Can laminate floors be cleaned effectively without causing damage? Is a steam mop safe to use on laminate flooring? To put your mind at ease, read the remainder of this article. Keep reading for even more helpful hints!
How a Steam Mop Works
To begin, it’s critical to have a fundamental understanding of how steam mops work. To remove dirt and germs from laminate floors that have accumulated in the narrow spaces between the planks, steam cleaners heat the water to boiling point, killing most germs in the process. As a result, you put the water in a small container and heat it up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the water will expand 1,600 times. For as long as the heat source is steady, the water vapor will remain in the form of steam with an approximate moisture content of 3–5%.
Steam mops for laminate flooring should only be used with utmost caution due to the high temperature. Steam mops recommended by your laminate flooring manufacturer should be used. No matter how resistant your laminate flooring is, it’s still susceptible to water damage. If your flooring is left in a hot environment for an extended period of time, it will degrade. It is inevitable that the seal on your floor may wear out and show symptoms of damage.
How You Should Use a Steam Mop on Waterproof Laminate Floors
Use no soap or wax on your laminate flooring if you intend to use a steam mop to clean it. Scrub your laminate floors in hard floor mode with a vacuum cleaner, then turn the steam down to the lowest setting. It’s best not to use the steam on the flooring directly. Instead, use a microfiber pad with the cleaner to clean the floor. Make sure the mop is travelling in the direction of the grain as you continue to mop the floor. Don’t hold the mop head in one place for too long.
Is Steam Mop a Good Option?
Steam mops, on the other hand, are a no-no for laminate flooring. Steam mops significantly increase the risk of ruining your floor, damage that is nearly impossible to repair after it has occurred.
Laminate flooring is incompatible with steam because of the following reasons:
- Your floor’s sealant can be damaged by the steam mop’s high temperatures. The mop exerts too much pressure on the glue, which can’t withstand it. If you have laminate flooring, this can cause it to wear down and break down over time.
- Your laminated floor may bulge and bend unexpectedly, irritating your eyes. That’s why you’ll regret using a steam mop in the future.
- Moisture is released from a steam mop. laminate floors are doomed by this scourge. It can damage your floor and become a breeding ground for odorous molds in the future. Surely, you don’t want to end up here!
Important Precautions for Your Laminate Floors
Avoid damaging your laminate flooring while cleaning if you don’t take a few measures.
The laminate can be damaged if you use too high of a heat setting or hold the steam for an extended period of time.
As a result, keep in mind the following:
- Before using your steam mop, be sure to sweep or vacuum the surface to be cleaned. Large volumes of dirt should not be picked up with these mops. Additionally, you don’t want to crush dirt into the laminate as you sweep the steamer in and out. When it comes to the last polish and removing the tiniest particles, steam mops are unbeatable tools. Sweeping or vacuuming should always be done with furniture moved. A vent from your furnace or air conditioning can blow the dust about the room, causing your freshly cleaned floor to rapidly become a soiled mess again.
- Before and throughout the cleaning process, inspect the microfiber cloth on your mop. The cloth may need to be changed halfway through a floor cleaning session if the floor is especially filthy
- The lowest setting on your steam mop is critical when cleaning laminate floors. To avoid warping laminate, avoid using extreme heat. As a result, make sure the mop is set to low, and move it in short strokes to avoid overheating any area of your laminate flooring.
- In order to use less steam on your floor than you would on carpet or tile, you must move swiftly while mopping. Laminate flooring might distort if it is over-saturated. You should stop using your steam mop if you see any deformations on your floor after you’ve cleaned it with it.
- Laminate should never be cleaned with multi-surface cleansers. It is possible that cleaners of this type will discolor laminate floors. You don’t need much more than a mild steam to get the job done.
- In order to avoid missing any regions, start in a far corner and use even strokes. To avoid slipping on the slick floors, make your way out of the room quickly. Make sure you don’t keep your steam mop in one place while cleaning laminate floors. Shut off your mop if you have to.
Steam Mop Features and Specifications
Consider these factors when purchasing a steam mop, especially if it’s going to be used on laminate or another soft floor type.
Water Tank Capacity
The larger the water tank, the more time you can spend cleaning without having to stop and refill the tank.
Most cleaning jobs can be completed with a water tank capacity of 0.2 to 0.5 liters on average.
Although the use of filling flasks vs. detachable water tanks is a hotly contested topic, it’s important to keep in mind that the merits and cons of each method are often extremely subjective.
Tap, distilled, or demineralized water
This is a disadvantage of using a steam mop with tap water: It can leave residues on the heater or even the cleaned flooring.
