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Steam cleaner mop cleaning floor.

How To Use A Steam Mop

by | Aug 26, 2022 | Cleaning Tips

A clean floor can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your home. But who has the time to scrub floors on their hands and knees? Thankfully, there’s a better way to clean your floors — with a steam mop.

Steam mops use hot water to loosen and remove dirt, grime, and other buildup from your floors. And best of all, they don’t require any harsh chemicals or a lot of elbow grease.



What Are the Benefits of Using a Steam Mop?

Steam mops are a popular cleaning tool for hard surface floors. Here are the benefits of using a steam mop:

  • Steam mops use very little water, so they are a more sustainable option than traditional mopping. 
  • The hot steam helps to loosen and remove dirt and grime more effectively than cold water. 
  • The heat from steam mops can kill bacteria and viruses, making them a good choice for families with young children or pets.
  • Steam mops can be used on a variety of surfaces, including hardwood floors, tiles and laminate. 
  • Steam mops are a quick and easy way to clean floors compared to regular mops and buckets.



What Are the Different Types of Steam Mops?

woman cleaning floor steam cleaning into the room

With so many types and models on the market, how do you know which steam mop is right for you? The right steam mop depends on your cleaning needs. 

Here’s a quick overview of the different types of steam mops:

  • Standard steam mop: These are the most basic type of steam mop, and they’re typically used on hard floors like tile or linoleum.
  • Handheld steam mop: As the name suggests, these models are small and lightweight, making them perfect for cleaning tight spaces or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Steam cleaners: Steam cleaners are more versatile than standard steam mops, and they can be used on a variety of surfaces, including carpets and upholstery.



How Often Should You Steam Mop?

In most cases, you can use a steam mop once a week and still have clean floors. Of course, if you have a big family or your floors get dirtier than usual, you may need to use it more often. 



Where Can I Use a Steam Mop?

close up of cleaning window glass with steam mop

In addition to floors, steam mops can also be used to clean bench tops, windows, doors and even showers. The high temperature of the steam helps to loosen dirt and grime, making it easy to wipe away.

Steam mops are also great for sanitising surfaces, as the heat of the steam kills bacteria and germs. As a result, steam mops can be used in a variety of settings, from homes to businesses. When used properly, they can help to create a cleaner and more sanitary environment.



How to Use a Steam Mop on Floors

If you’re ready to give your floors a deep clean, here’s how to use a steam mop for best results.



Prepare and Assess the Floor Surface

Before you steam mop your floors, the first thing you need to do is prepare the surface. This means making sure there’s no dirt or debris on the floor that could get caught in the mop head or steam cleaner. You may need to sweep or use a vacuum cleaner to remove surface debris; otherwise, the steaming process will simply push the dirt around.

Once the floor is clean, you’ll need to assess the condition of the surface. If it’s in good condition, you can proceed with steaming. However, if the floor is damaged or delicate, you’ll need to take extra care. For instance, you may need to use a lower setting on your steam cleaner or avoid using it altogether.



Prepare Steam Mop Pads

After prepping your flooring, check your mop pads if they’re ready for steam cleaning. This is a simple process, but it’s important to do it correctly in order to get the best results.

  • First, remove the old pad from the mop head by pressing the release button.
  • Then, take the new pad and align it with the mop head, making sure that the Velcro strips are lined up.
  • Finally, press down on the pad until you hear it click into place.

Also, make sure you’re using the right mop pad for your floor surface. A soft pad is best for hardwood floors, while a tougher pad can be used on tile or linoleum. Once the pad is firmly attached, you’re ready to start steam mopping your floors.



Fill the Water Tank

A man pours distilled water into a container of a steam cleaner

Fill the water reservoir with distilled water — the minerals in tap water can leave behind unwanted deposits on your floors.



Steam Clean the Floor

Plug in the mop and wait for the indicator light to turn green, indicating that the mop is ready to use.

  • Place the mop head on the floor and push down firmly to release the steam.
  • Start in one corner of the room and work your way around, overlapping each stroke by about an inch.
  • Take care not to leave the steam mop in one spot for too long, as this can damage the flooring.
  • When you’re finished mopping, remove the mop head and empty any remaining water from the reservoir.
  • Allow the mop head to air dry before storing the unit away.



Wash Steam Mop Pads

Clean the mop pads after using your steam mop. The easiest way to do this is to rinse them with hot water and then machine wash them on a delicate cycle. You can also hand wash them with a mild detergent. If the pads are very dirty, you may need to soak them for a few minutes before washing them.

Whatever method you choose, make sure the pads are completely dry before attaching them to your steam mop. Otherwise, they could mildew or start to develop mould.



How to Use a Steam Mop on Tiles

A steam mop is a great tool for cleaning your tile floors. The steam loosens dirt and grime, and the mop head collects it, leaving your floors sparkling clean.

