Can You Put Vinegar in a Steam Mop?

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can you put vinegar in a steam mop

Steam mops and vinegar are two popular tools for cleaning floors – but do they go together?

While you might think that combining the two would leave you with super clean floors, that’s not always the case. 

So, can you put vinegar in a steam mop? Here’s what you need to know.

Is it Okay to Put Vinegar in a Steam Mop?

You should not put vinegar in steam mops. Almost every steam mop comes with explicit instructions to not add any descaling, aromatic, or alcoholic agents. Since vinegar is a descaling agent, it’s a no-go. Putting substances other than distilled water in your steam mop can cause issues and will void your warranty.

What Can You Put in a Steam Mop?

The only thing meant to go in steam mops is distilled water. Unfortunately, cleaner, tap water, and other additives can leave behind mineral deposits, clogging the mop and ruining it.

There is one safe alternative, though – Bissell’s line of scented, descaled water. Bissell claims that their scented water is safe for both Bissell and Shark steam mops. (Although it’s probably fine for any brand of steam mop.)

It comes in three scents: Spring Breeze, Citrus, and Eucalyptus Mint. 

These scented waters don’t aid in cleaning. They do, however, leave behind a fresh scent.

How Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Your Floors?

While you can’t use vinegar in a steam mop, you can still use it to clean your floors. Diluted vinegar is safe for most sealed floors. 

(If you haven’t sealed your floors, you’ll want to avoid vinegar – especially if you have unsealed natural stone, wood, or other types of porous flooring.)

Here’s how to use vinegar to clean your floor:

  • Thoroughly sweep your floors
  • Mix half white distilled vinegar with half water
  • Dampen a mop with the solution and clean your floors
  • If there are any areas with standing water left on them, dry with a towel

Frequently Asked Questions

faq vinegar in steam mop

Can I put white vinegar in my Shark steam mop?

No. The instructions on Shark steam mops explicitly say not to add cleaners or descaling agents. Adding vinegar to your shark steam mop may not only damage it but is also completely unnecessary – your steam mop will clean and disinfect perfectly fine without it.

Can you PineSol in a steam mop?

The only substance you should put in your steam mop is distilled water. Heating cleaners in a steam mop can cause fumes and may even cause the chemical composition to change. Don’t put household cleaners in a steam mop.

Can I put bleach in my steam mop?

You should never put bleach in a steam mop. Not only will it leave your house full of fumes, but bleach can disintegrate the plastic components in your mop.


So, can you put vinegar in a steam mop? Unfortunately, no. 

Steam mops and vinegar are both great cleaning tools – they just don’t go together. Never put anything besides distilled or descaled water in your steam mop reservoir tank.

If you want to clean your floors with vinegar, dilute it with water and use it with a regular mop.

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Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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