Which floors can you clean with a steam cleaner?

No cleaning agents, no strenuous scrubbing and yet everything is hygienically clean – at least that’s what steam cleaners promise. But can they keep it on all floors without causing any damage?

The problem-free floors

Floors that can be cleaned completely wet usually do not suffer any damage when cleaned with steam. Tiles are probably the best-known example of this. With linoleum, it looks different. If the linoleum is sealed and glued, the heat resistance of the materials used must be taken into account. If these are suitable for underfloor heating, steam cleaning is also possible.

How can laminate and parquet be cleaned with steam cleaners?

Contrary to popular opinion, it is quite possible to remove dirt from laminate and parquet with a steam mop. There are, however, a few exceptions, just like with linoleum. If the wooden floor is sealed, designed for underfloor heating and shows no damage or cracks, the steam cleaner becomes a fast and gentle floor cleaner on the smallest level. So that really only the smallest amounts of moisture reach the floor, thick terrycloth cloths or at least 3-layer floor cloths should be kept between the cleaner and the floor. So it remains damp and safe. If necessary, the cleaning must be repeated if smearing and streaks appear. However, this is quite normal and usually only becomes apparent when the cleaning agent residues do not land completely in the floor cloth.

Care should be taken if the floor has cracks in places, worn corners or if the sealant is damaged. Such openings can allow steam to penetrate and cause the laminate or parquet to swell unattractively and irreparably. Moist wiping is then the better and safer choice.

Carpets and other types of flooring

Even some carpets can be steam cleaned. But only if they can tolerate heat and then dry sufficiently. Rugs made of natural fibers, such as coconut, are also cleaned and refreshed pore-deep by steam cleaners. However, these must also be able to dry completely as quickly as possible so that no mold forms in the depths of the material. Those who cannot find any care instructions on the back of the carpet should rather refrain from steam cleaning, as heat and moisture can cause serious damage, for example to wool.

Suitable floors at a glance

  • Tiles
  • Sealed laminate and parquet without damage suitable for underfloor heating systems
  • Sealed linoleum
  • Heat resistant carpets
  • Coconut fiber rug

An overview of unsuitable floors

  • Carpets with wool content
  • All types of floors that may only be cleaned dry
  • Damaged laminate or parquet flooring
  • Unsealed linoleum, parquet, and laminate

Tips for steam cleaning

Whether laminate or carpet, before the steam cleaner is used on floors, it must be thoroughly vacuumed off. Otherwise, the dirt is only worked in deeper or smeared. In addition, a towel made of terry cloth or floor towels should be placed in several layers on the cleaning nozzle for each floor. The more sensitive the floor, the thicker the layers. And to ensure that nothing can go wrong, the steam cleaner should be tested at a low level on an inconspicuous spot and too much moisture removed immediately after cleaning.