Laminate floors are a popular choice for homeowners because they are affordable and easy to maintain. But can you use a steam mop on laminate floors? Well, it depends on what kind of steam mop you’re using and the product’s water temperature.
There are some things you need to know before you start steaming. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about using a steam mop on laminate floors, including how to clean them and how to protect your flooring from damage. Keep reading for tips on using a steam mop safely and effectively on your laminate flooring!
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What are laminate floors?
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of how to use a steam mop on laminate floors, let’s talk about what laminate floors are.
Laminate is a manufactured floorboard that resembles the appearance of natural hardwood, but it is made of layers of material pressed together.
These layers of material may include a seal coat that protects the floor, a picture of the texture, a layer of wood composite, it may be a structural layer that provides support, and lastly, a moisture barrier, usually placed at the bottom. Laminate comes in squares or boards that connect together and is destined to be fitted without using neither glues nor adhesives.
Can A Steam Mop Be Used On Laminate Floors?
It is not recommended to use a steam mop on the laminate floor. A steam mop, as the name suggests produces steam that can soak into the boards through the cracks on the floor and cause damage to the fiberboard core. A steam mop can as well make a laminate floor to start peeling, swelling, and warping.
The moisture produced from the steam mop can completely ruin the laminate floor. Whenever a laminate floor is exposed to vapor (water) it can swell up and in the end, start to buckle the laminate. Instead of using a steam mop on the laminate floor, using a damp cloth and a laminate floor cleaner is recommended to be used in cleaning the floor.
In case one decides to use a steam mop, the steam mop should be kept moving. It should not be left to settle in one area. The pressure produced by the moisture enters in between the boards. This in turn causes laminate-ruining moisture damage under the laminate.
After using the steam mop on a laminate floor, the area where the steam mop is used should be dried thoroughly to ensure that there is no moisture left on the floor. This method too is not recommended on a laminate floor because it can permanently damage the floor.
How To Clean Laminate Floors?
- Steam cleaners or wet mops should not be used, they may cause permanent damage to the floor.
- Damp cloth should be used to clean up spills as soon as they occur. You should not allow any liquid to stay on the floor.
- For hard spots such as oil, grease, paint, lipstick, paraffin, ink among others, use acetone or nail polish remover on a clean piece of cloth to clean up. Afterwards, clean the affected area with a moist cloth to help remove any remaining residue.
- Sweep, dust, or empty the floor frequently with the hard floor attachment in order to avoid the build-up of dirt that can scrape off the floor finish.
- Occasionally, clean the floor with those cleaning products designed specifically for laminate flooring.
- Avoid washing or wet mopping the laminate floor using soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or other liquid cleaning products. These can bring about swelling, warping, delamination, and even joint-line separation, and, as a result, void the warranty.
- Never use steel wool, coarse or rough cleaners, or even strong ammoniated or chlorinated cleaners.
- Avoid using any type of polishing machine on the laminate floors.
- For spots like candle wax or even chewing gum, the spot should first be hardened with ice and then gently scraped using a plastic scraper, for instance, a credit card. The person doing this should be very careful to avoid scratching the flooring surface. Afterward, wipe-clean using a damp cloth.
- Frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming may be required in very sandy or dusty areas such as those homes lying by the beach.
Shaw floors hard surface cleaner is the best way to clean a laminate floor as it will keep the floor looking good for many years.
Shaw floors hard surface cleaner is sprayed onto the floor lightly and afterward wiped out with a piece of soft cloth, terry cloth mop, or even microfiber mop.
It is vital to note that if the mop head is washed and reused, there is the need to avoid the use of any kind of fabric softener while washing or while in the dryer. Fabric softeners hold chemicals that can lead to dampening build-up overtime on the laminate floors.
Another method of cleaning that may look good but is not advisable is the use of dry magnetic kind of pads that attract dirt and soil. These should be avoided as well. They can also cause a build-up over time that in the long term causes the laminate floors to look dull.
It is easier to keep the laminate looking lovely using accurate products than it is to try and undo the damage caused by a product that is not suitable for the type of flooring. Learn how often to mop your laminate floors for good care of floor cleaning.
As attractive as they may appear, homemade cleaners composed of products should be highly avoided around the house. Also, keep in mind never to wet a mop. As we mentioned above, never use a steam mop of any kind on laminate flooring.
The linkages in between the laminate boards lock together well hence the need to ensure that they lock together very well. Despite this, they are not waterproof. Steam can make its way into the linkages. This steam from a steam mop can cause a lot of damage to the floor causing peeling, bubbling, and finally swelling.
Damages brought about by these kinds of cleaning systems are not covered under the flooring warranty.
Summarily, it is not recommended to use steam cleaners or even wet mops on laminate floors. Because laminate flooring is made of wood, it is advisable to avoid exposing the laminate floor to moisture.