A clean floor has a lot of benefits. For one, it translates to better health. A clean floor also means reduced risks of accidents, such as slipping or tripping.
Aesthetics-wise, a clean floor can serve as an anchor. It “pulls together” all the design elements in a room and makes things look more unified. It’s also more cost-effective to keep your floors properly maintained, since they will last longer.
All of this is to day that you might want to consider hiring professional floor cleaners to keep your floors in top condition. They not only have the experience, but also the right tools to give any kind of floor the TLC it deserves.
Still, you can do your part in keeping your floors clean. Here are some care tips to keep in mind for different kinds of floors:
With proper care, hardwood floors can maintain their good quality for centuries. “Proper care,” in this case, is first determining the finish of the floor: wax, polyurethane, or untreated.
For wax-finish and untreated wood floors, regular dust-mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming will suffice. Washing will only damage wax-finish and untreated wood floors over time.
For polyurethane-finish floors, pH-neutral soap is the ideal cleaner. Follow the instructions to get the correct mixture or water and soap, then dampen a mop with it. Run the mop over the floor in even strokes, then use a microfibre cloth or mop to dry completely.
There are also some DIY-ers who swear by the power of tea. This is because some varieties of tea contain large amounts of tannin, a naturally occurring compound found in many species of plants. The tannins are said to give hardwood floors a beautiful sheen.
One of the best things about laminate floors (aside from their low price tag) is that they’re easy to maintain. There’s no need to use polishes or special cleaners; all you need to do is dust or vacuum regularly and you’re all set. If there are some stubborn stains, simply spot-clean it using a slightly damp soft cloth and make sure that it dries completely.
Another thing you have to remember about laminate floors is that you need to mop up spills ASAP. Don’t let any kind of liquid sit or you’ll run the risk of it seeping through, particularly in the joins of the laminate panels.
Finally, if you live in dry and dusty or sandy areas, you need to maintain a more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule. Again, pay attention to the joins between the panels since smaller bits of dust or sand can wiggle their way through.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Tiles made from ceramic and porcelain are extra durable and also extra easy to maintain. After sweeping or vacuuming to get rid of dirt, sand, and grit, you can wet-mop the floor using a mild detergent solution and a chamois-type of mop. Make sure to replace the detergent solution as soon as it gets a little too dirty to prevent your floors from dulling.
After two passes of “washing,” get a bucket of clean water and use this for the “rinsing” phase of mopping. Do this in two passes as well to ensure that you get rid of all soap residue. If there are any stains, remove it with the appropriate cleaner first before washing and rinsing the floor.
For cleaning the grout, you can use a mild detergent mixed with some vinegar and hot water. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before scrubbing, washing, and rinsing. Make sure to dry the floor completely afterwards.
Natural stone floors are some of the most difficult to maintain because they require very specific care. That’s because the natural minerals in the stone can get ruined by the wrong mix of substances.
What you need for natural stone is a pH-neutral cleaner. Anything below pH 7 is acidic, which can cause etching. Meanwhile, alkaline cleaners or those above pH 7 can leave a residue that also damages the stone. With a pH-neutral cleaner, you can rest assured that the minerals in the stone will not get ruined. Check the label to make sure you’re getting the pH 7 cleaners.
For unsealed stone tiles, the best option is simply hot water. Dampen a microfibre mop with some hot water and mop as usual. For stubborn stains, the best method is steaming. For softer stones such as marble, make sure to keep the surface as dirt-free as possible through frequent vacuuming.
The key thing to remember about vinyl floors is that paste wax polishes are a no-no. These leave a thin film on top of the vinyl. Once the residue builds up, it can cause the floor to look cloudy. Instead, mix a bit of baby oil with apple cider vinegar and water to give vinyl floors a gorgeous shine.
For regular dusting, make sure you use a soft-bristled broom or the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. For deep-cleaning, wet a mop with a mixture of water and some mild detergent. Like tile floors, “wash” with two passes and then “rinse” with a mop dampened with water and dry thoroughly.
Do note that vinyl floors can get scuffed easily. If this is the case, you can spray a bit of degreaser onto a soft cloth and rub the scuffed area. Then, use a mixture of vinegar and water to clear away the residue.
Linoleum flooring has many advantages, including affordability and durability. They’re very easy to keep clean, with just some dishwashing soap and lukewarm water. Make sure to sweep or vacuum before mopping, so as not to scratch the surface. You should also avoid ammonia-based cleaners to prevent damaging the vinyl.
You can also wax linoleum floors to make them shine. Be sure to use liquid wax over paste, because the latter doesn’t result in a good sheen. In addition, make sure to follow the instructions and let the wax cure properly to get the best results.
Daily dust-mopping is recommended for linoleum floors, and then a weekly deep-cleaning using the above-mentioned dishwashing soap and water solution. If you’re going to use a vacuum to dust the floor, use the hard floor attachment instead of the soft brush for the best results.
As you can see, keeping your floors clean is relatively straightforward. The key is to know your floor’s exact characteristics so you know what kinds of substances or solutions to avoid. In addition, if you’re going to use special cleaners, follow their instructions to the letter.