How to clean steam mop pads

Woman cleaning living room floor with a steam mop.
(Image credit: Getty)

Purchasing a steam mop with reusable mop pads is a smart choice for the environment and your wallet, but do you know how to clean steam mop pads properly? To get the most out of even the best steam mops and avoid trashing them before you need to, make sure that you’re cleaning them like the professionals do with our simple step-by-step guide.

We also asked a full-time cleaner who uses a steam mop in her daily cleaning work in domestic and commercial properties how she cleans her steam mop pads so you, too, can learn how to clean steam mop pads the way that the pros do.

How to clean steam mop pads

We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean steam mop pads. Just follow along to spruce yours up:

1. Check the washing instructions

Before you start cleaning your steam mop pads, make sure that you read the manufacturer's cleaning instructions if they are given. One example of how this could affect how to clean steam mop pads is that they may have instructions on the material from which the pads are made. They are often made from cotton or microfibre; if they are microfibre, it’s best to completely avoid fabric conditioner as it can make the microfibre much less absorbent. 

2. Pop into the washing machine

Put your steam mop pads into a washing machine, setting the machine to a hot cycle setting to kill any bacteria on them. 

What the expert says...

Professional cleaner Kaylie Ross lets us in on how to clean steam mop pads like a pro: “I use steam mops all the time. I wash them in the washing machine with white vinegar to keep them clean. I’ve always tumble-dried them, and they seem fine but air dry if you’re concerned about shrinkage.”

3. Pour in your detergent

Add your detergent or cleaning agent to the washing machine drawer. Professional cleaner Kaylie Ross uses white vinegar, which contains acetic acid and has antibacterial properties. Others use baking soda or laundry detergent. 

4. Remove and leave to dry

Let the washing do its work. Once the spin cycle is complete, you must dry your steam mop pads. Kaylie advises that her steam mop pads can withstand tumble drying. You can choose to tumble dry, preferably on a delicate setting, or air dry if you are concerned that they may be prone to shrinkage.

Tanisha Fletcher

Tanisha started her career in commercial retail buying for one of Amazon UK’s Top 10 revenue grossing online homeware retailers. Years spent obsessing over homeware products made it an easy career switch to writing about them. Her freelance career has seen her craft customer-focused web content for brands big and small, as well as writing articles in the health, lifestyle, home and retail sectors.