Hardwood floors are the most expensive to buy and install because they are designed to last longer than other kinds of floorings. However, taking care of your hardwood floors is paramount and it goes beyond daily dusting and mopping spills when they occur.
Top 5 Hardwood Steam Mops (Summary)
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
Once in a while, you need to know how to clean your hardwood floors such that they maintain their shine and durability. One of the best cleaners for hardwood floors is a steam mop. However, not all steam mops will work on hardwood flooring.
What Is a Specialized Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
Steam mops for hardwood floors make use of water to create steam which is used to clean the floors eliminating the need for cleaning chemicals.
The reason they are popular among most people is that they not only do a great job in cleaning your floors, but in disinfecting them as well which is important if you have little kids in the house or have someone who suffers from allergies.
Steam mops are able to remove dust, grime and even stains from your hardwood floors and can also be used on other floor options like laminate or tiles.
Benefits of Using Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
Eliminates Accumulated Scuff and Dirt
Steam mops work by turning water into steam that is then used to clean the floors. The heat, unlike traditional mops, is able to loosen dirt and scuff with a single pass of the mop. The steam can also remove any stains from the floors.
If you have little kids in the house or people who suffer from allergies, then disinfecting your floors and other surfaces is important. The steam from a steam mop is able to disinfect all floors so that you never have to worry about your kid putting dirt from the floor in their mouth.
No Chemical Residues
Steam mops use just water to clean the floors eliminating the need for cleaning chemicals. As such, you never have to worry about chemical residues being left on the floor after cleaning.
How Does a Hardwood Steam Mop Work
Like mentioned earlier, steam mop relies on high water temperatures to create steam that is used to clean your hardwood floors.
The water heats up inside the reservoir and is turned into steam which leaves through an attachment or nozzle, the heat loosens dirt and grime and removes particles that create stains.
Hardwood Steam Mop vs Pet Hair
If you have pets at homes, then you are always worried about getting rid of pet hair and other dander like pet skin. While a vacuum cleaner does a good job of removing pet hair from floors, some vacuum cleaners can end up damaging your hardwood floors.
Steam cleaners, on the other hand, do a very good job of removing pet hairs from the floor and other surfaces like furniture that may end up causing allergic reactions in some people.
Hardwood Steam Mop vs Mold and Other Hard Stains
Over time your floor may develop mold especially if you are using the wrong tools to clean it.
Stains are inevitable especially if you have little kids and pets. The heat created by the steam is able to remove any particles that may cause stains to form on your hardwood flooring.
Types of Steam Cleaners
Handheld steam cleaners are not only small, but portable as well and are cheaper than other steam cleaners costing about $100. They are compact and this makes working with them easy since they don’t occupy a lot of storage space.
They work well in removing small stains from carpets and other surfaces, but don’t do a good job when you want to clean larger spaces. Their small portable nature works best for counters and those hard to reach spaces than cleaning your floors.
Unlike handheld steam cleaner, a steam mop is specifically designed to handle the cleaning of the floors especially hard floors like wood, laminate and tile.
They resemble a stick vacuum and as such are upright, light in weight and very easy to handle when cleaning. A steam mop will have a water tank attached either to the handle or inside it. They are easier to use than traditional mops and not to mention very effective in cleaning and disinfecting your floors.
There are different models of steam mops in the market each with its own features and attachments, but one thing they all have in common is the ability to kill germs, parasites and bacteria on the floors. Rather than harsh cleaning chemicals, a steam mop uses steam to loosen dirt and remove stains and mold.
They are also referred to as canister steam cleaners and tend to be larger in size compared to steam mops and handheld cleaners. Due to this, they require more storage space which can be a challenge if you don’t have a large house.
Despite all this, a cylinder cleaner is very efficient in not only cleaning, but also sanitizing your floor and other surfaces in your home. Their large size is usually due to the water tank that comes attached to the unit.
The large tank comes in handy when you have a lot of cleaning to do and as such don’t have to worry about refilling the tank after cleaning a few rooms. The steam cleaner comes with extra attachments that you can use to clean other surfaces making it very versatile.
