Why Is My Floor Sticky After I Steam Mop?

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Are you wondering why you get sticky floors after steam mopping? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. While steam floor mops offer both powerful cleaning power and a new level of convenience, using them incorrectly may cause an annoying, sticky mess, or worse yet, cause unwanted accidents

Why is your floor sticky after you steam mop? The reason why your floor is sticky after steam mopping is using too much cleaning chemicals. Even the mildest of cleaning solutions, if used in heavy dilution, will cause floors to become sticky. The soapy residue dries and is left behind.

With that said, there are other important considerations that cause sticky floors after steam mopping. In this post, we will answer the question: why is my floor sticky after I steam mop? Moreover, we will help you learn how to steam mop a floor properly without it getting sticky. Let’s get started.

Why is Your Floor Sticky After You Steam Mop?

Because steam mops are most effective if you only use water, using too much cleaning chemicals is the most common reason why your floor is sticky after steam mopping. However, if this is not the case, then you should analyze other possible causes. Here are the three most common culprits:

1. Spilled Liquid

If you’ve ever had a soft drink or other sugary liquid spilled on a floor, you know that the residue left behind is very difficult to remove by simply mopping. Some liquids are harder to remove than others. Therefore, it’s important to know what liquid was spilled to determine the best course of action and remove the stickiness.

2. Too Much Cleaning Solution

If you understand how steam cleaners work, then you know that it leverages the power of steam to remove dirt. With the exception of a few models that have dual functions, steam mops are typically designed to be used with water and nothing else. The high temperature of the steam alone is excellent in cleaning floors.

Be careful when adding any cleaning solution into the steam mop reservoir. While it is tempting to add just a little bit to make your house smelling fresh, it may cause your house to smell like a wet dog instead. Moreover, it may cause the floor to become sticky. It may look clean, but it will feel like you’re walking on Velcro.

3. Washing the Mop Cloth with Fabric Softener

A common mistake when using steam mops is washing the pads with fabric softeners. While most steam mop pads can be cleaned in the washer, they should only be air-dried. Most steam mop pads are made of microfiber cloth, which can be damaged if washed with a fabric softener or a dryer sheet.

How to Steam Mop a Floor Without It Getting Sticky

When it comes to floor cleaning, a common mindset is that more cleaning chemicals make a cleaner floor. However, it is simply not the case with steam mop cleaning. A little bit of know-how is more than enough to get the job done. Here are the best tips on how to steam mop a floor without it getting sticky:

1. Don’t Skip the Vacuum

Ideally, floors should be vacuumed or swept before they are steam mopped. If you skip this step, any dirt, dust, crumbs, and hair may get stuck on the steam mop, hindering its ability to do a great job. It is almost like washing a car or a window with a dirty cloth, the dust and dirt will only be moved around.

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, sweeping the floors before steam mopping should do the trick. It also helps remove any dust from the surfaces, providing a smooth surface for you to work with. Steam mopping without sweeping or vacuuming may result in having to change the cloth more often than you would like.

2. Put Water Only in the Reservoir

Steam mops are generally designed to be used with water and nothing else, with the exception of several models with dual functions. The high temperature of the steam alone is effective in agitating and loosening any dirt on most surfaces. To maximize its abilities, be sure to read the steam mop’s manual thoroughly. 

3. Clean the Dirty Mop Regularly

Sometimes, you just want to get it over with. It can be tempting to keep mopping without cleaning the dirty mop cloth during a cleaning session, especially if you have more than one room to clean or have a large floor area. Unfortunately, cleaning with a dirty mop is only going to spread the dirt around. 

Because of this, it’s a good idea to clean the steam mop cloth in between cleaning sessions. A simple wash with water is more than enough to clear any dust buildup in the process. Alternatively, you can also have one or two spare mop cloths around so you can simply change them when steam mopping.

4. Store the Steam Mop Properly

Last but not least, it’s important to store the steam mop properly. Leaving a wet mop cloth on when storing your steam mop can result in mould and mildew to form. It can also ruin the cloth head as well. For this reason, always remove the steam mop cloth after the mop has cooled down after a cleaning session. 

If you want to have your steam mop ready to roll the next time you need it, it’s okay to replace the cloth immediately with a clean one. Just remember not to store a dirty and wet cloth, as it can reduce the effectiveness of the steam mop. This is one of the reasons why you have a sticky floor after steam mopping. 

Bottom Line

And there you have it, a quick and easy guide to answer the question: why is my floor sticky after I steam mop? By understanding the correct way to steam mop a floor without it getting sticky, you are doing your part to keep your house green and clean. Be sure to follow our tips and have an amazing day. 🙂

See also: Steam Cleaners