Yes, you can use a steam mop on a laminate flooring even though most manufacturers don’t recommend it. This type of floor mop is known for its versatility. Along with the cleaning function, this tool also provides a disinfection function. It also allows the consumer to clean without dirt.
This is because this device does not use the external water supply for cleaning. Thus, it is an added benefit for those who have kids and who do not like to use an external bucket of water when cleaning. Furthermore, you can ruin your floor accidentally with the use of an external bucket of water.
What’s Steam Mop
The steam mop is a floor cleaning device powered by electricity. It can become dangerous during the cleaning process if you work with water and dirt. This happens to be one of the disadvantages of using the steam mop.
Also, the steam mop is best suited for sealed floors. However, it’s not ideal for finished flooring. Also, a steam mop cannot thoroughly clean such a floor. The steam mop cleans light debris of dirt, such as dust. It also helps to disinfect microbes, bacteria, viruses, etc.
Hence it’s good practice for you to wash the floor twice or more a day when using the steam mop. A steam mop is best for hospitals and healthcare.
What Is Laminate Flooring Made Of?
Laminate floors look like wooden flooring, but they aren’t the same. Laminate flooring consists of 5 compressed layers. The five layers are enumerated as follows:
- Wood composite layer
- Structural support layer
- Moisture barrier
- Topcoat (seal coating that protects your floor)
- Picture/Photo (An actual photo of wood)
The laminate is manufactured from fiberboard and melamine resin. The process of bonding all these materials is called lamination. The image and photographic layer are then put on top of this laminate layer. This is equally covered with a protective coating.
Laminate flooring is widely used for how economical it is to install. Besides, it is quite durable with proper care and maintenance. Some even contain antimicrobial resin for extra protection.
But then there are a few drawbacks and challenges associated with it.
Because laminate floors are made of natural materials and a shiny finish or coating, it is poorly resistant to heat, water and moisture. In addition, standing water can cause severe damages to your laminate flooring. If left unchecked for an extended time, the water will seep in and cause the floor to loosen and warp over a period.
How Does A Steam Mop Work
This steaming device runs on electric power and water. There is a water tank on his body. With the help of electricity, the heater of the mopping gadget heats the water.
As the water evaporates, steam is transferred through the steam jet to the pad of the microfiber mop unit. As a result, the vapor escapes from the mop and passes through the steam jets. Then it enters the pad of microfiber and weakens it. The soft pad then steam-cleans the surface. It uses steam and absorbs dirt.
A steam mop is usually attached to steam jets. The best steam mop, however, has 15 jets attached to its mop head. So a traditional mop will not work as a steam mop. The conventional mop also has many drawbacks. This type of traditional mop cannot completely clean the surface without retaining dirt residue.
Meanwhile, using a steam mop is another matter. It cleans the surface with steam. It should be noted that the steam mop is heated to high temperatures using electricity. Hence it can kill germs and bacteria by 99.99% easily. As with traditional mops, there is no unpleasant smell when cleaning, as it uses hot steam.
Is It Safe To Steam Mop Laminate Flooring?
Many manufacturers of the device do not instruct the use of a steam mop on laminate floors. But, it is safe to use on laminate flooring. Use a steam mop if you don’t have time to get your microfiber mop or Swiffer mop.
Laminate flooring is sensitive to moisture and heat. This is the reason why most manufacturers don’t recommend steam mopping.
Furthermore, excessive water can cause warping or flaking, which can significantly affect the durability of a hard floor. You can get by with using a steam mop with a suitable laminate floor cleaner, but you totally cannot use one if your floor is unsealed.
How Can A Steam Mop Damage Laminate Floors?
The steaming device is a system that heats water and turns it into water vapor. They go through a mop to disinfect the floor. While steam cleaning is becoming popular among homeowners, hot steam remains a significant problem for laminate flooring.
The fact is that a completely sealed wooden or laminate floor does not exist. Laminate is the arrangement of wooden planks, and there are always seams between them.
Steam can distort the shape of laminate boards. Most wood floors are finished with polyurethane (moisture-resistant coating). However, the gaps between the boards are not filled with finishing. And of course, the remaining boards will be exposed to moisture, mainly steam.
Laminate floors consist of pre-treated boards, but the seams between them are barely sealed. The seams allow steam to pass through the core of the wood material, which is very vulnerable to water or moisture. If water stays on wood for too long, the laminate floor on the inside will collapse and will need to be repaired soon.
Steam cleaning is a good idea, but you should not use a wet steam mop on your laminate floor daily. Please read the manufacturer’s warnings and do not allow hot steam to damage wooden planks on laminate floors.
Essential Precautions To Keep In Mind For Your Laminate Floors
There are some tips to consider when using a steam mop on your laminate floor. You must bear in mind to follow these tips mentioned below. Or your laminate flooring will be damaged during cleaning. Here are the precautions to keep in mind:
i. Sweep or vacuum before using your steam mop.
Mops are not designed to catch large amounts of dirt. You also do not want to rub dirt into your laminate floor when sweeping the steamer to and fro. The steam mop is ideal for the final polishing and to capture the smallest particles. Ensure you move your furniture and fitting when sweeping or vacuuming.
Furthermore, dust can gather under furniture, and an outlet in a vent in your air conditioner can blow dust through the room. This quickly can mess up your clean and new laminate floor.
ii. Examine the microfiber cloth of your mop before and during your cleaning.
If your laminate floor is very dirty, you may need to rub the cloth across the floor partially. It is crucial to always use a steam mop with the lowest setting on the laminate surface. This is because using excessive heat can quickly cause warping and other damage to your laminate flooring.
To ensure the settings of the mop are set low and move it in quick strokes to avoid overheating anywhere in the laminate.
iii. Avoid the use of multi-surface cleaners on laminate.
These cleaning products can make your laminate look dull. Steam mopping your floor lightly is all you need for general cleansing. Start at the far corner, swinging your arms evenly, so you don’t miss any area. Work in a quick stroke towards the exit from the room to not walk on the wet floor. Never hold the steam mop in one place on the laminate flooring. If you need to pause, switch off the mop.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best steam mop for laminate floors?
Here are some of the best steam mop for laminate flooring:
- Light ‘N’ Easy All-In-One Steam Mop
- Shark Genius Pocket System Steam Mop. Best Pad
- Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop
- Light ‘N’ Easy Floor Steamer
- Lightweight Steam Mop
- Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop
- Luxury Steam Mop
What floors can you steam mop?
Porous surfaces such as concrete are suited for cleaning floors as the steam easily removes dust and dirt build-up. The product manufacturer should be consulted before using steam cleaning tools. This decision is dependent on how the concrete is sealed (e.g., wax or polyurethane).
Finally, you should avoid certain things when installing laminate flooring, especially if you are using a steaming device. First, if you prefer not to use any homemade cleaning recipes, then avoid the use of abrasives. You do not want to scratch the seal while trying to clean it.
Do not spill water on the laminate floor either. With a steam mop, wet spots can sometimes occur. Wipe it off immediately.
To make sure you do not spill the water, clean the laminate floor in small areas and, if necessary, dry each part with a microfiber cloth. Lastly, never use wax on the floors. This causes waxy deposits to form and destroy the laminate.