So your flooring is old, dirty, and needs some serious work. What now?
It’s time to give it a steam clean that will make it shiny and new again. You’re thinking of steam mops since they are supposed to be very effective, but you’re hesitant because your flooring is laminate, and you don’t want to ruin it.
Laminate flooring consists of three layers:
A) Plywood core: It is the bottom layer. It supports the other two layers and provides a strong base for laminate flooring. Plywood is the layer that supports the upper layers, so you must be careful when cleaning it.
B) Laminate backing: This is the layer between the other two layers that produces a laminate flooring surface. It’s a thin layer of wood that has small bumps on it and its purpose is to hold the rest of the laminate flooring together.
C) Laminate top: This is the top layer of your laminate flooring, and it is a thin vinyl board that can either be flat or curved.
With all this being said, I bet you’re wondering if you can use a steam mop on laminate flooring, right? Let’s find out if using a steam mop on laminate flooring could damage it.
What is a steam mop?
A steam mop is a steam cleaning appliance that is used to clean floors. They work by using high-pressure steam and water to do the cleaning.
There are high-pressure models and low-pressure models. The pressure of the steam is controlled by several factors, including the position of the floor mop head, which can either be horizontal or vertical, and whether it has a scrubber head on it.
Steam mops come with different functions. Most steam mops clean by using a combination of microfiber pads that are attached to the bottom of the device. Water and detergent are then injected into the microfiber pads, which are then steam cleaned.
Can you mop laminate flooring with a steam mop?
Steam mops are efficient in cleaning tough stains and have been used extensively for decades- if you’re looking for a solution to your laminate flooring woes, then get this one which is perfect for getting rid of dirt, oils, and grease from laminate floors! This mop has a unique wand that has been specially designed to remove the toughest stains with minimal effort. Compared with a regular cloth or sponge solution, this can save you both time and money as it saves you the need to purchase more cleaning materials because you’ll only have one item.
Do steam mops damage laminate flooring?
Steam mops are safe on laminate flooring as long as you know how to use it. Different types of floors require different methods and tools. Laminate floors are known to be sensitive to water, so you have to apply extra precautions when you’re cleaning them with a steam mop.
The first and most important thing that you need to remember is that steam is a very high-temperature substance. It can be harmful to your floor if the mop head comes in contact with it directly, especially when it’s wet.
How to clean a laminate floor with a steam mop without damaging it?
There are two ways you can use the steam mop on your laminate flooring. These are:
Inverted: The first way is to use the steam mop with its mop head and sponge upside down. It is easier to clean with this method as you can see the mop head easily.
Horizontal: The second way is to use the steam mop with its mop head and sponge directly on your floor surface. This makes it easier because you won’t have to look for as many places to clean.
When using a steam mop correctly, any stains that may be present will be easily removed.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Keep the mop head as dry as possible by using the steam mop’s warm water function before each clean. As steam is heated, it condenses on surfaces and is absorbed into liquids.
- Clean the floor with a wet cloth first to loosen up all the stains. This allows you to spot smaller spots of dirt and spillage for better cleaning later on.
- Apply detergent, then sand down any stuck-on dirt with your fingers or a damp cloth that can be wrung out easily.
- While steaming, make sure that no water gets inside your wall-mountable steam cleaner and conical nozzle by setting them in an upright position when not in use (this prevents accidental flooding).
- Clean the floor with a vacuum cleaner immediately after each clean using a soft brush or an upholstery attachment.
How to clean laminate flooring
Laminate flooring is durable and affordable but they require quite a bit of careful cleaning to maintain their shine.
Dry Mop/Microfiber Cloth Broom
This is actually the most popular way to clean laminate floors. Simply dry mop the floor with a thick towel. Use a wide microfiber broom head to collect the dust and debris on the floor. Microfiber broom heads are reusable so they will save you money in the long term.
Laminate Floor Vacuum Cleaner
A regular vacuum cleaner will not do. You need a specially designed laminate floor vacuum cleaner to clean your laminate floors. This will suck up all the dust and debris that is stuck within the pores of the wood. This kind of vacuum can be used on a daily basis for cleaning purposes [every day] but you can only use it 2 or 3 times a year for maintenance cleaning.
Damp/Mild Soap Mop
Use a floor cleaner that has been mixed with a little water. You are not supposed to use detergents alone as they will leave behind residue on the laminate flooring which can interfere with the shine. Do not use the solution directly on the floor; add some water into it and then use a spray bottle to apply.
Nail Polish Remover
For tough spots (e.g. oil, paint, ink, or tar), use acetone or nail polish remover (acetone-based). The only problem with these two methods is that you will need to use a lot of elbow grease to scrub the spot off, especially if it has been there for a long time. Then wipe the floor with a damp cloth to clean off any residue.
Laminate Floor Cleaner
Buy a home laminate floor cleaner. This is the best way to maintain your laminate floor. You can choose either a spray-on or foam cleaner depending on how you are going to use it (every day or once in a while). Before using any kind of home laminate floor cleaner, make sure to test it in an inconspicuous place first. Do not use the product right away if it makes your eyes feel irritated.
What to avoid when cleaning laminate floors?
Remember that detergents alone will leave behind residue on your laminate flooring. Do not use detergent when cleaning laminate floors.
Harsh chemical cleaners
When cleaning laminate floors, you should only use mild soaps or floor cleaner that is mixed with a little water. Harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and bleach will damage the finish of the floor and make it dull.
Do not use lint rollers on your laminate floors as the sticky stuff left behind can damage the floor or interfere with its shine. Use microfiber broom heads instead.
Baking soda is not recommended for cleaning laminate floors as it can leave an unpleasant odor. There is no need to use baking soda when cleaning laminate floors for removing stains.
Do not use a scrubber, sponge, steel wool, or mop with rough surfaces as they will scratch and dull the surface of your laminate floors.
Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Do not use hardwood floor cleaner to clean your laminate floors. Remember that you are supposed to use either a spray-on or foam-type laminate floor cleaner. These two cleaners are specifically designed for cleaning laminate floors. The product in a hardwood floor cleaner contains alcohol which can damage the finish of your laminate floors.
Do not use vinegar to clean laminate floors as it can remove the finish off the floor. It is also a potential fire hazard.
Carpet Cleaning Machines
Do not use carpet cleaning machines to clean your laminate floors as they are designed for carpets and will leave a residue on the floor of your laminate floors, which will return to cause spots again in no time.
It is important to use the right cleaning methods for laminate flooring, so you maintain its shine. When it comes to steam mopping the laminate surface, as long as you follow the tips above cleaning would be a breeze, and you don’t need to worry about damaging your laminate wood floors.