We have a question for you: How often do you clean your steam mop? Do you believe it is unnecessary to do this because steam mops destroy germs anyway? We’re sorry to break it to you, but owning a steam mop necessitates frequent maintenance.
A steam mop, like everything else in the house, has to be cleaned on a regular basis. It is strongly advised that you do so after each use. This will keep your floors spotless and your steam mop in good working order.
Don’t worry, cleaning your steam mop won’t take all day. There are only a few basic actions to take.
It doesn’t matter if you have a Shark or an unknown or unbranded steam mop – the results are the same. Let’s have a look at how you may care for your steam mop.
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
How to Clean a Steam Mop
We’ve included all of the information you need to know about cleaning a steam mop in one place. You may use this as a cleaning guide if you follow the six simple steps.
Unplug The Mop
The first thing you should do before cleaning your steam mop is disconnected it from the power source. An accident is the last thing we want. This is especially important if you have a model that emits steam when it is plugged in.
Remember that steam is water that has been heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which may scald your skin.
If you’ve been scrubbing with a steam mop, you should allow it some time to cool off. After around 15 minutes, you should be able to begin cleaning.
Empty The Tank
It may be tempting to leave the water in the tank if you haven’t used it all. You’re going to use your steam mop soon, right?
Wrong. This isn’t a good plan. Standing water might cause harm to your machine. It may cause corrosion and decrease its lifetime.
Mould growth within the water tank is also a possibility. Mould may develop in warm, moist environments, producing spores that can spread. After a while, there may even be a foul odour.
As a result, the best thing to do is to empty the water tank after each usage of your steam mop.
Clean The Tank
Some steam mops include a detachable water tank, which makes this process much easier. Using a towel, clean the interior of the tank. The mop could pick up some dirt and filth from there.
Depending on the water used within the tank, your steam mop may have some scaling. This may appear as a white haze on the plastic. Vinegar is an effective technique to remove limescale.
Vinegar contains natural antibacterial characteristics that may be used to clean the water tank, allowing you to avoid purchasing cleaning products. Because it includes acid, make sure to dilute it with plenty of water. We’d suggest two parts water to one part vinegar, however, others believe you may dilute it even more.
Before attaching the water tank to the machine, use a towel to ensure that it is totally dry. You do not need to fill it with water; simply do it the next time you use your steam mop.
The use of cleaning chemicals in the water tank should be avoided. While we said that vinegar should be used in the water tank, this is solely for descaling and not for cleaning your flooring.
Steam has the inherent capacity to destroy a wide variety of diseases. E. coli, VRE, MRSA, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile, and Aspergillus niger are among them.
In this manner, you can verify that your floor is safe for small children. Using cleaning chemicals in the water tank may potentially cause your steam mop to break down.
Clean The Nozzles
You may need to clean the nozzles on your steam mop on a regular basis. This is especially true if you utilized hard water in your tank. Hard water from the faucet contains limestone and minerals, which can clog the nozzles over time.
Using distilled or demineralized water in the tank is an excellent approach to avoid mineral residue. Your steam mop will be able to emit a steady stream of steam. It might help to extend the life of your equipment.
If your steam mop suddenly stops generating steam, the nozzles may be blocked. But you might not have to go out and get another one right now. All you have to do is remove the mop head base to have access to the nozzles.
To remove the base plate, you may need to use a screwdriver. Because the nozzle is placed in the base of Bissell steam mops, this is a regular occurrence.
You may be able to see build-up around the nozzle if there is any. A cotton pad may be sufficient to unclog it and allow you to keep cleaning. However, if the residue is inside the nozzle, a tiny pin may be required to remove it.
Some steam mop manufacturers include a gadget to assist you with this process. Shark steam mops, for example, have a nozzle cleaning. This is used to clear the nozzle by moving it forward and backward.
If your steam mop does not come with a tool, you may just use a paperclip. The mop head is then reattached, and everything is clean and ready to use.
Change Mop Pads
It is suggested that you wash your mop pad after each usage. This can prevent pollutants from accumulating and germs from growing. Of course, if you use disposable pads, you just dispose of them and replace them with another mop head.
If your mop pads are composed of microfibre or cotton, they should be reusable. They may be washed by hand or in a washing machine.
To wash by hand, use no more than a teaspoon of a light liquid detergent or baking soda. Combine it with a pail of boiling water. Allow the mop pad to soak in the water for around 25 minutes before rinsing it with clean water.
Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners whenever possible. Microfiber, for example, can be harmed as a result of this.
For 25 minutes, microorganisms are killed with hot water at a temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. So, select a washing machine setting that will adhere to this.
Mop pads may be able to be dried in the tumble dryer on a low setting. However, if you are unsure, it is preferable to air dry them.
This helps to keep moisture from remaining on the material and causing mould to develop during storage. It can help prevent the formation of unpleasant smells. Allow the mop pad to dry flat before reattaching it to the mop head.
Most manufacturers will include cleaning instructions with their goods, so double-check before your trip.
Wipe The Outside Of The Mop
The final step is to simply clean the outside of the steam mop. This includes any area where moisture may be detected in order to prevent mould formation. Examine the base, especially where the mop pad has been.
This is easily accomplished with a dry towel. After a quick once-over, it’ll be ready to keep in your laundry room.
Drying and Storing the Pads
After you’ve cleaned the pads, you’ll need to dry and store them.
Line drying is a great option if you have space to hang your steam mop pads. It is more environmentally friendly and will typically treat your pads more gently. You can use your dryer if you don’t have a place to line-dry or lay them flat to dry. When using steam mop pads, do not use a dryer sheet. Toss them in a bowl over low heat.
After your pads have been cleaned and dried, examine them to ensure there are no holes or tears before using them again. The steam mop pads not only take up dirt but also protect surfaces from being scratched. As a result, if you notice any holes or tears, they must be fixed or the pads replaced.
Keep the pads in a clean, dry location where any remaining moisture from the cleaning procedure can dissipate. A moist environment might promote mildew growth on your steam mop pads.
Caring For Your Steam Mop Bottom Line
If you want your flooring to be spick and span, you should start with a new and clean steam mop. Washing your steam mop after each usage will save you time.
Always disconnect it before cleaning, and begin with the water tank. If you get into the practice of emptying and cleaning it every time, it shouldn’t take long.
You may just need to clean the nozzles on a regular basis or if you believe the steam isn’t emitted forcefully enough. While wiping the outside, remember to dispose of the mop pad in the garbage or the washing machine.
Do you have any questions or suggestions on how to clean a steam mop? We’d love to hear from you, so please leave a remark below.
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- Healthline. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/white-vinegar#household-uses.
- Reduction In Infection Risk Through Treatment Of Microbially Contaminated Surfaces With a Novel, Portable, Saturated Steam Vapor Disinfection System. (2008, October 3). Reduction in infection risk through treatment of microbially contaminated surfaces with a novel, portable, saturated steam vapor disinfection system – ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0196655308005579.
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