Steam cleaning is one of the easiest and quickest ways to clean off dirt, grime, and germs without having to use any harsh chemicals. This is why they are commonly used to clean carpets, curtains, furniture and so much more.
You see steam cleaning works by using steam at high temperatures, usually between 225 degrees F and 325 degrees, which can easily break up dirt and grime and kill viruses and bacteria.
But because of the high temperature used during steam cleaning, it can’t be used for every surface or material. You see certain types of materials are easily damaged by high temperatures.
So in this article, I am gonna share with you 6 surfaces and materials that you should never steam clean.
1- Avoid Steam Cleaning Hardwood & Laminate Floors
Steam Clean Mops are extremely popular for cleaning floors. But they are not recommended for every type of floor especially for hardwood and laminate floors that were not properly sealed and treated to handle steam cleaning.
And sadly a lot of steam cleaning mops advertise themselves as being able to work on all types of laminate and hardwood floors which in a lot of cases would end up damaging them.
The issues with steam cleaning your hardwood floor are:
- The extreme heat from the steam cleaner can cause the wood to warp and giving it a deformed shape either by swelling or shrinking. Citation.
- The heat will also remove the glossy finish over your floor dulling it and making it more prone to being damaged.
- And the moisture can cause the wood to develop mold and get wrinkled and worn out.
Whilst the issue with constantly steam cleaning laminate floors is that the heat would damage the top layer. Now the top layer acts as a sealant to prevent water from seeping better the planks. And if water gets between the planks it would cause swelling to occur.
Now every hardwood or laminate floor will be different some might be well-sealed and treated and thus able to withstand high temperatures and extra moisture.
But I would highly recommend either:
- Checking with the manufacturer to see if your flooring can handle steam cleaning before steam cleaning.
- Or if you are already steam cleaning your hardwood or laminate floors I would recommend that you do so sparingly and at the lowest possible temperature available on your steam cleaner.
- But if you want your laminate and hardwood floors to last you a very long time, don’t steam clean them at all instead stick with sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming. Citation.
Now if you have yet to buy a steam cleaning mop I highly recommend the PurSteam Steam Cleaner Mop, especially when dealing with materials that you can’t over steam. This is because the PurSteam Mop allows you to control and moderate the amount of heat and steam produced.
Added to that it is multipurpose and very affordable. You can click here to see the price of the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner on Amazon.
2- Never Steam Clean Areas that Have Wall Paper & Paint
Most regular types of paint are very sensitive to high temperatures which can cause the paint to melt and even make it revert to a semi-liquid consistency. This means that if you steam clean a surface covered with paint it can cause the paint to become disfigured.
Wall Papers are commonly made of; non-woven fiber (which is a mixture of chemical pulp and fibers), Vinyl, or recycled paper. These materials are easily damaged by both water and heat, so much so, that steam cleaning is commonly used as a wallpaper removal method.
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3- Object Made of Thin Plastics
Any material or objects that are made of thin plastic such as toys or PVC pipes should never be steam cleaned. Citation.
The high temperature produced by steam cleaners can potentially melt the plastic.
4- Certain Fabrics like Velour & Silk
Fabric such as silk and velour shouldn’t be steam cleaned. High temperatures will easily damage them.
5- Ply Board and CardBoard
Anything that is made of plyboard or cardboard shouldn’t be steam cleaned. This is because both materials are very susceptible to water damage.
Plyboard is prone to swelling and cardboard will start to fall apart when exposed to water.
6- Avoid Steam Cleaning on Rainy or Damp Days
The best time to steam clean whether be it your furniture or carpet is on very hot and dry days. You see the hot weather ensures that all of the water is completely evaporated and won’t leave your furniture or carpets moist and damp.
Too much moisture can lead to the growth of mold, mildew and will leave a funny scent.
Now if you do want to steam clean on a wet and damp day you can use your fan to properly dry the surface that you were steam cleaning.
Citation and References
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Steam Mop on Wood Floors
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Steam Floor Mop
How to Steam Clean Hardwood Flooring
How Does Hot Water Affect Plastics
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