If you’ve recently bought a new hardwood floor you may have become inundated by online ads for hardwood floor steam mops.  And while this type of intrusive advertising may seem creepy, it might actually be more detrimental than that.  Can hardwood flooring be steamed cleaned in the first place?  The fact is that most hardwood flooring manufacturers recommend that neither excessive water nor steam should be used to clean hardwood floors.  In this article we’ll delve a little farther into the use of hardwood flooring steam cleaners.

How Does A Hardwood Flooring Steam Cleaner Work?

Flooring steam cleaners, also known as steam mops, are marketed and advertised as an easy way to clean floors without the need for harmful chemicals.  They’re advertised as being able to quickly and easily remove dirt and tough stains while killing germs, bacteria and viruses with heat.  There’s no need for a separate bucket or additional cleaners.  This is made possible by heating water in an attached chamber and dispensing the resulting steam through the mop head and onto the floor.

What Will A Steam Mop Do To Hardwood Flooring?

Many steam mop manufacturers purport their products can be used on sealed hardwood floors – “sealed” being the operative word.  They most often recommend that the hardwood floor seal be tested before using the steam mop.  If you do plan on using a steam mop on a hardwood floor testing the seal is imperative.  As with any moisture, steam can penetrate seams and exposed hardwood surfaces and cause swelling, warping or bulging.  In fact, using a steam mop on a hardwood floor can invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty, so it’s important to understand the risks before going ahead.

Can Hardwood Flooring Be Steam Cleaned?

To answer the original question brought up in this article, yes, you can steam clean a hardwood floor – but you probably shouldn’t.  To be able to use a steam mop on a hardwood floor you must be absolutely sure that the seal is completely intact.  If it isn’t, it’s very easy for the residual moisture to get into the seams and any exposed areas and cause structural damage to the wood.  The best way to prevent this type of damage from occurring is to avoid using a steam mop on hardwood flooring altogether.