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Steam Cleaning Hard Wood Floors!

There are two opposing opinions on whether hardwood floors should be steam cleaned.  This article will present both sides and hopefully give you the information that you need to make a decision on whether to use steam cleaning or not.

Proponents of steam cleaning of hard wood floors argue that nothing gets their hardwood floor cleaner than steam cleaning.  They emphasize that removal of all dust and grit, first, is important in order to avoid scratching the floors.  This can be accomplished by vacuuming or dry mop dusting, and should be done several times a week.  Damp, not wet, mopping with clean water and a little white vinegar should be done weekly.  But proponents of steam cleaning feel that steam cleaning about every two weeks is essential to both sanitize and deodorize the hardwood floor. They insist that steam cleaning is the only means necessary to eliminate allergens and bacteria on the floor.  They feel it cleans off mildew, mold, grease, and possible dust mites.

The process is fairly simple. Steam cleaning should only be done on sealed hardwood floors.  All dust and grit should be removed first.  Then the steam cleaning is done with a stick steam cleanser using water alone, or a neutral pH cleanser added to it.  Worn spots of the flooring should be avoided so that warping does not occur.  Steam is put down on the forward sweep, and then immediately wiped up by the pad on the steamer with the backward sweep.  As the pad gets dirty, it should be changed.  Any remaining moisture should be immediately wiped up with a clean towel.

Those who are against steam cleaning hardwood floors have several valid arguments.  First, many hardwood floor manufacturers state that their warranty is voided if hardwood floors are steam cleaned.  Others point out that if a worn spot or even a single deep scratch exists on the floor, then water will enter and cause warping. If any grit gets onto the cleaning pad, scratches can be created on the flooring. Both pros and cons have valid and convincing arguments.

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