Hardwood floors are warm, gorgeous and a symbol of treasure among many home owners. Basically, I love hardwood floor since they are not cold on my feet as tiles. The floor also add some radiance in my house and therefore I would always want it to remain cozy, clean and smelling fresh all the time.
I must admit that cleaning wooden floors is not a usual business. I realized that I cannot use any other cleaning products to remove the dirt, dust or stains. Since I have a dog pet, dealing with a messed up floor has become a regular norm. Now I enjoy everything about it since I discovered my best stem mop for hardwood floors.
Not using recommended cleaning solutions, machines and right technique can make your damage your wood and makes it look bad. Cloudy white haze or black stains is not something you would like to see on your floor as removing them is such a nightmare.
Steam cleaning and vacuuming are among the best method of cleaning you can hardly go wrong with. Steam mops help in removing visible dirt, smears and above all killing household germs and bacteria. Vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors on the other hand can be used to clear fine and large dirt debris as well as purifying the air around.
Using steam mop on hardwood floor is not an easy task. You need to be considerate on the amount of moisture getting on the floor. Wooden floors does not require damp cleaning because they can easily get damaged when they are exposed to water. Moisture or any liquid can get absorbed through any openings on the surface and areas where finish is not consistent.
Various steam mops have different performance capacities and you would want to know which one is the best to buy. That being the hardest part, in our guide we have compiled in details the list of best steamers for hardwood floors.
Is steam mop safe for hardwood floors?
Steam mops can give you a reason to smile if you have the right type of device that you have correctly used. Here are important things to remember about steam mops and hardwood floors.
- Not all wooden floors goes well with steam mops. Some cheap or poorly done laminates does not hold any capacity steam. They can badly get damaged and make you to worry about what to do.
- Steam mops should be used correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions. Always read them on the labels and follow them strictly to prevent your floor from getting destroyed.
- Some wood floors are strictly restricted from the use of steam mops. The warranty may become null and void if you attempt to steam them. Therefore read and understand what the installation company say.
- The type of water you use in your steam mop may have an effect on your floor. Distilled water is said to be the best. Tap water may contain elements that may destroy the surface of your floor or may give it streaks, white haze or cloudy look.
- You should not use too much steam since the excessive moisture has a high potential of damaging your floor. In the long run you will start to notice warping and discoloration of the surface. Always trigger a small of steam that can only make the head cloth damp. If the cloth become saturated consider replacing with a drier one and that will keep you on safer side.
- Too much scrubbing when combined with a blast of hot moisture can rub away the floor finish.
Therefore I can assure you that a steam mop is safe on hardwood floors as long as it is compatible with your floor, used correctly and when the manufacturer’s instructions are strictly followed.
6 Best Steam Mops for Hardwood Floors
Our best pick include the following:-
- Bissell Powerfresh 1940 Steam Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner
- O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
- BISSELL PowerFresh Lift-Off pet Steam Mop
- Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3601D)
- Reliable Steamboy Steam Mop
- Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop (S3973D)
Before we landed on the best hardwood floor steam cleaners we examined some factors that made us believe that we are leading you to the suitable product for the task.
- Excellent performance: We tried to look at thing like the number of passes required to wipe out grime, the duration it took for the floor to clean dry. We also factored in the safety of the floor and user. How steam is triggered and the amount it produces.
- Heating time and temperature: We also analyzed the amount of time taken to heat water to optimal temperature. The best steam mops for hardwood floors took a shorter time to generate steam.
- Maintenance: This assured us that the best machine is easily to maintain. We ensured that mop pads are easy to clean and replace. We also tried to find out if there is availability of accessories for the sampled models.
- Ease of operation: We tested all the possible scenarios as far as ease of use is concerned. We ensured that the power code is long enough, the tank capacity is sufficient, the machines can stand on their own and a swiveling head.
- Cost: We tried to relate the cost and the output value. What we sampled outshined the rest in terms of affordability and performance.
We eventually picked on the following as the best:
1. Bissell Powerfresh 1940 Steam Mop, Wood Floor Cleaner
The BISSELL PowerFresh is a quality steam mop that has great performance in cleaning. This versatile steam and floor cleaner machine has high cleaning capabilities even with dried on dirt and can also be used multiple surfaces including tiles. The ease of use, versatility and reasonable price makes it the best-selling on amazon.
