Can You Put Vinegar in a Steam Mop?

When cleaning your home, you want your job done quickly in the most straightforward way possible. This is where steam mops come in handy— they’re easy to use and excellent for getting dirt off your floors.

Vinegar on the other hand is an excellent natural cleanser that removes odors, bacteria, and stains from most surfaces. You can use it to clean surfaces like sinks, the kitchen, and bathroom floors. It’s also affordable and safe to use around your home.

So, can I use vinegar on my steam mop? I’ll answer this question and more in this article.

Why Would You Want To Put Vinegar in Your Steam Mop?

Depending on your needs, there are several reasons you would love to add vinegar to your steam mop tank. Its acidic nature allows it to dissolve dirt, grime, and grease, making it easy to remove stubborn stains on your floor.

You may want to clean your tile kitchen floor with vinegar because it’s a natural solution. It is safe in your home, even in food preparation areas, as it doesn’t have harmful chemicals like most cleaning products.

The acetic acid in vinegar makes it an excellent disinfectant and sanitizer. As a result, it removes the bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms on the surface of your floors. Acetic acid also neutralizes odors in your home by breaking down organics like urine that cause bad smells.

Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of vinegar may lure you into using it in your steam mops. It’s readily available in most stores and allows you to save money on cleaning supplies since it’s inexpensive.

Can I Put Vinegar in My Steam Mop?

The short answer is no! You should not use vinegar in the steam mop because the acidic nature of vinegar can damage the fabric and the internal components of your mop.

Steam mops work perfectly with distilled water. Tap water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium that can block the steam mop outlets.

Distilled water doesn’t have minerals and contaminants found in your tap water. Purified water comes treated with filters to remove impurities like chlorine so it cannot damage your mop.

Chlorine in tap water is hard on seals in the boiler of your steam mop and may cause them to leak over time. So, always use demineralized or distilled water in your steam mops, and never use vinegar if you want your mop to serve you longer.

Can You Put Vinegar in Your Steam Mop To Clean the Floor?

No, you can’t put vinegar in your steam mop to clean your travertine or another material floor. Its acidic nature will corrode the metal parts of your machine causing leaks.

Additionally, vinegar causes damage to other floor surfaces such as:

  • Hardwood floors
  • No wax floor
  • Stone surfaces
  • Ceramic tiles

Can You Put Vinegar in Your Steam Mop To Descale the Water Tank?

A few manufacturers allow you to use white vinegar to descale the water tank in your steam mop. However, I don’t recommend using it because it can damage the steam mop.

When limescale builds up on a steam mop, it will reduce the machine’s efficiency. Tap water contains hard water mineral that blocks the mop’s outlets, decreasing its performance.

To prevent these problems, always descale the water tank of your steam mops. You can do this using the following simple steps:

  1. Remove all the water from the tank. Always do this when the steamer is unplugged.
  2. Prepare the vinegar solution by mixing it with distilled water in a ratio of 1:1. Never use cleaning solutions as they may cause damage to your steam mop.
  3. Allow the mixture to stay in the tank for 1-2 hours to help break down mineral deposits and limescale.
  4. Empty the steam mop water tank.
  5. Using warm demineralized water, rinse all the machine parts and allow them to air dry before reassembling them.

What Are the Befits of Vinegar?

Here are some benefits of using vinegar as a cleaning agent to clean your surfaces:

It’s Non-Toxic

Vinegar is safe to use around your family and pets, unlike other cleansers containing harmful components. Harsh chemicals in most cleaning products can cause health effects like dizziness, headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.

Vinegar is made from fermented alcohol, acetic acid, and water. All these components are safe to use in your home. Acetic acid kills germs. It breaks down dirt particles and kills microorganisms like bacteria and mold spores.


Vinegar is an excellent versatile cleaner. You can clean with vinegar almost every surface in your home. As a cleaning agent, vinegar can:

  • Remove stains from clothes and carpet
  • Get rid of grease and grime on your kitchen countertops and walls and disinfect
  • Remove mold and prevent mildew growth

Additionally, you can use vinegar to remove odors from fabrics like carpets and rugs. You only need to spray them with diluted vinegar or soak them overnight.

How To Use Vinegar in a Steam Mop Safely?

Only use vinegar to descale or decalcify your steam cleaner if the manufacturer allows it. Here is a simple guide to using vinegar in your mop safely:

  1. Prepare the solution in a mixing bowl: add an equal amount of vinegar and distilled water
  2. Put the water and vinegar mixture in a cooled mop for 60 minutes
  3. Rinse the mop water tank three times

Ensure that you never turn on your appliance when filled with vinegar solution because it can damage your steam mop.

If the manufacturer doesn’t permit using vinegar, respect that because otherwise it will damage the mop and void the warranty. Additionally, if you use distilled water in your steam cleaner, you do not need to decalcify it. If you have used tap water or put chemicals like floor cleaner in your mop, rinsing and washing the mop tank is needed.

Bottom Line

Steam mops are more convenient than traditional ones. With little care and attention, a steam mop can last many years.

You should never use vinegar in your steam mop as it can corrode its metal parts resulting in damage. The heat from steaming could lead to vinegar boiling, reducing the durability of your mop.

When using your steam mop, only add plain distilled water and manufacturer-approved substances that make steam smell nice. Vinegar and other chemical solutions will mess up your mop. Here is my tip – vinegar can be used to clean the surfaces first and mopped with stean cleaner afterwards. This way you will avoid the risk of damaging the steam mop.

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