picture of hardwood floor

Are Steam Mops Safe for Hardwood Floors?

It’s not hard to see why people love hardwood floors. They can add a gorgeous, high-end touch to any home’s decor.

However, keeping hardwood floors looking nice requires some careful maintenance. If care isn’t taken, hardwood floors can become scratched, warped or dulled over time.

Steam mops have become popular in recent years because they make cleaning floors much easier and. But are steam mops safe for hardwood floors?

There are a few different factors that go into determining this, and we’ll dive into them here.

Can your hardwood floors be steam mopped?

While steam mops aren’t great for vinyl floors and must be used with caution on laminate floors, the issue of using them on hardwood is more nuanced.

Whether a hardwood floor can stand up to a steam mop depends on two factors. Those factors are whether the wood is sealed, and how much residual moisture the mop leaves behind.

Moisture left behind on hardwood floors is what causes damage. Even finished and sealed flooring can be damaged if it’s repeatedly exposed to water left by a steam mop.

Some steam mop manufacturers say their product can be used on all hardwood floors. Meanwhile, others warn their steam mops are best for finished and sealed floors only.

Regardless of what the manufacturer says, consider your flooring’s specific characteristics. If it’s older flooring that hasn’t been refinished or was left unfinished, it’s best not to use a steam mop very often.

If you want to try steam mopping older hardwood floors, do a test area and watch what happens over a few weeks. Even if there’s no apparent damage, it’s best to use steam mops only occasionally.

For example, use a steam mop once per month and use an alternative method for the rest of the month.

If you have newer hardwood floors that are sealed or finished, there’s less of a chance that a steam mop will cause damage. Still, try it on a small area and keep watch for a short period of time.

Look for dulling in particular. If your hardwood flooring doesn’t have the sheen it usually does after being cleaned, the issue may be the setting on your steam mop or the cleaner you’re using.

Another factor to take into account is what type of wood your floor is. For instance, sturdy oak is better able to withstand steam mopping than a softer material such as pine.

Ready to steam mop your hardwood floor?

Now you know the answer to the question “Are steam mops safe for hardwood floors?” Once you’ve found a steam mop appropriate for your floor, it’ll become much easier to clean up spills. Cleaning large areas of your home’s flooring will also become faster.

Steam mopping is also a great way to kill bacteria tracked inside on your family’s shoes. For the best results, use natural cleaners specifically made to prevent dulling your hardwood floor.

When steam mopping, you can skip using soap and cleaner altogether and use plain water. This may also help preserve the life of your hardwood flooring while ensuring it stays clean.

To find the best steam mop for your floor, check out our Best Steam Mop Reviews. For the best bang for your buck, look for a model that offers maximum versatility.

 Some steam mops can even be used on carpet, making them a great all-in-one cleaning solution.

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