Many people ask if they can use one of
floor steam cleaners on hardwood floors. The answer is Yes! You can!
Steam mopping is one of the best way to clean and sanitize a variety of
floor surfaces, including tile, travertine,
laminate floors, ceramic tile, marble, granite, linoleum and more!
As always, we strongly suggest that you
check the use and care instructions of your wood flooring manufacturer
before using any steam cleaner. Do NOT use a vapor steam cleaner on any
unsealed flooring. Use of steam on an unsealed surface can cause warping
and other damage to the finish on floors. We strongly suggest testing the
steam mop in an isolated inconspicuous area of your wood floor (in a
corner, or inside a closet if available) prior to overall use on any floor
surface. We also suggest using distilled or filtered water, especially if
you have hard water, to lengthen the life of your steam cleaner.
There are a couple of things to know
before you begin cleaning your hardwood floors.
First, what type of hardwood floor
finish are you trying to clean?
It is the finish on the
hardwood floor, not the wood type, that ultimately determines how you
clean and care for the floor.
Most new wood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic.
Surface-sealed floors are stain and water-damage resistant and easiest to
care for and clean: Sweep, steam mop and you're done!
Also common, a penetrating seal or oil finish soaks into the wood grain
and hardens. This type of floor must be pampered and protected with liquid
or paste wax.
remember, if your floor's finish is in good shape and steam mopping is
done correctly, the water won't penetrate even the oil and wax finishes.
You're cleaning the finish, not the wood, so don't use a steam mop if
the finish is in poor shape. When in doubt, check with the floor
shellacked and untreated floors:
Although technically surface finishes, lacquers, varnishes and shellacs
are not as resistant to moisture, spills and wear as the other sealants
mentioned. Treat floors with these finishes and floors with no finish as
you would penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors.
Second, understand what a vapor steam
floor mop cleaner is and how to use it effectively.
Vapor steam floor mops, like the
SteamVortex steam floor mop,
use steam to clean and disinfect floor surfaces. While the
floor steam cleaner is solely a
steam floor mop, the
steam cleaner not only deep cleans other surfaces, but can also be used to
clean hardwood flooring using the included floor brush and floor cloths.
These types of steam cleaners emit steam which then penetrates the top
surface of the floor killing germs and removing dirt. Floor cloths trap
the dirt and after use the cloths can be thrown in the wash then reused.
time you mop, you begin with a clean towel. A much better way to
clean instead of the old way of using a sponge type mop that is full of
germs and bacteria from the last time you used it.
steam cleaners do not require the use of chemicals when you clean. The
heated steam vapor is enough to disinfect and remove dirt and grime. You
may notice after the first time you steam mop that you will be able to
smell chemicals. What you are smelling is the residue from chemicals that
were previously used on your floor. Once you have steam mopped, the
residues will be removed. The same applies to streaking.
Before using the
steam mop on your floor, we suggest thoroughly sweeping the area to be
cleaned. Place a floor cloth on the the base of the
SteamVortex steam mop
or if using the
secure a floor cloth to the floor brush. Fill the steam floor mop water
tank with distilled or tap water. Turn the unit on and within minutes you
will be able to start cleaning with steam. We suggest using small bursts
of steam and then performing the mopping action back and forth. The steam cleaner
does the work for you with high temperature steam. Do not stay in one spot
for a long period of time. Use
short bursts of steam and continue the mopping action across the floor.
This will help ensure that you are cleaning and disinfecting without
causing damage to your floors.
So now you know your
floor type and understand how a steam mop floor steam cleaner works, you
can purchase the
floor steam cleaner or the
steam cleaner and start cleaning!