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Can I Put Vinegar in my Steam Mop?

You’ve probably heard online home-improvement gurus talking about the amazing power of vinegar as a friendly way to clean your floors, bathrooms, linens, and sheets. There’s no denying that vinegar is a great descaler and antibacterial substance.

However, is it safe to pour vinegar into your steam mop’s water reservoir? We’re going to answer this question and share a few tips on how to get the most out of your steam mop.

Bissell 1806 Power Fresh Deluxe Steam Mop
Bissell 1806

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Can I Put Vinegar in My Steam Mop?

The short answer is, yes, you can. There’s really no reason why you should fear placing a few drops of vinegar in your steam mop’s water tank as it can actually improve the cleaning efficacy of your handy tool without using soaps or detergents.

For the most part, you can mainly get by by using nothing but distilled water. That said, making a vinegar solution and pouring it into your steam mop can be a great way to kill germs and give them an extra kick to the ribs while they’re dead and out of the way.

DIY Vinegar Solution Recipe

So, how do you go about making a friendly vinegar solution for your steam mop? If you’ve ever used vinegar as a cleaning agent before, you know that it can be pretty tough or at least tough enough to slowly chip away and calcium buildup on metal faucets.

If you plan on using vinegar in your steam mop, choose white vinegar only. The acidic content of white vinegar is more than enough to cut through tough stains while killing allergens upon contact. Plus, it’s the cheapest type of vinegar out there.

To make a vinegar solution for your steam mop, rememberthe 2:2:2 rule—two cups of distilled water, two cups of rubbing alcohol, and two cups of white vinegar. You can use dish soap (optional) if you’re going for an extra-deep clean. After mixing your solution in a bowl, slowly pour it into the steam mop’s tank, plug it in, and wait until it reaches boiling point before wiping your floors clean.

LIGHT 'N' EASY Multi-Functional steam mop
LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Steam Mop

Did you know: Most white distilled vinegar is about 4-8 percent acetic acid.

What Type of Floors Can I Clean with a Vinegar Solution?

Let’s quickly go over the main bare floor types, so you know when and when not to use a vinegar solution when steam cleaning.


Is it safe to use a vinegar solution on vinyl floors? It can be if you take the proper precautions.

First of all, excess moisture and heat can cause vinyl strips to peel by melting the adhesive, creating an invisible mess underneath each strip with less and less stickiness over time. However, if you have a variable steam mop—one that releases less steam with the pull of a trigger by turning a dial or pressing a button—you shouldn’t have any problems. As for the vinegar content in your DIY solution, it won’t ruin the vinyl’s finish or shine in any way.

Ceramic Tiles

The question of whether you can use vinegar in a steam mop wouldn’t exist if people weren’t planning to use it on ceramic floor tiles. It’s 100% safe to use a vinegar solution when steam-mopping your ceramic floor tiles.

The acetic acid content in vinegar will do an excellent job at cutting through greasy stains on ceramic, creating a less slippery surface that’s safe for children and pets to play on. Distilled water can be good enough, but it can take multiple passes before it achieves the same results as a vinegar solution does in just one pass.

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Never, ever, ever use vinegar to clean hardwood. Period.

Homeowners spend quite a lot of time (and money) on making their hardwood floors shine. Vinegar can cut through the finish, leaving your hardwood floorboards looking dull and unattractive.

In fact, you might not even want to use a steam mop on floorboards at all. Steam mops introduce quite a lot of moisture into your floors, and as you already know, moisture and wood don’t mix. If you don’t go over your hardwood floors with a dry mop or cloth immediately after steam-mopping it, you could end up creating a problem for yourself down the road.

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Yes, you can, though we wouldn’t recommend using a steam mop to clean concrete surfaces. Concrete floors can be abrasive and will accelerate the deterioration of your steam mop’s pad.

That said, using vinegar to clean concrete is completely fine. A few drops of vinegar on concrete, a scrubbing pad, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease are all it takes to cut through oil spills.

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Last Update: 2024-04-14 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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