How to Efficiently Clean Your Floors with a Steam

by Aug 28, 2020Cleaning


There are many famous duos in the story: Ricky and Lucy, Bonnie and Clyde, Dumb and Dumber – Ben and Jerry’s.

But there is one duo that simply does not belong in our lives: dirt and gravel.

Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task to clean your home of various debris, stains and dirt – especially if it has been neglected for so long.

This is where your faithful steam mop comes in.

How does a steam mop work?

It really is a magical process if you think about it.

Steam mops contain a reservoir of water that heats up to almost 250 degrees F.

When the water is completely heated and ready to go, it will fill up in the steam mop’s mop pad placed in the head.

Just like the way steam helps loosen the creases on shirts and pants, dirt and grime hidden in the cracks on your floors will also loosen.

This is basically the beauty of the steam mop – the pillow is able to absorb all the dirt, while the steam kills the dust, bacteria and microbes that stick to your floor.

The BBC reports that “at any given time, there are about 9,000 different species of microscopic creatures lurking in the dust of our homes, including 7,000 different bacteria“Wouldn’t we rest a little easier if our steam mop was the faithful soldier we sent into battle to wipe it away?”

And this knight in shining armor is much more environmentally friendly than using harsh chemicals to disinfect your home.

As HAAN Corporation explains, “Steam cleaners use water, which means that no toxic residues or gas will be released into the air or find a way into our bodies or the water supply.

In fact, instead of wasting your time cleaning mop and bucket, a steam mop easily, productively and efficiently cleans your floors – no fuss, no mice.

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Some useful advice

Just as every snowflake is unique, no steam mop is exactly alike.

Each steam mop model that comes in a large selection of different sizes or types or steam power deserves the following list of proactive initiatives:

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  • Vacuum your floors ahead of time – let the steam mop do what the vacuum cleaner cannot
  • Steam mops can not handle all the heavy lifting – if you have soil all over your floors, spread it further with a steam mop. So clean what you can
  • Steam mops are only intended for sealed floors. If your floor is not sealed, a steam mop can cause some of the floor to fall apart – and we certainly do not want that
  • Use more than one mop pillow. Change the pillows every time you see the current pillow getting too dirty

How often do you need a steam mop?

The need for steam mopping can vary from household to household, but the good rule of thumb is steam mopping once a week on average.

If it’s a rainy day or a spring weekend where all the kids have been hiking and carried in dirt and grime, you’ll probably increase the average, and that’s just fine.

Okay, puha.

Now that we’ve taken care of it all, let’s get started.

Use these five simple steps to steam mop your floors

1.Use the aforementioned tips to your advantage

Before using your steam mop, be sure to sweep and vacuum your floors for proper preparation. You may be wondering why you should take such precautions if the whole point of the steam mop is to clean, but it is not a miracle worker

For the steam mop to be fully efficient, it is best to use a vacuum suction to remove stubbornly excess dirt or grime. This will also help your mop pillow to stay cleaner and longer lasting. Overall, this means better steam cleaning. It’s honestly a win-win

2.Get the pillows ready

Once a mop pad has been filled up (you can see if it not only looks its best age, but also if it starts spreading soil or dirt instead of cleaning it), be sure to replace it

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Having several mop pillows on the deck and ready to use while you steam mop can save you time and energy.

If you are a little frugal with money like me, you will be happy to know that investing in multiple pillows is actually a money saver. They are both not too hard on the wallet and reusable. Just wash them gently in the washing machine and hang them up to dry. They can be used again and look like new

Of course, it is important to note that it is always a good idea to read the product manual on the mop pads. You want to confirm the right rules of care, as with everything else in life

3.Make a thorough floor inspection

Put on your floor inspector cap and begin your evaluation.

The thing is, just as good as steam mops are, they can also damage your floor if it is not the right compatibility. Make sure your floors are sealed floors, otherwise the excess moisture can damage your wood surface.

Also, make sure never to leave a steam mop unattended. This can cause water to collect in the pillow and damage your floor.

Other floors that your steam mop can be used on are all vinyl or linoleum floors, along with ceramic and porcelain tiles.

If you have hardwood or laminate flooring, but are not quite sure if the steam mop is right for you, call your wood flooring manufacturers. They will tell you if the floor you have installed may be damaged in the core due to a steam mop or if the laminated planes will increase due to the joints breaking from the water pressure.

A useful question to ask is whether your laminate floor is waterproof, because some may not look like it, but have waterproof resins in their core – allowing for a seamless relationship with the steam mop.

The most important cardinal rule to know is to never trust the manufacturers of steam cleaners. As much as they may be right, they will also be biased and want you to buy their product. They may tell you that something is safe for your floors, but a majority of wood flooring manufacturers actually advise against using steam mops on hardwood floors.

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Another quick trick is to test how your wood floor will handle water and steam, by dropping several drops of water on your floor in an area that is usually covered by a rug or piece of furniture. If you see that five minutes have passed and no water has been absorbed into the wood, it usually means that your floor and a steam mop can be best friends.

4.Time to steam clean

You can now grab your steam cleaner and attach the mop pad, fill up the cleaner’s water tank and turn it on according to the instructions.

Try not to get stuck with your mop, and move quickly while washing.

As mentioned before, change pillows when you see it’s time.

For the most thorough cleaning, go over the surface several times.

5.Take care of the pillows

Listen to the instructions that the pillows came with is rule # 1, but generally you can wash your pads in the washing machine and let them air dry.

Now I want to hear from you

I hope you liked my article on how to steam mop your floors.

Now it’s time for your turn.

  • How was your steam mopping experience?
  • Some of the tips and tricks helped you?

Leave a quick comment or your full story in the comments below.

About the author

Gladys K. Connelly

As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips on housekeeping for Thehousewire audiences. She is a household specialist with only 9 years of experience to boast of. That, combined with seven years of previous teaching experience, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.

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