Luckily, there are a few ways to take out those hard to clean stains. Take measures to prevent surfaces scratches from happening by dry mopping, broom sweeping and/or vacuuming daily to remove debris and grit that could otherwise be ground into surface and cause scratches. From Wood Floor Doctor: Steam mops have been known to remove the topcoat of wax and the finish on wood floors. Remove bits of crumbs, dust, and dirt with a broom before you steam clean, as it can create residual dirt when mixed with heated steam. Warning: Despite the existence of these machines, all of the major wood flooring associations agree that steam cleaning devices should not be used on any hardwood flooring surface. These days, however, most manufacturers recommend cleaners that are specifically formulated for wood floor finishes; in fact, vinegar is acidic, and using too much could damage the finish. Vinegar and water will dull the floor’s finish over time, while soap or wax will leave a residue.
Here’s why: over time, the moisture generated from the steam would be absorbed by the floor boards. Once the board swells, it has nowhere to go and will begin to “pop up” over time. That saves time hugely. A larger cleaning surface means faster cleaning time. You should not by any means use Murphy’s oil, water and vinegar or a steam vac on hardwood flooring whether it’s solid or engineered. Start by thoroughly cleaning the floor with a vinegar and water solution. According to their marketing, as long as the floor is properly sealed it will be safe. I have found that the best product to use on all wood flooring surfaces that is safe for the finish is Bona products. From Stromberg Moore Hardwoods: We recommend Bona waterborne floor cleaners which are non-toxic and specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. I mean, liquid cleaners can literally seep in between the floor boards too. My reasoning: As long as the steam is hot enough and dry enough that it only goes onto the floor’s topmost surface and dries quickly, then it can’t be any worse than the liquid Bona hardwood floor cleaner that I’ve been using for years that coats the floor with light puddles of cleaner and takes several minutes to dry.
BONA is a non-toxic cleaner formulated for wood floors and contains a quick drying agent which leaves no dulling residue. From Apartment Therapy: I work for a major wood flooring company. Further there are no major hardwood providers who recommend the use of these products on their materials. These products can not only dull or strip your finish but can also void your warranty. Your vinyl flooring can only take so much abuse. The thought is you don’t have to take the time or spend the money removing the old flooring. And, come back often because I add to it all the time. 1. Finally having the ability to try dry, hot steam to clean my hardwood floors for the first time — so I can see for myself if steam cleaning hardwood floors makes sense or not. Needless to say, I am thankful that I have avoided using steam on my hardwood floors all these years!
From Lowe’s: Avoid using water and vinegar, soap-based cleaners, wax or steam cleaners on your hardwood floor. This is obviously a problem because it will require sanding and polyurethaning the floor. Bleach will often erase stains left by liquids like fruit juices, tomato sauce and wine. 4. I like the fact that the cleaning pads are so large on the Monster steam mop. They say that the Monster steam mop kills 99.9% of bacteria — including salmonella, e-coli, hepatitis C, black mold, and H1N1 — from hard surfaces in just 1 second! In other words, your warranty is voided if you use a Steam Cleaner. Remember to check whether the cleaner is a concentrate – if it is, you’ll have to dilute it before use. If you’re going to use a commercial cleanser, check the label if it’s made specifically for cleaning vinyl flooring. If you have hardwood floors, you’re probably asking the exact same questions right now!