  1. Make sure your floor is swept or vacuumed before mopping. This will help to remove any large pieces of dirt that could clog up your steam mop.
  2. Fill the steam mop with distilled water. This will help to prevent mineral deposits from building up in the machine.
  3. Test the steam mop on a small area of your floor before using it on the entire surface. This will help you gauge how much pressure to use and how long to keep the mop head in one spot.
  4. When mopping, start at the farthest corner of the room and work your way towards the door. This will help you avoid accidentally trapping yourself in a corner!
  5. Be careful not to leave the mop head in one spot for too long, or you may damage your tile floor. Move it slowly back and forth until the entire area is clean.



How to Use a Steam Mop on Laminate Floors

Steam mops are generally safe on laminate floors. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, you won’t have to worry.

  1. Check the manufacturer’s manual before using a steam mop on your laminate floor. Some steam mops can damage delicate surfaces, so it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  2. Make sure that your steam mop has a soft-bristled brush attachment. This will help to prevent scratching the surface of your laminate floors.
  3. Next, vacuum the floor to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  4. Then, fill the steam mop with distilled water and switch it on. 
  5. When using the steam mop on laminate floors, be sure to use the lowest setting and go with the grain of the flooring.. 
  6. Be careful not to leave the steam mop in the same place for too long, because it can damage the laminate floors.
  7. Once you’re finished mopping, dry the floor with a clean towel to prevent any water spots from forming.



How to Use a Steam Mop to Clean Carpet

Steam cleaner on the gray carpet

If you have a carpeted room that gets a lot of traffic, a steam mop can be a quick and easy way to freshen it up. Just make sure to use the carpet attachment, then follow these steps.

  1. It’s important to vacuum the carpet thoroughly before using the steam mop. This will help to loosen any dirt or debris that is embedded in the fibres. 
  2. Fill the water tank of the steam mop with distilled water. You don’t want to use tap water, as this can leave mineral deposits on the carpet. 
  3. Once the water is in the tank, plug in the mop and let it heat up. When it’s ready, put the cleaning pad on the bottom of the mop head and then start moving the mop over the surface of the carpet. The steam will do most of the work, but you may need to go over particularly dirty areas several times. 
  4. When you’re finished, unplug the steam mop and let it cool down before emptying the water tank and storing it away.
  5. Let the carpet dry completely before walking on it or replacing any furniture.




Can I Use a Steam Mop on Different Types of Flooring?

The answer is yes…and no. Most steam mops are designed for use on hard surfaces, such as tile, linoleum, and hardwood. However, some models also feature a soft pad attachment that can be used on delicate surfaces, such as laminate or vinyl.

When using a steam mop on any surface, it’s important to test a small area first to make sure there is no damage. Once you’ve determined it’s safe to use, be sure to move the mop slowly and evenly over the surface to prevent streaking.



Can I Use My Steam Mop on Hardwood Flooring?

Cleaning the floor with a dry steam cleaner.

Yes, and no. It’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using a steam mop on your hardwood floors. Some types of hardwood are more sensitive to heat and moisture than others, and using a steam mop on these floors can damage the finish.

If you’re not sure whether your floors are suitable for steam cleaning, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and stick to traditional cleaning methods.



Should I Clean the Floor Before Using a Steam Mop?

Yes, definitely. Vacuum or sweep the floor to dispose of any debris before using a steam mop.



What Can I Put in My Steam Mop Water Tank?

Most steam mops come with a reservoir for water, so they don’t generally require anything else. That’s because the steam itself is enough to loosen dirt and stains from surfaces.



Do You Just Put Water in a Steam Mop?

The short answer is yes — as long as you’re using the right kind of water. Most steam mops are designed for use with plain tap water, but if your tap water is especially hard, you may want to use distilled water instead. This will help to prevent mineral build-up in the mop’s tank, which can lead to bacteria growth.

No matter what kind of water you use, be sure to empty and rinse the tank after each use. This will help to keep your steam mop working like new.



Do You Need Detergent for a Steam Mop?

No, you don’t need detergent.. Steam is naturally very effective at breaking down dirt, grime, and bacteria, so most steam mops will work just fine with no additional cleaning solutions.



How Often Should I Wash Steam Mop Pads?

white and blue stripes steam mop pads

You should wash mop pads after each use. This will remove any dirt and debris that can build up over time and lead to smelly mop pads.



Get Clean Floors Without Working Up a Sweat!

A steam mop can be your new floor cleaning partner if you follow the right steps and the manufacturer’s instructions. After all, it might not be enough to sweep or vacuum your floors, because you never know what lurks in an inconspicuous area. If the thought of using a steam cleaner is still mystifying, calling professional cleaners isn’t a bad idea. They can help you spruce up your home and make sure everything is in its rightful place.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.