Steam mops are fantastic for cleaning your home, but what do you do when they need cleaning themselves? You need to be able to get the pads clean, or they will just make your floor dirtier.
Steam mop pads can be cleaned by removing them from the mop, rinsing them, and then putting them in your washing machine. Some people hand wash these pads, but a washing machine will get them much cleaner. Other options include soaking them in vinegar and then rinsing them.
How do you clean steam mop pads?
There are multiple ways to clean steam mop pads, so we will explore a few of your options today. Most people prefer to simply remove the pad from the steam mop and then toss it in the washing machine, usually with a rinse cycle first to remove the majority of the loose grime. This is the method we prefer in our household.
However, some people soak the pads in bleach or vinegar, and some people like to wash them by hand. Let’s look at all these different options.
You should be aware that steam mop pads are likely to get stained with use, no matter how you wash them. This is normal, and the stains probably won’t come out, even with thorough washing.
Method 1: washing them in the machine
Most people clean steam mop pads by removing the pad from the steam mop, and transferring it to the washing machine. You can then run it on a rinse and add other clothing for the full wash, or wash it with other cleaning pads.
You might not like the idea of washing your mop pads with normal clothing, but a hot wash with towels could be an option. Although methods can vary, here is an outline of the approach:
Remove the pad from the steam mop.
Add the pad to your washing machine, and put it on a rinse. You can rinse it twice if you like or if you have used it on a very dirty floor.
Add cleaning cloths or other fabrics to the machine to create a full load. You can just wash the cloths on their own, but this tends to be wasteful, and your machine will agitate better if it has more clothes in it.
Set the temperature to 160 degrees F to make sure that any bacteria in the pad are killed, and then add a small amount of detergent to the drawer.
Set the cycle to your normal one or a delicates cycle, and wash the pads.
When the pads have finished washing, get them out of the machine and check that there are no soap bubbles. If there are, the pads may need an additional rinse.
If the pads are free from soap, you can hang them up to dry. Don’t put them in the dryer unless the steam cleaner’s manual says that you can.
This is probably the quickest and easiest way to get your mop pads clean and ready for the next round. Note that you should not add fabric softener to this wash, because it will coat the fibers of the pad and may make it less absorbent. Some fabric softeners could also weaken the fibers. We don’t bother with fabric softener in our washing machine at all.
Method 2: washing them by hand
If you don’t want to put the pads in the machine, washing them by hand could be an option. This can be done at a sink or in a bowl, depending on which is easier for you.
Fill the bowl or sink with warm water and add laundry detergent. For extra scrub value, include a tablespoon of baking soda too.
Add the pads to the bowl and allow them to soak up the water.
Use gloved hands or a plunger to thoroughly agitate them and swirl them around until they are clean and all the loose dirt has been washed away.
Rinse them with clean water until the bubbles disappear.
Gently squeeze them out and then hang them up to dry.
If you have some really dirty mop pads, you may wish to soak them in warm water and then rinse them before you start washing them. Mop pads pick up a lot of dirt, and soaking will help to loosen this and make cleaning easier.
Method 3: soaking them in vinegar
If your mop pads are really grubby, you might want to soak them in vinegar. You shouldn’t generally have to worry too much about bacteria with a steam mop, because the steam is a high enough temperature to kill off bacteria. However, you might sometimes want to sterilize the pads anyway.
To do this, vinegar is your best option, as bleach shouldn’t be used on steam mop pads. Vinegar will sterilize the pad, killing off any bacteria.
Mix the vinegar and some clean water in a bucket. The ratios are not enormously important, but use more vinegar if you are concerned about germs.
Add the pads to the bucket and allow them to soak for half an hour.
Put on a pair of gloves and then use your hands or a plunger to agitate the pads in the bucket, rinsing out any dirt and making sure the vinegar penetrates all the fibers.
Drain the bucket and then put the pads in your sink and rinse thoroughly until all the vinegar has been rinsed out of them.
Squeeze the pads out gently and hang them up to dry.
We’ve tried this occasionally, and it does make the pads feel clean and sterile!
How do you wash reusable mop pads?
You can wash reusable mop pads in any of the three ways described above, although washing in the machine is usually the most effective and quickest method for getting these pads clean. If you aren’t able to clean the pads in your machine, washing them by hand will usually be sufficient.
You should wash your reusable mop pads after every use to ensure that they are making your floors clean, not dirty. If you are cleaning a particularly dirty area, use multiple pads so you can switch throughout the process.
How do you clean Shark steam pads?
You can clean Shark steam pads in the same way as the pads from any other steam mop. Shark recommends machine washing to remove dirt and grime from the pads. The company suggests a warm wash and liquid detergent for the best results.
You should not use any fabric softeners, bleach, or powdered detergents when you are washing your Shark steam pads. These can prevent the pads from being absorbent and may reduce their ability to pick up dirt and grease.
Shark recommends replacing pads when they start to wear out, as washing inevitably has an impact on the pads’ functionality.
To dry the pads, place them on a line, or put them in a dryer on the lowest heat setting available.
Can you put steam mop pads in the dryer?
Many steam mop pads can be put in the dryer on the lowest setting. However, be aware that higher settings could damage the fibers and may make the pads less absorbent and effective.
It is better to dry your steam mop pads on a line if possible, as this will put less stress on the fabric, and may reduce the overall wear and tear. However, if you need to dry the pads quickly, it should be okay to place them in a tumble dryer at a low heat.