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Can You Steam Clean Hardwood Floors

Yellow and black steam cleaner sitting on hardwood floors

Keeping your home healthy is extremely important. Germs and bacteria are everywhere, including in your hardwood floors. You want to be able to sanitize those nice-looking floors but you are afraid to try germ-killing cleaners in fear of harming those expensive materials.

One option you do have available is steam cleaning. While water and wood are bitter enemies, if you steam clean the right way, your floors should look great and not be damaged. Plus, they will be sanitized and healthy to walk or sit on.

To learn how to steam your hardwood floors the right way, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about.

Can You Steam Clean Your Hardwood Floors

Cleaning wand of a steam cleaner with a green floor cleaning pad. Hardwood floors in the background.

Consumer Reports. The National Wood Floor Association and the World Floor Covering Association all say that it is very risky to steam clean wood floors. In fact, CA said all the tests they conducted left enough moisture residue to do significant damage.

The main issue about steam cleaning wood floors is that there are cracks in the finish as well as the joints that no matter how small, will let moisture in and ruin your wood. Moisture can cause wood to bulge up, warp, twist, and allow mold to grow.

In spite of these professional warnings though, there are some flooring experts who have found a way to steam clean hardwood floors without ruining them. So yes, it is possible to steam clean hardwood floors.

Is it a good idea, is another question you have to ask and answer yourself. Generally, if you do it right, your floors should be safe. There is no guarantee though and that is where the risk comes in.

Use a Steam Cleaner Made for Hardwood Floors

Woman pushing steam cleaner on hardwood floors

There are some around and the manufacturers of these devices say they are perfectly safe to use. Just make sure to follow all instructions that come with the steam cleaner and apply them to hardwood floors.

The key to using these machines will be to make sure you know your hardwood floors are sealed or not. If they are, then your risk factor goes way down. If not, then the risk factor gets very high.

Also, these machines are supposed to use only natural water making them the healthiest method you can use to sanitize your floors. What you also have to watch out for is the floor’s warranty. If it was recently installed, you may be forbidden to use any steam cleaner on the hardwood.

If you ignore that restriction, your warranty will probably be voided. The choice remains yours and yours alone. If you do choose to proceed with a steam cleaner, then you need to follow the upcoming steps.

How to Steam Clean Hardwood Floors

Steam cleaner with a yellow pad steam cleaning hardwood floors

Here are the best steps to use when you finally make the decision to sanitize and clean your hardwood floors with a steam cleaner. Make sure you use a machine that is made to work on those types of flooring material.

Step 1 – Vacuum or Sweep First

This will get all the loose dirt, grit, and dust off your floor and it should make sure the steam is effective.

Step 2 – Use the Right Attachment

The rectangle attachment that came with the steam cleaner is the one to use. It should get into the corners and against the wall easily.

Step 3 – Attach a Microfiber Cloth

This goes on the bottom of the attachment between it and the floor. The purpose of doing this is to catch as much moisture as possible and keep it from hitting the floorboards.

Step 4 – Use Low Heat

There are two good settings you can actually use, medium and low. The low will make the steam the driest meaning that there is little moisture in the steam. That will help protect your floor. Avoid the high-pressure setting at all costs.

Step 5 – Move the Attachment Slowly

This will sanitize your floor better and help revitalize them once you are done.

Step 6 – Change the Cloth

When the cloth gets dirty, simply replace it with a clean one. When you are done with your floors, just remove the cloth and toss it into your laundry basket.

There are devices called steam mops that can replace the microfiber cloth and save you a little work.

Some Final Words

Bare feet walking on dark hardwood floors

While it is better to be safe than sorry, sometimes it is best to take a few risks. That way the job gets done right. If you are still not sure about using a steam cleaner on your hardwood floors, then don’t do it.

But if you are sure, then it is a viable method to keep your hardwood floors clean, safe and healthy.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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