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The Dangers of Steam Mopping Your Hardwood Floors

July 20, 2020

properly cleaned hardwood floors

Cleaning your hardwood floors is an essential step in maintaining the best look and helping them last a lifetime. Floors can be the dirtiest part of your house, and of course, you want to keep a sanitary space. With the spread of COVID-19, you might have even started cleaning your floors more than you had before. While cleaning your hardwood floors is necessary for sanitation, visual appeal, and general maintenance, you should never steam mop them. Steam mopping can severely damage your hardwood floors.

Hardwood Floors vs. Imitation Hardwood Floors

First, you might wonder if it’s OK to steam certain types of floors. 

Imitation hardwood flooring or laminate flooring is made of synthetic material and mimics the look of hardwood floors. Laminate flooring has benefits such as its low cost, easy upkeep, scratch resistance, and a similar look to real hardwood floors. However, it is still not a good idea to steam mop laminate flooring. 

Hardwood floors are desirable because they are durable and can last over 100 years, are visually appealing, and can increase the value of your home. The flooring is made of solid wood planks, and the natural flaws of wood can make for an extraordinary look. The key to having your hardwood floors last over a century is cleaning and maintaining them regularly. While a steam mop can sound like an easy solution, it can cause some severe damage to your floors. 

How Can a Steam Mop Damage My Floors? 

Whether you have laminate or real hardwood flooring in your home, steam mopping is not the right method. Steam mopping can cause steam to seep through cracks in your flooring. You might not even be able to see the cracks because they are so small. When the steam enters the cracks, it causes warping and swelling. Additionally, steam can cause delamination in laminate flooring. Both flooring kinds can warp and crack, and laminate flooring can become unstuck from the floor and/or crooked. The buildup of steam in the flooring can also trap mold and mildew, causing damage to the floors and even a musty smell. These are costly issues, but you can avoid them by staying away from steam mopping. 

So, How should I Clean My Floors? 

There are several alternatives to steam mopping your floors. However, our recommendation is to clean them using a DIY solution made from everyday household items. You can also purchase similar solutions, but nothing does the trick like these simple ingredients. Read more about DIY hardwood floor cleaning solutions and remember to stay away from steam mopping if you want your hardwood floors to last a lifetime.

If your floors aren’t looking so great, contact us to ask about refinishing.