Hardwood steam cleaner
January 9, 2006 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Steam cleaner for sealed hardwood floors? The inflight Skymall catalog had a Eureka Enviro steam cleaner for $99. I did a little online searching and it seems to be discontinued (not listed on Eureka's site). Is there a comparable product that anyone has had good luck with? I have lots of hardwood and am too lazy to get on my hands and knees. I also don't want to hire a cleaning person.
posted by sharksandwich to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
what about the iRobot scooba?
posted by elisabeth r at 12:04 PM on January 9, 2006

Orange Glo makes a Swiffer-like system especially for hardwood floors. Instead of using disposable cloths, the kit comes with a terry-cloth attachment, which is nice because it's not so wasteful. Now, it's not going to get intense stains and smells out, but it's more effective than just sweeping and vacuuming. And I swear that the floor actually seems to repel dirt and dust after I use the spray and swiffer; it's a lot easier to sweep things up and the floor is shiny.
posted by lunalaguna at 12:05 PM on January 9, 2006

I would worry about using steam on hardwood.
posted by theora55 at 12:41 PM on January 9, 2006

I also question steaming wood. Is this something people do? Doesn't it make the wood swell?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:48 PM on January 9, 2006

Murphy's Oil Soap. Let dry. Liquid wax, like Holiday House. We've got plenty'o hardwood too, and the wax keeps stuff from sticking. I also don't think that steam is the move.
posted by fixedgear at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2006

Take a spoonful of water and put it on your hardwood floor. If it beads up and is easily wiped away, you might be able to use some steam cleaners on that floor (ones designed specifically for hardwood floors). If it doesn't bead up, instead either spreading out thinly or even soaking in somewhat, don't use steam cleaning on it until you have refinished/resealed the flooring.

I personally wouldn't ever steam clean a hardwood floor. I've seen it be a disaster more than once as areas where the seal is more worn (high traffic areas) or where the floors are older and are only waxed as opposed to having a more durable sealant react poorly to the steam ... raised grain, discoloration, swelling causing boards to become uneven or squeak, and so on. It's a risk I would rather not take. Even on vinyl flooring, steam cleaning can remove the shine and protective coating. What it can do to hardwood floors is even worse.

I have one of the mops lunalaguna mentions with the large flat head and a washable terrycloth cover. Can't recall who made mine, but it works great with the right cleaning products (Orange Glo and several other companies make stuff to use with them). Spray it on, run over it with the mop, and my floors look shiny and are clean.
posted by Orb at 1:46 PM on January 9, 2006

There appear to be Murphy Oil Soap detractors (who by the way sell their own floor cleaners). It works for me, but this guy has issues. Perhaps they are real, perhaps he just wants you to buy his own soap.
posted by caddis at 1:58 PM on January 9, 2006

perhaps he just wants you to buy his own soap

That article certainly does take issue with Murphy Oil Soap, and it gains more credence when one considers that he is not selling any cleaning products.

The argument against Murphy seems quite reasonable.
posted by Neiltupper at 4:07 PM on January 9, 2006

I love my Hoover Floor Mate. While you will need to apply some elbow grease to *really* tough stains or ground in dirt, it is little effort compared to having to scrub my entire 1,000 square foot floor with mop and bucket. I advise using really hot water which helps loosen dirt and facilitates quick(er) drying.
posted by KevinKarl at 8:35 AM on January 10, 2006

That article certainly does take issue with Murphy Oil Soap, and it gains more credence when one considers that he is not selling any cleaning products.

Did you see where he says he is the President of Heritage Hardwood Floors, Inc. and provides a link. Click on it and you will see that Heritage sells a lot of floor cleaning products.
posted by caddis at 9:46 AM on January 10, 2006

I, too, would worry about using steam on an unfinished wood floor, but if you were intent on it, this seems to be similar and comparable in price. (Semi-self-link -- that's to my Dad's site, as mentioned in earlier posts) The Eureka model has been discontinued, you're right; there aren't many other steam cleaners in that price range that I know of, besides the Earlex linked. I haven't used that personally, so I'm not sure how well it works; I just know that that is considered the industry replacement for the Eureka Enviro Steam Cleaner that was discontinued.
posted by sa3z at 2:13 PM on October 26, 2006

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