Steam Cleaners for Your Wood Floor?

You’ve seen them on Sunday morning television. They’re the miracle shark-like steam cleaning mops that clean, sanitize and even disinfect! What could be better than a wood floor so clean you could eat off of it?

Here’s what’s better . . . a floor that still looks like new. A floor that hasn’t had steam shot down between the cracks potentially causing cupping or crowning. A floor whose urethane topcoat is clear, rather than cloudy as a result of the heat that these steam mops produce. A wood flooring warranty that is still valid because you’re following the manufacturer’s care recommendations.

No, Mr. Floor is not a fan of the steam mops for use on hardwood floors. This is two decades of wood floor design, installation and maintenance talking. Water and heat are not the friends of hardwood floors.

And what is especially troublesome is that you’ll see the manufacturer’s photos of these devices with a lovely woman kneeling on a beautiful wood floor, holding that wood floor machine of death. The marketing copy will carefully avoid stating that the mop is “safe for hardwood floors,” but why would that lovely woman have the machine on her expensive oak floor if it wasn’t safe?

Shame on these manufacturers!

If you want to clean your wood floor, follow these cleaning instructions. If your goal is to have a floor so clean that you can actually eat off of it, choose vinyl.

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