If you’ve recently purchased a steam mop, or moved to a new place with laminate, you might be thinking, can I use a steam mop on laminate floors? Laminate floors generally cannot handle excessive moisture the way tiles can, as the more planks can warp without special care. The answer is yes you can steam mop your laminate flooring, but only with special care.
Better Than Wet Sweeping
The drying time for steam mopping is generally around 30 seconds for hard floors such as tile (as opposed to carpet). Traditional wet mopping, and even wet pad sweeping can leave moisture sitting on laminate for several minutes. The high temperature of the steam is also enough to sanitize your floors, even when used on the low setting.
Important Precautions for Your Laminate Floors
Bear in mind, without taking a few precautions, you could damage your laminate flooring while cleaning. If you use too high of a heat setting or hold the steam on any one area too long you can damage your laminate . So, always consider the following:
- Sweep or vacuum before using your steam mop. The mops are not meant for picking up large amounts of dirt. You also do not want to grind dirt into the laminate as you sweep the steamer back and forth. Steam mops are great for the final polish and picking up the smallest particles . Always move furniture when you sweep or vacuum. Dust can accumulate under furniture, and a vents from your furnace or air conditioning can blow the dust around the room, quickly dirtying your newly clean floor.
- Check the microfiber cloth of your mop before and during your cleaning. If your floor is particularly dirty, you may need to change the cloth partway through your floor cleaning session.
- It is extremely important to always use your steam mop on the lowest setting with laminate. Using excessive heat can quickly damage and warp laminate. So, be sure the mop is set on low, and move it in quick strokes to prevent over-heating any spot on your laminate.
- You also want to move quickly to hit your floor with a smaller amount of steam than you would with carpet or tile. Over saturating laminate floors can lead to that dreaded warping. If you notice any deformations after using your steam mop, your flooring may have already been weakened, so return to your previous mode of cleaning.
- Never use multi-surface cleaners on laminate. These types of cleaners can dull laminate flooring. The light steam is all you need for a general cleansing.
- Begin in a far corner using even strokes so you don’t miss any areas. Work your way in quick strokes toward your exit of the room to avoid walking on the wet floors. Remember to never hold your steam mop in one spot on laminate. If you must pause, turn off your mop.
For more info on using steam mops on laminate flooring, read our article on the Best Steam Mops for Laminate Floors.
One thing to note, because of the delicate nature of laminate, it’s best to steam mop on less frequent occasions than other types of flooring. The heat from steam is not something that should be used on a daily basis for laminate, so save your steam mopping on laminate for the times you feel they need a quick shine and sanitization. With proper use, it’s a great way to get a quick shine out of your laminate floors.