Floors and Carpets
Different houses have distinct kinds of floors.
- Concrete etc.
Floor cleaning tips and tricks are essential to know for every homeowner. Technically, we all know how cleaning works in the basic sense of the word. Yet, understanding the details and differences between floor types and floor cleaning methods makes all the difference.
Floors are made of different materials, have different textures, and react uniquely to store-bought and DIY cleaners, which is why we had to compile our research into one article for any beginner in the world of floor cleaning and maintenance. So, if you’re interested in learning how to clean floors properly, continue reading.
What Is Floor Cleaning and Maintenance?
Do you ever stop to consider the cleanliness of your floor (or lack of it)? Cleaning floors is a tiring chore that many people skip or don’t put much thought into. But, like anything in your house, it needs looking after.
Most people only acknowledge that a place needs cleaning when dirt starts piling up on furniture, utterly oblivious to how quickly the floors get dirty in comparison.
In fact, whenever we clean our furniture, the floors need extra care because we’ve transferred dirt from all surfaces to the ground. Since floors often take a beating from our daily lives, cleaning them isn’t as simple as mopping them with soapy water occasionally.
In addition, every type of floor requires a different level of care. You can’t use the same cleaning solutions or products and mops to clean every kind of floor you have. So, it’s crucial to learn how to mop a floor correctly and the right products to use for each floor type.
Why Is Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Important?
The buildup of dust, dirt, and sand ruins the look of your house. Also, the stains and spilt liquids you don’t clean immediately contribute to this, making it look forever unclean. So, it comes as no surprise that cleaning the floor regularly will leave it looking its best.
Cleaning the floor regularly and meticulously will also save it from structural damage. If you want the flooring to last long, take care of it, especially if you’re looking to save money. All the money you spent on the flooring will go to waste if you don’t maintain it.
More importantly, the amount of money you’ll spend on cleaning products or homemade solutions is nothing compared to replacing the damaged flooring.
Plus, if you want to protect yourself and your household from getting an allergic reaction, cleaning the floor regularly will remove pollen, dust, and other allergens.
How Do You Clean and Maintain Your Floor?
The best way to clean and maintain the floor is by understanding what it needs and sticking to a routine. Undoubtedly, different types of flooring can’t be treated the same.
For example, carpets need a lot of maintenance because they gather a lot of stuff. Wood floors require a different treatment from laminate, vinyl, and stone floors. Some floors look their best after using vinegar or lemon juice, while other types could be damaged. Milk is a good idea for some floors, but terrible for others, and so on.
To take the guesswork out of your next cleaning spree, we’ve gathered information about how to clean really dirty floors according to their type.
Carpets are challenging to clean because of their size and porous nature that attracts filth. Unclean carpets can house dust mites and bugs, according to the British Lung Foundation (BLF). Yet, they’re not like beddings that you can just toss in the washing machine.
One of the solutions that we suggest is vacuum cleaning. You need to do it often due to the porous nature of carpets. So, make it a habit to vacuum your carpet at least once a week.
In addition, you need to vacuum carpets right by using a vacuum that your carpet can handle. Some carpets are notably more delicate than others, which you need to keep in mind. Don’t forget to utilize the vacuum attachments, as they help you get to the hard-to-reach places and remove trapped dirt more efficiently.
Also, as tempting as it would be, don’t rush vacuuming so that the machine can pick up everything. Instead, try to vacuum slowly in a specific pattern. Then, vacuum in reverse to leave the carpet uniform-looking. It’s also essential to take your time while deep cleaning the carpet, which you should do once every six months.
Plus, consider having a small decorative rug over the carpet to protect it against some of the wear and tear. Immediately replace your outdoor shoes with indoor slippers once you get home to avoid tracking bacteria and dirt inside, and wipe your feet too.
Lockdown has inspired many people to redesign their rooms, which we definitely recommend so that the carpet doesn’t get indentations. Stretching out the carpet will also remove the wrinkles and remove dirt from uneven areas.
We also recommend installing curtains or blinds to protect the carpet from UV rays. Not to mention, changing the air filters of your HVAC system will keep the carpet cleaner for longer and repel dust and dirt.
If you have carpets at home, it’s a no-brainer to have a lint roller at hand to remove your pet’s hair or your own. Using a squeegee for pet hair also works wonderfully.
We all spill liquids on our carpets, which is okay. What matters is that you clean it immediately before it stains and use a stain remover that’s specifically made for carpets. So, leave the laundry products for laundry.
If the carpet’s already stained, clean it with an iron. Saturate the stain with a soapy water solution, then place a towel on top of the stain. Turn on the iron and put it on the towel, running it back and forth over the stain for 15 seconds. After the stain transfers to the towel, remove it and rub the area. Never blot. Finally, use a hairdryer to dry the area.
