Can you put disinfectant in a steam mop? (Find Out)

can you put disinfectant in a steam mop

So I was on a call with one of my customers when she dropped the question; Cynthia, can you put disinfectant in a steam mop?

It dawned on me that there are a lot out there seeking answers to this same question. And I’ll be pretty straight forward with you, here we go.

Can you put disinfectant in a steam mop? No! you can’t

The answer is no, you can’t unless this is recommended by the manufacturer. Here’s one thing most of us don’t know. The vapor produced from a steam cleaner acts as an instant disinfectant.

Pouring disinfectant or any sort of chemical into your steam mop can lead to it exploding, this is common with high-pressure steam cleaners. If you have had this experience which results in damaging your steam mop, we have a quick fix for your steam mop not steaming.

While some steam mops are strong enough to handle these chemicals, most of them can’t. These disinfectants could be effective but they are toxic under certain circumstances. Using it in your steam mop can actually damage it.

What manufacturers recommended is distilled water only. Steam at a high temperature is enough to kill germs as well as taking off stubborn dirt.

How a Steam Mop Works

Steam mops have taken over the traditional mopping method. A steam mop cleans with just water. The water in the tank is heated until it turns to steam vapor which is applied to the floor through a pad.

The application of this steam on the floor heats the floor and loosens the dirt or grease wherever applied. Unlike the traditional mopping which leaves the floor wet, a stem mop leaves the floor dry and sanitized regardless of the floor type.

If you are using a tile floor and want to make some research before getting a steam mop, then check if you should use a steam mop for your tile floor.

Does Steam Cleaning Disinfect

Yes, with just distilled water, steam cleaning is capable of killing 99% of germs and bacteria. Of course, without the use of any chemical.

Steam cleaners set between the temperature 175 degree Celsius to 212 degree Celsius is hot enough to kill germs. This high temperature loosens dirt and oil stuck on the floor surface, leaving your floor disinfected.

The fact that you’re getting steam out of your steam mop doesn’t mean your floor will be disinfected, the right temperature needs to be set for effective disinfection.

Using the temperature mentioned above will do the trick.

Can you put disinfectant in a steam mop still?

Edit: We’ve blabbed about why you should use distilled water in your steam mop but few people still proceed with using disinfectants in their steam mop.

Using distilled water keeps you on a safer side but there are things you must consider before you attempt using a disinfectant in your steam mop.

Disinfect before and after cleaning

This is the safest and most preferred method, you won’t pour the disinfectant in the steam tank this time around. Simply spray it on the surface of the floor a few minutes before steam mopping, then steam the area clean.

After steaming, spray the surface with disinfectant again. You can as well wipe if necessary.

Disinfectants from authorized dealers

Go for disinfectants approved for use with a steam cleaner. This might be a hard find but don’t go near disinfectants that emit toxic fumes when steaming.

It’s advisable to only go for disinfectants purchased from authorized dealers.

Steam Cleaner type

You can find the type of steam cleaner you are using from the provided owner’s manual. It could be a high-pressure steam cleaner or a low-pressure steam cleaner.

If your steam mop is a low pressure one, you have a higher chance of using a disinfectant. As mentioned above, using a disinfectant on a high-pressure steam cleaner can lead to it exploding.

We’ve written a complete guide on the best steam mop for a perfect shiny floor. Check it out and make your choice based on the feature that suits your need.


Check the instructions on your manual carefully and if your manufacturer advised not to use anything other than water, then don’t.

So if anyone asks you, can you put disinfectant in a steam mop? The best answer to give is “No”. I would love to hear your opinion, have you used disinfectant in a steam mop before? Let me know in the comments.

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