Steam mops are an incredibly effective and useful way to clean up messes on all types of floors. If you’re planning to deep clean the floors in your home, then a steam mop may be one of many awesome methods that you may be strongly considering.
However, before you set out to use a steam mop on your home floors, you will want to consider what kinds of floors you are going to be cleaning up.
Can you use a steam mop on vinyl plank flooring? What would happen if you did?
Certain types of mops and floor cleaners are best only for specific types of flooring, so what types of flooring can a steam mop be used on?
If you’ve found yourself pondering such questions, then make sure to read on, because we are going to find you some definitive answers!
Is It Safe To Use A Steam Mop On Vinyl Flooring Planks?
The short answer is no, you should never use a steam mop on luxury vinyl plank flooring (or LVP as it is often known for short).
There are many reasons why you should avoid using a steam mop on your LVP flooring, and they all relate back to the intense temperatures that the steam can reach.
When a steam mop is used, water is heated in a reservoir chamber towards the base, at temperatures that often reach up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit!
This means that the steam that is released by the mop is incredibly hot, which makes it great for eliminating germs and bacteria that live on surfaces, but makes it incredibly damaging for vinyl plank floors.
These extreme heats are disastrous for vinyl plank flooring because they are able to penetrate right through the material and cause direct damage to the fibers in the core of each plank.
This slowly causes the planks to weaken, which leaves them susceptible to breakage, which will mean they need to be replaced much sooner. The moisture from the steam can also have an impact on the planks because it can cause mold and mildew to develop in small pockets and small cracks between each plank.
This not only can cause some horrific smells but can also cause health problems, as the bacteria released by mold can be inhaled over time. Mold and mildew growth on your vinyl plank flooring would cause you to need another deep clean much sooner than usual.
In addition, steam mops are also terrible for vinyl plank flooring because the intense heat can cause damage to the sealants that hold the planks in place. This will mean that the planks can easily come loose, especially during use, so you could find the planks coming loose as you simply walk around in your home!
How To Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring
As with anything in the home, the best way to keep vinyl flooring clean is to ensure that you clean up any messes as soon as they arise.
Allowing spills of liquids to linger on vinyl plank floors can cause long-term problems that are much more difficult to resolve. This is especially the case if the spillages are able to slip into the cracks between individual vinyl planks.
In order to keep your vinyl plank flooring from developing any long-term problems, and to keep it much cleaner for longer, we strongly recommend vacuuming the floor as frequently as possible.
Simply vacuuming the floor for a few minutes every couple of days will help to keep small amounts of dust and debris from scuffing the flooring or slipping between the cracks and becoming lodged.
You can also dry-mop the flooring in order to clean up spillages or to pick up small amounts of dust and debris.
However, you can also use wet cleaning methods on your vinyl plank flooring, though you should exercise caution as you do so.
You can use small brushes alongside a helping of cleaning solution, as well as wet mops to remove pockets of dirt and grime that may be collecting on your floor.
Make sure to use warm water in order to do this, to kill off bacteria, but also to ensure that the water is not so hot as to compromise the integrity of the flooring.
Once you have mopped or wiped down your vinyl plank flooring, we recommend then quickly rinsing off the planks with a fresh towel, to ensure that all dirty water has been removed, and then wiping the floor down with a dry towel, to ensure that no excess moisture is able to soak into the planks and find its way into the cracks between the planks.
To Wrap Up – Can You Use A Steam Mop On Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Unfortunately, though steam mops are incredibly useful and powerful, thanks to their bacteria-killing capabilities, you cannot safely use them on vinyl plank flooring, because you will very likely run the risk of permanently damaging them.
The intense heat from steam mops will cause direct damage to the structural integrity of your vinyl floor planks, causing them to either become damaged and unsightly, or cause them to come loose, which could make them dangerous, and even more unattractive.
The moisture from the steam is also difficult to control and can cause mold and mildew to develop.
Instead of using a steam mop, simply head back to basics, and clean up your vinyl plank flooring with a regular old mop, and some soapy water.
Though it may take a little extra time, it is worth it for allowing your flooring to last longer. And make sure to vacuum vinyl plank flooring as often as possible to keep damaging debris from building up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring?
You should aim to clean vinyl plank flooring directly using either soapy water or hot water mixed with white vinegar.
What Should You Not Use On Vinyl Plank Flooring?
You should aim to avoid using abrasive or harsh chemicals when cleaning your vinyl plank flooring, as such chemicals can cause very direct damage to the structural integrity of the planks, making them less sturdy, and much more susceptible to damage.
How Do I Make My Vinyl Floor Look New Again?
If you want to make your vinyl floor look like it is brand new again, you should aim to use white vinegar mixed with warm water, as this will eat away at even the toughest pockets of grime and dirt, leaving the flooring looking brand new!
For a few more do’s and dont’s when it comes to cleaning luxury vinyl plank flooring, check out this video from Georgina Bisby. You’ll be sure to find some helpful tips and tricks!