Baking soda is the perfect way to freshen up the carpet and a helpful solution to stubborn oil stains. After dabbing the excess moisture away, coat the stain with baking soda for up to six hours. Then, vacuum the area. This method also works for pet accidents, but add in some vinegar with the baking soda to neutralise the smell.
We also recommend using plain, white shaving cream as a DIY cleaner for various liquid stains and rubbing alcohol on spilt nail polish.
Although laminate resembles hardwood, it’s not as tough. So, don’t drag furniture over it. Instead, you can put soft castors under table legs and chairs to avoid scratching and denting your laminate flooring. Also, never use a scouring pad or any abrasive implement to clean it.
We highly recommend referring to the manufacturer’s instructions to know which cleaning products to use without damaging the floor. Note that laminate doesn’t like a soaking wet mop because it isn’t waterproof, which might bring you to ask how to clean floor with vinegar instead.
Mix vinegar with a gallon of warm water to make the best floor cleaning solution. Then, use a well-wrung mop to clean the floor.
The best way to clean floors without a mop is by running a damp cloth over them, especially when you spill on a laminate floor. However, if you have intensive cleaning needs, get a floor cloth with a specialist cleaning fluid or a microfibre mop after squeezing the water out of it.
It would help if you also kept the laminate floor dirt and dust-free. And a doormat is helpful for that. Vacuum or sweep away the loose dirt with a soft broom. Also, handle stones and gravel carefully, as they can scratch the laminate flooring.
Wood is one of the most common choices for flooring among homeowners. However, it only lasts if you take good care of it. Start by investing in furniture pads to protect the wood.
Keep it dust-free by sweeping or dusting daily. You can do it while you’re on the phone or boiling tea. Also, make it a habit to vacuum the floor once a week. What matters is that you keep it as clean as possible.
Also, if you spill anything, clean it immediately. The best way to clean floors by hand is using a damp microfibre cloth, as a wet mop can cause water damage. Water damage warps and swells the floor, which is the last thing you need. If you really have to use a mop, make sure it’s barely damp and well-wrung.
In addition, use a wood floor cleaner once a month for a clean, polished look, and don’t forget to read the instructions beforehand.
As time goes by, the finish of your wood floor will naturally look dull. But you can refinish the floor every three to five years to restore it to its former glory.
Cleaning and maintaining vinyl floors isn’t rocket science as you’ll see. Like any other floor, you should regularly sweep or vacuum it. If you’re going to sweep it, use a soft broom to protect it from scratching. For vacuuming, adjust it to the “bare floor” setting so that it glides smoothly over the floor. Also, get a doormat to avoid tracking outside dirt.
In addition, you’ll have to learn low-impact cleaning techniques, so forget drenching the floor in water. Instead, get a cleaning solution specifically made for vinyl floors. And never use wax-based or oil-based cleaners on vinyl.
Another suggestion would be to use shampoo and water as a DIY cleaner. For another DIY solution, in a spray bottle, mix 1/4 cup vinegar with a drop of dish soap in lukewarm water.
Like wood and laminate, vinyl doesn’t like water. So, whatever cleaner you pick, you’ll have to employ the spritz-and-dry mop technique. First, spray the solution in one section. Then, immediately wipe it with a slightly damp microfibre mop. After, rinse well to avoid leaving residue behind. More importantly, dry it well to keep the water damage away.
If you ever spill, you’ll have to clean it immediately because vinyl floor is the kind of floor that’ll remind you of your mistakes. A food stain? Clean it with baking soda.
However, if there’s a greasy mess, rubbing alcohol on it will take care of the grease. You can also tackle scuffs with a soapy water solution and a dry microfibre cloth, but remember not to rub too hard.
Stone is the most beautiful flooring you’ll ever have, but its beauty comes at a price. It needs research and effort on your end. That’s why homeowners that are always on the go usually avoid it.
Let’s start with the easy stuff. Of course, you’ll sweep or vacuum it regularly to keep the dust at bay, which is the best way to maintain a fully sealed stone floor.
If you’d like to make a DIY cleaner, we recommend cleaning the floor with skimmed milk, which has been popular for a while. What about store-bought products? Get an easy-to-use, specialist, water-based product that’ll work on sealed or unsealed stone floors.
Regardless of your cleaner of choice, try not to mop every day. Perhaps keep mopping to once or twice a week maximum. When you do mop, don’t use too much water. Also, avoid scrubbing brushes, as they can hurt stone floors unnecessarily.
Use a floor mop or sponge with a suitable cleaning product. And follow the product’s instructions. If you’re using milk, work it over the stone floor; then, leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse, and dry the floor thoroughly with a soft cloth after you finish cleaning.
When it comes to spills, you’ll need to blot and wipe them up quickly. Also, use a specialist cleaner to handle inappropriate marks and staining, and follow its directions. Generally, you’ll let the cleaner set into the floor for some time, work it into the floor, then rinse it.
