Which steam mops for hardwood floors are best?
Hardwood floors bring a warm, traditional aesthetic to interior space, whether they are weathered, reclaimed materials or brand new wood. However, they require special cleaning to ensure they look their best and prevent damage or stains. Steam mops are excellent tools for gently and thoroughly maintaining your hardwood floor.
The Shark S7000AMZ Steam Mop is a great choice, as it features dual-cleaning pads that spin independently to bring your floors to a glistening shine. It’s small, lightweight and has a pivoting head that allows you to easily maneuver it around your home. And the multiple steam settings give you the flexibility needed to clean different floor surfaces.
What to know before you buy a steam mop for hardwood floors
How steam mops work
Unlike traditional mops, steam mops don’t require you to repeatedly dunk their pads in a bucket of water. They carry their water inside a reservoir which is heated into steam and sent into the mop’s pad. The steam then soaks the pad and effectively cleans the floor. The hot steam loosens dirt and stubborn grime, kills germs and provides you with an effective chemical-free sanitizing system.
Some mops excel in cleaning one type of floor material but fall short on others. For example, steam mops that feature rigid bristles work best on textured surfaces or tiled floors with grout, which can trap dirt and grime. If you’re cleaning hardwood floors, select a steam mop with soft cleaning pads as opposed to a model with abrasive brushes or pads. Too much abrasion can remove its protective sealant and result in a dull appearance.
Remember that wood absorbs water, and you can easily damage it with excessive moisture. Never use a steam mop on a hardwood floor that has not been sealed, as you can warp the wood or encourage mold. If you’re unsure if your wood floor is sealed, put a drop or two of water on it and see if it soaks in or stays on the surface. A sealed floor prevents penetration, keeping the water on the surface. A raw hardwood floor will soak the water in. If your floor is not sealed, do not clean it with a steam mop.
What to look for in a quality steam mop for hardwood floors
Consider how much hardwood flooring you need to clean. If you have to maintain an especially large space, a bigger water reservoir will allow you to mop for longer and requires less refills. However, large water tanks make steam mops heavier, which may not be ideal for some users.
Select a lightweight steam mop so you can move around or carry the mop up and down stairs if needed. Keep in mind that a full water reservoir will increase the weight of your mop, so if a steam mop is a little heavy when it’s empty, it will only be more challenging to lift once it’s full.
Steam mops come in various configurations. Some work as portable steamers for deep cleaning other surfaces or areas of the home. This feature is handy for some, but adds little for those who only need a cleaner for their hardwood floors.
It’s best to steam clean hardwood floors with as little moisture as possible. Make sure you find a steam mop that allows you to adjust the steam output so you can control exposure. Too much steam can result in excess water on your floor, which may cause damage if it sits for an extended period. Some steam mops come in multiple configurations, with one configuration offering for more steam settings than another. Whenever possible, choose the unit that allows you the most flexibility.
How much you can expect to spend on a steam mop for hardwood floors
You can purchase a steam mop for hardwood floors for around $70-$200. Most manufacturers offer high-quality models for a little over $100.
Steam mop for hardwood floors FAQ
Will steam damage my floor?
A. Some hardwood manufacturers do not recommend using a steam mop to clean their flooring, even going so far as to state that doing so will void the warranty. However, many homeowners swear by the results, and you can find many models that are marketed specifically for hardwood surfaces. As long as your floor is sealed and you do not saturate the surface with excess water, steam mops are safe for periodic use.
Can I put soap or fragrance in my steam mop?
A. Some steam mops allow you to add scented liquid to their water tanks. However, you should skip any soap or additives when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors as this can impact the sealant. It’s best to only use fresh, clean water.
How do I clean my steam mop pads?
A. Clean your reusable steam mop pads after every use. Some models require hand washing while others are machine-wash friendly. Either way, thoroughly rinse your pads to remove any traces of soap and allow them to dry before your next use.
What are the best steam mops for hardwood floors to buy?
Top steam mop for hardwood floors
What you need to know: This steam mop features two spinning pads to clean and buff your floor to a brilliant shine.
What you’ll love: The pivoting design makes it easy to navigate around furniture. Its dual spinning pads gently clean and polish your floor. It comes in two models, with one providing two steam settings and the other offering three settings. This mop features a generous 22-foot power cord.
What you should consider: While the gentle pads work well on hardwood, they may not be aggressive enough to deep clean other surfaces.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top steam mop for hardwood floors for the money
What you need to know: Budget-friendly and effective, this steam mop is easy to use on multiple surfaces.
What you’ll love: It has a water tank located on the bottom, making it easy to push. It heats water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which quickly kills germs and bacteria. It uses disposable cleaning pads, too.
What you should consider: It only comes with one steam setting.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This steam mop works especially well on sturdy hardwood floors and has three steam output settings.
What you’ll love: It includes a soft pad for wood floors and a more abrasive pad for cleaning stone or tile. This mop also features a handheld configuration for steam cleaning surfaces higher than floor level.
What you should consider: This mop has a small water reservoir, so you’ll need to refill more often.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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