Can I Use a Steam Mop on a Hardwood Floor?


Steam mops are a popular floor cleaning device that use the power of steam to clean floors. Many consumers like these mops as they don’t use any harmful chemicals in the cleaning process. They work great on linoleum and tile floors, and many steam mop manufacturers also say that they work just as well and are safe for hardwood floors. But is this the case? Can you really use a steam mop on a hardwood floor? The results suggest otherwise.

Can I Use a Steam Mop on a Hardwood Floor?

The first problem with using a steam mop on a hardwood floor is that hardwood does not like water. Manufacturers recognize this and most stipulate that you should only use a steam mop on a sealed hardwood floor which is protected from water. However, this too has its issues.

Using a steam mop on an unsealed hardwood floor is an automatic recipe for disaster. The steam will quickly infuse water into the boards, which will swell, warp, and buckle.

On a sealed hardwood floor, you run the risk of water getting in through a small crack in the sealer or a scratch in the finish. Though you might not be able to see them, the steam can find its way in and damage your floor.

In addition to the problem of water, some people who use steam mops on wood floors report scratches from cleaning pads, or streak marks that result from the finish being stripped off. This causes discoloration and streaking. “Many consumers have had problems with steam mops where they strip new hardwood floors right down to the bare wood,” which would require refinishing.

Lastly, in addition to the potential for warping, buckling, streaking and stripping that comes with using a steam mop on your hardwood floor, you also risk voiding your manufacturer’s warranty. Overall, using a steam mop on a hardwood floor is not worth the risk. Check out our top cleaning tips and tips on how to keep your hardwood floor looking like new for information on proper hardwood floor care.  Contact the flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors, Inc. by calling 410.415.0755 or click here today! You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn!

steam mop hardwood floor