That being said, no matter how much effort you exert in cleaning the stains, the stone floor will need re-sealing every couple of years for maximum protection against future stains, humidity, and high foot traffic.
Artificial grass brings life to your space without the hassle of natural grass. When you think about it, artificial grass is the only kind of turf that you never have to cut or mow again! Accordingly, you’ll save a lot of time, money, and water as well. This low-maintenance nature of artificial grass has contributed to its popularity in the United Kingdom.
Nonetheless, you still have to take care of it so that it looks fresh all the time. A monthly light maintenance goes a long way. Furthermore, artificial grass needs brushing once a week or every other week. The ideal brush for this task is a medium, soft bristle brush. When you use it, try to brush in the opposite direction of the artificial fibres.
Also, if leaves get on the artificial turf, you can get rid of them with a blower. Dry leaves are easier to blow away than wet ones, so bear that in mind. If the turf ever stains, you can just clean it with soapy water.
Try to protect the grass from sharp objects that can cut it, such as broken glass, stiletto shoes, and football studded boots. Moreover, keep the artificial turf away from adhesives and any sources of heat. Finally, watch out for your dog if it likes to chew on grass as well.
Many people love to have bamboo flooring because of how hardy the plant is. It’s as durable as hardwood and more water-resistant than most types of wood floors. Also, the sustainable nature of the plant renders it a must-have for the eco-friendly.
However, its hardiness doesn’t change the fact that you still have to learn a few things about how to clean and care for it.
First things first, bamboo flooring scratches easily. So, felt pads are recommended for furniture. In addition, remember to lift heavy objects when moving them on bamboo floors.
Also, they need daily sweeping to remove dust and dirt, which you should do using only a soft-bristle or fine-fibre broom. And don’t vacuum unless your vacuum cleaner has a setting that caters explicitly to wood floors.
Doormats are a no-brainer to keep your outside business outside. And you can go a step further by removing your outdoor footwear to keep your bamboo clean.
Like stone, bamboo doesn’t like vinegar or any acidic cleaners. Instead, it prefers a pH-neutral wood floor cleaner. So, say goodbye to abrasive cleaning products, wax, and furniture polish.
Another suitable choice would be mild soap. Mix your cleaner of choice with water. And wring your microfibre mop to the maximum. Also, ditch the steam mop when it comes to bamboo floors. Wipe the floor dry with a dry cloth.
As for spills, you should wipe them instantly with a microfibre cloth and a pH-neutral cleaner.
Like bamboo, cork is a tough type of wood that’s growing in popularity. It’s a relatively low-maintenance flooring type that’s also good for the environment.
That being said, you should still learn more about it to know how to take care of it. Cork needs protection from two things: scratching and UV rays.
You can protect it from scratches by installing protectors everywhere you’ll need them, such as under chairs and table legs. In addition, all heavy furniture should have felt pads or non-staining glides or casters.
And take care whenever you’re moving appliances or large pieces of furniture around the floor. This is especially true for furniture with wheels because it’ll need a mat underneath for extra protection. Also, don’t let a ball of steel wool touch the floor.
Regarding UV rays, we highly recommend installing blinds or curtains because sunlight changes the colour of cork, a natural material.
To remove dirt and dust, vacuum the floor as needed. And get a doormat to avoid bringing outside dirt into your home.
When it comes to cleaning products, never reach for an ammonia-based cleaner when cleaning a cork floor. Instead, get a pH-balanced wood or cork cleaning agent, and mix it with water. Then, wring your mop until it’s slightly damp, and start mopping. Last but not least, wipe the floor dry or leave it to air dry.
Ceramic is a popular choice for areas with high humidity and foot traffic. It has a higher resistance to the elements than most flooring types, so many prefer it over wood. Its nature makes it the ideal choice for kitchen and bathroom floors as well.
Like any other floor type, you’ll need to clean up loose debris using a vacuum cleaner or broom. Doing so will prevent sand and grit from dulling the surface. It’s also crucial to constantly watch the tiles for stains.
The best way to clean kitchen floors is by mixing any mild detergent with hot water. Ditch the sponge mop and use a string or strip mop instead. Wring, mop, and repeat. Remember to replace the water once it gets dirty. Mop one final time with water only to avoid any soap residue. After you finish, dry the floor with a cloth, or leave the room to air dry.
When it comes to cleaning tile grout, spray the grout with a grout cleaner or a hydrogen peroxide solution. Let the cleaner sit and work its magic for half an hour. Then, start scrubbing with a stiff brush until it’s clean. Finally, mop the floor, and dry it.
By now, you should know how to clean and maintain different types of floors properly. Whether you have laminate, stone, or cork floors, they’ll last longer if you know how to take care of them and follow our dos and don’ts. Not only will your floor look beautiful, but you’ll also save a lot of money by increasing its longevity.