Is your steam mop not steaming? You might want to take a look at your nozzle. Here are all 7 known causes and fixes.

A lot of people will tell you that there’s not a very big difference between a regular mop and a steam one, but they’d be wrong.

Oh, so very wrong.

While it’s true that both variants can clean, one relies solely on pure strength, and dedication, whereas the other harnesses the power of electricity, and steam to provide sparkling clean floors, and the ultimate disinfection solutions.

Now, I’m not trying to sell you a brand-new model. If you’re here reading this, you already own one, and it’s not steaming as it used to.

Why?

This could be happening for a number of reasons. From a compromised power source to a blocked nozzle. With so many possibilities out there, you need to know exactly what to look for when trying to fix your appliance.

This is why I’ve prepared the list below. In it, you will find the most common causes behind this occurrence, and the easiest steps you can take to address each one of them.

Rest assured that, if you follow them to a tee, your steam mop will be back to normal in the blink of an eye, and this problem will be a thing of the past, soon to be forgotten.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Fixing a Failing Steam Mop

I understand how thinking that something is broken inside your appliance would be the most logical thing, but this should only be considered as a last resort. More often than not, the source of the issue comes from an external factor or incorrect operation.

Failing to go about the troubleshooting process in a detailed and orderly way, is the fastest path to wasting precious time and money.

I don’t want you to make that mistake. Your steam mop might not be steaming due to:

  • A faulty outlet
  • A damaged power cord
  • An empty tank
  • A partially open tank
  • A blocked nozzle
  • A broken nozzle
  • Using lukewarm water

#1 Check Your Wall Outlet

While having a faulty outlet in your home is not the most common occurrence, it’s definitely a possibility.

To have this be the culprit can be very frustrating. It’s like one of those times you go up and down your home trying to find your favorite wristwatch, only to realize that you’re wearing it. Classic!

Depending on the severity of the issue, your steam mop might not turn on at all, but if the outlet is only partially damaged, it could be supplying intermittent power to your appliance.

Please stop using your unit as soon as you suspect this to be the issue.

Solution: Test a different outlet.

Carefully unplug your appliance, and take it to a different section of the house, preferably as far removed from the outlet you normally use, as possible. Once you have done that, plug the mop into a different one.

If this does the trick, mystery solved!

Do you want a challenge? You can use a multimeter to test the outlet for continuity. While this is completely optional, it’s strongly advised, as a faulty outlet could be the first sign of a greater problem within your home’s electrical layout.

It’s better to nip whatever’s going on, in the bud.

#2 Your Power Cord Is Damaged

Provided that your wall outlet is unscathed, we can move on to the next link in the power supply chain. The power cord.

While on the outside this cable looks thick and sturdy, you must remember that it’s actually made up of much smaller cables that can sustain damage quite easily.

In fact, seemingly unimportant habits, such as storing it improperly, keeping it tangled or pressed against an object at a weird angle, is more than enough to do it in.

If your steam mop is not steaming, this cable has probably sustained some damage over time. It’s of the utmost importance that, as soon as you suspect this to be the source of the problem, you stop using your appliance immediately.

Solution: In the off chance that you have another cord for testing, you can go ahead and use it. Just make sure that it meets the same amperage and voltage requirements as the broken one.

Provided you don’t have another one lying around, that’s okay too. You can easily find a replacement at any online marketplace.

#3 Your Water Tank Is Empty

pouring water in steam mop water tank
For hygienic purposes, always start with a fresh tank of water

As you know, the steam harnessed by your steam mop is generated in the water tank. When there is no water to create it, you might encounter this problem.

I know how this might seem like something extremely obvious that would never happen to you, but remember that it’s the most seemingly unimportant factor, that we tend to overlook the most.

If your steam mop stopped steaming right in the middle of a cleaning cycle, chances are you need to top up the tank.

Solution: Making sure to always start with a fresh tank of water will not only prevent this from happening again, but also guarantee that you’re operating your appliance under the most hygienic conditions.

