Quality steam mops do an excellent job cleaning floors and are environmentally friendly, because they use only water and heat. As beneficial as these products are, there are a few common problems that steam mop users frequently report. Fortunately, you can troubleshoot and fix many of these issues by yourself. Complicated fixes may require the manufacturer's help, but starting out with a few simple tips and tricks can save you time and money.
Steam Mop Leaks
If your steam mop leaks water, verify that you have not overfilled the tank. If the tank continues to leak at a lower water level, try to figure out where the water is coming from. 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 replacement. Check your warranty first 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, confirm that there is water in the tank. If not, remove the tank; unscrew the cap, and fill it. If the tank is full, remove it 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 it is, then a filter replacement is probably needed. If the mop still fails to produce steam, the spray tips are probably 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. Place the tool into the steam tip and gently wiggle it back and forth to remove any clogs. If the unit still does not work, contact the manufacturer.
Excessive Water on Floor
A 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. Always wait until the unit is fully heated and ready before mopping your floor, to prevent puddles.
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.