They are more expensive than handheld cleaners or steam mops, but they’re the best choice if you are looking for steam cleaners that are effective in all aspects.
Types of Steam Mops
There are different kinds of steam mops you can use to clean hard floors like hardwood, laminate and tiles.
Steam Cleaner for Hard Floors
If you have hard floors, you will always worry about dirt and grime, but, luckily, there are steam mops that are designed specifically to clean hard floors like laminate, tile and wood.
Hardwood floors, for instance, are expensive to buy and install and as such you need a steam mop that will not ruin your floor in the process. Premium hardwood vacuums and steam cleaners have at least two or three settings such that you can control the amount of steam that leaves the nozzle.
Hardwood floors and laminate, for instance, are susceptible to water damage and the steam may seep through the planks leading to damage. As such, when using a steam mop on such floors you want it to be at the lowest setting so that there is very little steam being released on to the floor.
Steam Cleaner for Carpet Floors
Carpets are the ideal choice for flooring because they improve the décor of the house. However, carpet is easily ruined by stains, mold and water. If you have carpet floors therefore, you need to know how to clean and maintain their look so that they serve you for years.
With carpeting, weekly vacuuming or use of a durable floor sweeper will remove dust, debris and food crumbs but then you will always have set-in dirt that the vacuum cleaner can’t remove.
In such a case, you need a premium steam mop or a portable steam cleaner to get rid of dirt. Steam cleaners designed for carpets tend to have enough power to get the dirt and pet hairs embedded within the carpet fibers and in the process also end up killing bacteria and germs.
Convertible Floor to Hand Steam Cleaner
When you are buying a vacuum cleaner, to get value for your money, consider the versatility of the unit you are buying. There are steam cleaner models that can be used to clean floors as well as upholstery, curtains and other surfaces that may attract dust and dirt.
Convertible floor to hand steam cleaners tend to have removable or adjustable handles such that you can convert a regular steam cleaner into a handheld one to clean other surfaces and those hard to reach spots like under furniture.
Steam Cleaner Vacuum Combination
If you have pets and small kids in the house who keep creating messes, then what you need is a steam cleaner vacuum combination. This steam cleaner is effective in that it saves you time and energy when cleaning and also disinfects surfaces.
All you need is to glide the steamer across the floor and the steam cleaner does the cleaning and debris, food crumbs and dirt are sucked by the vacuum.
When you are buying a steam cleaner vacuum combination, what you need to consider is the efficiency of the unit in cleaning and removing all manner of dirt and debris from the floor.
Steam Mop vs Other Cleaning Tools for Hardwood Flooring
Steam Mop vs Vacuum Cleaner
Weekly maintenance of your hardwood floors helps to clean those hard to reach places that daily dusting will not. Vacuum cleaners on hardwood floors work to get rid of dust, debris and food crumbs from corners and the spaces between the wood planks.
However, not all vacuum cleaners work for hardwood flooring. Cheap vacuum cleaners will end up damaging the wood in the process. When using a vacuum cleaner as such, if it has a beater bar, ensure that you don’t hit the bar floor.
Steam Mop vs Microfiber Mop
Since wood is easily damaged by water, you should ensure that you don’t soak your floors when cleaning. The traditional mop and bucket may clean other floorings but do not work on hardwood floors.
What you need is the best microfiber mop. Microfiber mops are highly absorbent and non-abrasive meaning that they don’t scratch your floor when you are cleaning.
On hardwood floorings, you should use a microfiber mop to mop spills immediately they occur and to remove surface dust and debris.
What Makes a Great Hardwood Steam Mop
If you have hardwood floors, you know that water is your worst enemy. Hardwood floors are expensive to not only buy, but install as well, which is why you should protect your investment the best way you know how.
And it all starts with choosing the right steam mop. The steam mop you get should be effective to remove all water from the floor when cleaning to avoid it seeping through the wood.
In such a case, a steam mop with a microfiber mop would be ideal since microfiber mops are known to be highly absorbent and don’t scratch the floor in the process.
