Due to its wooden nature, it is not advisable to use a steam mop on Laminate Flooring because of the water (steam) it releases. This steam Leads to damage of Laminate flooring.
Steam mopping has a lot of benefits like floor sanitization which kills germs but before using a steam mop on your floor you have to understand how the material reacts to steam mopping.
Can you use a Steam Mop on Laminate Flooring?
The laminate floor is made from fiberboard or wood bi-products which makes it not a good material for use with a steam mop. This is because a steam mop releases steam (water) which seeps between the planks making the floor swell, peel or warp.
Continuous usage of a steam mop on the laminate floor will also cause the rotting of the floor.
Can you use a steam mop on water-resistant laminate?
There is a wide range of laminate floors with a waterproof coating where if water spills on them it does not seep into the planks. With this type, you can use a steam mop but also make sure you wipe dry to minimize damage and use a low heat setting on the steam mop.
The secret is to make sure you don’t overheat the laminate flooring.
How do I know if the Steam Mop is Damaging the Floor?
- A dull appearance.
Continuous steam mopping on laminate flooring will make the floor lose its original shine. The heat from the mop wears off the top glossy shine.
- Presence of mold and rotting.
When the steam (water) seeps in between the cracks and the gaps and sits there without being dried with time the floor will start to produce a musty smell. This is a sign that your floor has moisture and you risk the growth of mold.
- Bending, warping, and swelling
How to Clean and protect your laminate flooring?
Due to its wooden nature, it is important to make sure you avoid using water to clean laminate floors.
Any water spillages should be wiped dry immediately. The longer it sits the higher the chances of staining the floor or permanently damaging your laminate.
For effective daily cleaning, use a soft damp cloth to wipe and a mild liquid detergent if necessary.
So how should you clean your laminate flooring without the risk of destroying it?
Dust the floor Surface Using a Vacuum Cleaner.
Vacuuming is an effective way to remove dirt from cracks and large debris that may be lying on the floor surface.
If you don’t own a vacuum cleaner you can sweep using a dry mop. To reach the dirt in the grooves sweep in the direction that the tiles were laid.
Wipe Dry any Water Spills Immediately.
Use a sponge or a dry cloth to soak up any liquid that spills on the floor. Do not allow any liquid to sit on the floor for prolonged periods.
Do not use a Steam Mop to Clean the Laminate floor.
Alternatively, dump mop the floor periodically using laminate floor cleaning products. Do not use any soap products for they make your floor appear dull.
- For tough stains like coffee, oil spillage, red wine stain, or ink use nail polish remover/acetone on a clean cloth. If the stain is still resistant spray vinegar then wipe with a damp microfibre cloth.
Where vinegar fails, use mineral spirits to remove the stain.
Do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool to avoid scratching the floor.
Common Stains on Laminate Flooring and How to Remove them
On all the stains that occur on your laminate flooring, it is always key to note that the sooner you attend to them the better because then they’ll be easier to remove.
How to Remove Chewing Gum on Laminate Flooring?
Use a plastic knife to scrape away the gum. For the remaining residue in case of dampening use a soft cloth with mineral spirits and wipe it off.
Disclaimer: Do not use a steel knife because you are more likely to scratch the floor.
How To Remove Blood Stains on Laminate Flooring?
Using a mildly damp microfibre cloth, wipe it off as soon as it touches the floor. In cases where the blood is resistant, use mineral spirits.
When the stain is wiped clean, re-clean the area with a cloth soaked in clean, warm water
This method will also apply in cases of wine, coffee, ink spillages, tar, and wax crayons. Acetone/ink remover can also be used.
How To Remove Grease on Laminate Flooring?
The solution is to freeze the grease.
Grease hardens when ice is applied to it, therefore, apply ice on the patch until the grease freezes then using a plastic kitchen knife scrape it off.
Use window cleaning spray to wipe off any remaining residue.
On laminate flooring avoid using a steam mop. The moisture being released by the mop will damage your laminate.
The floor will eventually start to swell/buckle and permanently destroy it. Some steam mop manufacturers may claim to be safe but always check the care guide for your floor first.
Alternatively, I recommend a damp microfibre cloth for this type of floor.
Also, read How to remove buildup on Laminate floors.