Mopping your floor is an essential cleaning task that should be done regularly. If you have a baby in the house, you’ll want to mop even more often to make it safe and hygienic for them to crawl around. Thankfully, the old mop and bucket technique has become somewhat obsolete with the invention of steam mops. However, not all types of flooring are suited to steam mopping. Here we’ll examine the question, “Are steam mops good for vinyl floors?”
If you decide to forge ahead and steam clean your vinyl floor without doing research first, you may end up paying a hefty price to have the floor repaired.
The popularity of vinyl flooring
When you think of vinyl flooring you may think of squeaky old linoleum — but think again. Vinyl flooring is making a comeback in recent years with the advent of vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl plank flooring is low maintenance and extremely durable while giving the look of much more expensive hardwood. It can give a very sophisticated, high-end appearance while fitting into a more limited budget.
However, vinyl plank flooring requires some special care. You shouldn’t use anything abrasive to clean them as this can scratch the surface. And similarly, steam should be avoided too for the following reasons.
Why steam mops aren’t good for vinyl floors
Vinyl flooring is simply not intended to handle the very hot temperatures required to turn water into steam. are not designed to withstand the high temperatures which are required to create steam. The heat and water from a steam mop can cause severe damage to vinyl plank flooring. Steam and water can seep through the seams of vinyl plank flooring, creating water buildup under the floor that can cause the plank edges to lift up. Additionally, if the vinyl plank flooring is the type that is glued down, steam can loosen the adhesive causing the planks to lift. For these reasons, steam mopping vinyl floors isn’t recommended.
But if you insist on doing it anyway…
While we definitely don’t recommend steam cleaning vinyl floors, maybe you’ve decided to do it anyway. Perhaps you received a steam mop as a gift and just can’t wait to put it to use. If that’s the case, be extremely careful when using it. If the steam mop is adjustable, use the lowest heat setting possible. Also, don’t leave the steam mop in one place for very long as that will help the steam penetrate underneath the planks. Then be sure to dry your floor very thoroughly afterward to ensure no moisture remains. (See what a pain it is to clean a vinyl floor with a steam mop? This is why it’s not recommended!)
Ready to clean your floor?
Now that we’ve examined the question “Are steam mops good for vinyl floors?”, you know the answer is a resounding no. In order to prolong the life of your vinyl plank flooring, we recommend using a regular mop instead. However, if you have different flooring in another part of your house, a steam mop can work great for hardwood floors or other materials like ceramic tile. While steam mops are great at killing germs and can even be used to refresh carpet, they simply aren’t suited for vinyl.