is the floor really clean?

jea2007December 22, 2011

I just tried my steam mop (eureka envirosteam) on my prefinished wood floor for the first time. It seemed to be fine, maybe a bit wetter than I would like, but it is dry here right now so they are drying quickly.

I vacuumed first, then steamed. As a test I took a white paper towel and wiped it on an area that was still a bit damp. It came back a bit dirty, like sock bottoms you know.

I have done the Bona thing for a long time, but again feel like am I really cleaning. Previously I have done the vinegar and water damp mop and then Bona, but that is really intensive.

My floors are natural red oak with matte finish.

So are they clean? after which process? I would say they look better after any process, but.... are they clean?


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If a clean paper towel ends up dirty like bottom of socks, the floor is not clean.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 8:09PM
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Yes I realize that. I was looking for others experience using a steam mop. Or suggestions to what I may be doing wrong. It wasn't like the towel was black. Just a bit discolored.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 11:41PM
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I have a canister style steamer and attach a microfiber cloth to the cleaning head. My ceramic floor gets very dirty because of my dog. When I want it completely clean, I can be on the 3rd or 4th microfiber cloth before the cloth shows no dirt.

At least some of what your steam mop is picking up is the Bona cleaner that is left behind.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:23AM
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I use a Shark Steamer filled with 50/50 alcohol/water. Works great. Sometimes it is necessary to change microfiber pads depending on size area being cleaned.

Much will depend on how fast the steamer is moved over the floor as to how clean it will be. Too fast and it does not have time to really mop clean.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 3:04PM
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Does the alcohol clean?
My tile floors do not get clean with my shark steamer. I usually spray bleach or some other cleaner before I steam.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Yes, alcohol is a good cleaner. However, if floors are left too long and are extra dirty it will take more effort to get them clean regardless of what is used.

I also use the 50/50 alcohol/water mixture for regular mopping with a mop. Floors are clean and dries fast.

I like the alcohol/water mixture better than the 50/50 vinegar mixture.

Grout is hard to get clean with any of the machines, needs brush hand scrubbing as a rule. A string mop gets the grout cleaner than other mops because the strings go down into the grout line and does not just push dirt into the grout.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 11:21PM
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Thanks for the tips. I did the kitchen also. I agree that some of what is being picked up is build up. Untimely I think I will do the steam once in a while. I'll try using more pads, going slower.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 8:50AM
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If you have a lot of buildup, spray water on the floor and let soak a little bit before using the steamer. This will help soften the buildup and more will be removed each time you use the steamer. After the buildup has been removed, it will be easy to keep the floor clean by using the steamer once a week. Always vacuum floor before cleaning.

Had house cleaners for a while and the floors ended up with a buildup of dirt that required many days of scrubbing to return to normal. They did not vacuum before mopping, only used a dust mop which did not remove loose dirt from grout lines. I am back to doing my own cleaning, house cleaners did not work out for me.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:33AM
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Ooops! Forgot to re-read original post. You are dealing with wood floors instead of tile. Soooo.....maybe my suggestion to spray floor with water and let soak is not advisable for your floors.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 10:16AM
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