If you have laminate flooring that needs to be cleaned with more than just the sweeping of a brush, you might be wondering; can you use a steam mop on laminate floors? After all, they are often marketed for use on hard-surfaced floors.
When it comes to laminate floors, you should not use a steam mop for cleaning. This is because the laminate is super sensitive to any moisture and heat, so using a steam mop can cause the flooring to become damaged over time.
While it might not create the same kind of damage a wet mop can, you will notice that the laminate will begin to peel and warp over time, even if the steam mop says it is entirely suitable for a laminate floor.
In this article, we shall take a look at why you should avoid using a steam mop on a laminate floor, and what you can do to clean it instead.
What Can A Steam Mop Do To A Laminate Floor?
Cleaning using hot steam is a tried and trusted method to keep the home squeaky clean, however, it does not work for everything.
Take laminate flooring for example, the moisture and the heat that is supposed to clean also damages the material. You might have a clean floor, but also likely a peeling one.
This is because the laminate soaks up all of the moisture, rather than having it remain on the outer layer of laminate flooring.
While you can get waterproof laminate flooring, steam cleaners are often not recommended because even that extra waterproof layer will soon be penetrated by liquid.
Laminate is usually made using a form of fiberboard for the backing with another material laminated over it. If it gets wet the fiberboard will swell and buckle under heat and moisture. Over time this will cause all these layers to come undone and start to peel away from each other.
So, rather than just a cleaning job, you could end up needing to replace the whole floor which can be very costly.
Are There Other Things That Can Damage A Laminate Floor While Cleaning?
Even though using steam and water is a big no-no when it comes to cleaning regular laminate flooring (and vinyl flooring), there are other things to be aware of when removing debris and dirt from this type of floor material.
One of the best ways to look after your laminate flooring is to try and prevent as much debris and damage from happening as possible.
While it might seem unrealistic, a sweep with a dry brush and a quick vacuum every day can do wonders in keeping it in good condition.
The addition of mats can also help, especially if people are walking through due to the room having a door to the outside world. This can do wonders to keep dirt at bay.
However, there is often a time when something is spilled, especially if the laminate flooring is in a kitchen. When this happens, you will want to soak up the spill with a clean cloth or kitchen towel as fast as you can.
Another thing laminate floorings are prone to is scratches. Because of this, you may want to add protectors to the feet of chairs and tables.
Every time a chair is moved from under the table and back, there is a high chance the floor will become scratched.
Is There A Type Of Laminate You Can Steam Clean?
As always, make sure you check the manufactures cleaning instructions before reaching into the cleaning cupboard. But as a general rule, there is no type of laminate flooring that you can use a steam mop on.
There are a few manufacturers that claim you can use steam and high heat to clean their floors, but they are very expensive compared to other options. For the money that is spent, it is not always worth it. Instead, if you are planning to have new flooring put down and want to use a steam mop, why not invest in a tiled floor or vinyl?
Laminate can be sensitive when it comes to daily activities, so the two options mentioned will work wonders if you have a pet dog or cat, or a family to look after – think about the mess!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Best Ways To Clean Laminate Safely?
Cleaning a laminate floor does not have to be a difficult task. The best way to look after it is to make sure daily dirt is swept away or vacuumed, and that no liquid is left to sit on the floor for a long period of time.
If you do need to give it a deeper clean, a regular damp mop should suffice, or a specialized laminate floor cleaning solution.
Just remember to make sure that the laminate floor is not left to sit in dampness. Wiping it over with a dry cloth and opening the windows will ensure it dries quickly without becoming ruined.
How To Clean Laminate Using A Steam Mop
If you really, really want to use a steam mop (you really, really shouldn’t) and understand the issues, then it is still possible to use a steam mop. However, you need to make sure you take some precautions to avoid damaging the laminate flooring.
While using the steam mop, never let it sit in one place and instead keep the mop moving. Also, wipe along the floor gently, rather than putting some force into it so the mop does not push against the floor.
Once you have finished, you will need to ensure that the laminate is completely dry, so wipe it down with a dry cloth and open the windows.
If you need to clean your laminate flooring with more than just a sweep of a dry brush or the wipe of a cloth, you might be tempted to try a steam mop. However, you could damage the laminate in the long run.
Because of this, there are easier and safer methods to clean your laminate flooring so it can last for a much longer time.
If you are still wanting to have a hard floor, and are married to your steam mop, then there are other more suitable flooring options, though a new floor is much more expensive than a new mop.
The Home Depot has put together a great little video on how to look after your laminate floors, check it out.