“Can I use a steam mop on my hardwood flooring?”
What a great question from one of our SMART Magazine readers!
Steam mops are not recommended or endorsed by hardwood, laminate, or vinyl plank flooring manufacturers. Introducing moisture through steaming can swell the joints of these products. The T.V. commercials show a “wood looking” floor being steamed, which is most likely standard sheet vinyl. Please enjoy steamed crabs and steamed shrimp, but sanitize your floors with cleaners developed for this purpose.
Hardwood is a porous, natural surface and as soon as you have a spill, work quickly so you don’t harm the floor. Most of these floors are coated with a polyurethane that over time will begin to break down and expose the hardwood. This leaves the floor more prone to scratching. The easiest way to help prevent this breakdown is to properly take care of your flooring frequently by using natural and specific products.
Here are some ways to keep your hardwood floors clean:
Use a professional flooring cleaner.
We carry a Shaw Floors product in our showroom made specifically for hard surfaces such as hardwood. Just follow the instructions for daily/weekly cleaning and maintenance on the label. This cleaner is suitable only for hardwood floors with a polyurethane finish, not on unfinished, unsealed, or waxed wood floors.
Use a vinegar mixture.
Be careful and dilute a half a cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of water to clean your hardwood floors. After you’ve mopped the floor be sure to go over it with a soft, dry fabric so the floors do not remain wet.
Use a gentle brush or vacuum.
Make sure to purchase a brush or vacuum that are specially made for your hardwood floors. These vacuums have softer bristles as opposed to the hard bristles used for carpet. Hard bristles could scratch the floor. Use a soft, dry mop to dust the hardwood flooring regularly and keep them free from mud and debris as best you can. A micro fiber mop would be a great example of a soft, dry mop to use.
But only a few times a year. It’s a substitute to toxic polishes and finishes. This will make them greatly resistant to debris and dirt. Beeswax will also
give you a wonderful luster.
Maintaining the wood of your hardwood floors on a regular basis is going to extend the life of the floor. Always a plus when you invest in a beautiful, natural product that you want to be around for a long, long time.
If you have any questions for Patrick Helf, our flooring expert, please email him at: email@example.com.
He would be delighted to talk with you and welcome you to visit our showroom at 1150 Stewart Street in York, PA.