Can You Use a Steam Mop on Laminate Floors: The Best Tips

The function of steam mops is debated quite often, as there are doubts on whether they can be used on all floor types, including laminate floors.

Can you use a steam mop on laminate floors? You cannot use a steam mop to clean laminate floors because the heat and moisture can cause your floors to warp. Steaming can negatively affect the shape and appearance of laminate floors, leading to a decrease in durability.

While steam mops are not a good option for cleaning laminate floors according to Armstrong, a laminate flooring company, there are a lot of other alternatives that you can carry out safely, maintaining the quality of your floor. Here are some tips to help you give your laminate floor the best treatment.

What is the best way to clean laminate flooring?

It is best to clean laminate flooring with dry materials and specific cleaning products. You need to consider how regularly you should use water. Other substances like dish soap and baby shampoo in little quantity may also suffice for cleaning laminate floors.

However, it is crucial that laminate floors are kept dry all the time, particularly when they are not being cleaned. After cleaning, you should ensure to leave a dry finish; this is because water left on the surface for too long can cause it to bulge or spoil the protective surface.

The first crucial step in cleaning a laminate floor is to vacuum or sweep to remove dirt build-up and dust from the floor surface. Scrubbing using a brush will leave scratches on the floor, hence, it is better to use a soft pad to take out dirt cautiously. For home spaces like the kitchen where many people go, laminate flooring cleaning products should be sprayed on the floor in little quantity and cleaned dry with reusable and washable mops. I recommend the Swiffer Wet Jet for laminate floors. Click here to have yours delivered to your front door.

For thorough results, you can also do a deep cleaning of your laminate floors once or twice a month with a wet mop. The best way to do this is to initially use a fully wet mop to remove stains and then give it a great squeeze for a final dry mopping.

To avoid causing unnecessary damage, do not use polish or wax on your laminate floors. Abrasive cleaners, scouring powder, and steel wool are other substances that should not be used in cleaning laminate floors as they can also scratch and spoil the protective surface.

Using fragrances, harsh detergents, and essential oils is also not your best choice. Though they leave a good smell, they can also have destructive effects on the floor. Hence, mild soaps should be used in small quantities if you do not have access to actual wood or laminate floor cleaners.

There is a claim by some manufacturers of steam mops that their products are not harmful to laminate flooring. However, this is not true. While a steam mop might not damage laminate floors instantly, constant use will cause the floor to warp from excess moisture absorption. This means, steam mops are essential for proper cleaning and disinfecting of other floors but surely not laminate floors.

What floors can you use a steam mop on?

Steam mops are best used on vinyl and linoleum floors, ceramic or porcelain tiles, and some forms of hardwood flooring. Make sure that the product details state that the material is waterproof before applying the steam mop.

The steam mop as the name implies is an electrical cleaning tool that heats water to generate steam for cleaning. I recommend the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop that is available on Walmart. Click here to have yours delivered. The steam is channeled through the mop stick to the mop head through which it loosens up the dirt on the floor for better cleaning. Since the steam mop utilizes much water for cleaning, it is more suitable to use it on water-resistant and hard-surfaced floors.

Floors made from stone and ceramic tiles will not easily go bad because of water or steam. On the other hand, laminate flooring is made from soft materials like pressed sawdust with a protective layer finish. Though hot water can be used to remove dirt from laminate flooring effectively, a clean dry mop is a better option for keeping the floor dry.

Excess moisture from regular use of a steam mop will spoil the protective synthetic surface and eventually affect the floor. It is important to be careful in deciding what materials can take steam mopping.

Tiles are made from varied materials, some of which cannot take excess moisture without deteriorating. Notwithstanding, porcelain, and ceramic tiles will look perfect and shiny after a good steam mop. Also, since they are made from sturdy materials, they won’t be ruined even in the long term of use.

Confirm from the technician or manufacturer what material your floor is made of or conduct a proper search on the internet to show what your flooring is made of and how best to clean it.

The Following Chart Relays Effective Techniques Forum Users Have Used to Clean Laminate Flooring:

What do you use to clean your laminate flooring?Percentage of total results
By far the best and most popular way to clean laminate flooring was suggested to be a diluted vinegar mixture.47.62%
A broom combined with constant sweeping is highly recommended when cleaning laminated flooring.19.05%
Some forum users reported using a mixture of lemon and water to clean their laminate flooring.4.76%
Owning a mop is an essential tool many forum users noted, preventing marring and potential damage to your floor.19.05%
A few people have found that using Swifter and its pads can be remarkably effective when cleaning your laminate flooring. Click here for pricing on Amazon.9.52%
Data derived from various home maintenance forums online

Is Swiffer okay on laminate floors?

Swiffer products are designed to be compatible with laminate floors. The Swiffer Sweeper is the most appropriate for the everyday cleaning of laminate floors. It also functions better in small spaces. The Swiffer is made of a soft dry mop and a thick dry sweeping cloth that double as broom and mop.

It sweeps and mops surfaces clean in small spaces. It is even more effective for laminate flooring if you vacuum first to lift dirt and grime stuck to the floor.

However, the Swiffer Sweeper is not great for deep cleaning, and the product more suitable for that is the Swiffer WetJet. The Swiffer WetJet performs the function of an actual mop and bucket. However, you do not have to go through the stress of moving a bucket around or wringing out a dirty mop head with your hands.

