Spin mop vs. steam mop for hardwood floors, which is better? When cleaning floors, does it matter what mop you use? Is there a wrong or right way to clean hardwood?
Listen: Spin Mop vs. Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
Watch: Spin Mop vs. Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Spin Mop or Steam Mop for Hardwood Floor?
A spin mop or a steam mop, which is better for a hardwood floor? We have a homeowner who asked this question. “I was wondering if you would happen to know if a spin-wave mop works better than a steam mop or vice versa on hardwood floors?”
So, before we talk about that, let’s talk about hardwood floors first. Hardwood floors are a ginormous piece of wood furniture. And so, you don’t want a lot of water to be on the furniture or the floor.
It can ruin the finish, it can warp the wood and discolor it. There are a bunch of reasons that you don’t want extra water on your hardwood floor. So, to clean a hardwood floor, it’s takes a lot of cleaning like a piece of wood furniture.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors Is Like Cleaning Wood Furniture
What you want to do is dust it and have a damp cloth that you wipe the fingerprints and smudges off. The same rules apply to your hardwood floor. Now that we’ve discovered that, there are different ways you can clean a hardwood floor.
Now, traditionally we use mops because mops mop floors. So, the first instinct is to grab a mop and start mopping away. Well, that’s not the right way to mop a floor. And so, if you have dusted the floor with a dust mop or you vacuumed up the debris, all you have to do now is wipe it down with a damp mop or cloth.
Is a Spin Mop or Steam Mop Better
So, is a spin mop or a steam mop better? Now, a spin mop spins.
Basically, what happens is it has a pole, and it goes inside a water mop bucket full of water, and then it comes out and it goes inside a mop bucket. Then it spins, and it squeezes out all the water. That’s how this is designed to work.
Now that said, these are microfiber strands. And this is designed as opposed to the old cotton strands that we had. The ones we never could get clean and always needed to be bleached. This is designed to hold water.
So, even if you squeeze out all the water, it is designed to hold water. There’s still water hiding in there somewhere. So, when you go to put it on the hardwood floor, there’s still a lot of water that’s leftover even after you spin and spin.
Use Spin Mop When the Floor is Dry
So, when it comes to hardwood floors, the spin mop is not my favorite tool for hardwood floors, unless you’re starting out with it dry and you’re using a spritzer spray. Now the spritzer spray would be a pH neutral floor spray designed for hardwood floors.
So, you would dampen the floor and then you would mop it with your dry, spin mop. But once this is wet, and I’ve never found a spin mop that gets enough water out. So it’s not going to cause damage to your hardwood floor. You got to be careful and use this when it’s dry with a spray bottle.
There is a Risk Using a Steam Mop on Hardwoods
Now, there’s also a risk of using a steam mop on a hardwood floor. Now I love the steam mop for the hardwood floor for certain rules and reasons. Primarily wood floors are made of planks and they are seamed together. They are either latched together where they’re sealed or glued together.
It depends on how it’s set up and on the brand. So it depends on the flooring, but it is possible that when there’s too much water on a hardwood floor, it can seep between those cracks.
And it can either warp the floorboards or ruin the glue that’s inside the floorboards. Also, it can seep underneath depending on what the floorboards are made of and that can cause mold. So, there are a couple of things that can go wrong. Not common, but it is possible, and it has happened.
Steam Mops are Used When it’s Wet
So, with the steam mop, the steamer is designed to use when it’s wet and it has an attachment that’s plugged in. It’s electric and it shoots hot water out onto the floor. And so, as you are mopping the floor, it mops it up fast.
So, the rule is, if you’re going to use a steam mop on a hardwood floor you have to move quickly. You can’t hold it in one place. Maybe you prop it up against the side of the wall and go grab a drink. When you come back, there will be a big mark etched on your hardwood floor because of the steam.
Reasons to Not Use a Steam Mop on Hardwoods
So, there are also reasons it’s not a good idea to use a steam mop on a hardwood floor. However, this said, you can use this as a regular mop. And so there is a little bonnet that goes over the top, which comes off and is washable in the washing machine. You can actually pre-wet these, and put it on top of your steam mop head, and therefore you don’t have to use the steam.
So you mop your floor like a regular mop. It has a flat head which has a microfiber pad. So when its damp, you can mop your floors using your steamer.
How to Mop a Spot With Dog Slobber in the Floor
Let’s say that you get to a point of your floor where there’s dog slobber that has been etched into your floor and you can’t get it out. We’ve all had those spots on our floor. They’re usually a few in every home where there’s something stuck on the floor and it won’t come up and you mop and you mop. And you look at it from every different angle in the light and you’re like, “What is wrong with that spot?”
This is a perfect opportunity where you hit the button and you do use the steam on that spot. That way you can get up the dog slobber. Once it’s cleaned up, you’re good to go. And then you can go about mopping the floor as if it was a regular wet damp mop. You don’t have to use the steam on the entire hardwood floor.
Also, there are a bunch of places around the hardwood floor that are not high traffic areas. Therefore, its not advisable to use steam on these non-high-traffic areas. So around the sides of throw rugs, Oriental rugs or around the corners of furniture unless there is ground-up food on the floor or something that’s been mashed into the floor, there’s no reason if it’s a non-high traffic area to use anything other than a slightly damp mop. That’s where this one comes in handy.
How to Mop in Hard to Reach Areas
You can use your mop to get to hard to reach areas, and the steam mop is great for this reason. It has all the movement to it. So, you could get behind chairs with the dry mop. And because of the flexible head to it, it will even go underneath a sofa.
All the little fingers will spread out and about, and they will get underneath the sofa, around the legs and edges of all the chairs. However, if you need to spray with a bottle of pH-neutral spray, you can do that and then dust or wipe up the area and your floor is as good as new.
The secret is you have to use them correctly because if you put too much water under any circumstances on any floor, it’s going to ruin the floor. It’s going to ruin the finish on that hardwood floor. So, think of your hardwood floor like a piece of wood furniture and how would you treat that wood. And that’s how you need to treat your hardwood floors. Resources
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