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Dos & Don'ts: How to Use a Steam Mop Properly

Dos & Don'ts: How to Use a Steam Mop Properly


One of the first things guests notice when walking into a house is clean or dirty floors. So when the in-laws tell you they're swinging by, a steam mop can your make wood, laminate or tile floors sparkle in an instant. This handy cleaning tool is available in a wide range of sizes and styles to suit your home's needs. However, they can mess up your floors if used incorrectly. All steam mops come with a list of instructions that must be kept in mind to avoid the risk of damage or accidents. Keep these universal do's and don'ts in mind when using a new steam mop to clean the house. 

Steam mop on a wooden floor


  • Prep the floor first - Vacuuming or sweeping the floor before steaming will get rid of dust, lint and any other debris that can stick to the mop head.
  • Use it for maintenance - This device is more for maintenance than for intense cleaning. It works very well when the floor is only slightly dirty.
  • Use on sealed floors - Ensure you use this mop only on a sealed floor because excess moisture can damage some types of surfaces.
  • Change the cleaning pad - Make sure to change the mop pad while cleaning to avoid trailing dirt around.
  • Turn off when not in use - Remember to switch off the device when you shift from room to room, change the mop pads or stop to tackle another task. 
Woman placing tank into a steam mop


Idle steam mop in a living
  • Don't idle your steam mop - When you're in the middle of cleaning, don't leave your mop idle while you doing something else. Heat builds up very fast and can damage the surface it's placed on.
  • Don't put anything but water in the tank - Most models are meant to be used with water and nothing else. Remember that ONLY steam is what works effectively cleans your floors.
  • Don't use the same mop head - If you continue to use the same dirty mop head, you'll just end up spreading the dirt around on the floor.
  • Don't store the mop with a wet pad or cloth - If your mop's pad is still wet when you put it away, mildew and foul odors can grow on the head. Clean the dirty pad immediately, and dry it properly before putting it in storage.
  • Don't let it touch cold bathroom fixtures - A porcelain toilet bowl or vanity can chip or crack when it comes into contact with a very hot steam mop. Avoid touching the fixtures and clean around them.