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Updated June 16, 2022
Hardwood floors have one major characteristic; they are very absorbent. Therefore, it is crucial that you learn how to steam clean hardwood floors, lest you want them to develop dirt, dust and even moisture which could lead to permanent damage of the floors.
Steam cleaning does more than just remove dirt from hardwood floors; it also prevents the build-up of mold, mildew, allergen-causing dust and other harmful contaminants. This process keeps the hardwood floors sparkling clean and also promotes a healthy, disease-free environment.
To steam clean your hardwood floors, all you need is a steamer that is gentle on your floors. In this article, we discuss the safest way to steam clean hardwood floors, as well as the most recommended steamers you should consider using.
Is Steam Cleaning Good For Hardwood Floors?
This is a commonly asked question, and the answer is: Yes it is, you should steam clean your hardwood floors from time to time. Steam cleaning these types of flooring ensures that they remain clean, sanitized and dirt-free.
Also, as long as you use the right cleaning technique, steam cleaning will not pose any problems to the floor’s wood surface. After all, unlike other traditional cleaning techniques that require you to use water on the floors, steam cleaning only uses dry steam which does not damage wood. And the heat generated by the dry steam is absorbed by the thick microfiber cloth, ensuring that the floor finishing is not damaged.
In addition, cleaning hardwood floors with a steam cleaner does not require any chemicals. Therefore, this is one of the most effective natural ways to deep clean hardwood flooring, without risking any potential damage by aggressive chemicals solutions and cleaners.
Where Does The Dirt Go When You Steam Clean?
When steam cleaning, the dirt does not go anywhere, before you can start the steam cleaning process, it is advisable that you first prep the hardwood floors properly. Prepping the floors prevents any possible scratching, discoloration and warping, which could lead to eventual damaging of the floors.
The following are six tips on how you can best prep your hardwood flooring for steam cleaning:
- Remove all loose dust, dirt and grit from the floors – You can do this by either sweeping or vacuuming the floors. Leaving dirt and grit on the hardwood floors could lead to scratching.
- If you decide to use any cleaning or detergent solution in the steamer, ensure that you go for those cleaners that have a neutral pH – However, most steamers are designed to work with water alone, which eliminates the need for additional cleaners.
- Ensure that the hardwood floors are completely sealed – If your floors have any worn-out spots, you are advised not to use the steam to clean them. This is because water and moisture could seep into the wood, in turn causing it to warp.
How to Steam Clean Hardwood Floors
After vacuuming the hardwood floors, they should be free of any food debris, dirt and dust. You can now start the steam cleaning process:
- Gentle, floor cleaning solution (optional)
- Thick microfiber cloth
- Hot water
1. Fill the water canister of your steamer with hot water (preferably tap water). If you like, you can also add a gentle cleaning solution. Before you start steam cleaning, it is important you ensure that the filter is clean.
2. Attach the microfiber cloth around the rectangular floor tool of your steamer (most steam cleaners usually come with this tool). The thick microfiber cloth functions to retain excess moisture, ensuring that it does not seep through the wood. Also, the microfiber cloth insulates the steam, such that it does not become cold or condense.
3. Set the pressure of your steam cleaner. You can either put it at the low or medium pressure. Low pressure levels are highly preferred since they promote a dryer steam. And it goes without saying that, the dryer the steam, the more dirt and dust will be removed. On the contrary, high pressure levels lead to condensation, in turn lowering the effectiveness of the cleaning process.
4. Put the water canister in position and heat the water so that it starts producing steam. To release the steam, push the cleaner.
5. Pull the cleaner backwards, so that the microfiber cloth (cleaning pad) wipes away any dirt, dust and grime on the hardwood floors. Repeat this process until every part of the hardwood flooring is sparkling clean. If the microfiber cloth gets too dirty, remove it and wash it in the machine.
When steam cleaning hardwood floors, it is recommended that you start at one specific corner. Then, you can work your way from that particular side to the other side.
Hardwood floors add a touch of warmth and elegance in a home. Another advantage that makes them stand out even more is the fact that they are very easy to clean. All you need to deep clean them is a steam cleaner and a thick microfiber cloth!
So, don’t let your beautiful hardwood floors build up dirt and grime; follow the above suggested procedure on how to steam clean hardwood floors and see how drastically the appearance of your floors will improve!