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Problems with steam mops

Updated February 21, 2017

A steam mop uses steam to clean carpets and floors. Most steam mops have a small water tank, where the water is heated to create steam to disinfect the floors and facilitate cleaning. Steam mops are more environmentally-friendly due to the fact that they do not use cleaning agents such as bleach and detergent. Even though they are advantageous, problems do occur with steam mops. These problems may be a simple fix you can perform yourself, or a more complicated fix that requires manufacturer support.

Steam Mop Leaks

If your steam mop leaks water, try to locate the leak. Remove the water tank to verify if the tank, filter or cap insert are damaged. If one of these is damaged, call the manufacturer and order a tank, filter or cap replacement. Check your warranty to see if your steam mop is covered for damages. If the steam mop tank, filter or cap insert are not damaged, reinsert the tank firmly to ensure it is securely pushed onto the unit.

Steam Mop Does Not Steam

If the steam mop does not produce steam, see if the tank is filled with water. If not, remove the tank, unscrew cap and fill it with water. If the tank contains water, remove the tank and verify that the cap at the bottom of the tank is installed securely and is tightened. You may unplug the machine and try a different outlet to make sure the outlet is functioning. If the problem still persists, turn the unit on and press the trigger for two minutes to start steaming. If no steam is produced, remove the tank and pour cold water in the hole where the filter connects to the unit, and press the trigger to see if steam is produced. If steam is produced, then a filter replacement is probably needed. If the mop still does not steam, the spray tips may be clogged.

Clogged Spray Tips

The steam mop spray tips may be blocking the steam. To check for this, turn off the mop and allow it to cool completely. Turn the mop upside down and check the spray tips for clogs. This may involve removing a screw, depending on the manufacturer. Use a small screwdriver or unfolded paper clip to clean out the spray tips. If the unit still does not work, contact the manufacturer.

Excessive Water on Floor

The steam mop works much like an iron, in that you dispense steam as you need it. This should generally be every square meter or so. If you dispense too much steam, you end up with a lot of water on the floor. Another cause may be problems with the microfiber cover. If this is the case, turn off the steam mop, allow it to cool and replace the microfiber cover.

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About the Author

Based in Tucson, Ariz., Abram Shaner has been writing since 2005. He has formulated business plans, health plans and reports for various companies. Shaner brings hotel, massage, fitness and construction expertise to his writing. He is a licensed massage therapist and holds a Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant management from Northern Arizona University.