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How to Clean Hardwood Floors + A Review of the Shark Steam Mop

Living in an old house has some perks, including some pretty amazing floors. While none of the flooring materials in my home are as old as the house itself, many of them are 50 or more years old. So yes, my home is full of character. However, caring for these old hardwoods is another story altogether.


Hardwoods are supposed to be easy to upkeep. A simple sweep, the occasional mop, and I should be all set, right? Wrong! All those nooks and crannies from years of wear and tear collect dust, dirt, and food. The sealant is worn in some places, thick in others. And don’t get me started on the dangerous thresholds. In fact, sweeping and mopping do not do anything but spread around the gunk. My floors never felt clean enough.


Cue the Shark Steam Mop, my most favorite floor cleaning appliance to date. It’s easy to use, chemical-free, and reasonably-priced. Plus, it leaves my floors sanitized—a feature worth so much more than the $100+ price tag.


Can you use the Shark Steam Mop on hardwood floors? Absolutely! Here’s everything you need to know about caring for your hardwoods, including the use of a Shark Steam Mop.


Cleaning Hardwood Floors: A Primer

Regardless of their age and the type of wood you have, hardwoods are an investment well worth their initial cost. In fact, with proper care, a quality hardwood floor can last decades.


How do you clean a hardwood floor? Let’s break it down:

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Everyday Maintenance

For everyday maintenance and care, perform a quick sweep across your hardwoods multiple times per week, especially if you have young children or pets that are prone to leave behind crumbs or hair.


I tend to run a textured dry dusting cloth over my hardwoods once every one to two days and in the kitchen every day after dinner.


Helpful Hint: Get your kids to join in on the “fun” by giving them sweeping duty.


Deep Cleaning Hardwoods

Deep cleaning hardwood floors requires an open area, so start by moving chairs, area rugs, tables, and floor lamps aside. Then, take a hardwood floor vacuum or a standard upright vacuum and run it across any nooks and crannies, including across any thresholds and along the wall line.


Next, you have two options. You can choose to use a chemical-based floor cleaner or use a steam-powered mop to sanitize your floors and get them to sparkle.


For the longest time, I believed that the only way to effectively clean my floors was with a fancy, expensive cleaning liquid. Yes, the floors were clean, but I was also introducing unknown chemicals into my home. In addition, the cost of the cleaning products and the time it took to mop and scrub the floor only added to the stress of the task-at-hand.


My floors were clean, but at what cost to my wallet and health?


I invested in a Shark Steam Mop to clean my hardwoods and since the purchase, I’ve never looked back.


So, What Does a Steam Mop Actually Do?

All steam mops, the Shark models included, use the sanitizing power of steam to clean the floor.


Most steam mops have a small compartment that the user fills with distilled water. Why use distilled water? It has fewer minerals and other calcification elements, so there’s little chance of the mop clogging down the road.


That water is then heated up to about 245 degrees and dispersed through a jet situated directly on top of a dust and debris-catching cloth. In one sweep, the steam mop disinfects the floor and picks up the mess.


Pros and Cons of the Shark Steam Mop

I own the Shark Lift-Away Professional Steam Mop. This 2-in-1 model includes a detachable handheld steamer. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Shark Steam Mop.



  • Shark steam mops include three settings depending on the type of “clean” you need: Dust, Mop and Scrub
  • There are numerous helpful attachments for this unit.
  • After plugging in the cord, the mop is ready for use in 30 seconds.
  • The floor is immediately clean after use.
  • The machine-washable microfiber covers are easy to slide on and off.



  • Each tank of water is enough to mop for 9 minutes. If you’re mopping an entire room or your whole home, you will have to stop and add water to the canister multiple times.
  • Some caked-on stains require additional, manual scrubbing.
  • The microfiber cloth requires frequent cleaning.
  • The steam gets quite hot. It’s important not to touch the microfiber pad or steam jet while the mop is operating.


The Verdict: I highly recommend the Shark Steam Mop for hardwoods. It is an effective and safe cleaning tool.


If you’re eager to find out how to clean your hardwood floors naturally, there’s no better solution than a steam mop. Shop around to find a model that works for you, and in no time flat, you’ll have clean, sanitized hardwood floors.


Photo by Ariwasabi on Shutterstock


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