Can You Use a Steam Mop On Vinyl Flooring?

If you can’t find (or afford) high-end flooring materials, vinyl is as great. Despite the beauty it presents, it comes with durability, versatility, easy installation, comfort, et cetera. Many people prefer vinyl to top-notch wood, laminate, and other flooring materials.

However, keeping the floor in good shape demands utter maintenance, and part of this is regular cleaning. So what about cleaning it?

Can You Use a Steam Mop On Vinyl Flooring

Can You Use A Steam Mop On Vinyl Flooring? That’s what this piece is here to inform you about. Kindly continue perusing for even more information.

About Vinyl Floors

Vinyl is a durable, beautiful, and highly-affordable synthetic material. While it has a confusing resemblance to a few other synthetic types, the difference mostly lies in its durability and the ability to withstand extreme conditions.

Its versatility is on another level. The material suits use in bathrooms and kitchens due to their better waterproof properties than laminate.

The synthetics that makeup vinyl floors are friendly to the environment. They’re devoid of such toxins like phthalates and a few more others. People also love this material for its resistance to some forms of stains and for the do-it-yourself installation. While some click together to install, some only need to be glued to the core.

What else do you want to know about them? Perhaps if you can use the steam mop to sanitize them. Let’s see that below.

Can You Use A Steam Mop On Vinyl Flooring?

Of course, steam mops bring home quite a few advantages. They sanitize floors to expel close to 100 percent of all germs, bacteria, and viruses. However, it’s not safe for vinyl floors.

You’ve already learned that vinyl is consists of synthetic materials, and more about them is that most of them consist of plastic and polyurethane.

The synthetics are mostly resistant to heat, as well as water, but only to an extent. The heat produced by a steam mopping machine while at work is quite excess for vinyl. It can cause several damages on the floor, both immediately and in the long run.

Worse still, not only the heat but also the steam causes damage in vinyl floors. Below is a list of the most common damages by steam mops on vinyl floors.

The Disadvantages

It’s possible to use the machine on your vinyl floor, but only if you’re prepared for the disadvantages that come along with it. But, I doubt if anyone is prepared because some of the downsides are permanent and the sole solution is replacement. Read about them in the next section.

It Can Ruin The Looks

You risk losing the beautiful impression of your floor’s top-most layer when you use a steam moping machine on it. Among other effects,  extreme heat will destroy the plastic material that makes up your floor.

Therefore, you’ll lose the looks stamped onto it. The worst part is, you can’t do a repair; you only ought to replace the flooring no matter its expensive price.

Bad Smell

When heat and or steam interact with different materials, the results differ greatly. For plastics, you may not love the smell that comes with it when it burns. Besides, when water seeps via seams, you may not fall for the smell it causes after some time while underneath the floor.

From experience, no smell between these two is pleasant. You don’t want such smells to rent the air in your home, do you? I won’t take yes for an answer.

It Makes The Floor Loose

This is especially true when installation was done by gluing the planks together. Steam seeps into the base, and the heat breaks the glue’s dryness to make the floor loose.

Despite being bad on its own, loose vinyl is also dangerous for further damages. For example, when you slide on the floor, it can cause bends and warps, leave alone injuries to yourself.

It Can Void The Warranty

To help them alleviate liabilities, most vinyl flooring manufacturers evade offering warranty covers for floors damaged by extreme heat, steam, or water. This means that if you mess up a bit with the machine, the warranty pact won’t stand.

Therefore, it won’t cover for the damages. You’ll often find this warning within the warranty statement. If it misses (on rare occasions), you’re safe.

Cautious Usage: Things To Consider

Using a steam mop in its usual settings on vinyl will scathe it, but tweaking the settings and a few other things can alleviate the damages. Below is a sweet list of the best measures to keep in mind amid using the machine on vinyl.

Watch Your Machine Settings

The steam machine is often versatile. You can use it at various temperature and other settings. For this kind of flooring — and others like wood and laminate — you need low temperature and steam settings to prevent damage.

It’s blatant that temperate settings mitigate heat exposure, which often causes bad smell, warping, and other damages. Low steam settings light-cleans the floor to avoid damages.

Otherwise, the scrubbing mode will immediately destroy the floor, especially when combined with a high-heat setting, which we discuss in the next section.

Use A Microfiber Cloth

You can skip this step if your floor consists of tiles. However, you need to find a fitting microfiber cloth for your machine if you have synthetic flooring.

Doing so will prevent direct contact between steam and the floor (which is dangerous). Likewise, it makes moving the mopping machine on the floor seamless; you don’t have to push it hard.

Otherwise, direct contact between vinyl and the hot steam will damage it after only a short period, especially if you often clean daily.

Move The Mop Without A Stop

Excess heat is the major devourer of vinyl. But, fast strokes prevents the build-up of heat at one point on your floor. Slide the mop on the floor faster to avoid steam from attacking a single spot for more time.

In case you need to stop or pause for any little time, it’s wise to turn off the machine, finish your commitment, and turn it back on to continue using fast strokes to clean the floor.

Vacuum First

The best cleaning practice for synthetic floors before anything else is to vacuum or use a suitable tool to sweep it. This is to avoid damage both to the floor and machine.

Vacuuming machines take up larger debris, leaving the smaller ones for your steam mop machine to clean. Sweeping can also substitute vacuuming, so you don’t need to fret over the budget.

How To Do It Right With Water And Soap

Use the following steps to use your machine on vinyl without causing much damage.

Step1: Vacuum it to get rid of large grains of dirt. Sweep is also advisable for those who do not have (or can’t get access to) a vacuum cleaner. Before this, you can remove all the furniture from the room to give your cleaning activities ample space.

Step2: Add a sufficient amount of warm water and vinegar or soap into a large bucket. If there’s any recommended cleaning product(s), use it with the water instead of soap or vinegar. For the vinegar, you need a gallon of water per cup.

Step3:Prepare a clean mop and throw it into the bucket that contains your mixture of soap and water. Wring it properly to remove any dripping water. Mop the floor, ensuring that all dirt with more adhesive forces is removed. Leave no traces of soap behind you. Also, make sure that you don’t leave any spots behind you.

Step4: Dry the floor, preferably using a dry microfiber piece of cloth. The cloth should also be clean to avoid messing the floor again. Don’t leave traces of soap and or water that can cause falling and sliding on the floor.

Regular Cleaning

The safest day-to-day cleaning methods for your vinyl floor are vacuuming and sweeping. To do them right, you need to check that all areas are cleaned. Don’t elude under the chairs, cabinet, along your walls, and more hidden areas. It sounds better to move furniture as you vacuum/sweep so that no stone is left unturned. Avoid scrubbing the floor hard while sweeping.


Avoid letting spilled water to stay on your floor for long. It may find its way into the vinyl sheet or plank’s underside to cause damages and smells. Always wipe off any water spilled on the floor immediately. It’s even safer to avoid such spills.

In Conclusion

You want to avoid any scathe to your beautiful, vinyl flooring, and that takes a lot of things, among them is avoiding the use of steam mops on it.

If you’re concerned about durability, the question “can i you use a steam mop on vinyl flooring” should have a negative answer.

Otherwise, if you have to use it, taking the pre-listed precautions will take you miles in ensuring that your floor still maintains its great looks while lasting longer.

Meanwhile, enjoy your day, pals!

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