Design and features
- 23 feet long power cord
- Removable tank
- 6 pounds weight
- Faster and powerful heating feature that makes it ready to use in 30 seconds.
- It has three levels of steam control, low, medium and high and you can choose based on your need.
- The machine uses only steam to clean and sanitize hardwood floors. It does not require cleaning chemicals or solutions.
- Has an easy scrubber brush that flips down suitable for tough spots and hardened gunk
- It comes with two replaceable mop pads that has fragrance pockets, a soft pad for regular cleaning and a scrubby one for tough spots and dirt
- The 23 feet power cord is long enough for a wider cleaning range
- Removable water tank makes it convenient to fill over the sink and it lasts longer
- Bissell PowerFresh comes with fragrance discs which can be inserted under the mop pad to make your hardwood floor smell good
- Suitable for various floor types including tiles and the swivel steering make easy to use
- Mop pad cloth fits around the head completely creating a bumper that prevents scratching floor edges, walls and furniture legs
- It skills household germs
- Light and easy to carry around
- Easy to assemble and quiet while cleaning
- Few swipes only to clean dried up dirt
- Covered by a 2-year warranty
- The hardwood floor took a little longer to dry especially when you use the highest steam mode. This can be an issue when your floor is not properly sealed.
2. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop is a budget friendly, versatile and efficient steam mop for cleaning hardwood floors. Cushioned triangular mop head makes it unique and easy to use in corners. It comes with attachment for spots cleaning carpets. Its light and sturdy build with quality plastic.
- Takes only 20 seconds to heat water to steam
- 5 pounds weight makes it suitable to move around with it and can hold more water without
- The 400ml capacity water tank that is filled with a special cup without spilling or causing mess
- The mop head is triangular in shape making it fit impressively in corners around molds and furniture.
- The head swivels at 360 degrees making it easy to maneuver around objects in the room.
- This Steam Mop has cushioned microfiber pads that protects hardwood floor surface against scratching while cleaning.
- Versatile and efficient in clearing stains, smears and tough dirt on surfaces.
- Naturally kills 99.9% of germs and household bacteria using the hot temperature of steam.
- The constant steam is regulated by a simple on/off switch and most users found it convenient
- O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop has three levels of steam adjustment, low, medium and high making it suitable for moderate and serious cleaning.
- It leaves less moisture on the floor making it to dry faster.
- It has a 2 year warranty.
- The user may not know when the tank is getting empty due to lack of warning signal
- Since there is no trigger system, you need to be keen with water levels to ensure you do not damage your machine especially when it is running empty
- Some buyers have complained about the difficulty of removing stains on pads when washing them.
- It is mainly plastic and need to be careful handling it.
3. BISSELL PowerFresh Lift-Off pet Steam Mop
This is the best multipurpose steam mop that is safer and easy to clean homes with pet. BISSELL PowerFresh naturally sanitizes and clean sealed hard wood floors and other surfaces using natural steam. It kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria. It comes with 2 pads, a soft microfiber pad for everyday cleaning and a microfiber scrubby pad for sticky mess. In the box you will also find fragrance disc for eliminating bad smell on surfaces. It also include attachable water cup, 13 tools in a tool bag and a microfiber towel.
The 25 feet long power code makes it convenient in covering large areas. Filling the tank is also not a problem. Just like the original Bissell PowerFresh 1940 steam mop, this model also heats up within 30 seconds. The 13 specialized tools can be used to clean other surfaces such as counters, windows, sinks, carpets and more.
It also has a flip-down scrubber that is meant to deal with sticky dirt and spots such as pet mess. Scented discs are suitable to give your surface fresh smell and also to clear pet odors. The microfiber pads are hand or machine washable. The 2 year warranty is important in the event that your machine gets faulty.
4. Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop (S3601D)
Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop is a super-heated system that sanitizes your home without using chemical but steam power alone. It is made with 3 levels of steam control hence giving the user a room to choose depending with the type of floor and intensity of dirt. Upon using, the floor remains perfectly clean after fast drying. The modern latest model is more efficient and effective with added features.
