Hardwood Floors and Steam Mops

lauren17August 1, 2010

Hello All!

In my previous home, I had only 2 rooms with hardwood. I cleaned them the old school way...scrubbing on my hands and knees. That worked real well. I just moved into a new home with about 1200 square feet of poly urethaned hardwood floors and there is no way I have the time or strength to continue that cleaning method. There are several old threads about steam mops. From the comments given, I wanted to purchase a Eureka steam mop, but have been unsuccessful in finding one anywhere. I've seen the Shark everywhere, but the opinion seems to be that they are real flimsy. So I ask you: What is the best (under $200) steam mop available nowadays? Thanks for your responses.

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Personally I wouldn't steam hardwood or any type of engineered floor. A very well wrung out microfiber cloth on a pole works well. It takes very little water to "puff up" the fibers in hardwood. Especially if for some reason the finish has cracked between the seams. Check with a flooring store and have them recommend the best way to clean your floors.

However this is just my opinion. And I am sure someone is steaming their hardwood with no problems.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:35AM
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I have real hardwood (Bellawood) and the manufacturer says NO WATER! But... I do use a damp terry cloth mop head with a spray floor cleaner. If I don't dampen the mop head it is impossible to push and doesn't get up drips from kitchen floor.

Steamer? No way.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 8:58AM
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Thank you for your responses. What you are stating about the hardwoods being damaged by the steam and water does make perfect sense. I think I am dreaming of a simple way to keep the floors clean, which is not easy in my house. We have all kinds of spills and drips, not to mention a big drooly dog.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 5:54PM
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I bought one of those cordless stick vacuums at Target that I run around the floor (mine has a setting for no-beater-brush). Then I run the Bona microfiber mop/sprayer over it.
I highly recommend whatever brand you use that the sprayer is built in to the mop head. Just a quick squirt and wipe and it looks great. No lugging around the squirt bottle. I bought mine at Bed Bath & Beyond. The cartridges are expensive, but you can refill them by pushing in the spring-y end of the dispenser with a small screwdriver and pouring carefully.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona mop video and coupon

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 2:08AM
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cruisedirector, the Bona cartridges are refillable now. If you buy a new one - you just unscrew the cap and fill with ease.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:31PM
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Ok, that's it. I'm off to order one of those Bona mops.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:47PM
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I am getting one as well....thanks for all the advice. This forum is great!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:25PM
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I think that if your hardwoods are factory finished, not sanded and finished after intallation, the steam mops work VERY WELL. The steam dries so fast that it doesn't have a chance to penetrate the finish, which wraps around each piece of wood.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:34AM
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For a less expensive option, there is a Bona microfiber mop without the spray cartridge. It costs about $20 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can buy the Bona cleaner in a spray bottle and spray as you mop. This is the one I use and it works great. I did buy some extra pads for it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona microfiber mop without cartridge

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 11:04AM
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We use a Haan steam mop on our hardwood floors. There are miles of it, and we've had no problem using steam, as the floors are sealed. They actually stay drier with the steam than they did using Bona Spray, so I'm happy with my current method. (No Product to buy!)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:53AM
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chickadeead, I had a mop like the one you are describing. I believe it was Bona but made for Restoration Hardware (it did work well). The new one with the onboard sprayer is so much easier - spray and wipe all in one motion (instead of carrying the spray bottle around with you). ItÂs definitely not a necessity but it does make it easier. I believe these items are invented to make life easier. If it makes the job less cumbersome - I'm happy :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Currently, Bona has a coupon on their website for $8 off if you watch the video and then with a 20% off BBBeyond coupon, I got my Bona Hardwood Floor mop for $24. Regular price $40.00. The Bona coupon tho expires sometime in September.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:00PM
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I used the Bona spray bottle with microfiber cloth stuck to the bottom of the stick thing that comes with it for a couple of years and thought it was doing a somewhat decent job and would also every once in awhile clean it on my hands and knees with a damp cloth yet I always wondered why the heck it felt somewhat sticky and also if you walked on it barefoot and your feet had any condensation on them whatsoever it would leave trails everywhere in the house you walked.

After having a child it made me think twice about spraying a chemical down on the floor they were crawling on and then them putting their hands in their mouth and whatnot, which led me to try the shark steam mop which I saw on a late night infomercial and while it did work somewhat it took forever and you had to constantly pump it to get steam and therefore it was easy to use excessive steam when it finally started coming out and then leaving drips everywhere and puddles even. After a few months ths flimsy shark broke from me trying to push down on it hard to get out a spot of something on the floor basically because it doesn't heat up hot enough to even clean that up.

Finally I dug around on Amazon and stumbled onto the Eureka Steam Mop, this thing is awesome. It feels like I am cheating when I am cleaning it takes so little time, it heats up much hotter than the shark so therefore it sterilizes the floor and easily cleans of any mess with no effort and from time to time I have to check that it is actually working because the water evaporates so quick you can't even see it ever sitting on the wood except for a few seconds.

This Eureka steam mop is very hard to get ahold of usually because it is out of stock quite a bit and the only downside I have seen is that the replacement pads are hard to find and get ahold of. I ordered some direct off of the companies website and they didn't ship forever so I called them up and they said they cannot keep them in stock ever because everytime they are in stock they all get bought up in no time and she said everything related to this Eureka steam mop does because it is a huge seller for them. I totally understand why...haha

My cleaning lady was shocked how good this unit was and has actually had all of her clients buy them now too and they have all had the same exact results I did.