Steam mops make use of steam to clean floors produced from water stored in the reservoir. When cleaning the last thing you want is to keep adding water to the reservoir when it runs out.
The capacity of the water tank matters, therefore. Ensure that the steam mop you choose has a big enough tank to handle all cleaning. If you have a small house however, you don’t need to spend too much on a steam cleaner just to get a large water tank.
Weight and Portability
The weight of the steam cleaner plays a role in how easy it is to use the steam cleaner. Since you will not be cleaning one room in the house, the steam cleaner needs to be light in weight and portable to ease maneuverability.
The unit needs to be light enough such that you can clean even under furniture and the stairs.
If you have been using a steam cleaner for long, you know that the cleaning pads are as important as the steamer itself. After all, the cleaner pads are the ones that come into direct contact with your hardwood floors and as such getting the right pad is an important part of the job.
There are so many cleaning pads in the market. When you buy a steam cleaner, however, chances are that you will get a cleaning pad.
Since hardwood floors are easily damaged by water and can get scratched easily, the cleaning pad you get needs to be highly absorbent and non-abrasive.
In addition to getting the best steam cleaner for your hardwood floors, extra attachments play an important role in your cleaning routine.
To get value for your money ensure that the steam cleaner you get has additional attachments that you can use to clean corners, those hard to reach places like under furniture, upholstery, stairs as well as clothes.
Cord vs Cordless
A steam clean can either be corded or cordless. Corded steam cleaners require to be plugged in when you are cleaning and therefore, the length of the cord matters.
A short cord can limit you cleaning while a very long one can prove difficult meandering objects. Cordless steam cleaners, on the other hand, make use of batteries and in such a case, what you need to concern yourself with is the battery runtime.
The last thing you want is a steam cleaner that you have to keep charging after cleaning a few rooms.
A steam cleaner has so many systems working together and any of them can break down. Due to this, ensure that you get an option that has a warranty that covers such repairs when needed.
If you have decided to buy a steam cleaner, you already know how much you are willing to spend. Consider the qualities you want in a steam cleaner and go for one that meets those needs. While at it, ensure that you don’t compromise on the quality and end up damaging your floors instead.
11 Best Steam Mops for Hardwood Floors – Reviews, Pros and Cons
Light ‘n’ Easy Steam Mop is a multifunctional device that makes cleaning faster and easier. It has multiple units that can be used on clothes, sofas and sinks. It is also suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens.
This steam mop has three steam settings: high, medium and low. This feature makes it safe to use on all kinds of floors, including marble, ceramic, laminate and tiles, but especially hardwood. It uses hot steam to get stains out of surfaces while drying them off quickly.
It has a smart switch that can be engaged by tilting the handle to power on and standing it upright to power the machine off. Likewise, the handheld steam cleaner is outfitted with a smart sensor that can be activated by touch.
This device can work with distilled or tap water and doesn’t require any chemicals. It is safe to use around pets and children.
- Multiple units that can be used for a wide variety of purposes
- Smart switch makes it easy to power on and off
- Can be used on all flooring types
- Doesn’t require chemicals to work
- Pads might roll up during use
- Production of steam might become irregular after some time
PurSteam has up to ten different accessories that help to deliver optimal cleaning at all times. This machine is useful for cleaning floors, windows and rugs. It is also useful for steaming clothes and upholstery.
Its superheated steam takes 30 seconds to fire up and it kills up to 99% of bacteria. It doesn’t utilize chemicals, thus making it safe for use around children. The machine has a special scrub that helps to clean embedded dirt.
With its adjustable steam settings, this machine can be specifically adjusted for different surfaces and purposes. Its 340ml water reservoir provides up to 25 minutes of steam on the lowest setting.
The mop pads are made of fine microfibers and are gentle on sensitive surfaces. These pads can be detached, washed and replaced.
- Can kill bacteria without the use of chemicals
- Has a runtime of up to 25 minutes
- Pads can be washed and reused
- Might not make full contact with the surface being cleaned, thereby reducing cleaning capability
Bissell Powerfresh Steam Mop is a tool that makes it easy to clean dried messes and embedded dirt. It uses a continuous stream of steam to clean linoleum, granite and hardwood floors, among others.
