Floor cleaning is an ongoing cleaning task, one that needs to be done right to keep your floors clean and in good repair for the long haul. Hardwood floors, in particular, need to be cleaned with the proper cleaner to protect your investment. Let’s begin today with some basic tips that can help with any type of floor and then move on to special floor types that need specific care.
General Floor Care Tips
To clean and protect your floors, start with these helpful tips:
- Take off shoes and leave them at the door. When family members and guests leave their shoes at the door, grit, oil, dirt, and even tiny rocks are kept off your floors. Each of these items when tracked inside can scratch or permeate most hardwood and vinyl flooring types.
- Wipe up spills when they happen. Most flooring is porous which means they will stain, so wipe up spills when they occur.
- Sweep or vacuum daily. Sweeping daily will keep dirt and debris from damaging your floors. Follow through by vacuuming weekly.
- Damp mop and then dry only after sweeping. When the time comes to mop your floor, do it only after sweeping. This will keep you from rubbing around dirt and grit that can damage your floors. Once the mopping is complete, dry your floors to avoid staining, warping, and mold or mildew.
- Clean your floors with a pH-neutral cleaner. Using a pH-neutral cleaner will clean dirt and oils from the floors while not damaging them in the process.
Specific Floor Care Tips
Glazed Ceramic Tile – Glazed ceramic tiles begin to dull over time and using a mild acidic cleaning solution can solve the problem by removing soap residue, the cause of the less than shining look. Glazed ceramic tiles also require grout cleaning which can be accomplished by a nylon bristle brush and a solution of baking soda and water or a commercial grout cleaner.
Laminate Flooring – The surface of wood laminate floors is almost completely resistant to damage except at the seams. Water can creep underneath and cause peeling, bubbling, and warping.
Linoleum Flooring – To clean linoleum the best choice is a specialty linoleum cleaner that is pH-neutral, followed by linoleum polish to make your floors shine.
Surface Sealed Wood – Most of today’s wood floors are polyurethane sealed and can be damp mopped with a pH-neutral cleaner. Don’t use furniture polish or oils which can cause a dangerously slippery surface. Keep in mind that even with the best care, these floors will need to sanded and refinished every 10 years or so to keep them at their best.
Stone Floors – This type of flooring includes granite, limestone, marble, slate, and travertine which are very susceptible to damage from acidic cleaners. Use little water when cleaning and always dry floors when cleaning is complete. Some stone varieties will need to be resealed periodically to avoid staining.
Unglazed Ceramic Tile – While very durable, unglazed ceramic tile is more vulnerable to stains, mold, and mildew than glazed ceramic tile. Cleaning unglazed tiles usually requires scrubbing with a brush to clean followed by physically drying the surface.
Unsealed Wood – Typically, older hardwood floors have been treated – oiled, shellacked, lacquered, and the like – though not in the modern sealing sense. These floors, as you might expect, are high maintenance, abhorrent to water, and require regular waxing. Waxing of these older style wood floors require stripping, followed by the application of wax or paste, and machine buffed to shine.
If keeping your floors clean and beautiful is a top priority for you, call on the team at Signature Maids to help you get the job done and keep your floors looking their best for the long term.