Keeping your floors clean can be somewhat a hassle. No matter what type of floors you have, here are a few tips that will help keep them clean for longer. In this post, you’l find a few back-saving ideas for keeping your floors in tip-top shape for years to come.
Floor Cleaning Tips
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The Linoleum Floor
Linoleum is not the indestructible force that many people think it is. While it is resilient compared to some, it still needs to be cleaned with the same care and approach as you would a cork floor.
The linoleum floor is actually colored with mineral pigments and is created by combining cork dust, wood fibers, limestone and linseed oils.
Use your dish soap and water combination in a spray bottle and spray only manageable sections of your floor at a time.
Wipe those sections down with a damp, microfiber mop as you go and let air dry.
Air-drying should work just fine but in the event there is excess moisture or the floor feels sticky you can follow up with another clean, damp cloth and finish the job
The Laminate Floor
Laminate flooring is one of the most durable and easy-to-manage floor options available, but that doesn’t mean you can just overlook what it does need to last and look great for years to come.
The biggest thing to watch out for is water that seeps between and underneath the floor planks. Use a dry-mopping technique as opposed to soaking this flooring. If necessary you can used a Swiffer or slightly damp, regular mop, but again, be sure to not have excess water on the tools.
Laminate floors are designed to resist exposure to both sun and indoor lighting, but water underneath the panels is definitely this material’s nemesis.
One last suggestion: If the finish of a plank shows wear or damage, polishing it is not going to help. In fact it will only make it worse, so when it starts to show, it’s time to go.
The Vinyl Floor
The vinyl floor is the true soldier of modern flooring but it still needs some care and caution to maintain its longevity.
To keep a like-new look in your home use a dry-mop technique where you spray a small amount of white vinegar, dish soap and warm water on one section of the floor at a time and wipe clean with a slightly damp microfiber mop as you proceed. Repeat this process once a week for best results and management.
For the more infrequent, deeper cleaning sessions you want to steam clean the floor surface for best results. The steam easily helps remove stains and bacteria while simultaneously giving you an easier task than scrubbing them out yourself.
The Hardwood Floor
A hardwood floor can be finished (coated) with a wax or polyurethane finish. A wax finish will smudge if you run your finger across the surface whereas a urethane, polyurethane or polycrylic coating will not. It is important to know which one you have because each requires a different method of cleaning to best-serve its longevity and shine.
The white-vinegar-based solutions that have proven so effective on the laminate and cork floorings are conversely not the best choice for your sealed, hardwood floors. In fact, vinegar can actually dull your hardwood over time, potentially irreversibly.
While the sealant is designed to protect the wood from water damage, you still want to be careful what solution you use on your floor.
Seventh Generation All-Purpose Natural Cleaner Concentrate is a mild, neutral pH soap that, when mixed with water in a bucket, cleans up your hardwood surfaces without damage or streaky residue.
Use a damp-mop technique only (not fully soaked and wrung out completely) to prevent excess wetness and follow up by drying with a soft, microfiber cloth immediately to avoid water pooling on your floors.
For those of you with floors sporting a wax coating, avoid using the damp-mop (since water can damage this floor more easily) and run your vacuum on “tile” or “floor mode and/or use a soft dust mop or gentle broom.
Frequency-wise you should clean the “lived-in” areas of your floors once a week and the less-used areas once a month to help maintain proper longevity.
The Cork Floor
As it is with the laminate flooring, water is the main foe of a cork-based material. With a laminate floor you don’t want water slipping through the cracks and underneath the boars. But cork flooring is extremently porous and fast to absorb water that spreads through a larger section of the material.
This type of floor is quite naturally beautiful because of its inherent material but that also means extra care is needed to prevent normal or exceptional damage.
You definitely want to vacuum a cork floor regularly (which prevents scratching by removing potentially damaging materials). You also want to wash it once a week and clean up any spills immediately.
The best thing to use for washing a cork floor is a combination of water, soap and vinegar. The regular array of floor-cleaning supplies can damage or stain this type of material. The vinegar helps the soap break down dirt and bacteria that has built up in the floor.
You can use that same solution on a damp, microfiber mop for weekly cleanings, which should be prioritized to keep your cork floor in tip-top shape.
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The Porcelain Floor
The porcelain tiles that make up a porcelain floor are different from ceramic tiles by way of water absorption rate. A porcelain floor has fewer impurities and a lower water absorption rate than does ceramic, which is what makes it a popular choice in homes.
This is another floor needing some special care when being cleaned. Dry-mopping is the way to go again, and the vinegar/warm water/soap solution is back to being your best choice.
Spritz the floor one area at a time and wipe up with a slightly damp, microfiber mop as your proceed. The steam cleaner is again a great choice for deeper cleaning sessions as it cleans up grout and tile without you having to do the heavy lifting.