How To Clean Your Floor with a Steam Mop - The Latest Mopping Technology
The first steam mop concept was created by Romi Haansteam mop concept would become a worldwide innovative success. The steam mop experienced its highest sales in 2018 and is sure to increase in popularity. Steam mops are easy to use and less cumbersome than the traditional mopping method. Steam mops are light weight and portable. Stone Care of Arizona, Arizona stone care experts, brings you this article on “How to Use a Steam Mop?”
THE GERMIEST AREAS IN YOUR HOME
If you were to choose the germiest location in your home, what area would you choose? If you chose the floors, you are correct! Microbiologists have studied household surfaces to measure contamination levels of yeast, germs, mold spores and coliform bacteria. These contamination is a family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E.coli). Microbiologist discovered that the floors are by far the germiest location. If you chose the toilets, washing machines, cell phones, sinks, cutting boards and areas around the stove, you are not alone. However, studies confirm that floors require special attention for a healthy home.
The following is a quick guide to proper floor maintenance.
PREVENTION - TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES
Arizona State University Healthy Home study confirms what germ conscious people knew all along. Removing shoes when entering is a deterrent to bringing germs into the home. While removing shoes at the door is not a common practice in Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills and Paradise Valley, the ASU study revealed that over a two-week period shoes were discovered to have collected 440,000 units of bacteria. The study makes a compelling argument for removing shoes when entering your home. Removing shoes has the added benefit of reducing scuffing and wear and tear on floors.
THE MARVELS OF USING STEAM
The basic portable steam mop model utilizes air and water to generate “vapor steam” at an average of 1.5 quarts of water per hour. The vapor steam when placed on the tile, wood, laminate and natural stone will create “steaming action”. The steam action “kills germs” on contact and will loosen up dried oily soil. The soil is liquified and quickly adsorbed with a microfiber mop.
Mopping your floor with steam is the ultimate chemical-free way to clean. The marvels of using a steam mop include killing mold spores, bacteria, and dust mites at high temperatures.
According to the Department of Health boiling water “facilitates communication and assures that an effective pasteurization temperature is reached to kill or inactivate waterborne pathogens.”
Steam mopping achieves better results at sustained steam heat above 212°C (413.6 °F) and will kill microorganisms within 10 to 15 seconds. (Follow manufacturer’s steaming instructions)
PROPER WAY TO USE A STEAM MOP
As steam mops become more popular there are emerging new mythologies regarding their use. These anecdotal mopping misconceptions have created mistakes and avoidable damage. Steam mops can reach areas where trapped soil and germs can harbor. Whether, it’s porous Travertine, Marble, Limestone, porcelain or ceramic, there is no place for unwanted substances to hide
Stone Care of Arizona Cleaning Recommendations:
1. It is always safer to remove dry soil with a HEPA-Filter hard surface vacuum cleaner.
2. Identify that type of sticky soil that has attached itself to your hard surface
3. Use the microfiber mop in a circular motion
4. Following the cleaning stage, we recommend using the steam mop in the high traffic areas. There is no need to use the steam mop in areas where there is no foot traffic.
a. Water based soil: This type of soil will dissolve with steam
b. Oil based soil: Apply an alkaline cleaner beforehand on heavily soiled area
PLEASE NOTE: Always consult the flooring manufacturer’s instructions before using steam mops on the following surfaces:
Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVT): Luxury Vinyl Planks are very popular. Using a steam mop can potentially damage the vinyl plank floor. Extreme heat on prefinished planks may separate the seams between the planks. The unsealed planks expose underlayment to moisture damage.
- Linoleum (vinyl floor). Reduce water: While many vinyl floors are water-resistant, over saturation allows water to seep between the tile joints and loosen the glue beneath. Steam mops at extreme heat can cause warping.
- Slate, Flagstone, Terrazzo, Terra Cotta and Saltillo: Never use a Steam mop on any floor with a coating applied to them. Using a steam mop will soften and strip off the polymer or acrylic that was applied to create a matte or high shine finish.
- Wood Floors: Steam mops clean the microscopic pores and sanitize with less effort. However, water and wood generally are not a good mix! Steaming may cause hardwood floors to warp, cup, crack, and peel, Thoroughly follow manufacturer’s warranty and maintenance instructions for proper care of hardwood floors. Improper cleaning may lead to voiding of your warranty.
- Porcelain and Ceramic tile: The manufacturing process makes Porcelain and Ceramic tiles conducive to steam mopping. However, it is imperative to adhere to manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid damaging adjunct grout.
There are three types of grout being used in Arizona.
1. Portland cement,
2. Epoxy (water proof)
3. Furan grout. (water proof)
Portland cementitious grout comes in two versions, sanded and unsanded. Sanded grout is primarily used for ceramic and porcelain installation. Unsanded grout is primarily used for natural stone installation. Both sanded and unsanded will absorb most substances. Therefore, grout may weaken with repeated steam mopping. This may lead to pitting and eventually cracking, flaking and powdering. Grout may also lose its original color and appear stippled. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for steam cleaning.
- Newer Technology: Avaire Floating or Snap Stone: Porcelain and Ceramic modular tile systems are interconnecting locking systems installed without adhesive or mortar. The floating tiles are manufactured to precise dimensions and bonded to a interlocking base. Using high temperature steam mop can lead to damage.
We hope that you find this article of assistance in using steam mops in your floor maintenance processes. With proper use, steam mops are a good addition to routine cleaning of various floor surfaces. If you have a housekeeping service cleaning your floors, be sure they are trained on the proper use.
However, natural stone, porcelain and ceramic tile requires professional cleaning to retain its original beautiful finish and to protect your investment.
Stone Care of Arizona, Arizona stone care experts, offers free estimate for cleaning, sealing and floor refinishing. Please contact us at 480-625-0557.
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