After you’ve cleaned your floors with a steam mop, you may have noticed that the cloth you just used collected a lot of filth from the surfaces. And while your home is in pristine condition, those cloths aren’t exactly something you’d like to leave laying around.
If you have an eco-friendly steam mop, you won’t have to dispose of the pads after each use. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to clean steam mop pads to help you get more use out of each one — dust and dirt not included.
A Step-by-Step Process of How to Clean Steam Mop Pads
To get started on cleaning your steam mop cleaning pad, follow these steps.
Step 1: Wash the Pads
Although you might be tempted, refrain from using softeners or bleach on steam mop pads. Using bleach weakens the fabric and results in premature wear, and fabric softeners leave a residue on the microfiber pad that deters its ability to collect the tiniest dirt and dust.
Moreover, if you use softeners excessively, you may not realize that they are absorbed heavily by the mop pads and end up on your floors during your next use. This can result in your floors looking dull rather than sparkling clean.
- Depending on the size of your container, mix a quarter cup of laundry detergent and a tablespoon of baking soda in the water.
- Soak the pads for up to 30 minutes.
- Rinse the pads thoroughly in running warm water for a few seconds once they’ve soaked for ample time.
- Put them in the washer on the rinse-only cycle to effectively get rid of the detergent.
- If your steam mop pads are not overly filthy, you can throw them in the washing machine. Choose the hand-wash/delicate cycle to prolong the life of pads with a minimal amount of detergent. Give them an additional rinse to eliminate each last bit of soap. Refrain from using fabric softener.
Step 2: Dry and Store the Pads
Now that you have clean steam mop pads, it’s time to dry and store them.
- If you have somewhere to hang-dry your steam mop pads, line drying is a wise move. Besides being eco-friendly, line drying is more delicate on the pads. If you don’t have room to line-dry them or lay them flat to dry, you can rely on your dryer. Nevertheless, avoid using a dryer sheet with steam mop pads. Instead, tumble them on low heat.
- Once your pads are dry, inspect them for tears or holes before their next use. Besides coming in handy in protecting surfaces from abrasions, steam mop pads are useful in collecting dust, dirt, and grime. Therefore, if you notice tears or holes on them, they require replacement.
- Keep the pads in a dry and clean place where the remaining moisture from the cleaning process can evaporate. A damp space can result in mildew growth on the pads.
The Don’ts When Using Your Steam Mop
Now that you know how to clean steam mop pads, here are a few things to avoid during the cleaning process.
Plugging It In Immediately
Avoid plugging in your steam mop until you’re ready to begin the cleaning process. The reason for that is that the machine heats in an instant. Therefore, to avoid the likelihood of sustaining burns, connect the mop pad and fill the water reservoir before you plug the appliance into a power outlet.
Failure to Begin With Sweeping
There’s no denying that even the priciest steam mop is, well, a mop — that means it can’t collect loose dirt, crumbs, pet hair and dust. It’s essential to vacuum or sweep the filth before you mop the surface. If you don’t, your steam mop will spread the dirt around rather than collect it. You can also end up with a filthy mop pad prematurely.
Idle the Mop
When you use a steam mop, it’s worth keeping in mind that it should always be in motion. Having it idle can result in steam and heat buildup that might permanently damage your floor. If you have to step away from the appliance amidst the cleaning process, remember to unplug it.
Fill It With Anything Besides Water
Most steam mops are designed for use solely with water. Filling the reservoir with cleaners or other liquids might ruin your mop pad and floors.
Use a Dirty Mop Pad
Inspect your mop pad as frequently as possible to ensure it’s not overly dirty. We recommend replacing the pad as often as possible.
Use Fabric Softener On Your Pads
Washable or recyclable mop pads are constructed from super-absorbent microfiber. To that end, you shouldn’t use any type of dryer sheet or fabric softener. Dryer sheet or fabric softener residue can negatively impact the absorbency of the microfiber pad.
After a while, you’ll end up with a pad that repels water rather than absorbs it, and that’s the last thing you need. To keep the pads in tiptop condition, solely use detergent and water to clean them.
Use It On Uncovered Hardwood
When you use a steam mop on an unfinished surface such as authentic hardwood floors, you damage them after a while. Ensure you follow the care and maintenance recommendations for your type of flooring, particularly if they mention avoiding steam cleaning.
Spic and span flooring begins with a clean and fresh mop pad. It’ll save you time if you want to clean your steam mop after each use. Always remember to unplug before you start the cleaning process that kicks off with filling the water reservoir. Emptying it and scrubbing should be a walk in the park if you form the habit of doing so frequently before accumulating filth.