- It has a wide large rectangular mop head for faster and easier cleaning
- Comes with two highly absorbent pads that last longer
- Has aluminum metal shaft making it strong
- Heat faster and within 30 seconds steam is ready
- Got 500ml water tank that holds enough water for larger area or many rooms of cleaning
- The steam temperature sanitizes your hardwood floor killing germs and bacteria
- Steam is produced constantly without the need to hold down a trigger
- It has three modes; Dust, Mop and Scrub
- Can be set based on the type of wood flooring you are cleaning
- Can be used on multiple types of floors such as tiles, bamboo, laminate, marble, carpet or stone surfaces
- The old models of this steam mop was reported to be not durable so go for the latest generation
- Has delicate parts such as the latch connecting the handle to the steam unit and therefore need to be careful
- Cloths are not bleached yet they tend to stain
- Some users have reported breakdown after few months of use
5. Reliable Steamboy Steam Mop
Reliable Steamboy is a reliable hardwood floor steam cleaner that protects your floor against germs and bacteria. The instant moisture sanitized your floor, removes dirt while scrubbing and leaves it sparkling clean. It is a strong performer though not as popular as the other mentioned best steam mops for hardwood floors.
- It has a compact triangular mop head that fits comfortably in corners and tight spaces
- Steam produced also reaches all the edges
- The turning is smooth as compared to the Bissell or Shark which have swivel steering
- Comes with two thick microfiber pads that reliably cleans well the floor since they capture more dirt at one swipe
- Reliable Steamboy can also be used variety of floors such as tiles or linoleum
- Has an integrated scrubber that deals with grout and spots
- I has an attachment feature for carpet glider that you can use to sanitize spots on carpet
- It has a replaceable water filter hence can be used with tap water without clogging
- It heats up faster to produce dry steam that does well on sealed wood floors
- The hotter steam makes it a reliable sanitizer with high potential of cleaning tougher spots
- It is made sturdy with a combination of thick plastic and a metal shaft
- Has a one year warranty
- Few users has complained about breakdown after few months of use and we hope the manufacturers have done something about that. There are no other downsides reported.
6. Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop (S3973D)
This device utilizes both steam blaster technology and steam control to give amazing results. It is the latest of the Sharks and has added features. Key features
Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop has pocket mop pads that are fitted on both sides of the cleaning head, so that when one side gets dirty you can flip and use the other one. The device has a touch free pad so that the user does not use hands to release the mop pads after cleaning.
The device is a lightweight steam mop that weighs 4.8 pounds and 51.2 inches in height. It has a 22 feet long code plus a detachable cleaning heat situated at the bottom. It has a water tank, control buttons and comes with a hose. The rectangular mop head and a triangular scrubber head makes it suitable for floor cleaning.
- Suitable for cleaning large surface areas, edges and corners
- The user does not need to dirt the hand while trying to release the mop pads
- Has steam blaster that caters for stains and obstinate spots
- The cleaner has three steam setting where the lowest is suitable for hardwood floors
- High heating power and takes only 30 seconds for steam to form
- Large water tank of 500ml
- Comes with a flask that is used for water filling
- It has 3-feet hose for easy reach on areas above the floor
- It is easily converted to handheld
- Fixed water tank that is not removable
- BISSELL PowerFresh is best when your house has a combination of wood floors and tiles or linoleum
- O-Cedar Microfiber is suitable for a house that has complete wooden flooring
- Shark can handle multiple floors since it has been made with combined features found in Bissell and O-cedar
- Reliable steam boy is suitable for variety of surface
How to choose the best steam mop for hardwood floors
A stick or a canister are the commonly used type of devices. Your choice of a machine is likely to depend on one of the type. Both types come with respective attachments and they have their own strength and weaknesses.
If you go for a stick type, you may be disadvantaged when lifting the steam mop away from the floor so as to trigger steam unlike the canister type that has a mop attachment whose mop head can easily be lifted from the floor.
Canister machine also has its own primary disadvantage. When the machine rest for long before you trigger steam, some unused steam in its hose and wand is highly likely to condense back into water forcing you to release it out before you proceed with your mopping.
