A steam mop is a convenient, efficient, and time-saving cleaning tool in cleaning any hard floor in the house carpets included but excluding unsealed hardwood. Unlike traditional mops, the mop head absorbs dirt and the heat of the steam kills bacteria and pathogens on the floor leaving surfaces hygienic and spotless. Steam mops in different sizes, styles, manner of attaching the mop head, and amount of steam generated. Nevertheless, all steam mops work in a similar way.
Tips on cleaning floors with a steam mop.
Tools: Broom or Vacuum cleaner
Materials: Steam floor cleaner, Multiple mop pads (depending on how dirty the floor is).
- Sweep or vacuum the floor:
First of all, vacuum or sweep the floor to get rid of loose dirt and crumbs. The mops will get less dirty and the steam cleaner will be able to focus on stains. Besides dragging large pieces of crumbs can deface the floor.
There are various dual-functional tools that are very handy and pretty good when it comes to cleaning areas; without getting the vacuum cleaner out. Though, sweeping or using a regular vacuum cleaner works more efficiently. Once vacuumed, your floor is ready to be steam mopped.
- Remove obstacles and loose objects lying around:
Removing obstacles such as dining chairs, furniture, books, and toys will make your moping faster as you can easily access the areas to be mopped.
- Prepare your steam mop and pads:
If you are using a cordless one, make sure it is charged. Next, fix the pads to the base of your mop.
While mopping, it is advisable to have many mop pads in hand so you can change them once it gets dirty to avoid smearing dirt around as you steam the floor to ensure a clean mopping.
It is also advisable that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to manage your steam pads. Steam pads are to be removed from the machine after cleaning and washed immediately for a longer life span.
- Fill your water tank:
It is better to fill the water tank to its maximum capacity so you can clean for a longer duration.
- Connect your steam cleaner to a power outlet or simply turn it on if it is cordless. Let it warm for about 20 to 30 seconds.
- Do not start from the doorway:
To avoid walking over the area you have just cleaned, work across the floor from the corner of the room furthest to the door. It is better and easier to clean in straight lines gliding the steam mop gently in a back and forth motion for excellent results.
- Do not leave the steam mop on a spot for too long:
Leaving the steam mop concentrated on one spot of the floor for as long as moisture will accumulate in the pad and deface the floor (wood floor). If you have to stop while working, endeavor to turn it off. Nevertheless, for grimy spots, you can keep the steam not centered on the spot for about 8 seconds allowing the steam particles to break down stubborn dirt.
- Allow the floor to dry before stepping back inside.
- Steam mops only water. Topping them with your own cleaning solution may damage the machine and deface flooring. Some steam mops are sold with scented demineralized steaming water, but it is better to read your user manual first to make sure it is compatible with your model type.
For hardwood floors, avoid using chemicals which can damage the floor or break its sealant barrier.
- Evaluate your floor surface: This is a general floor care tip. Steam mops should be used only on sealed floors because too much moisture can damage some surfaces. If you are unsure if your flooring is sealed, you can do a water test. Choose an area on your floor and drop a few drops of water on it. If the water does not get absorbed after 4 – 5 minutes, then it is safe for steam mops.
- Avoid using hard water. Though tap water may be good for drinking, it may damage your steam mop as minerals may block the steam outlets. Distilled or demineralized water is recommended to avoid damage.
Here are our top tips on using a steam mop to clean your floor effectively. Notwithstanding, do not forget to read the user manual and remember to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid burns or injury.