This machine comes with two mop pads – a soft pad and a spot boost brush pad for scrubbing tough stains. Both pads have a 12-inch cleaning path and they can be washed and reused.
This machine comes with scent waters and freshening discs that give off a fresh and pleasant scent as you clean. This machine also sanitizes your floors and makes them germ-free.
With two steam settings and a 30-second warm-up time, it can be adjusted according to your cleaning needs. The 25 feet long power cord and swivel steering allow for easy maneuvering.
- Can easily clean up tough stains
- Freshening discs that give off fresh scents while cleaning
- Easy to use
- Might leave wet spots after cleaning
O-Cedar Steam Mop features a lightweight design that cleans up dirt from all types of flooring surfaces. It takes just 20 seconds to fully heat up, thereby allowing you to get on with cleaning quickly.
Its triangle head allows it to get into corners and tight spaces to effectively get the dirt out. The head can also swivel and glide over floors without leaving scratches or streaks.
It is outfitted with a thick microfiber pad that easily cleans and sanitizes without the use of chemicals. The pads can be washed as much as 25 times before they would need to be replaced.
The machine comes with a snap-on glider that cleans carpets with ease. It has adjustable steam settings for different floor types.
- Heats up quickly
- Swiveling triangle head that easily gets into tight spaces
- Thick microfiber pads that are long-lasting
- Small cleaning path
Shark Genius Steam Mop is a smart invention that lets you clean your floors with as little effort as possible. It is outfitted with essential features that make getting the grime out of your floors an easy task.
Its double-sided washable mop pads are specially woven with strong dirt gripping materials that trap lifted dirt effectively. It has a touch-free technology that allows you to attach and detach the pads at the press of a button.
The head of the machine has direct steam channeling that evenly distributes steam and creates a wide cleaning path for the mop pads. It also has a steam blaster that releases targeted steam to help dislodge stubborn stains and debris.
Its three setting electronic steam control allows you to apply the right amount of steam for every surface. You can use this machine for quick cleanups or deep room cleanings.
- Double-sided mop pad is designed to trap dirt
- Hands-free technology reduces contact with dirt
- Great steam distribution
- Cleaning solution leaves some residues on the floor
Iwoly Mop is an effective device for deep cleaning hardwood, carpet and laminate floors, among other surfaces. It is designed to provide great cleaning ability with little effort.
This mop has a 4 setting intelligent steam control that allows you to adjust the amount of steam being released. The settings can be controlled digitally or with a handle switch that doesn’t require you to bend down, thereby helping you to reduce stress.
It has a specially designed carpet glider that takes care of carpets and rugs with no risk of damage. The mop is free-standing and automatically shifts to standby mode when it is positioned upright.
This machine can produce continuous steam for up to 40 minutes. Combined with its 420ml capacity water tank, you can clean your floors deeply without stopping.
- Very easy to use
- Can provide up to 40 minutes of continuous steam
- Suitable for all types of floors
- Tank is liable to leak water during use
Tacklife Steam Mop is a device that combines a floor mop and a handheld steam cleaner in one. Not only will you be able to clean any flooring type with it, but you will be able to clean surfaces such as countertops and sinks.
This machine has an in-built foam filter bead that filters out all the impurities and mineral salts from the water. This feature helps to reduce the formation of lime scales and also extends the working life of the mop.
It has a 180° swiveling head that can get into corners and tight spaces effectively. Its 380ml capacity water tank gives you up to 20 minutes of continuous steam for deep and effortless cleaning.
It is lightweight and sanitizes surfaces as it cleans. It also produces a pleasant scent if you use a detergent for cleaning.
Built-in filter that reduces limescale
- Provides up to 20 minutes of steam with a swiveling head
- Might not give off adequate steam after a while
Light ‘n’ Easy S3101 is an easy to use and super lightweight mop that is specifically designed to take the stress out of cleaning. You can use it on your floors to pick up stuck debris with little effort.
