Steam cleaning is the best way of eliminating the toughest of dirt and grime from your hardwood floors. These powerful machines can even destroy bacteria and germs.
However, if you’re not careful with a steam cleaner, they can end up ruining your hardwood floors. Follow the expert tips mentioned below to steam clean your hardwood floors like a pro.
Is It Safe To Steam Clean Your Hardwood Floors?
The short answer is yes, its safe to use a steam cleaner on hardwood floors. If you have hardwood floors, you know first-hand how hard it is to clean them with traditional methods. If you use too much water or cleaning products, you can end up damaging them.
Excess water is hazardous for hardwood floors, but dry steam won’t cause any damage as very little water is used, and there are no chemicals involved. In fact, it’s the best and most natural method of deep cleaning floors.
The hardwood floor steam cleaner will not just reduce your cleaning time but will ensure that your floors are in tip-top condition. With the right steps, you can prevent the heat of the steam cleaner from ruining your floors finish as well. However, they are not suitable for unsealed hardwood floors.
Here are some precautions you must take before you start steaming your hardwood floors
- You should invest in a good quality steam cleaner. Its best if you get a unit with a variable steam setting so that you can control the amount of steam produced.
- Clear the room of anything that might get in your way such as plants, rugs, or furniture.
- Most units are designed to work only with water. However, depending on the manufacturer, you can use a cleaning solution as well. Follow the instructions to a T and opt for a neutral pH cleaner.
- If your hardwood floors are unsealed, refrain from using a steam cleaner as the moisture from the steam can seep in and cause it to wrap
- You must also keep in mind that most hardwood floor manufacturers warranties don’t cover damages incurred from steam cleaners. Read your manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and if it doesn’t offer protection from steam cleaners, it’s best that you don’t use it, or you’ll have to be extra careful.
- The quality of hardwood floors can differ widely. You must do a patch test first, and if there’s no adverse reaction, you can steam your entire room.
How Do I Use A Steam Cleaner On Hardwood Floors?
Now that you’re well-versed with the precautions, here’s a step by step guide on using a steam cleaner safely on hardwood floors. Make sure you follow them exactly and don’t over clean your floors.
Things You’ll Need:
- Steam cleaner
Step By Step Guide:
Step 1: Before you start steaming, you must sweep or vacuum your floor to remove loose dirt and debris. This provides your steam cleaner with direct access to the floor and ensures that it works effectively.
Step 2: Assemble your unit and ensure that the microfiber cloth is attached properly. The cloth insulates the steam and swipes extra moisture as the powerful steam eliminates dirt, grime, and bacteria.
Step 3: After that, fill up the unit’s water reservoir and wait for it to heat. Its best that you use distilled water as tap water can have mineral elements that may not be suitable for hardwood floors. Generally, steam cleaners take about 30-60 seconds to heat up, but it depends on the unit, so follow the instructions thoroughly.
Step 4: To ensure faster drying, set your unit’s power setting to low or medium. Don’t use the highest settings; if the pressure is too high, it can create a water film which can expose your hardwood floors to damage.
Step 5: You can now start cleaning your floors. Start from one corner and steam clean from one side to another side of the room. Make slow passes throughout the floors to remove all sorts of dirt, bacteria, and grime.
Step 6: Continue the process until the whole room is clean.
N.B: You must not let the steam mop stay in one place for a long time as it can damage the floor. After the cloth is dirty, you can replace it or throw it in the washing machine.
Expert Tips for Maintaining Hardwood Floors:
To increase the longevity of your hardwood floors, its critical that you know how to properly clean and maintain them. Here are some expert tips for your hardwood floors
- If there’s a spill, clean them promptly to prevent permanent stains
- Fit the bottom of your furniture’s with protectors to prevent scratches on your floors. This is particularly essential for stools and chairs that get moved routinely
- You must sweep or vacuum regularly to eliminate debris, dirt, and rocks. They are abrasive materials, and if you step on them, it can damage your floors
- You should also put some light/sheer drapes as sunlight can bleach your hardwood floors
- Place mats near your doors as they significantly reduce the amount of dirt and water that enters your home
- Refrain from using athletic shoes with spikes and high heels as much as possible as they can scratch hardwood floors
- Don’t use the mixture of ammonia and vinegar on the surface as they can be too abrasive for hardwood floors and might end up damaging them and tarnishing the finish
- You must never use steel wool on hardwood floors even if you’re dealing with a tough stain. They’re too harsh and might end up causing more damage of the wood floors
- Don’t let your wet towels and rugs sit on the floor for a long time. Remove them immediately and let them air dry. The moisture can damage hardwood floors
- Make sure that your cleaner is compatible with your floors. Citrus, wax or oil-based cleaners are unsuitable with hardwood floors
Regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping will ensure that your hardwood floor is in tip-top condition. However, you can also use a steam cleaner for a deep cleaning of your hardwood floors. It can take care of all sorts of dirt, grime, and even bacteria and allergens. Don’t steam clean more than once a week and ensure that you follow every tip mentioned above.