Steam cleaners are a popular and effective floor cleaning method, and work great on many types of flooring, hardwood floors included.
There are many reasons to choose a steam cleaner over other traditional cleaning methods, such as:
- They are environmentally friendly, no harsh chemicals are used while cleaning so you can rest easy knowing your family is safe. This is one reason why steam cleaners are so popular with families with young children or pets.
- Floors dry relatively quickly compared to mop and bucket methods, meaning you can walk on them sooner.
It is, however, important that specific steps are taken when using it on a hardwood floor, to ensure the floors are not damaged during the process.
One of the biggest ways to ensure your floors are kept looking great is to choose the right steam cleaner, but with so many steam cleaning options on the market how do you know which one is best?
There are a few key features that you should be searching for, let’s discuss them below.
What to look for:
- An adjustable temperature or steam level setting will ensure that there is not too much moisture being delivered to your floors. Ideally, you should be able to quickly and easily adjust from a hotter setting which emits more steam, great for tiled surfaces, to a lower setting for your hardwood floors.
- A soft cleaning cloth will prevent scratches on your floor, some steam mops have a cleaning cloth with a rougher surface, this works great on other surfaces where some scrubbing may be required, however this can damage your hardwood floors. A thick, soft cleaning cloth works best for hardwood.
- If you intend on using it on a regular basis, look for something lightweight and easy to handle.
- In terms of value for money, a steam cleaner which can be used in other areas of the house via accessories saves you from having to spend too much of your hard earned money on cleaning products, so given the choice between a steam cleaner for floors only, or one with multiple uses, I would choose the multi-use cleaner every time.
- Reusable and machine washable floor cloths will also save money in the long haul.
Even with the correct steam mop, it is important you take certain precautions to protect your hardwood floors. I highly recommend using a steam machine only used on floors which have been professionally sealed, as unsealed floors are at a greater risk of warping and damage.
It is extremely important that excess moisture is removed from the hardwood straight away. As with other cleaning methods, excess moisture left on your hardwood could warp and damage them, so care is needed.
If your floors look wet after cleaning, wipe excess moisture with a clean, dry, soft towel or cloth. If the steam cleaner is used at the correct temperature setting, the floors should not be wet as the steam should dry quickly, so if this occurs adjust the steam setting for future uses.