So I guess if your happy working your butt off keeping your floor clean the old school way and spaying chemicals and breathing those in then keep doing it, yet if you want actual clean floors not getting build up on them and to clean your floors in a quarter of the time with this unit and some distilled water then go for that as well.

Just search on Amazon for Eureka 313A if you would like to check it out and see the 640 reviews on it from actual customers yourself or click the link I attached, free shipping and no tax. Spoken like a true Amazon junky....lol


Here is a link that might be useful: Linky ==> Best Floor Cleaner I Have...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 2:47AM
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Michael, the Bona cleaner is GREENGUARD Certified (non-toxic, biodegradable ...). See the following press release - I didn't realize they had partnered with Healthy Child Healthy World ... awesome ...

"Bona Partners With Healthy Child Healthy World
Aurora, Colorado  August 3, 2010 - Bona US, the world leader in hardwood floor cleaning and care since 1919, is pleased to announce that they have become a Trusted Partner of Healthy Child Healthy World, the nationÂs leading nonprofit inspiring parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. This partnership signifies a mutual commitment in increasing awareness on indoor air quality and reducing childrenÂs exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals and other pollutants emitted by household products. As part of the collaboration, Bona and Healthy Child will encourage consumers and parents to choose only third-party certified products for their children and homes.

"Indoor air quality is a major concern, particularly for homes with children, as infants take in two to five times more dust than adults, despite their smaller size. TodayÂs consumers are insisting on environmentally healthy products for their homes," said Chad Nordhagen, Director of Marketing. "Partnering with Healthy Child Healthy World will help us spread the message about the importance of indoor air quality and the health of families as BonaÂs floor care solutions are pH-neutral, biodegradable, non-toxic and GREENGUARD certified."

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona partners with Healthy Child Healthy World

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 5:21PM
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I am simply astounded that they list the Eureka steam mop for use on laminate. That simply is a BAD idea. I have this mop's predecessor and I would never use it on anything other than tile or vinyl. I would strongly urge anyone who is thinking about putting a steam mop on hardwood to talk to an expert or the manufacturer. Placing a steaming hot item on wood would simply scare me.

Livebetter, I got a chance to use my Bona mop on my bathroom for the first time today. The tile came out beautifully and it took just a couple minutes. I talked to Bona Friday about their laminate/stone/tile polish and got some tips. Have you ever used that on any hard surface?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 6:32PM
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susanelewis, I do use it for quick clean ups of my porcelain tile and for my basement laminate. What were the tips you received?? Now I'm curious...

I have used a very expensive steam cleaner (LadyBug) on my hardwood floors once. The instructions were clear that the steam was to be used to "wet" the cleaning pad and then wiped on the floor. Never to output steam directly on the hardwood. It did clean the floors nicely but I'm not in a hurry to do it on a regular basis - I just don't think it can be good for the finish over time (mine is finished on site not prefinished).

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:46PM
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I have used a steam mop for two years on my laminate floors and it dries almost right away!It has not hurt them but I do not soak them either!!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:58PM
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If you have noticed that the new infomercials for steam mops do NOT include a demonstration on laminate anymore. That is for good reason. Many of them release too much water and some of them leak. All laminates suggest that spills be cleaned up immediately, so why in the world would you introduce hot steam deliberately on a laminate floor and take a risk? There are many products out there that work well for laminate. Steam mops are not one of them.

Livebetter, my tips were regarding Bona's polish. I saw it in the store and on their site so I was curious because we all know that laminate will get surface scratches. Their polish is recommended for laminate to help disguise scratches. I was very curious how it works and concerned that it would dull the higher gloss shine of my Bruce floors.

She suggested that I try it in a small spot (I would probably grab an extra board that we didn't use) and coat it to see if it dulled the finish. It is supposed to give a high gloss finish and protect it further from scratches. You first empty the room of as much furniture as possible then you apply the polish with their special application pad. Then after that you simply treat the spots that start to lose the finish (high traffic).

I cannot fathom emptying rooms of furniture since our floor is continuous into 3 bedrooms and great room, several halls and dining room. That simply sounds like way too much work right now. But I am interested in protecting my investment. I'll have to do some more research. The polish is also good for stone and tile and hardwood. I have both stone and tile so I am curious how it would work for them. My marble in the foyer is so scratched. But I am so picky on what I use on it. I really need it professionally polished and repaired.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:16PM
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I would guarantee that using steam regularly would shorten the life of the finish of a hardwood floor.

If not too much steam comes out, and the floor is immediately dried completely, and has a thick aluminum-oxide coating, you can probably get away with it for awhile.

Occasional use on any finished floor would probably be fine, as long as it is immediately dried. The August issue of CR rates steam mops, including how much water they leave on the floor.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:24AM
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I have a subscription to the online CR and here are a few quotes from the article.

"Most manufacturers indicate their steam mops can be used on vinyl, tile, and sealed wood floors, but the heat, steam, and water from these appliances could damage some floors and/or void a flooring warranty. "

"For all of the mops, when there's a large amount of soil, more gets pushed out of the way than picked up by the pad.

"The two steam mops cited above (H20 and Eureka)were very good overall; the others were mediocre. A $15 squeeze mop proved comparable, if not better, at floor cleaning. You will need a lot of elbow grease and a bucket of hot water."

My comments:
Please note that laminate was never mentioned ANYWHERE in the article as a surface suitable for a steam mop.

The only recommended mops were the H2O Ultra SC-393 and the Eureka Enviro Steamer 313A. However, the Eureka was rated Fair (next to Poor in this rating category) for leaving residual water on floor.

I see these mops good for tile or vinyl only and for sanitation purposes...sounds like cleaning really isn't their forte.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:41AM
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