Last Updated on September 13, 2020 by Brett
Laminate floors are stunning, but they can be a magnet for dirt and grime. A steam mop is the best way to clean and disinfect your floors, but they can be harsh on your laminate floors.
However, with the right method, you can steam mop your laminate floors and effectively eliminate all sorts of dirt, grime, and bacteria.
Here are our expert tips on how to use a steam mop on laminate floors. Make sure you follow this article meticulously.
Can I Use A Steam Mop On Laminate Floors?
The short answer is yes! You can use steam mops on laminate floors, but you have to be extra careful.
The steam produced from a steam mop can seep into the planks and damage the fiberboard core. When laminate floors are exposed to moisture, it can cause irreplaceable damage, and your floors will start to peel, warp, and swell.
If you still want to use steam mops, you must do so sparingly and follow every precaution.
Important Things To Know About Laminate Flooring:
Laminate floors are highly popular flooring choice for many home owners. They are generally inexpensive and are available in a wide range of finishes. They are scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and are wonderful for homes with children and pets.
However, they tend to chip easily and aren’t suitable for laundry rooms and bathrooms.
Laminate floors are made up of four layers consisting of back, core, design, and wear layers. Every layer performs a distinct function, and they are fused together through intense pressure and high heat.
There are various types of laminate floors, and you can even opt for water-resistant laminate floors if you prefer to use steam mops on your floors, its best that you go for sealed laminate floors.
Why Is Steam Mop Not Suitable For Laminate Floors?
Running a steam mop over your laminate floors is not advisable. Here’s why you should avoid them:
Steam mop can dull the finish of your floor:
Generally, a steam mop will have to produce steam at 212 F to disinfect which is very high for laminate floors. You might not notice the effects at first but after some time it’ll ruin the finish and your floors will take on a dull appearance.
Steam loosens your floors sealant:
Moisture and steam can penetrate and weaken the sealant that holds the planks together. As a result, you’ll notice warping, bending and swelling of your laminate floors.
Moisture can lead to build-up of mold:
If you’re steam mopping your laminate floors, you may also notice a musty smell after sometime. This is an indication of moisture seeping into the planks and sitting there for a while. There’s also the possibility of build-up of mold and mildew.
It’ll void your floor's warranty:
You also have to keep in mind that most manufacturers don’t offer warranty against damage resulting from steam mops. That's why you have to follow certain precautions and use steam mops judiciously on your laminate floors.
Additionally, it's best if you use a unit from a manufacturer that offers warranty from damages incurred by steam mops just in case something goes wrong.
How To Steam Laminate Floors Safely?
If you still want to steam mop your laminate floors, you must be very careful. Here are some precautions and a step by step guide so that you can steam mop your floors without causing any damage. Make sure you follow them to a T and don’t do anything that’s not recommended
- Firstly, invest in a steam mop that's particularly targeted towards laminate floors. It's best if it comes with a variable steam setting so that you can control the heat according to your requirements. Never use the highest settings on your laminate floors.
- If there’s any spill on your laminate floors, remove them immediately with a dry cloth to prevent staining and long-term damages.
- Before you plug in your unit, you must get it ready first. Steam units heat up really quickly. You must never put attach the cloth while your steam mop is heating up as it can cause burns. Detach your unit, unwind the cord, fill up the water tank, and then attach the cloth. After that, you can heat up your machine.
- Refrain from using soap-based detergents on your laminate floors as they can leave behind a dull film. Scouring powder, steel wool, or abrasive cleaners are also completely unsuitable for laminate floors as they can cause scratches.
- In high traffic areas, you must place area rugs, carpet runners, and furniture pads to minimize wear and tear.
- Before you start steaming, you must vacuum or sweep your laminate floors to get rid of dust and debris. This ensures that your steam mop has direct access to your floor for an efficient and deep cleaning session.
Step By Step Guide To Follow:
Materials You'll Need:
- A steam mop
- Few pads
- A dry cloth
After you've carried out all the precautions, get your steam mop ready. It's critical that you use it only on the lowest settings. Carry out a patch test first. If there's no adverse reaction, you can use it on the rest of the flooring.
Start from the farthest corner from the door and clean in a back and forth pattern. You should never let your steam mop sit idle for a long time as it can damage your floors. When you’re using steam mops on your laminate floors, you must move constantly.
In between cleaning sessions, if you have to refill the water reservoir or attend to a call, you must turn off and unplug your unit first.
During your steaming session, the mop cloth can get dirty, and you must not continue using them. If you do, it'll simply spread the dirt all around your floor. It's best that you have some extra cloth so that you can replace them whenever needed.
After you’re done, ensure that there’s no moisture left. Use a dry cloth to mop up any excess moisture. Finally, unplug your unit and detach the mop cloth. Clean your unit and store it in a dry and cool place.
How To Maintain Your Laminate Floors?
If you're averse to the idea of steam mops on your laminate floors, there are other methods to ensure that your laminate floors will be looking tip-top for a long time.
The best way is to vacuum your floors regularly to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. If you don't own a vacuum, you can dust and sweep as well.
If there're any spills, use a damp cloth to remove them immediately. For tough or deep stains, you can dip a clean white cloth with some nail polish remover or acetone and use it to remove the stain.
You can also use a chemical cleaner periodically. However, ensure that the cleaner is specifically made for laminate floors.
With the right cleaning method, you can maintain the luster of your laminate floor for a long time. Steam mopping is a powerful method of cleaning, and with the steps and precautions mentioned above, you can use it on your laminate floors safely.
Just don't go overboard and limit your steaming sessions only once or twice a week.