binding the components of the floor. A laminate floor basically looks like wood, but it isn’t. A steam mop produces vapor of up to 212F, which are extremely high temperatures for such a surface to handle. This, in turn, cripples the adhesives joining the sheets together; thus, they start to separate. After the first use on your floor, the effects may not be visible, but after continued use, the floor starts to warp and swell, and now the damage starts to get noticed.
Moisture from a steam cleaner causes rotting and formation of mold.
Due to the pressure from the steam produced by your steam cleaner. It forces moisture into the floor through cracks and gaps on the floor. After a short period, the general picture of the floor starts to fade away, and a dull appearance is now visibly different from the initial appearance after installation. A filthy smell also starts to fill the room as the moisture trapped inside inhibits the growth of molds.
You risk a breach of the warranty
Most of the companies in the installation and manufacture of laminate flooring, in their initial warranty terms and conditions, indicate clearly that they don’t extend their warrant to damages occurring from inappropriate cleaning procedures and damage caused by water. In case of any damage caused by using a steam cleaner mop, then you can only have yourself to blame. There are other methods of cleaning up your laminate flooring that is worth the risk.
Continuous use of a steam cleaner on a laminate floor disintegrates the original shine that appears on the floor when new. The uppermost coat wears out gradually, and you will end up with a very dull floor.
How can I maintain a clean laminate flooring?
Be it sealed or otherwise, there are a few basic things to do to ensure the floor is clean. Keeping the floor dry and without dust and sand is key. In any case where you are not sure about the method to use for cleaning, consult with the manufacturer for the best ways to maintain it clean. Also, follow these guidelines to improve on your experience.
- Do not use steam cleaners or wet mops on a laminate floor; otherwise, you will be spoiling it and causing irreversible damage.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe dry any spillage immediately after it occurs. Never allow any liquid to stay on your floor for long.
- Use acetone to remove paint, oil, and grease on your floor. Use a damp cloth to remove any residue left during cleaning.
- Regularly sweep the floor to eliminate dirt and debris particles that may be on the floor.
- Avoid the use of any liquid detergents that will likely cause warping, swelling, or weaken the lamination adhesives.
Before settling in for the best methods to clean your laminate flooring, it’s good to be aware of the consequences. Some people will advise you differently, especially on the use of a steam cleaner, and it’s up to you to decide on what to follow. Some damages are irreversible, and once they occur, it’s final. Be advised to follow the user’s guide and, most importantly, keep your floor free from dust and dirt.