Ideally, you want to clean your water tank once every week and descale it at least twice a year. Failing to do so might contribute to bad smells and the formation of bacteria.

#4 Close Your Tank Properly

Life can get real hectic these days, so it’s not too crazy to think that you might have forgotten to close your tank properly.

This is very easy to miss, especially if you’re in a rush. When your water tank is left partially open, steam cannot be generated properly, which could leave you stranded with this problem.

Solution: I know it sounds ridiculous, but you could use a post-it note as a reminder. It has worked wonders for me!

#5 The Nozzle Is Blocked

steam coming from steam mop
Sediments that build up in the nozzle can block the steam

Okay, so your water tank is full and properly closed. What now?

We take a look at the nozzle.

This part is extremely important and solely responsible for transporting the steam generated in your water tank, to the head exhaust for cleaning. You might be tempted to think that it’s impossible for it to be blocked if it’s never in contact with the gunk your steam mop picks up.

And you’d be right, but what about the water you’re using?

Believe it or not, the water that you use for cleaning contains small particles of sediment. It’s completely safe, but over time, this substance can build up and block the nozzle, preventing the appliance from steaming. 

Solution: While there is no general rule as to how often you should clean your nozzle, any sign of obstruction should be your cue to do it.

Depending on your model, you might be able to easily detach this part from your steam mop’s body, but if this is not the case, please follow these steps:

  1. Carefully unplug your appliance
  2. With a screwdriver, remove the screws holding your steam mop’s base together
  3. Remove the plastic body, and expose the unit’s internal components
  4. Locate the nozzle, sometimes it’s close to the filter
  5. Carefully remove the nozzle, and look for sediment buildup

#6 The Nozzle Is Broken

a person changing the nozzle of a steam mop
Remove the nozzle, to clean and examine for sediment buildup

Provided that your nozzle did not have any sediment buildup, we have to consider the possibility of it being broken.

This is not a very common occurrence, but if your appliance has been around the block a few times, some normal wear and tear are to be expected. A broken nozzle could be preventing your steam mop from steaming, as most of the gas would be escaping through the damaged section.

Solution: Please follow the steps from the previous point to detach your nozzle, and replace it. Finding a new one should not be too difficult. You can either look for it at your nearest hardware store or call your manufacturer.

#7 The Water Needs to Be Hotter

Steam comes from hot water, right?

While your steam mop is designed to heat up the water inside the tank, this process can take a little while, and you might be trying to clean it before it has reached the ideal temperature.

If none of the solutions above worked for you, chances are your steam mop needs a little more time to heat up the water in the tank.

Solution: It’s always useful to give your user manual another read-through. Careful inspection of it will help you determine the right amount of time to wait before operating the appliance.

When Should You Call a Pro?

The answer to this will depend greatly on the status of your warranty, and how willing you are to pay for repairs.

If, on one hand, you’re still under coverage, and don’t mind waiting a couple of weeks for your manufacturer to pick up your steam mop, and return it repaired, you can definitely go ahead and call them.

Unless otherwise specified, they should be able to fix it for free.

On the other hand, if none of the solutions above worked, and your warranty is expired, you’ll have to weigh the costs of repairs vs getting a new model. While fixing the appliance itself might not be very expensive, the cost of labor can be.

As a general rule, paying for repairs equal to 50% or more of the cost of a new appliance with similar features is a bad investment.

Conclusion

To have an appliance stop doing the one thing it’s been designed to, can be a nightmare.

While steam mops might not seem overly complicated from the outside, it’s important to remember that, in order for them to operate properly, several internal parts must work interdependently, and in synchrony.

This list should provide you with the right tools and knowledge to address most of the causes behind your steam mop not steaming, but on the off chance that you still can’t find the solution to your problem, please do not hesitate to call a technician for help.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article useful, why not keep the learning going through our other great resources below?

Happy mopping!