Can Vinyl Flooring Be Cleaned With A Steam Mop?

Can Vinyl Flooring Be Cleaned With A Steam Mop?

Vinyl flooring combines functionality and strength with unique style and design. A good steam mop removes scuffs, stains, and grime, giving you a spotless floor. Since we know it packs an effective cleaning punch, the question is: can vinyl flooring be cleaned with a steam mop? As a homeowner, the first thing that comes to mind is how to clean the vinyl floor without causing any damage. While there are many ways to carry out this simple task, using the steam mop is a terrible choice for vinyl floorings. Steam cleaning is one of the most popular ways of cleaning many floor types. Unfortunately, it is unsuitable for a luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or at least most vinyl plank products. A steam mop produces intense heat that doesn’t do well on such flooring systems.

Some experts strongly believe that steam mops with lower heat settings are safer and better steam mopping options to use on vinyl floors. A steam mop with quick water evaporation allows cleaning without damaging the floor. The safest way of cleaning the vinyl floor is through vacuum cleaning or sweeping loose debris. Depending on your choice, Vinyl flooring is budget-savvy and more durable.

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    Can Vinyl Plank Flooring Be Cleaned With A Steam Mop?

    Steam mop exposes the vinyl plank floor to high heat, which causes damage to the floor. Usually, a steam mop is a chemical-free way to rid the hard floor of dirt and germs. To remove sticky residue or any streak, it needs to boil water inside the canister to produce steam. As a result, the vinyl plank floor is prone to a minimum of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures will wreak havoc on this vinyl flooring.

    In most cases, it leads to discoloration or melting of the vinyl. The high heat will weaken the integrity of the glue that attaches the vinyl planks to the subfloor. Homeowners can void the warranty on a vinyl floor by using a steam mop to clean it. However, there are some vinyl plank products that are steam-mop approved—Mannington’s Adura Max range, for example.

    The steam coming from a steam mop is so hot it often causes discoloration and warping.

    The Different Types Of Vinyl Flooring

    When asking the question ‘can vinyl flooring be cleaned with a steam mop’ you also have to understand the different types of vinyl flooring. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the main material used to manufacture vinyl flooring. There are also other compounds involved in changing the sheen, hardness, flexibility, and color. The main types of vinyl flooring include luxury vinyl plank (LVP), Luxury vinyl tile (LVT), and sheet vinyl. 

    Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

    The idea behind the design of luxury vinyl planks is to emulate popular wood flooring styles. LVPs are usually thicker and more rigid than sheet vinyl. The narrow, long planks are resistant to scratches and more durable. The authentic hardwood appearance of LVP is made possible by the thick PVC. The vinyl plank flooring can come in many textures and colors, from whitewash to grey. The addition of extra layers right on top of the design sheets prevents stains, tears, and scratches. Glue-down and tongue-and-groove options are the most common ways of making it waterproof for areas such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Glue-down installation option extends the lifespan by helping the planks stay in place.

    Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

    The construction of the LVT is similar to LVP. The luxury vinyl tile is rigid and durable with its thick vinyl layer. This vinyl flooring system imitates ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile. To install the LVT flooring, the glue-down and floating options are used. LVP’s installation is straight forward less labor-intensive. Luxury vinyl tile is economical, waterproof, and can be placed on the existing flooring system in a home. Just like LVP, LVT is used in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. It is a great choice for families since it is easy to clean. Wiping up daily messes is simple and less time-consuming. 

    Sheet Vinyl

    Due to its impressive waterproof quality, sheet vinyl has been a popular choice among homeowners for several years. The sheet vinyl is affordable and comes with a well-styled aesthetic appeal. It can easily combine the unique look of stone and wood flooring. The installation is straightforward at a fraction of the cost. Sheet vinyl’s material is softer and less resistant to scratching. Sheet vinyl features the latest modern look in different colors and textures. It is easy to replace and clean off spills. 

    What Is The Best Mop For Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring?

