How to Use a Steam Mop

Learn what a steam mop can do for the cleanliness of your house, and how to use them.

How to Use a Steam Mop

Steam mops are the ideal cleaning tool when it comes to your laminate, tile, and hardwood flooring. They work on lightly soiled floors and heavily soiled floors alike. The process is simple; they take water and turn it into steam to effectively sanitize your floors, reaching crevices that may have otherwise been missed. Below we have listed the seven simple phases of steam mopping. By the end of this article, we will have you steam mopping like a pro.

Important: Please note only floors that are sealed should be used with a steam mop. If a floor is not sealed or if your floor is not compatible with the steam mop process, then steam mopping your floor could actually cause lasting damage. Check with your flooring manufacture or the owner’s manual of your steam mop if you have any questions.

Step 1- Gather your supplies

It’s important to gather your supplies ahead of time, so you know you have everything you need before you start mopping. Nothing is worse than having to stop cleaning because you don’t have a certain necessity. Below is a list of everything you need from start to finish.


  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Broom/Dustpan
  • Steam Mop
  • Distilled Water
  • Extra Cleaning Pads

Step 2- Clear the area

Move any furniture you would like to clean underneath BEFORE you start mopping. You may find that some pieces of furniture are heavier than you expected and moving them might not be an easy task. Don’t try to lift any weight beyond your means. Ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to assist you in moving the furniture if necessary. This is the best way to avoid any unwanted injuries.

Step 3- Prep the floor

Steam mops function best when any loose debris and dirt is removed ahead of time. We recommend vacuuming the area first and then doing a quick sweep just to make sure you got every piece of visible dirt. By following this vital step, your floors will not only come out cleaner, but you’ll go through fewer cleaning pads as well.

Step 4- Get your mop ready

It is essential that you prepare your mop while it is unplugged. WARNING: steam mops heat water rapidly, so you don’t want to assemble your mop while the device is still on. This could lead to minor skin burns or even an electrical shock, so please be careful. To get your mop ready, simply put on a new cleaning pad and fill up the water vessel to the appropriate fill line.

Step 5- Begin mopping

Finally, it’s time to actually start mopping. The above steps may seem like a pain but trust us when we say they make the cleaning process so much easier. Now that you are ready to mop, you can plug in your device. Most steam mops have an indicator light that flashes green when the water is at the appropriate temperature for steaming (usually around 250 degrees Fahrenheit). Guide your mop forward to start the steaming process and guide it back to remove smudged-on dirt. Repeat this process as often as you see fit.

Step 6- Check the cleaning pad

Turn off your steam mop and check the cleaning pad regularly (at least every 10 minutes or so). If your cleaning pad is noticeably covered in dirt, then it’s time for a replacement. Switching out your cleaning pad will ensure your floors get as clean as possible; it will also prevent you from just moving dirt around, making the cleaning process longer than necessary, not to mention less effective. We recommend having at least three additional cleaning pads ready. However, the exact number of pads you need will vary depending on the condition and size of your floor.

Step 7- Finish mopping and properly store your equipment

Now that you are done mopping, look over your floor one last time. Make sure no areas need to be retouched before you unplug your device. Give your device a few minutes to cool (again, to prevent burning). Then take off the cleaning pad, empty out the water vessel, and store your steam mop in a dry, cool place. Avoid storing it in a damp area, as this can cause mildew to build up, essentially ruining the mop.

You did it! You made it through all seven steps of the steam mopping process. Now, sit back, enjoy a nice glass of red wine, and admire your sparkling clean floors.