It can be difficult to steam clean hardwood floors because there are so many different variables, confusing circumstances, and unsettling internet rumors to take into account.
Fortunately, if you adhere to a few straightforward instructions, the short answer to the question “can you steam clean hardwood floors” is yes. How? Read on.
How Can Hardwood Floors Be Steam Cleaned?
Hardwood flooring comes in a wide variety of styles, including laminate, sealed hardwood, unsealed hardwood, and wood grain vinyl flooring, and each style is accompanied by a unique set of opinions.
The Ladybug, MondoVap, and VaporJet systems have been used on floors by the Advap team for more than 20 years. Except for unsealed hardwood flooring, all other varieties of hardwood floors can be cleaned successfully without displaying any symptoms of deterioration when done correctly.
Steam vapor cleaning should work well on hardwood floors that have an acid-cured, aluminum oxide, water-based polyurethane, oil-based polyurethane, or moisture-cured urethane finish. If a penetrating oil sealer was applied to the floor, steam vapor cleaning may gradually deteriorate it over time, necessitating periodic touch-ups.
Always examine your flooring in a discreet place before doing anything, and you might want to ask your manufacturer about warranties as well.
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What Options Do I Have for Cleaning My Hardwood Floor?
When it comes to cleaning the aforementioned types of flooring, you have a few options.
- Solution for cleaning: Some flooring businesses could sell cleaning agents that you can manually apply, scrub, and then buff off. But given the size of the territory to cover, this takes a lot of time and effort.
- Dry sweeping: It’s common practice to dry mop with a damp mop. But it requires a lot of time and work, much like a cleaning agent.
- Moist steam: Then there are “steam” cleaners that aren’t dry steam vapor systems. From a steam mop to an extraction vac wet system, these can range. We believe that both of these systems are too moist and might harm the floor.
- Steam vapor systems for boilers: There are also low-cost steam vapor systems that do use a boiler to create steam, but they are not of sufficient quality to provide the kind of “dry” steam vapor we need.
- Superior steam vapor: You should search for a higher wattage system made to produce and maintain high-quality dry steam vapor when selecting a High-quality steam vapor system: As a result, drying times will be almost instantaneous while still getting the desired type of steam.
Is Steam Cleaning a Hardwood Floor Safe?
Yes, provided that it is sealed and that you are utilizing dry steam vapor.
Regardless of the type of floor you have, before using a new cleaning technique, check the manufacturer’s warranty and perform a spot check in a hidden spot to make sure your cleaning products didn’t damage or discolor the surface.
Additionally, make sure your floor is sealed (keep reading; we’ll explain) and that there are no cracks or lose boards that could allow water to enter.
The accumulation of too much moisture is the main issue that publications on steam cleaning wood caution against. You don’t need to worry about that as much because dry steam vapor has a very low moisture content.
How Can I Tell If My Floor Has Been Sealed?
Through the sealing procedure, moisture is kept from penetrating the floor. See what happens if you try to drop some water on the ground. Your floor is sealed if the drops begin to bead up. It isn’t if they disperse or absorb into the wood.
Can You Get Sick From Dry Steam Vapor?
Overwetting your floor or overheating it by leaving the hot tool stationary for an extended time should be your main concern. Both of these problems have the potential to result in water damage by allowing water to seep deeper into the floor or by overheating and causing structural or buckling problems.
Utilize a high-quality system to minimize any potential problems. Additionally, make sure you’re using the system correctly (more on this below), which lowers dangers on a variety of surfaces, including laminate, vinyl, and many others, in addition to hardwood.
What many manufacturers consider to be “steam cleaning” your hardwood floors may not be covered. This is because they are not accustomed to dealing with dry steam vapor. Cleaning using a steam vapor machine is distinct from “steam cleaning” because the steam vapor is very dry and leaves very little moisture on the flooring. If the wood is raw or merely has a wax finish, steam heat can increase the grain, but most sealed hardwood works well with dry steam vapor.
How to Clean Hardwood Using a Steam Vapor System:
A decent dry steam clean consists of the before and while phases. These are the actions you need to remember and put on your to-do list.
Step 1: Get your system warmed up:
Before beginning on your floor, it’s advisable to use your system for at least a short while to ensure that it is properly heated up and producing the hottest, driest steam. While you have the system set up, you could want to start with your walls or a carpeted floor.
Step2: Set the volume:
If your system has a volume control, keep it at the lowest setting—if it’s numbered, no higher than one or two. This will guarantee that the steam you produce is as hot and dry as possible.
Step3: Check your accessories:
Always pay attention to your accessories. Typically, a broad rectangular floor brush attached to at least two extension handles is the best accessory for hardwood floors.
Adding a filler pad in between the nylon bristles will also help spread the heat and steam more evenly across the brush’s whole surface. The pad also aids in containing any further condensation that may build when steam travels from the steam tube to the brush’s open pocket or channel.
Step 4: Wrap it up:
To prevent the steam from blowing out the ends of the floor tool, the floor brush should be completely covered with a terry towel. In essence, you’re “diapering” the huge floor brush with a terry towel and infill pad.
When using a microfiber towel, it is crucial to ensure that the steam can escape and not become entrapped inside the towel. The fiber will immediately get extremely wet due to trapped steam, and a wet towel cannot absorb moisture.
5. Check specific areas:
To make sure the steam won’t harm your floor or its polish, perform a quick test in a discreet location.
Step 6: Start brushing your teeth:
Back and forth, a little slower than you would vacuum, move the brush in the direction of the wood grain. Follow the direction of the wood grain at all times, and don’t stay in one place for an extended time with the tool.
If you need to take a break for any reason, be careful not to leave the hot tool on the floor or you risk suffering the heat damage we talked about.
You can’t beat dry steam for a quick and efficient way to clean your sealed hardwood floors.
Since they have been in business for more than 20 years, Advanced Vapor Technologies is convinced that the Ladybug system will make your floors appear as though they have just been buffed.
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