I have linoleum flooring in my home. I love the versatile look, and I want to keep it clean all the time. I have explored several cleaning methods, but I love cleaning my floors with steam mops. I was wondering if steam mops will work well on linoleum. I decided to research the matter, and I found some interesting information I will love to share.
So will steam mops damage linoleum? No, steam mops won’t damage linoleum floors. Fortunately, there are steam mops that are designed for linoleum floors.
Effective ways to steam mop my linoleum floor to avoid damage
To effectively protect your linoleum from damaging, you should, first of all, know how to use a steam mop.
Steam mops do not need a lot of items when cleaning. All you need is distilled water to fill your steam mop and a mixture of equal portions of bicarbonate and vinegar.
The combination breaks down any greasy stain on the floor. You would also prefer distilled water over tap water because tap water often contains hard water that can stripe your linoleum floor.
Your steam floor may also get damage over time with frequent use of tap water. And don’t forget, you need the right steam mop to do the task successfully.
Get the right steam mop
Getting the suitable steam mop isn’t a big deal until you begin streaking your linoleum floor.
To purchase a steam mop for lino floors, you need to check reviews on steam mops and buy the most appropriate for lino floors.
Check with the manufacturer for a suitable steam mop for your linoleum floor, as some steam mop produces scalding steam, which may cause damage to the floor.
Sweep or vacuum your floor
Before you kick off with your steam mopping, you must thoroughly sweep or vacuum your linoleum floor. Do not skip this step; it is essential.
You will not like to clean a floor with debris and smaller particles that would have been cleared during sweeping or vacuuming. This step is also crucial in ensuring that your steam mop has direct exposure to the floor.
Fill your tank with distilled water
As mentioned earlier, fill your tank with distilled water. Aside from the reason stated above, tap water can also leave residues that can cause build-up. This build-up can cause an obstruction at the steam outlet.
I have come across people steam mopping without filling the water tank. Yes, do not be surprised. Sometimes, you are in a hurry to mop your floor such that you forget to fill your tank. Doing this may lead to permanent discoloration of your floor, thus destroying the beauty of your linoleum.
Fill your water tank with adequate distilled water. Do NOT overfill your mop tank. Your steam mop might leak, leaving excessive water on the floor. This would result in staining your linoleum floor over a period of time.
Avoid harsh chemicals
The next point to consider is, avoid the use of chemicals.
It is advisable to stay off the use of bleach and other harsh chemicals when cleaning your linoleum with a steam mop. These chemicals destroy the design and discolor your linoleum floor, and there is absolutely no way to restore it to its original appearance.
Steam mops naturally do not need cleaning agents to do their required job. They are designed in a way that they only need steam to do the cleaning. Do not go blemishing your beautiful lino flooring system with chemical agents.
However, if your floor has been unattended to in a while, there is an accumulation of grease and lots of other stains on the floor, prep your floor with bicarbonate soda and vinegar. Make a solution using an equal portion of bicarbonate soda and vinegar. Sprinkle the concoction on the floor for about 15 minutes to half an hour. It breaks down any build-up and all greasy substance on the floor, making it easier to clean.
This step ensures that less effort and steam is required in cleaning, hence reduce discoloration caused by excessive steaming.
Section your cleaning area
Finally, it is essential to section your cleaning area.
Divide the cleaning area into convenient sections and systematically attack each segment. Pay much attention to traffic areas.
Also, make sure that each segment is entirely cleaned before moving to the next section. This ensures that no fraction is left untacked and also no visible stain in missed.
Enable your floor to air dry completely. This won’t take long since steam cleaning uses a minimum volume of water. Your floor will get dry within seconds.
Common everyday mistakes to avoid when using a steam mop on linoleum floors
With proper care, linoleum floors can last up to 40 years. Of course, that is with proper care.
I will like to point out common mistakes, which usually cause damage to our linoleum floor when using a steam mop.
Plugging and switching on steam mop before attaching the mop while it is heating
I get it; sometimes you are in a hurry. You want to get the steam heated pretty fast, so you decide to start heating before attaching the mop.
That isn’t a good idea!
There is a potential risk of electric shock involved in fixing the wet mop while plugged in. Plugging in should be the last step when setting up. Fill in your tank carefully to avoid spillage, uncoil your cord, fix your mop cloth. Then you can plug your steam mop.
Steam builds up really fast, and when you leave your steam mop on a small area unattended to, that portion will discolor. Never idle after plugging in your steam mop.
Need a few seconds to pick up a call? Check a message? Switch of the plug. You will not like coming back to a damaged linoleum floor.
Let’s stress on this again; do not skip vacuuming
Your job will always be easier if you do this right. Your mop will not be picking up debris, mounds of dirt, crumbs, and strands of hair, which serves as a hindrance during mopping.
Cleaning without vacuuming also makes your mop cloth get dirtier earlier than usual. You will have to change your mop cloth frequently if you skip vacuuming.
Don’t be tempted to put anything in the water tank aside water
The floor looks filthy; I am tempted to pour a little bleach into the tank to make the job easier.
Don’t try it!
The steam alone is enough if the floor is covered in so much dirt. Apply a mixture of bicarbonate and vinegar to break down dirt compound before mopping.
Cleaning with a dirty mop cloth is a no
Your linoleum floor will end up getting dirtier. We try to overlook how dirty our mop cloth is sometimes, which is a bad practice. Your linoleum will lose its beauty and get damage if dirt continues to accumulate during your supposed cleaning.
For best results, when cleaning your linoleum floor, it advisable to have at least two extra mop cloth available for use when needed. Of course, you have to unplug before changing mop cloth.
Do not drench your floor before mopping
Yes, you are advised to cover stains with a solution containing bicarbonate soda and vinegar but do not flood the floor with it. The steam mop may need to do extra work cleaning the overspill, hence emitting more steam. Excessive heat cause damage to the floor over time.
Do not mark time at one point when mopping
Idling the steam mop potentially cause permanent damage to your linoleum floor due to excessive heat and steam build-up. That portion of your floor may discolor, messing up your floor design.
How often do I steam mop my linoleum floor? Mostly, people steam mop once a week. However, it can be done more often in high traffic areas such as the kitchen and also certain times of the year, such as the festive seasons.
Can I drop some essential oil in my mop tank? No, the only thing you should pour in the steam tank is distilled water. However, somebody suggested you can add a few drops directly on the mop pad before plugging the steam mop on.
Can I steam clean my vinyl floor? Steam mops can potentially damage your vinyl plank floors. Steam and dripping water may penetrate between the planks and cause damage.
What kind of floors can I use a steam mop on? Depending on the type of steam mop you purchase, steam mops can be used on hard floorings such as ceramic tile, laminate, vinyl, marble, stones, and hardwood flooring system.
Does steam mopping kill bacteria on linoleum floors? Steam mopping kills 99.9% of germs if the recommended temperature is used. For you want your stem mop to act as a bactericide, you should also clean thoroughly.
Will steam mopping laminated floors cause damage to the floor? No, steam mopping is excellent at removing dirt off laminated floors. However, you should be cautious because the amount of heat emitted and moisture during cleaning can cause damage to the adhesive.