Steam mop lasts longer and the floors are more lustrous when using distilled or demineralized water rather than hard water, which can leave hard residue on the water heater or the cleaned surfaces.
When using steam mops, some manufacturers even add scents to the distilled or demineralized water in order to enhance the sense of freshness and cleanliness that comes from using such water.
As far as water heaters go, most steam mops use water heaters between 1000 and 1600 W.
In order to effectively remove sticky pet messes from heat-resistant surfaces such as glazed ceramic tiles, granite, and other such materials, good steam mop should include heat/steam settings that allow the user to tailor the steam strength to the cleaning situation and the surface being cleaned.
An average 15-25 foot (4.6-7.6 meter) power cord comes standard with most steam mop models.
In my opinion, a good steam mop should have a power cable that is at least 18-20 feet (5.5-6.1 meters) long in order to prevent interruptions and allow the user to clean a bigger area using a single wall outlet.
Steam Mop Pads
A variety of steam mop pads are included with the majority of steam mops, including both soft and scrubby versions.
Scrubby steam mop pads should only be used for severe messes on glazed porcelain and similar floors, while soft steam mop pads should be used for routine cleaning.
In some types, double-sided steam mop pads are available, thereby doubling the cleaned surface of a single steam mop pad.
The filthy steam mop pad is quite hot owing to the steam, so be careful when replacing it!
It is common for steam mop pads to be machine washable but without the use of bleach, softeners, or other additives.
Cleaning Tools and Attachments
In addition to the standard steam mop head, some steam mops come equipped with a variety of cleaning equipment, such as steam brushes, carpet gliders, and the like.
It’s best to choose a steam mop head for your laminate floor cleaning needs and preferences. Some people prefer larger rectangular steam mop heads that allow them to clean larger areas more quickly while others prefer triangular steam mop heads that allow them to clean in more detail, especially around edges and corners.
Steam Mop Controls
Controls for the steam mop should be located on or near the handle so that the user may easily adjust the steam mop’s settings, especially the steam mop’s strength.
Why Using a Steam Mop on Laminate Wood Floors Sounds Exciting?
Steam mop producers have a number of motivations for promoting their goods. However, despite the fact that many manufacturers are prejudiced in favor of their own products, the following two assertions convince us to purchase one instead of a standard mop.
#1. Steam mop uses less moisture than old school wet mopping
In comparison to a wet mop and pail of soapy water, the steam mop consumes a lot less water. Moisture is left on the floor when you use a wet mop full of water. A mop and bucket make it difficult to remove all of the water, resulting in water puddles that take a long time to dry. When water remains on laminate flooring for an extended period of time, it increases the chance of damage.
In contrast, steam mops utilize a fraction of the water. To speed up the drying process, the mop’s heat converts water into steam, reducing how much water is left behind.
#2. Steam mop Deep clean and Sanitizes floors at the same time
In addition to providing a more thorough clean, the high temperatures utilized to create steam also kill bacteria and sanitize the floor. Because they clean and disinfect your floors at the same time, steam mops are more effective than other types of mops. Heat does most of the work in steam cleaning, so less water and less detergent are needed to clean.
However, do the manufacturers’ claims about floating laminate floors hold true? The answer isn’t that simple. When using a steam mop, even laminate flooring might be damaged if it isn’t utilized properly.
Manufacturers of laminate floors, on the other hand, do not use steam mops to clean and maintain their products.
We need to know how a steam mop works and how steam is formed in order to understand why they advise against using a steam gadget.
How Does a Steam Mop Work?
By heating the water to the boiling point, steam mops are able to clean. If you wait until then, the heat will destroy the majority of germs and dislodge any deposits that have built up in the smallest crevices of your flooring. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved.
- A tiny container of water is heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- At 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the water expands by 1600 times.
- Moisture content ranges between 3 and 5 percent in the steam that is produced. As long as the source of heat stays constant, the water will remain in a vapor condition. However, the steam will condense back into water droplets as soon as it comes into touch with the cool air.
Can You Use This Steam to Sanitize Laminate Floors?
This is possible, of course.
Steam is unquestionably excellent at killing germs and microorganisms.
A steam mop isn’t perfect for cleaning laminate flooring, as appliance manufacturers claim, despite what they say.
In order to sanitize a large area with a Steam mop’s steam, you’ll need to hold it over it for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Even the product manufacturers recommend that you hold the mop over a sanitized area for at least 15 seconds.
No matter how much you’d like to get rid of your filthy flooring, you’re still stuck with the question of whether or not a steam mop will work on laminate. After reading this article, you should have no doubt that steam mopping is not a choice for you. There are better options out there that can provide you with the desired outcome. Incredibly, some of them are sitting in your storage, just waiting for you to activate them.