Important tips for keeping your floor clean, naturally
Each floor is different. Each surface is unique. They require maintenance specific to them. A method of cleaning that works great for one type of flooring may actually ruin another. For instance, you wouldn’t want to use the floor cleaner you use for tile on a hardwood floor, would you? Of course not, that’s a given. If you’re at all uncertain and your own home features a variety of floor types, fret not, here is a guide to help you safely navigate the ground level of floor cleaning. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to clean out the hard to reach spots that are typically invisible to most homeowners.
(NOTE: before you start any of the methods listed below, you should first clear the floor surface of all loose dust and debris with a good sweeping)
Typically found in the kitchen, vinyl floors (thankfully) are very easy to clean. A once-a-week application is ideal, using a mixture of a single drop of dish soap, warm water and a quarter cup of vinegar all mixed in a sixteen ounce spray bottle. Spray upon the floor in even sections before mopping it up.
Vinyl floors may need a deeper cleansing from time to time. When necessary, have them steam cleaned. This will eliminate stains and bacteria that can’t typically be removed by mopping alone. If the flooring is old and run down as is, it might be a good idea to just have the vinyl removed and replaced. It’s really as easy as peeling and sticking it on.
Linoleum is more vulnerable than other flooring materials, it is easily damaged and should be handled with extra care. Structurally, it is composed of linseed oil, resin, wood fiber, cork dust, and limestone – generally speaking. Mineral pigments color the material.
Use hot water in a spray bottle this time and include a few drops of dish soap. That’s all you need. Spray down the surface and use a microfiber cloth – or mop – to dry the floor clean. If it has an excessively sticky feel, repeat the process with a little extra water.
Essentially an imitation of a hardwood floor, an advantage to laminate is that it is easier to clean. In fact, the process between the two is completely different. Laminate is purposely made to be light and sun-resistant so that it may retain a new appearance indefinitely.
Never use liquid or polish on laminate floors. The moisture will probably spread underneath the boards and ruin the laminate. The best method for cleaning laminates is really quite simple – with a dry mop and vacuum. That’s all you need. Do this once a week. In the meantime, use a damp cloth to remove spotting caused by random food/drink spills.
Hardwood floors are stunning, almost never failing to make an impression. Of course something so elegant requires much maintenance. They must be cleaned properly. To do this, you must determine the type of finish it has, polyurethane or wax? You can figure it out by simply rubbing your finger across the floor, if there’s a smudge, it’s wax. Along with untreated wood, wax finishes should not be washed. However, you do need to sweep, vacuum and dust mop it regularly.
Polyurethane, meanwhile, does require a cleaning solution and there are two to choose from. The easiest requires only a quarter cup of mild pH-neutral soap mixed with water in a bucket. Use a damp mop to clean and a microfiber mop to dry.
Although pricier than its vinyl counterpart, a tile floor is just as easy to clean. Again, a quarter cup vinegar is all it takes, mixed with a single drop of dish soap and warm water. Spray onto the surface and wipe down with a microfiber mop or cloth. If the dirt accumulated in the tiles is a bit too tough, look to clean the areas by steam. Tile floors are held together by grout that require sealing every once in a while…. so be sure to seal that grout in addition to cleaning it!
Obviously, keeping a carpet clean requires completely different methods that its flat-floor counterparts. There is nothing worse than seeing a spill, especially if you’re not responsible! Even if it’s just water, the texture of the fabric will be compromised in the area. And if it’s coffee or fruit juice the discoloration is nearly irreparable. You can try an easy route with detergent and water, applying it immediately after a spill. For more serious carpet stain offenses mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda to form a thick paste before diluting it with water. After it becomes a thin liquid, scrub it into the stain (you can use a sponge or toothbrush).
So there ya go, easy ways to clean various types of floors. And hopefully you’ve learned you don’t always need a chemical-filled store bought cleaner. You can be just as effective by utilizing these natural alternatives, and best of all you’ll save a lil’ $ in the process! Next up: cleaning everything else you’ve been neglecting over the course of a year.