How to Fix a Steam Mop

Updated February 21, 2017

Steam mops provide a chemical-free way of cleaning hard flooring. The mops come with a variety of cleaning head shapes: square, rectangular and triangular. Large microfiber pads are attached to these cleaning heads, which are used to mop floors while being heated and moistened by steam. The heat of the steam breaks down grease and dirt, and are absorbed by the microfiber pad. The hot steam also sanitises the surface. If you experience problems with your steam mop, a few simple measures may be all that's necessary to restore it to working order.

Check that the plug has been inserted fully into the socket.

Check the fuse governing the socket to which the steam mop is attached to ensure it has not blown. If your home is equipped with a breaker box, check the trip switch governing the socket.

Ensure your neighbourhood is not suffering a power failure by testing other appliances and lights.

Switch the steam mop off and take the plug out of the socket before examining it.

Ensure there is water in the tank. If it is empty, fill it with the recommended amount.

Check that the steam pump has been primed. If this is not the case, carry out the procedure according to the recommendations for your model of steam mop.

Switch the steam mop off and remove the plug from the socket.

Check the Microfiber pad. If it is wet, remove it and replace it with a fresh dry pad.

Ensure the microfiber pad is correctly attached to the mop's cleaning head.

Switch off the steam mop and remove the plug.

Check how much dirt has been asbsorbed by the microfiber pad. If it appears to be dirty, replace it with a fresh pad.

Ensure you do not let your mop stand in one position for too long, as this can eventually cause marking on the floor.

Check the hardness of your water. If it is very hard, use distilled water in your steam mop.


If you are cleaning an excessively greasy kitchen floor, clean with a degreasing agent before steam mopping. This will preserve your microfiber pads and guard against streaking. Clean your microfiber pads by machine washing them with liquid detergent. Don't use power detergent or fabric softener, as these will affect the pad's performance.


Remember the cleaning pads get very hot. Remove them with care. Always switch the steam mop off and disconnect it from the electricity supply before carrying out any maintenance.

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About the Author

Belfast-based Neil Greenlees was made redundant in March 2009 after working as a reporter for 26 years. For most of his career he was a senior journalist with ''The Ulster Star," a weekly newspaper covering the Lisburn and South Belfast areas. Greenlees holds the National Council for the Training of Journalists Pre-Entry Certificate.