    You can use any type of mop on vinyl plank except the steam mop. A wide range of Mops is available in the market to give it that spotless, refreshing look. The amount of dirt on the floor would determine the mop’s surface area. It may require additional effort when the flooring is dirty. You need to get a mop with a larger surface area and a bucket with a built-in wringer. Carrying a bucket and a saturated string mop requires a lot of effort. You should only do this when it is essential. To get the desired result, the head of the mop should not be soaking wet; but rather damp. Another method of cleaning the vinyl plank floor is using a spray mop or microfiber cleaning pads. 

    Cleaning Vinyl Floor With a Spray Mop
    Spray mops are ideal for cleaning vinyl as they don’t oversaturate the floor.

    How Can Luxury Vinyl Planking Be Properly Mopped?

    Remove loose dust from the area before you attempt to mop the vinyl plank floor. The cleaning solution, mop head, and water will create a bigger mess by clinging to tiny particles. Take precautions when using a vacuum on the bare floor since its roller brush can leave scratches on the luxury vinyl plank floor. Dustpans and brooms are easier and safer to use in removing debris. The best place to start mopping is the wall that faces the door. It will prevent you from stepping on the floor while working on the vinyl plank. Remember to inspect the microfiber pad while mopping. Repeat the step for a better result. 

    Cleaning Vinyl Floor
    Using a microfibre padded-mop is the most popular method to clean LVP.

    What Does A Steam Mop Do To Luxury Vinyl Tiles?

    LVT floors feature stain guard technology on their surface to prevent the buildup of stains and dirt. They are waterproof and highly resilient. Hard flooring such as luxury vinyl tiles struggles to cope with the penetrative danger caused by the seams and grooves. In most cases, the heat from a steam mop gains access to the vinyl tiles, causing them to bend and warp. Since they are synthetic, the heat from the steam can weaken the underneath layer or surface coating. While the LVT flooring system offers a longer lifespan, it will be cut short with a steam mop. 

    Can You Use A Steam Mop On Waterproof Sheet Vinyl Flooring?

    A steam mop is tempting to use on any floor because of its sanitizing power. However, do not use a steam mop on a sheet vinyl flooring type. The intense heat or steam will affect the layers of the vinyl and cause irreparable damage. To clean a sheet vinyl floor, use a wet mop and cleaning solution designed for such a vinyl floor. Viny sheet comes with low glossing, making it easy for natural cleaners like water and vinegar to make it shiny. 

    What Types Of Flooring Can I Use A Steam Mop On?

    Although it is not a suitable option for luxury vinyl planks, a steam mop can work effectively on any type of ceramic, porcelain tile, stone, linoleum floor, some laminate flooring, and some forms of hardwood. Unlike the regular mops present in most homes, a steam mop produces steam or heat that takes mites off the floor and kills bacteria. 

    How Can I Clean The Discolored Vinyl Floor Caused By A Steam Mop?

    Exposing heat or steam to most vinyl flooring can lead to stains or discoloration. Here are simple ways you can remove discoloration from the vinyl floor.

    Baking Soda

    Baking soda is one of the most accessible natural vinyl floor cleaners. All you need to do is add water to the baking soda to form a thick paste. Use a white cloth (soft) to apply the paste gently to loosen and remove the stains. Clean the remnant of the baking soda from the floor with a clean cloth. 


    Lemon is another suitable alternative to baking soda. Cut the lemon in half and apply the lemon directly after you have tried removing the discoloration or stain with a clean damp cloth. Repeat the steps until you are satisfied. Remove the lemon residue with a damp cloth. Finally, use a clean cloth to dry the surface.

    Rubbing Alcohol

    Rubbing alcohol is another effective way of cleaning discoloration or hard stains such as makeup or ink stains. Use the rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth. Apply it on the discolored or stained spot. The alcohol will remove the stain. You can repeat the steps to achieve a better outcome. 


    Can vinyl flooring be cleaned with a steam mop? The answer to this is usually a no. Most vinyl flooring types cannot stand the heat formed by a steam mop. The heat from the steam mop will cause the adhesive to melt and loosen. There are steam mops with heat settings to prevent irreversible damage to the vinyl flooring. It might be what many homeowners would want to use on their vinyl floors. However, we recommend string mop and other cleaning solutions suitable for such types of floors.

    For more guidance, read our vinyl plank flooring care and maintenance guide, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

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