When I first exchanged my old mop for a steam mop, I missed the clean smell of floor cleaner. I was also skeptical about the cleaning power of steam. The instructions said to use only water, but I wondered if I could add anything that would make my floors feel cleaner.
In this article, I’ll tell you if you can put floor cleaner in a steam mop and what else you could add to it to make it smell nice. You’ll also discover what you shouldn’t put in your steam mop and what will happen to your mop if you do.
Can You Put Cleaner In A Steam Mop?
No matter how much you miss the fresh scent of your cleaning solution, the answer is no, you should never put floor cleaner in your steam mop. Steam mops are made to use only demineralized water to clean floors, nothing else. Adding cleaner will also likely clog your mop and void the warranty
What Can You Use In A Steam Mop To Make It Smell Good?
I know from personal experience how tempting it is to add things to your steam mop to make your home smell clean and fresh. Unfortunately, anything you add can clog the machine and lower its effectiveness.
Unless expressly stated by the manufacturer, the only thing that should go into your steam mop is demineralized water.
If you’re desperate for the smell of a clean house when you use a steam mop, there are a few things you can try that won’t clog your machine.
1. Use Essential Oils On Mop Pads
Using essential oils on mop pads on your steam mop is easy. Simply put a few drops of your favorite oil on the mop head, and you’re good to go.
Be careful not to use too much because some essential oils can make you feel lightheaded or irritate allergies. If you have pets, you should also make sure the oil you use is safe to use around them.
For example, tea tree oil is toxic for animals, so you shouldn’t use that on the floor where your pets could ingest it.
Be sure to clean your pads after every use too.
2. Spray Diluted Cleaning Solution On The Floor
If you want to use your favorite floor cleaner with your steam mop, one way to do it is to dilute it with water and spray it on your floor.
Going over it with your steam mop will clean the floors while leaving its fresh scent behind.
Mix 3 cups of warm water and ¼ cup of your favorite cleaner together in a spray bottle to make a solution that won’t leave a sticky residue behind.
3. Choose A Steam Mop That Offers Scented Water Solutions
If you don’t want to bother adding things to the mop head or spraying your floor before you mop, you could choose a steam mop brand that offers scented water.
Since it’s pretty common for people to want their home to smell clean after steaming the floors, most of the top steam mop manufacturers have created solutions that won’t harm their mops if you put them in the water reservoir.
Check your instruction manual and the bottle of solution so you don’t put too much cleaner in.
Things To Avoid Putting In Your Steam Mop
In short, unless the manufacturer specifically recommends a solution in your instruction manual, you shouldn’t add anything to the water reservoir of your steam mop.
Doing so can clog your machine and void the warranty. However, some of them can actually be dangerous.
Here are a few things you should never place in the water reservoir of your steam mop.
Bleach tops the list of things you shouldn’t put in your steam mop. Although bleach is a common household cleaner and disinfectant, it’s also toxic to breathe and has a very strong smell.
When bleach mixes with steam, the vapor can make your eyes burn and cause you to gag. It could even burn your esophagus.
Putting bleach in a steam cleaner can also cause damage to the machine and surfaces you’re trying to clean.
Bleach can cause the plastic and rubber components inside a steam mop to degrade. It can also ruin unsealed wood or natural stone floors.
2. Rubbing Alcohol
Luckily rubbing alcohol isn’t toxic like bleach, but you still shouldn’t use it in your steam mop. Alcohol is a strong chemical and can ruin unfinished hardwood floors.
Although Zoflora is excellent at disinfecting surfaces, you should never put it in your steam mop.
When concentrated disinfectants are heated, at best, they will ruin the heating element.
At worst, they can give off toxic fumes or even cause the unit to catch on fire.
Ammonia is a popular cleaning agent, but you shouldn’t use it in your steam mop. It’s highly alkaline and can cause corrosion if you put it in the mop’s water reservoir.
No, you should not put essential oils in a steam mop. If you want the fresh scent of lemon or lavender oil to drift through your home after mopping, you can try adding a few drops directly to the mop head instead of putting it in the water reservoir.
No, you should never put Fabuloso or any other brand of floor cleaner in your steam mop.
Adding cleaners like these can clog your mop and void the warranty. Instead, try mixing Fabuloso and water in a spray bottle and spritzing your floors before mopping them.
No, you should never put disinfectant in a steam mop. The harsh chemicals in disinfectant can break down the delicate parts inside your mop. Some disinfectants can also give off toxic fumes when heated.
No, you can’t put Windex in a steam mop. Unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically say otherwise, you should only put demineralized water in your steam mop.
If you want to use Windex while mopping, spray the floor with the solution first, then run your steam mop over it.
Can You Use Dish Soap In A Steam Mop?
No, you can’t put dish soap in a steam mop. Dish soap can leave a residue that will clog the mop’s components.
Using your mop in this way will void the warranty. If you want to use dish soap along with your steam mop to get your floors extra clean, you can mix up a solution of equal parts vinegar, alcohol, and water, plus a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle.
You can add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil to the bottle for extra freshness. Spray this solution on non-porous floors, then go over it with your steam mop.
Like many steam mop owners, I love that my mop can clean the floor using nothing but demineralized water.
It takes a weight off my shoulders to know that I’m not using any toxic chemicals that can make my family sick, but sometimes I need a little boost of freshness to make my house feel clean.
If you have a steam mop and are missing the smell of a clean house after mopping the floors, you may be desperate enough to consider adding something to your mop to make it smell good.
Don’t do it! Adding floor cleaner to the water reservoir can clog your mop and void the warranty, and adding bleach or other disinfectants can create toxic fumes or ruin your floors. Instead, you should try the following:
- Using essential oils on mop heads
- Buying a steam mop that’s compatible with scented water
- Spraying diluted floor cleaner before mopping