It has a swiveling head that rotates 360°, making it easy to get into all corners and spaces and leave no dirt behind. This machine releases steam after 30 seconds and it automatically stops streaming when the mop is inactive for a short while.
It has a carpet glider that easily removes debris and odor from carpets. This machine uses ordinary water to clean and sanitize, leaving the environment clean and safe for children and pets.
Its microfiber cleaning pads can be washed and reused. The parts of the machine are easy to assemble without the need for expertise.
- 360° rotating head
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Saves power by automatically stopping when it is inactive
- Might require a bit of hard scrubbing to clean effectively
Holife Steam Mop performs multiple functions and helps to create a safe environment. It uses ordinary water to clean, sanitize and deodorize an area.
This machine gets the water heated up within 25 seconds and releases 110°C hot steam at the press of a button. Its water tank has a capacity of 320ml, which can last up to 15 minutes, giving you enough time for a thorough cleaning.
It has a telescopic handle that can be adjusted to cater for height and convenience. The handle can also bend up to 90°, allowing you to get under furniture with little effort.
The mop pads can be easily detached and washed for continuous use. Two stainless needles are included for cleaning clogged steam outlets.
- Sanitizes and deodorizes a room without the use of chemicals
- Steam is released at the press of a button
- Adjustable handle for convenience
- Water tank might need to be refilled constantly during use
Vangogo Mop removes dirt, stains and odor from your floors at the press of a button. This device steams up within 15 seconds and kills bacteria quickly and efficiently.
It has three adjustable steam modes, which are dust, mop and scrub. Combined with the carpet glider, you can clean your floors with the ideal amount of steam needed for safe but effective cleaning. This machine doesn’t produce any sound while working, making it easy to use without causing a disturbance.
It has a 400ml water tank that can produce steam for up to 30 minutes without stopping. Each of the three microfiber pads provided has different textures for different flooring types.
It has an intelligent steam control system that automatically stops the flow of steam when it is kept at a 90° angle for 15 seconds. It has a 180° rotating head that lets you reach tight areas.
- Provides up to 30 minutes of constant steam
- Microfiber pads for different floor types
- Intelligent steam control system helps to conserve water
- Works without producing noise
- Small cleaning path
Acting as a steamer, vacuum and mop all in once, Thermostat Steam Mop for Hardwood performs multiple action at the same time.
With two steam levels you can adjust to suit your needs, it also has working indicator lights up, so you’ll always know if it’s turned on.
Mop pads are made of fine microfibers with three layers which you can wash and reuse as many times as you wish. Once turned on, it heats up very quickly thanks to its strong, dual power copper motor.
Besides the hardwood floors, it’s great for use on ceramic, marble, granite and tiles, which makes it very versatile.
- Heats up really quickly and has a powerful motor
- Pad with three layers that are reusable and washable
- Two steam levels and very easy to use
- Not really clear instructions
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Since you are looking for a steam cleaner for hardwood floors, more spending does mean more quality. Hardwood floors are easily damaged by water and can be scratched if you don’t use the right cleaner.
You, therefore, want a steam cleaner that will do a thorough job of cleaning your floors and won’t cause any damage.
You also want a steam cleaner that has extra attachments that you can use to clean other surfaces like corners of the room and furniture and one that has a big water tank which is what you will be getting with an expensive model.
Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors on Different Surfaces
Laminate is common in many homes since it tends to mimic the look and feel of hardwood. To last longer, you need properly care for your laminate floors.
The thing about laminate is that the floor is water resistant, but not entirely waterproof and as such long term exposure to water and humidity causes the floor to warp.
Avoid using a steam mop on laminate floors as the steam can seep through causing damage. If you are to use a steam mop, let it be at the lowest setting to reduce the amount of steam produced.
Tiles are beautiful and are popular among most homeowners because they are not damaged by water. However, with tile flooring what you need to pay attention to is the grout which tends to attract dirt and grease leading to dingy looking floors.
A steam mop at the highest setting is able to get through removing all dirt and grease within the grouts and killing bacteria and germs in the process.
