Saturday, October 27, 2012

Steamers, Sharks, and Swiffers - How to clean your hard surface floor

Steamers, Sharks, and Swiffers

We receive a lot of questions from homeowners and one of the most popular is how to care for their new or existing flooring. Specifically customers ask if it is okay to use a steamer, Shark, or Swiffer to clean their new hardwoods, bamboo, cork, or laminate flooring. Unfortunately when you look around you will see most of the information you will find says that it is perfectly okay to use a steamer. Our answer when our customers ask this is a big no! We do not recommend the use of steamers, Swiffers, Sharks, etc. The problem is when you steam hardwood type flooring you are pumping moisture into the floor and moisture is the enemy. Some will argue that since it a pre-finished material the moisture cannot penetrate into the wood. The issue is that the material is pre-finished on just the surface. Most products are not finished all the way around and the steam that is under pressure will find a way into the floor. After the flooring absorbs the moisture from the steam it will start to warp and swell. When flooring warps it is impossible to get it completely flat without the ordeal of doing a full sand and finish. If the material is a laminate or a engineered hardwood that has a thin wear layer you are looking at ripping out and replacing the whole area.   In conclusion use the steamer on your tile and vinyl areas all day but please keep it far away from your hardwood flooring.

We do not like:
Murphy's Oil
Orange Glo
We do like:
Bona Kemi
Vinegar & water
Micro fiber mops