January 07, 2016

How to Best use a Hardwood Floor Vacuum and Steam Cleaner

Steam Vacuum CleanerIf you’re thinking of using a steam cleaner on your hardwood floor then you’re definite heading in the right direction, but there are a few things that you will want to make sure of first. To begin, let’s talk a bit about what steam cleaning is and why it tends to work so well on dirt and debris of any kind.

Water – It’s Not what you Think

To the surprise of many, water is more than just a liquid. Did you know that all of the molecules in water are electrically charged? Once the water particles make contact with the dirt or debris, they will actually loosen it, if not outright knock it out of the way. Have you ever wondered why dirt comes off of your hands so easily when you wash them under the sink? Have you ever wondered why showers are more efficient than baths? Well, now you know. It’s all about the function of the water, and the function of the dirt. Now, if you take that and put it into a steam vacuum cleaner, you will have a force to be reckoned with.

The Role of Water in Steam Cleaning

There is a good chance that you already know this, but when water is heated to the correct temperature it becomes steam, and while that might seem a bit unremarkable at first glance, a good steam cleaner will not only harness it, it will actually find a use for it. You see, a good steam cleaner can in fact force the steam deep into the surface material whether it is carpet or wood. That being the case, you have a cleaning agent here that you simply cannot do without. Now that you know precisely what it does, is it something that you really want to start using on your hard wood floor? Let’s talk about it.

Steam Cleaners and your Floor

Now that you understand how  a steam vacuum cleaner works, is it really good for a hard wood floor? At first glance, probably not, actually. Wood, just like carpet, is porous, but once a liquid is absorbed into it, it becomes very difficult to drain. In fact in most cases it would be utterly and completely impossible.

So now you’re ready to throw in the towel right? It was a good idea, but now you’re planning to move on to something a bit more grounded in reality. Well guess what? You can still steam clean your hardwood floors if you really want to put the effort in. We did say that wood is absorbent, but depending on who actually performed the installation, you may have a protective coating. Don’t worry, this is the fun part.

The Water Test

When you’re ready to figure out whether or not you have a coating, all you need to do is fill a glass with water, and then pour it onto your floor. Keep an eye on it. Does it disappear? If so, then it was absorbed into the wood and you in fact do NOT have a hardwood coating. If you find this to be the case, then you will not only want to hold off on steam cleaning your floor, you will want to contact a flooring professional and have yours sealed right away to prevent damage in the future. That, however, is beyond the scope of this article.

If the water simply sits atop the surface of the wood and you find that you need to wipe it away then yes, it is properly sealed and you can proceed to sue your steam cleaner – after you wipe up the puddle of course.

Words of Warning

Before you use any steam cleaner vacuum on your floor, try to remember that even if it is sealed, there is always a chance that your installer missed a spot. While one steam cleaning will not hurt it, repeated cleanings will cause the wood to absorb more and more water, ultimately making it heavier, and of course causing it to expand. This one tiny difference will cause you considerable grief and it may eventually cause you to replace entire sections of your floor. Is that a risk that you are willing to take? If not, then it would be a good idea to test your entire floor and ensure that it is properly sealed so that you can proceed to enjoy the benefits of a proper steam cleaning.

All in all, a good steam cleaning is the best way to get rid of dirt, dust, and grime. In addition to that it is going to serve to make your floors look new again, so really, where could you possibly go wrong? Make sure you start by taking a look at all of the different steam vacuum cleaners and of course making sure that you find the right one to suit your needs. It won’t be long before your home or kitchen is spotless and you are ready to tackle the next mess on the agenda. 


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