Compared to laminate, hardwood or tiles, carpet floors are the hardest to maintain and clean.
However, with the right steam mop, cleaning your carpet can be easy. There are steam mops that work on carpets though you have to reduce the amount of steam to avoid soaking the carpet.
Steam cleaners for carpets not only clean and disinfect the floor, but remove allergens as well.
Quick Tips for Maintaining Hardwood Flooring
Step 1 – Clean spills immediately
Moisture damages hardwood floors and as such, any spills that occur need to be wiped immediately otherwise you risk the liquid seeping through the wood and causing damage or staining the floor if left to sit for long.
Step 2 – Vacuum regularly
To avoid having to clean your floor with water, weekly vacuuming is necessary to prevent a buildup of dirt, dust and other debris.
Step 3 – Avoid wearing shoes in the house
Shoes collect dust which can act as an abrasive on the floor. High heels also tend to leave stains on hardwood floors.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors
Step 1 – Vacuum
Use a soft bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, dirt and other debris on the floor.
Step 2 – Prepare your cleaner
There are specific cleaning products that are meant for hardwood flooring.
Step 3 – Wet the mop
Wet the sponge or mop and wring out all water such that the mop is only slightly damp since too much water will damage your hardwood floors.
Step 4 – Start mopping
Start mopping the floors starting from the farthest corner of the room to the door and avoid spending too much time in one area.
Step 5 – Allow drying
Allow the floor to dry or use a microfiber cloth to dry it. You can also buff with a buffing pad or an electric buffer.
How to Clean and Maintain a Steam Mop
Step 1 – Wash the pad after use
After every use, ensure that you wash the cleaning pad and allow it to dry.
Step 2 – Replace the filters
After some time, the filters will accumulate dirt and water deposits. Ensure that you replace yours when this happens.
Step 3 – Empty the tank
Before storage ensure that you empty the water tank.
Step 4 – Clean the nozzle
Just like the filter, the nozzle may get clogged with mineral deposits which may cause steam to be emitted slowly. Once in a while remove these deposits so that your steam cleaner can continue functioning to its maximum.
Do’s and Don’ts With a Steam Mop
- Do use distilled water to avoid the buildup of mineral deposits which may cause the nozzle and filters to get clogged.
- Do ensure that the water tank has water before you proceed to cleaning your floors.
- Don’t add chemicals to the water tank since the steam cleaner is designed to use only water and doing so many cause your unit to malfunction.
- Don’t use dirty cleaning pads, but ensure that you clean the pads after every use.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I change a mop on a steam mop?
Change the mop when the padding or fibers have worn out or have become too dirty to be used again.
How often should I clean hardwood floors?
Hardwood floors are susceptible to water damage, therefore, minimize the times you use water on them. However, dust daily and vacuum once a week to prevent a buildup of dirt and grime that may force you to use water on your floor.
How often do the mop heads need to be washed?
How often you wash your mop head will depend on how soiled the floor is.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful and increases the house value when you are reselling. However, it is hard to care for since water can easily damage your investment. There are cleaning tools like steam mops that can work on your hardwood floors as long as you know how to use one without ruining your floor.
Photos from: flisakd / depositphotos.com, artursfoto1 / depositphotos.com, dmitrimaruta / depositphotos.com and ymgerman / depositphotos.com.
- Top 5 Hardwood Steam Mops (Summary)
- What Is a Specialized Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
- Benefits of Using Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
- How Does a Hardwood Steam Mop Work
- Types of Steam Cleaners
- Types of Steam Mops
- Steam Mop vs Other Cleaning Tools for Hardwood Flooring
- What Makes a Great Hardwood Steam Mop
- 11 Best Steam Mops for Hardwood Floors – Reviews, Pros and Cons
- Does More Spending Mean More Quality
- Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors on Different Surfaces
- Quick Tips for Maintaining Hardwood Flooring
- How to Clean Hardwood Floors
- How to Clean and Maintain a Steam Mop
- Do’s and Don’ts With a Steam Mop
- Frequently Asked Questions