You can conveniently maneuver the WetJet and spray its cleaning solution while in use. It is easy to use, just like the Sweeper, except you must set it up differently since it performs a different and more rigorous task.

The cleaning pad of the Swiffer WetJet is simply attached to the mop head through a hook and loop-like fastener. This allows the pad to stay in place throughout your cleaning. This feature is amazing because the pad can also be easily detached. Spraying of the solution is also done by pressing a button on the hand of this equipment. This hand is also beautifully designed to ensure swift mobility by pushing with the handle.

The Swiffer product design is remarkable for ensuring easy and effective cleaning. How does this work? With proper setup, it traps stains and scrubs them off. With more pressure, it takes out older stains and stiffer dirt attached to the floor. Hence, Swiffer products are great for laminate floors; Swiffer Sweeper for everyday use, and Swiffer WetJet for deep cleaning and occasional use.

How to deep clean laminate floors

A major ingredient to use for deep cleaning laminate floors is baking soda. Together with laminate floor cleaners/solutions and good cleaning equipment, you can achieve the desired neatness.

The equipment for deep cleaning varies according to their use. A vacuum cleaner should be used to remove dirt before the actual cleaning or mopping. For vacuum cleaners with rotating brushes, the brushes should be turned off to avoid scratching the surface of your laminate floor. In the absence of a vacuum cleaner, a bristle broom can be used to sweep dust and dirt from the floor.

Next, you must mop. There are reusable mops that can be utilized in deep cleaning laminate floors. The regular washable mops get the job done with a gallon of water, wood cleaners, and some baking soda. However, if you desire some ease in getting things done, hence, you can use equipment like Swiffer WetJet, as it is perfect for the job.

Deep cleaning requires extra moisture and extra effort to get the required result. Therefore, a washable mop is accompanied by a bucket of water during the cleaning exercise. Swiffer products also have a setup designed to produce enough moisture needed during deep cleaning laminate floors.

In some cases, you may require more than a mop to clean up very tough stains, and you can use alcohol and even manually chip off some hard stains with plastic. It is very important to constantly care for what drops on your laminate floor.

Since it is a delicate flooring that does not require constant cleaning, you should apply some caution in using the floor.

  • Spilled liquids should not be left on the floor for too long.
  • It is better to avoid using shoes on the floor.
  • Everyday sweeping should be done to keep dirt off.

What floors can you not use a steam mop on?

There are several floors on which steam mops should not be used, one of which is the laminate floor.

Others include:

  • Engineered hardwood floors.
  • Unsealed wooden floors.
  • Painted floors.
  • Vinyl adhesive plank floors.

In as much as deep cleaning laminate floors will require some moisture, using a steam mop is a big no. Softwood and compressed fibers cannot withstand excess moisture.

Engineered hardwood floors have layers that are put together by adhesives. This means that too much steam will affect the bond and cause it to wear out easily. Hence, you should avoid using steam mops on these kinds of floors.

Unsealed wooden floors do not have any water-resistant material as their cover. Using a steam mop on this kind of floor will make the wood go bad from too much absorption of moisture. This means that constant steaming will cause permanent damage.

Another type of flooring on which steam mops should not be used is painted floors. This is because excess moisture will cause a painted floor to lift, peel, and eventually spoil. Steam mops should be completely ruled out as a piece of equipment for cleaning painted floors.

The vinyl adhesive plank floor is also delicate. As the name implies, it is put together by an adhesive. Consistent use of water or steam on this floor will weaken the adhesive, causing the planks to come off. A steam mop should not be used on this floor.

However, vinyl tiles made of hard materials, concrete floors, ceramic and porcelain tiles, and grout lines between tiles can be cleaned perfectly with steam mops without any fear of long or short-term damage.

How to disinfect laminate floors

Diluted vinegar is the best disinfectant to use for your laminate flooring. But first, you might need to vacuum or sweep the floor before the moping and disinfecting process.

Vacuuming is more effective for trapping germs and dust as sweeping may just lift dust into the air. You should also turn off the rolling brush to avoid scratching the floor. The dry mopping method is most suitable for the laminate floor, better than the wet mopping.

After adding vinegar into a gallon of water with some baking soda and wood cleaning detergent, you can mop your floor and get a desirable result after the process. Using soft microfiber mops with “super-absorbent cleaning pads” like the Swiffer will prevent scratching the surface of your floor while disinfecting.

There are specific disinfectants for wooden floors and synthetic materials like laminate fiber. Using harsh detergents, scents, non-organic disinfectants, and oils will contribute to the damaging of the floor. You should use gentle cleansers specially made for laminate floors. Other regular detergents will make the floor warp, swell, or deteriorate, causing severe damage.

Avoid using any kind of bleach as well, as bleach can easily affect the shiny coat on the surface of your floor. While disinfecting, do not use metal or steel wool to remove dirt as it will damage the delicate surface of your laminate floor.

For extra care, you might want to spray the laminate floor cleaning solution in an adequate amount.  Use a mop dipped in water and squeeze properly to remove excess water, mop dry, and ensure the floor is left dry.

If you do not have the cleaning solution, mixing vinegar with water will suffice. Just a little spray is enough to get a clean wipe, and you do not need too much water. You could also dilute vinegar in water before cleaning as its high acidic content may make the floors look dull.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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