Can You Use a Steam Mop on Hardwood Floors?

To add more personalization and touch on our house we often settle on Hardwood floors, which is both nice and classy. However, can you use a steam mop on hardwood floors?

For better cleaning sweeping or vacuum is not enough, a steam mop is the best. Vapor can reach into crack, crevices and kills the germs and bacteria. It also completely clean the dust or mud marks. The moisture in the mop also helps to clean any type of stains.

However, hardwood is an absorbent material. It can absorb water from the vapor. Water is the natural enemy of the wood, it can cause the wood to warp, twist or even to grow mold on it.
The amount of absorption of vapor is more than normal water or any liquid. The hard wax-oiled floor might damage the excessive use of heat and vapor. The top polished urethane layer, which protects the wood, can be scrubbed by vapor and moping. Then the wood will be more open to the water.

Therefore, it is a big no-no to use a steam mop on an unsealed hardwood floor. It might also void your warranty. However, some of the major manufacture claims that their product is good enough to clean the Hardwood floor, as their cleaning machine has a function, which wipes the excess moisture.

It can also control the amount of vapor flow. However, most of them note that the floor or surface must be sealed or protected properly. The reality is that they might claim that it is okay to use on sealed wood, tiles, and vinyl. Vinyl and tiles might be perfect for steam mopping but sealed wood might have crevices through which water might slip in.

Can You Use a Steam Mop on Hardwood Floors?


Can You Use a Steam Mop on Hardwood Floors
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Steam mop on Hardwood floors

Even though Hardwood might be sealed with hard wax but the excess use of heat from vapor and high pressure will decline the sealing. Floor cleaner, dish soap, bleach, or vinegar will dull the hardwood’s finish. The wax also leaves residue over the repeating heat and pressure, which will cause to attract more dirt and dust.

Steam mop on engineered hardwood floors

Trendy engineered hardwood floors constructed with adhesives to keep parts into one place. Nevertheless, the hot vapor from steam cleaning can affect the quality of these floors. Adhesives become weak due to hot vapor and moisture. Therefore, it advised not to use a steam mop on the engineered hardwood.

Steam mop on solid hardwood floors

Solid hardwood floor is more suitable for steam mop because it can withstand the heat from steam mop. So can you use a steam mop on hardwood floors? Yes, If the surface sealed properly then it can also withstand the moisture.

Steam mop on laminate flooring

In laminate flooring, the top layer of the floor is laminated with a layer on the image layer. If the top layers get more heat, it began to warp or distort. Thus Steam mop ruins hardwood floors.

Some companies might claim that their cleaner is suitable for hardwood flooring but that is not what professionals say. Most of the major hardwood providers do not suggest using a steam mop on the hardwood floor professionally. In some individuals using testing, it has proved that most of the models left residual moisture more and less which is still bad for your hardwood floor.

Things to consider before using a steam mop on the hardwood

There are also some other things to consider before using a steam mop on the hardwood. Even if the hardwood is sealed but if there is, any joint and the seams between planks can be vulnerable to moisture.

Check your floor if it is sealed or not?

Before using the steam mop one must check if their floor is sealed or not. There are different kinds of material used for sealing. A seal is a chemical layer, which protects the hardwood from getting into contact with any type of liquid or material that might degrade the wood. This invisible layer protects the floor from any staining agents.

Some material needs to seal over time to time. While others can just be done once initially. This sealant can be reduced by overuse of damp mopping or steam mop. Any kind of dirt or small particle can tear the protective layer if those are grinding on the floor. To clean the floor one should use a ph-balanced, mild solution to clear the floor. Should not use excessive force directly to clean the floor.

We can easily check if our floor is sealed or not. Drop a little bit of water on the floor. If the water stays in a bonded shape and runs over the floor without spilling out then the floor sealing is good.

Some company makes steam mop designed as it could be used on the hardwood floor. Shark hardwood floor cleaner is one of them. It works well on the laminate floor and tiles floor. After plugging the cleaning machine, it takes 30 seconds to use the mop. The steam helps to loosen the grease and any other dirt stuck into the hardwood flooring. However, the floor must be sealed otherwise it will absorb the moisture and the floor will start to degrade. Your floor might start producing unpleasant smells due to the overgrowth of mold or socked water.

There are some must rule before using the steam mop:

Attach the cloth before plugin, as the mop heats up very quickly you should handle carefully. The cloth should be attached before plugging in the steam mop.

Do not idle a hot steam mop in a place because it heats very quickly, so keeping it idle in a place might burn or creak mark on the floor.

You should vacuum the floor or swipe it before using the steam mop. Excessive dirt might leave a muddy mark as it comes to contact with the vapor.

The water tank is designed to use the water only. Adding another ingredient might cause problems.

Again never, use a Steam mop on the unsealed hardwood floor, engineered hardwood floors or laminate floor. Steam mop ruins hardwood floors.

Most of the hardwood flooring has some kind of warranty. However, it might also fall under some conditions. Therefore, before using the steam mop check the conditions that might void the warranty. The National Laminate Flooring Association (NLFA) does not endorse the use of steam cleaning machines on any laminate flooring. If it is necessary to use the steam mop, you must choose a low or medium setting so that it does a good cleaning but keep the damage to the minimum.

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