Homeowners are increasingly turning to laminate floors as an alternative to hardwood floors. They still provide the desired organic look of real wood while being more affordable and robust.
None of the producers of laminate flooring advise using a steam mop on laminated surfaces. The use of a steam mop on laminate floors is generally discouraged by manufacturers.
In today’s issue, we’ll be answering the question “Can you use a steam mop on laminate floors”. Whether or not steam cleaning is suitable for laminate floors can be clarified by this article. (Read More: 10 Best Mop For Laminate Floors – Best Ways to Clean)
What is Steam Cleaning?
Moisture and heat, two things that dirt and bacteria detest above all else, are combined in a steam mop.
When you track a steam mop across the floor, it’s going to blast heated steam at the floor. If this steam comes into contact with dirt, it will quickly loosen it from the floor and make it much easier to wipe it away than if you used a regular mop. However, if it comes into contact with bacteria, the intense heat of the steam will sanitize them.
Steam cleaning is highly regarded among those who work in floor care because of this, in particular. You can mop and sanitize your floor all at the same time and usually in just one session! (Read More: Mighty Thirsty Mop Reviews 2023 – How Does It Work?)
How to Use a Steam Mop on Laminate Floors
Steam mops effectively remove any hardened dirt and kill the majority of germs by using a combination of heat and water to clean a floor. The majority of flooring manufacturers advise against using a steam mop on laminate floors, so if you want to keep your laminate looking good, it might be worth trying a different cleaning technique.
However, if you have a steam mop and do want to use it to clean laminate flooring, follow these steps to avoid damaging the surface:
Step 1: To begin, use a soft brush or a vacuum on the hard floor setting to remove any loose dirt.
Step 2: Use a microfiber mop pad that will be gentle on the floor to prevent scratching.
Step 3: Select the lowest steam setting on the mop.
Step 4: Do not let the mop rest in one spot; keep it moving.
Step 5: Don’t apply too much pressure to the mop.
Step 6: Ensure the area is completely dry after cleaning with no remaining moisture.
If the laminate is waterproof, steam cleaning the floor may be appropriate because some laminate flooring is rated for use with steam mops. Despite the fact that these floors are better guarded against the potential harm of steam cleaning, frequent cleanings could still allow moisture to seep into the laminate.
Use a damp cloth or laminate floor cleaner as an alternative to mopping laminate flooring to avoid any dirt from getting stuck. Make sure to clean the floor every day. Regular cleaning will lessen the need for steam cleaning because surface buildup of tenacious dirt will be prevented. Regardless of the method you use to clean the floor, make sure it is completely dry before replacing any rugs or furniture or walking on it.
Is It Safe to Steam Clean Laminate Floors?
Steam cleaning laminate floors is a very contentious problem among floor care professionals. Some will advise you to never, ever apply heat to the floor. There are many, however, who will argue that a light steam clean won’t significantly harm the floor. It might even be advantageous, in fact.
So, who to believe?
Our consensus leans further toward the “No” camp than the “Yes”.
We generally advise against using steam to sanitize your laminate floor if you can help it. The floor is made up of many layers of sensitive protective coatings and wood fiber layers. They could be damaged by the potent combination of heat and moisture.
It’s telling that no manufacturer of laminate floors advises using steam cleaners on their floors.
However, that doesn’t mean steam cleaning laminate floors is 100% out of the question. Though dangerous, it is still conceivable. We think that it wouldn’t really hurt for you to try to steam clean your floor if you fall into one of the cases below:
Your floor is no longer under warranty and you’re going to have to replace it soon anyway
You’re about to sell your house, so any damage incurred to the floor isn’t going to be a problem for you in the long-term
Despite the risks, you want to give it a try.
Risks of Using a Steam Mop on Laminate Floors
A floor can be thoroughly cleaned by steam mopping because the heat and moisture break up any dirt that has accumulated from muddy boots, grubby paw prints, or normal daily activities. On a laminate floor, however, using a steam mop is typically not advised. Here’s why it’s best not to use steam to clean laminate flooring:
- The water will be absorbed by the floor. The layers of board that make up laminate flooring will swell and warp if exposed to water. This will make the floor sway and is challenging to fix.
- It will break down the adhesive. The adhesive that is intended to hold the laminate layers together can become loose due to the moisture and heat that a steam mop uses to function.
- The mop cannot be used effectively. It’s crucial not to use too much pressure or leave the mop in one spot for too long when steam cleaning laminate flooring because doing so makes it challenging to quickly and effectively clean the floor.
- Any warranty might not be valid. If your laminate flooring has a warranty, using a steam mop to clean it might void it, leaving you responsible for paying to have the floor fixed.
The Best Cleaners for Laminate Floors
A lot of floor manufacturers say “water and wood don’t mix” and push that to include manufactured flooring too.
If you have children or pets, it is unrealistic to completely avoid mopping. But that doesn’t mean you should immediately use some water or any old floor cleaner.
While a ph neutral cleaner can also be used, you should always try to use a cleaner designed specifically for laminate floors. Dish soap and castile soap are frequently excellent choices for this.
The cleaner that your manufacturer recommends is generally the best. Usually, you can get this information by calling the retailer where you bought it or the installers.
How to Protect Your Laminate Flooring
Despite having a good wear layer that shields it from the majority of dents and scratches, laminate floors are still susceptible to these damage.
Here are a few things you can do to protect your floors:
- Any furniture that rests or moves on your laminate flooring should have felt furniture protectors added to the bottoms.
- To keep the seams of each plank flush and safe from water and other liquid spills, think about applying a layer of sealant to them.
- If there are any gaps between your floor planks, you can either use a rubber mallet with a suction cup handle to gently tap the planks back into place or you can hire a professional to do it for you.
- Place mats at the entrances to your home to catch dirt and mud, and stay away from things like shoes (especially heels) on your laminate.
- To prevent scratches from their happy play, trim your pet’s nails frequently.
- Lay down an area rug.
So, in conclusion, can you use a steam mop on laminate floors?
Absolutely, but there are some restrictions. It’s a risky procedure that could cost money in repairs, there’s no doubt about that. But for some people, the advantages of steam cleaning may outweigh the risks. If you’re part of this group, hopefully, this guide has been helpful for you!