It’s the last job on the cleaning list. You’ve dusted, tidied, vacuumed and polished, and all that remains is to wash the floor as you back out of the room. Sorted! But, did you realise that not all hard floors need the same treatment? Get it wrong and you could be doing more harm than good. Best Floor Cleaner Tips!
Best Floor Cleaner Tips
You’ve washed the windows. Dusted the door frames and plumped the pillows, now it’s time to get down to business. Providing you’ve worked from top to bottom (as any accomplished cleaner should) cleaning the floors should be the last job on your list.
With a whole range of both natural and man-made flooring now gracing our homes. Knowing how best to tackle each one can be hard. Luckily, Expert Home Tips are on hand to help.
Vacuum Your Floor Every Week
You probably do this already, but it always bears repeating. The reason: Underfoot, the fine grit in dust is just like sandpaper and will slowly but surely wear through your wood floor’s finish. So a good vacuuming protects the finish as well as keeps up its appearance. Use an attachment with a brush or a felt surface that runs along the floor. Attachments with rotating brushes or a beater bar can scratch the finish.
Disengage the beater bar on an upright. If you don’t feel like hauling out the vacuum, a dust mop or one of the newer microfiber sweepers (such as Swiffer) will work just as well. Try these unexpected ways you never thought to use a vacuum cleaner.
Vacuum, dust or wipe with a lightly dampened mop. Never use soap-based detergents or other polishes, as they can leave a dull film on the floor. And avoid over-wetting. Don’t use wax polish: it will make the floor too slippery. To remove marks and stains, use a dilute solution of water and vinegar.
Never be tempted to use abrasive cleaners, such as nylon scouring pads or steel wool, which can scratch. Stubborn marks, such as shoe polish. Can be removed with nail polish remover containing acetone, or other mild solvents -– WD-40 also works well. To protect the floor, put felt pads underneath furniture legs and drip trays under plant pots.
Cleaning a Cork Floor
The same quality that makes this natural material so beautiful. Its porosity—makes it very susceptible to water damage. Because it’s so absorbent, most cork flooring is sealed, but you still need to proceed with caution. “Vacuum often to prevent scratching, wipe up spills immediately, and wash cork floors once a week,” says Leslie Reichert, the Green Cleaning Coach.
Reichert suggests skipping commercial cleaning products in favor of a vinegar-and-soapy-water solution: Place 1/4 cup vinegar in a spray bottle with 1 drop of dish soap and warm water. Naturally acidic vinegar works with the soap to break down dirt, cut through build-up and disinfect. Don’t shake the solution (that would create suds), just gently combine the ingredients in a spray bottle by rocking it back and forth. Spray the floor a section at a time and wipe with a damp microfiber mop as you go.
A Strategy for Cleaner Floors
If you lug your turbo-charged vacuum or trusty mop-and-bucket combo out of the closet once a week, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Bissel, 32 percent of Americans wait at least one week to clean their floors.
But thanks to some handy tools and a troubleshooting approach. You can keep yours spotless throughout the week without having to deploy the heavy artillery.
Soda Water & Salt Remove Stains
To remove fresh stains, soda water and salt can be really useful. For liquid stains like coffee, blot the liquid with kitchen towel, then soak a clean cloth in soda and apply to the stained area. Rinse the cloth and reapply as necessary.
If the stain persists, grab some salt, and sprinkle over the stain. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming away. Check out our other article for even more surprising ways to use soda water.
Never Use Your Scouring Sponge On Your Floors
If there’s a really gunky stain on any floor. Whatever you do, “Do not use a scouring sponge!” says Ireland. “They’re the primary culprit for scratched surfaces.” Instead, try a more concentrated dose of your cleaner of choice and let it sit for a minute, or hit it with a nylon-bristled scrub brush before mopping.
Use An Extra-long “Walk-off ” Doormat
Ideally, people should always remove their shoes when they come inside. This way, dirt, water, and salt and ice won’t be trekked onto the wood floors. But, since shoes don’t always get removed, doormats, inside and out, earn their keep and then some.
While vacuuming and spot cleaning they are great, and keeping the dirt out in the first place is even better. Get a 4- to 6-foot-long “walk-off ” mat for the front door. The longer the mat leading up to the door, the more people will rub dirt and moisture off their shoes as they walk in, even if they don’t stop to wipe them.
The Importance Of Dry Mopping
When your laminate floors do start to look a little worse for wear, you can go ahead and mop with a slightly dampened microfiber mop. Once clean, follow-up with another mopping, this time with a dry microfiber mop head.
Once clean, follow-up with another mopping, this time with a dry microfiber mop head to keep moisture to a minimum.
Ceramic And Quarry Tiles
These need minimal maintenance. Sweep and wash with a mild detergent solution. Rinse with clear water. Never use wax polish – the tiles will become slippery.
Cleaning a Vinyl Floor
For weekly cleaning, use Reichert’s spritz-and-dry mop technique to keep tile floors looking fresh: Gently mix 1/4 cup vinegar in a 16-ounce spray bottle with 1 drop of dish soap and warm water. Spray the floor one section at a time and wipe with a damp microfiber mop as you go.
For periodic deep cleans, she likes to use a steam cleaner to clean both tile and grout—the steam does the work of removing stains (and bacteria!), so you don’t feel like you got an extra workout right there in your kitchen.