washing out steam mop water tankPurchasing a steam mop is one way to clean your floors without the aid of harsh chemicals. Since steam mops run on electricity, you only need to add water to the mop to use it. Once the water reaches the proper temperature, the mop will produce steam to clean dirt and grease from your floor. Compared to other cleaning products, steam mops can save you time and energy. You can use the mop on ceramic, marble, stone or other hard floor surfaces. Make sure to clean your device after each use. Cleaning the mop will help maintain its efficiency and extend its lifespan. Always do the following after each use:

1. Make Sure the Machine is Unplugged

To clean a steam mop, you will need distilled water, detergent, baking soda and soft cloths. Once you have all these supplies, start by unplugging the mop. Wait for the machine to cool down before attempting to clean it; this usually takes 15 minutes. If you do not wait, then the mop pad and lower parts will still be hot and can interfere with the cleaning process.

2. Drain the Water Tank

You should always empty the water tank on the mop after using it. Leaving water to sit in the tank can cause mold or erosion to develop. One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your unit is to empty the water every time you finish steam mopping your floors.

3. Wash the Cleaning Pads

Most floor steamers come with mop pads that you can wash and use again. Washing used cleaning pads instead of throwing them away is a great way to save some money. Start the cleaning process by detaching the cleaning pad from the bottom of the mop. To clean the dirty pad, soak it in regular laundry detergent with a tablespoon of baking soda. Let it soak in the detergent for 15 minutes so the dirt can work its way out. After the 15 minutes are up, wash and rinse the pad thoroughly using plenty of water. Make sure to remove all the soap before hanging it outside to dry. Let it dry completely before folding it up to store with the rest of the pads.

Another option is to machine wash the cleaning pads with hot water and detergent. Once the wash cycle is over, toss them in the dryer using the tumble setting. Avoid using bleach to clean the mop pads because it can weaken their material.

4. Scrub the Water Tank

The next part of the cleaning process involves scrubbing the mop’s water tank. Dampen your soft cloth with warm water so that you can clean the inside of the unit. Use the cloth to wipe out all areas within the tank. Be gentle when completing this step. In fact, you only need to scrub lightly to get the job done. You should also use the damp cloth to clean the outside of the tank. If the cloth gets dirty before you finish scrubbing, get a new one to finish the job.

5. Clean the Steam Mop’s Surface

Use the damp cloth to clean the steamer’s surface. Wipe down the entire mop to make sure that it is clean. It is okay to use more than one cloth if needed. Once you finish wiping down the mop’s surface, gather the damp cloths to throw in the washing machine.

6. Reattach the Water Tank to the Steam Mop

During this stage of the cleaning process, you can reattach the clean water tank to the steam mop. Do not add water to it just because it is clean. In fact, you should only add water to it when you are ready to clean your floors again. Always remember to remove the excess water before storing the mop to prevent mold and corrosion.

7. Store the Steam Mop Properly

Once you clean the mop and fully reassemble it, you should store it in an upright position. Place it in an area that is dry and free of dirt. Any time that you pull the mop out of storage, make sure to use distilled water for the steam cleaning process. Since distilled water has no minerals, it will enhance the mop’s performance.