My steam mop is one of my all-time favorite cleaning tools! I use mine regularly to keep my the tile floor in my kitchen free of sticky messes, splattered food, and paw prints from certain grand-puppies who shall remain nameless (but they know who they are!) ;-)
And although steam mops can be an incredibly useful tool for cleaning floors, there’s no denying that they can be dangerous if used incorrectly! And that brings us to today’s post, where I’ll be sharing 7 steam mop mistakes that you definitely want to avoid making.
So whether you already own a steam mop or are considering buying one, this list will ensure you know what not to do with it (and why!)
7 Mistakes To Avoid When Using A Steam Mop
1. Plugging It In Immediately
Don’t plug your steam mop in until you’re ready to start mopping, because they heat up surprisingly fast! To avoid burning yourself, attach the mop pad and fill the water reservoir first, then plug the mop in.
2. Not Sweeping First
At the end of the day, even the most high-end steam mop is still just a mop. It can’t pick up crumbs, dust, hair, and loose dirt, so it’s important to sweep (or vacuum) that stuff up before mopping.
If you don’t, your steam mop will just push the dirt around. You’ll also end up with a dirty mop pad much earlier in the process than you would otherwise!
3. Idling The Mop
When using a steam mop, it’s important to always keep it moving. “Idling” your steam mop can cause a buildup of heat and steam that may do permanent damage to your floor.
If you have to step away for a moment while you’re mopping, just make sure to unplug it first!
4. Filling It With Anything Other Than Water
The majority of steam mops are designed to be used with water alone. Filling the reservoir with other liquids or cleaners may damage your mop, your floors, or both!
5. Using A Dirty Mop Pad
Check your mop pad regularly as you mop to make sure it isn’t getting too dirty. Swap the pad out for a clean one as often necessary!
If your mop pad gets too dirty, it will eventually start pushing dirt around rather than picking it up. I recommend keeping several extra mop pads on hand so you can change them out often!
6. Washing Your Mop Pads With Fabric Softener
Washable mop pads for steam mops are often made of super-absorbent microfiber. And the biggest “no-no” for washing microfiber is using any kind of fabric softener or dryer sheet!
Fabric softener and dryer sheet residue can negatively affect microfiber’s absorbency. Eventually, you’ll end up with a mop pad that repels water instead of soaking it up!
To keep them in good working order, wash your mop pads with detergent only. And add an extra rinse cycle, if possible!
7. Using It On Unsealed Hardwood
Using a steam mop on an unsealed surface like genuine hardwood flooring can cause damage over time. Be sure to follow the care recommendations for your particular flooring type, especially if they recommend avoiding steam-cleaning altogether.
Luckily for us, the floors at the OGT Studio only look like wood. They’re actually laminate, so we steam mop them regularly with no problems!
There’s a simple test you can do at home to determine how well-sealed your floors are. Just drop a bit of water onto the floor, and if it beads up immediately, your floors are sealed and are likely okay to use steam! (If the water spreads or sinks, the seal is either non-existent or needs to be reapplied.)
Do you use a steam mop to keep your floors clean?