Both types of the machines used to suffer from a common problem where water is only heat to a boiling point and you may not get a stick style mop. In the most advanced machines that has been taken care of. The steam can be triggered on and off in short blasts. This also gives you a good time to lift from floor after every few minutes you desire.
Always go for a steam mop that allows to easily change the cleaning cloth. This feature is very important when you dealing with a very dirty floor where cloth need to be changed often for good results.
Important Tips while using a Steam Mop on a Wood Floor
- Always keep the cloth clean and dry. Changing cloth quite often gives you a beautifully streak free floor.
- Remember to always lift the mop off the floor when triggering steam. This ensures the cloth is quite damp and hot. Direct blasts of steam on the floor may damage it.
- Do not continuously blast steam directly on any spot on the floor that you find sticky in an attempt to lift it. Gently use the mop to scrub and possible with a recommended cleaner such as a mild diluted soap.
- If you notice streaks on the floor once it has dried, think about changing the cleaning solution and using drier floor cloths than before.
- Always remove dust and grit from your floor before steam cleaning. This will prevent scratches, lines and unwanted marks.
- Since most steam mops run on water alone, you can add a cleaning solution with neutral pH in your steamer.
- You should ensure that your hardwood floors are completely sealed before steam cleaning.
How to steam hardwood floors – steps
Once you have removed dust, loose dirt particles such as food you can now follow the following steps to deep steam wood floor:
- With distilled water, fill the steamer’s water canister. You may consider adding a cleaning solution with neutral pH.
- Examine the filters and ensure they are clean before embarking on your floor cleaning.
- Ensure the canister is well placed then begin heating water to steam.
- Push the machine forward as it release the steam and then backwards to allow the cloth wipe away dirt.
- Always start at the corner as you move from one side to the other until the room is completely clean
Features of the best steamer for hardwood floors
These are basic specifications that a well performing steamer must have:
Steam control: The best steamer should have a steam control feature. This gives the user ability to regulate the amount of steam being released on the floor depending with the need.
Ease of use: The machine should have a long enough power cord, a power button, empty reservoir indicator and user manual.
Attachments: They include mop pads and other detachable accessories. The pads must be of high quality and easy to maintain.
Tank capacity: The water/steam reservoir should be well balanced between weight and size. Too small tanks will require the user to fill more often during cleaning. Therefore a relatively large and light tank is better.
Warranty: The machine should have a valid warranty. This is usually important during break down where the seller or manufacturer can easily replace.
Advantages and disadvantages of using a steam mop on hardwood floors
- Steam cleaning is the only suitable way of getting stubborn dirt off the floor.
- The steam mop leaves too little water on the floor as compared to traditional mop. Steam shortens floor-water contact and no cases of damage.
- Steam cleaners don’t require other cleaning solutions or detergents. You only use distilled water and the sticky dirt is removed without a lot of effort such as scrubbing.
- The high temperature of the steam kills household germs and bacteria making your house clean and safe.
- There is advantage of other accessories that come with some machines which you can use to clean other areas such as countertops, spots on carpet and shelves.
- Steam mops are not affordable by many people due to their high cost. Traditional mob is therefore commonly used.
- Too dried up stains may require you to remove manually using traditional mop or scrubbing. That means that steam mops works best for areas with little stubborn dirt.
- Changing mop pads regularly and washing them can also be an expense.
- Steam mops can breakdown in the middle of cleaning
- The devices can also harm your floor is not well used
The device you are buying should completely depend on the type and nature of surfaces you have in the house. If your house has areas with carpet, tiles or shelves, you will want to go for a steam mop machine that cleans multiple floors. You could also go for one that has attachments for cleaning spots on carpet or other surfaces.
The device should also be compatible with your floor. Ensure your floor is completely sealed. You cannot use steam mop on floor that is badly sealed or is completely unsealed. A good steam mop should also have a microfiber mop pads that completely absorb moisture. Steams that leave too much residual moisture can damage your floor besides leaving streaks and smudges behind.
We shall keep updating our list of the best steam mop for hardwood floors so that you can enjoy what is latest on the shelves. We have included links that directs you to the sellers such as amazon where you can make your complete purchase order.