Tips on Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor with Steam Mops

Hardwood flooring has survived the many changes and the more modern developments in house designing and flooring. It has not just withstood the test of time but has continued to offer a variety of styles that can be implemented to suit the taste or wish of the homeowner.

It has been referred to as the gold standard for floor covering and there are many reasons why such opinions are held about it. These reasons range from its durability, to its being timeless in style and other positives.

One area where it however continues to generate controversy is the issue of how best it should be cleaned. Everyone seems to agree that first, it should be dust mopped. There equally is a consensus that dust mopping alone wouldn’t remove all the grime accumulated on it over time.

Related image

Where the lack of total consensus starts is on how best to go from here (that is after the dust mopping). There are varying opinions on what comes next and how best it should be done.

One controversial yet quite relevant and effective way of further cleaning it is with the use of steam mops.

What Is a Steam Mop?

It basically is a mop that utilizes steam to clean up dirt on the floor, you can read more about it here. It is very different from the normal or regular kind of mop that makes use of detergents and such other cleaning agents.

Aside from cleaning, it further acts as a disinfectant since the heat from the steam kills the bacteria and germs on the floor. Furthermore, it cleans through the dirt without leaving any residue on the floor unlike the regular mops.

It can therefore be seen that this is a very effective cleaning instrument if not the best home device for cleaning. This is especially so for houses where you have very little kids who most likely will play on the floor.

The Challenge

The question now is, if it is so effective in cleaning, why is there a bit of controversial when it comes to cleaning wooden floors with it?

Firstly, it should be noted that hardwood is very absorbent. On the other hand, steam mops are built in such a way that it cleans with hot vapor. Thus, when it is used improperly on a hardwood floor, the vapor, with its attendant moisture can stay in the cracks and between the boards where the woods finish might not be even. This might in turn result in fractures or other damage to it in the future. It might even scrape away the finishing over time.

However, with the right knowledge and precautions, such situations/scenarios can be avoided.

What to Know

It is important to note that there basically are two different types of steam mops as choosing the right one can make all the difference as you go about your house cleaning activities. They are:

  1. The Stick Types: It is not easy to lift this particular type from the floor when the steam is triggered. They also do not heat the water up to the vapor point but rather to boiling point thus, leaving behind a wet steam and probably a wet floor.
  2. The Canister Types: This type comes with a variety of mop attachments that can be used for cleaning all kinds of surfaces. It can also easily be lifted off the floor when triggering the steam. However, its major disadvantage is that the steam inside the hose can condense back into water if it is left for long on the floor without steaming.

Generally, despite the choice you want to make based on your own unique circumstance, make sure to pick the hardwood floor steam mop that you can easily change its cleaning cloth.

Before You Start

  1. It is very important and greatly advised that you first clean the floor by either doing the basic sweeping or vacuuming. A lot of people ignore this basic step, they do not know that by not doing this, they get their mops easily clogged with dirt and unwanted particles.
  2. Be sure to switch it on first before plugging it to the power source. This is to avoid injuring yourself by getting your fingers burnt as they do heat up easily. It will also reduce the risk of electrical shock.

How to Use Steam Mops

Image result for images for hardwood floors steam mop

First, try to ensure that the floor cloth stays as dry and as clean as possible, for this is the way to keep your floor free of streaks and as beautiful as ever. This also emphasizes why you should get one that enables you to change its cleaning cloth easily.

Secondly, the best and safest way to mop is by raising the mop off the floor when triggering its steam. This is to avoid blowing hot steam directly into the wooden floor as this may adversely affect it in the long run.

Ensure you don’t continuously blast sticky spots with steam. Rather, lift it up and trigger enough blasts to get it hot and damp but not wet.

Finally, because steam condenses back into water, it is always important to remove the condensed water from the hose before you start mopping.

After having taken into consideration all these guidelines and precautionary measures, you can then start the actual mopping. You probably would have to start from one corner of the room to the other side.

If it happens that you have never done anything of this sort formally in your life, do to worry. As it is often said, practice makes perfect.


It is worth remembering that the sole aim for all the above listed activities is first of all to clean up your place of habitation in the best possible way and to also ensure that your hardwood floor is equally properly maintained and preserved for you.

Thus and despite the concerns that have been raised concerning the use of steam mops, it is obvious that it can still be used in a most efficient way for maximum satisfaction and durability. You just need to familiarize yourself with the best way to use the device.