Originally Posted On: https://znetflooring.com/blog/your-floor-and-steam-cleaners/
You’ve invested money and time installing beautiful flooring. The last thing you want is to ruin those new surfaces by cleaning them the wrong way…
Proper care and cleaning of your flooring will keep it looking it’s best, prevent unnecessary damage, and ensure your flooring lasts for years. The question is, do you know how to clean yours the right way?
Not to worry. Here’s a breakdown of proper cleaning for your specific floor and steam cleaners–can you use them or not?
At the risk of stating the obvious, not all floor cleaners are created equal. What may be highly effective and safe on one type of flooring could leave with severe damage to another.
Steam cleaners are exactly this kind of cleaning tool.
One of the many positives of vinyl flooring is the ease with which you can clean it. Most spills can be easily wiped away with a damp rag and a little bit of elbow grease.
However, when it comes to vinyl plank flooring or any other kind of vinyl, steam cleaners are not a safe method for sprucing up.
Vinyl and vinyl plank, even the waterproof LVT varieties, steamers just get to hot. Some people say that if you are careful, keep it moving, keep the temperature down, damage can be avoided. Play it safe, keep your warranty intact, and just DON’T.
Here’s where things get specific. Tile flooring comes in many varieties, but not all are safe to clean with steam mops.
Porcelain tile, however, is durable and solid. It’s not easily damaged and thus stands up well to the powerful cleaning that steam mops are known for.
The process to make porcelain and the hardness of the tile itself make it a perfect candidate for steaming. The combination of heat and water will leave you with an extra crisp-clean tile floor.
Just make sure your tile isn’t made of another material before you steam. Some designs are great at looking like one thing while actually being made of another material.
It’s common knowledge that wood is no friend to heat and water. The nature of wood itself is highly permeable. Intense heat and water can cause your hardwood to mold, pucker, and deteriorate.
Steam cleaning isn’t the only type of cleaning method to avoid when it comes to hardwood.
When in doubt, do your research before attempting a cleaning method you don’t already know is safe.
The simple answer here is, no. You can’t use steam mops on your laminate floors.
Laminate flooring is made by pressing several materials together to create a beautiful image of wood, without as high a cost as the real thing.
Because of this, laminate has a top layer that acts as a sealant. Using intense heat and water on this would warp the laminate. You’d be left with peeling, puckering, and ruined floors.
When it comes to cleaning your floor and steam cleaners, it’s always a safe bet to check with your flooring manufacturer.
Many floors are replaced due to steam mop advertisements stating laminate, wood, and vinyl are ok to use the product on. NEVER use a steamer on those flooring types, regardless of what the ad says.
If you have a porcelain or ceramic tile floor and would like to use a steamer, this is the one people seem to gravitate to.
If you can’t tell what kind of material was used, a flooring expert can guide you to the best cleaning methods. For more questions about flooring and proper care, browse our blog.
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