How well do steam cleaners work on flooring?

Using Steam Cleaners on Flooring

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Anyone Steam Clean Their Flooring?

I need advice about cleaning floors. I have hardwood floors in most of the house. I also have tile in the bathrooms and some sort of flooring in the kitchen. I have a big Oreck vacuum cleaner.

I was told that those steam cleaners like you see on TV and in catalogs clean really well. According to what I've seen, they cost just over $100 and they have reusable pads that can be washed.

I also have a Swiffer for floors. I would rather not use a lot of chemicals on my floors or in the house. If I do the vinegar thing, do I use white vinegar or cider vinegar?

Related: Cleaning Tile Floors

Steam Cleaner Has Paid for Itself

I have hardwood floors and use a steamer on them. It works great and dries very quickly! Mine came with attachments to clean a lot of other things, including the pads. I have had mine for about four years now and have gotten more than what I paid out of it.
Susan in GA

Steam Cleaner Not Worth the Investment

I have the Shark Steam Mop. It cost roughly $100. It cleans okay, but I wouldn't spend that much money on it again. It's lightweight because there's nothing to it. The green girl in me feels good that I'm not using cleaners/chemicals, but for me, the price tag is the killer. And I still have to spot clean (with chemicals) the really tough spots.
Angel in NC

Don't Steam Clean Wood Floors

I previously ordered a Bissell Steam Mop (model 1867-7) from with a lot of favorable reviews. I wanted to use it for my hardwood floors and my kitchen linoleum floor. I liked the steam mop concept but returned the item for a full refund since the cleaner left permanent streaks in my wood floors. There are quite a few reviews about this problem, but I thought I would try it anyway. I wish I hadn't.

Related: Comparing Steam Mops

Options for Steam Cleaners

I am not sure what type of hardwood floors you have, but we have the original unfinished (no wax, sealing, etc.) floors in our house. I am honestly afraid to use much of anything on them, but over the years, I have found a way to keep them clean that is satisfying. I Swiffer my floors weekly. Once a month, I use a vinegar solution (I use half water and half white vinegar) on them to thoroughly clean them. I have the vinegar in a spray bottle and simply spray a small section at a time, using a soft sponge to scrub them and then an old towel to dry them. It does work well and I get some good exercise doing this. I know some people do put a little lemon oil as well in the mix for floors.

As far as the steam cleaners, I do have a friend that does use the "Shark" cleaner on her wood floors. She says that it works wonderfully and it is easier on her back. They are roughly $80 dollars, but I did see them advertised recently at Big Lots for $55.
Vickie in IL

Clean Floor with No Chemicals

I would definitely recommend a steam cleaner over the disposable pad system. I have a Shark steam mop and bought an extra head on eBay. I do animal rescue and have three dogs, eleven cats, a cockatiel and an iguana, so I need to clean my floors often without chemicals. The steam mop cleans very well on wood, tile and linoleum. When using the disposable pads, I found that I needed way too many and it left a sticky residue. The other nice thing is that the steam mop is always ready to go when an "accident" occurs.
Lee Anne

White Vinegar In Steam Cleaners

I have tile floors in my house. I bought the steam cleaner at Costco Wholesale club, so if I didn't like it I could return it with no hassle. When you buy things on TV or the Internet, you lose money in the shipping cost to you and even more if you return it. So save your money and buy at Costco. If you don't have a Costco near you, you can try I use just hot water most of the time on my tile floors. Vinegar is great too, and I do that every couple weeks to disinfect the floors. I have a baby boy playing on the floors, so cleanliness is a must. The steam cleaner really does a good job, and the pads are washable.
Ally in Lake Worth, FL

Love My Steam Cleaner!

I have used my Enviro steam cleaner for about 15 years. It uses plain water and steam (my floors are tile) and does a good job if you don't wait too long between cleanings. For the tough spots, I spray with Windex or Simple Green and go over them again with the steam cleaner. It's easy to fill and to change the pads, which I throw in the washer when I'm done. It's a great product. Obviously, it's not as good as professional steam cleaning (which I was quoted at $1 per square foot), but at less than $75, it's a much better deal.
Nancy in Santee

Steam Cleaner is Best Purchase

I purchased a Monster Steam Cleaner from QVC for about $79. It is the best purchase I ever made. I have a 22' x 12' kitchen that has ceramic tile and three bathrooms with ceramic tile, and the steam cleaner cleans beautifully and I no longer need to purchase cleaning products for the floor. My steamer has steam on the bottom and four steam jets in the front that loosen dried on food or stains. It also has three adjustable steam settings so it would be gentle for wood floors and the tile. It comes with two cloths for the floor and a carpet glide and pad for carpet or mattresses. It's very easy to wash the pads, and I let them air dry. Don't use fabric softener with the pads as it would stop the absorption of the steam water. The steam cleaner does not leave hardly any water on the floor and the floors dry faster than they used to when I used a conventional mop. It is very light weight, so I can pick it up and use the stem jets to steam bathroom counters and toilets. It is well worth buying. Also, use white vinegar for cleaning as it is very economical.

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