4 Tips for Using a Carpet Steamer on a Hardwood Floor

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A carpet steamer can be a fantastic tool with which to remove stubborn stains from your home's carpeting, but it may surprise you to learn that this highly effective cleaning device can also be used to remove assorted filth from hardwood flooring. Below are a number of helpful tips that will ensure that you're able to properly utilize a carpet steamer for cleaning your home's hardwood floors.

1. Always Give Your Hardwood Floors a Preparatory Dusting

As is the case when steam cleaning carpeted flooring, it is always a good idea to give any hardwood floors you wish to clean a preliminary dusting. Failure to take heed of this tip is liable to result in dust deposits becoming even more embedded into your flooring once the steam cleaning is underway, in addition to potentially causing scratches. Fortunately, this preparatory measure shouldn't take very long and can be accomplished with the head of a vacuum cleaner and/or a broom and dustpan. Should you encounter dust buildup in any hard-to-reach corners or crevices, a feather duster can prove invaluable in getting rid of them.

2. Confirm that Your Floors are Properly Sealed

Another key tip for steam cleaning hardwood floors is to confirm that the floors are sealed. Running a carpet steamer over unsealed hardwood flooring may result in an enormous amount of moisture finding its way into the floor, ultimately causing it to wear out, grow mildew or even warp. If the floors are unsealed, you'll be happy to know that it doesn't take much time or effort to properly seal them.

Simply purchase a wood flooring sealer that's suited to your particular type of flooring, then use a paintbrush, paint roller, or a combination thereof to apply the sealer, making sure to carry out the job in a well-ventilated area and to carefully follow the sealer's directions. Take care not to steam clean the floor immediately after sealing it, as the chemicals in the sealer may have an odd, potentially hazardous reaction with those found in your steam cleaning solution—assuming your carpet steamer utilizes one.

3. Determine Whether or Not Your Carpet Steamer Requires a Steam Cleaning Solution

Before proceeding to steam clean your hardwood flooring, you will need to confirm whether or not the steamer you will be using requires a steam cleaning solution. Certain steamers will require you to use a special solution mixed with water, whereas others exclusively clean floors using water. To that end, if you're using a steamer that utilizes a steam cleaning solution, make sure the solution you pour into the device is safe to use on hardwood flooring. Some steamers will utilize one solution for all types of flooring while others will feature a number of different solutions, each suited to a specified flooring type.

4. Confirm that Your Steamer is Safe to Use on Hardwood Floors

Making sure that your carpet steamer is safe to use on hardwood flooring is a particularly important tip. While many brands and models of steamers are perfectly safe for cleaning hardwood floors, certain steamers are specifically designed for carpet cleaning. This vital piece of information can easily be gleaned from the device's owner's manual or one of the employees at the establishment from which your steamer was rented or purchased.