How To Easily Clean Your Flooring!
Each type of flooring needs to be looked after in a different way. This is because the materials that they are made from have very different properties.
They wear differently and react in a unique way to the cleaning products you use on them. Clearly, it is not a good idea to clean your hardwood floors in the same way you would the tiled areas of your home.
How you maintain your floors has a big impact on how good they look and how long they last. Therefore, it really is worth getting this aspect of your homecare right.
To help you to do exactly that, we have put together floor care tips for the most common types of flooring.
How To Clean A Natural Stone Floor
You must never use acidic cleaning products on natural stone flooring. That means no vinegar, bleach or ammonia.
For this type of flooring, it really is worth buying a specialist PH-neutral cleaning product.
This is the only way to make sure that the products you use on natural stone floors, like marble, granite, travertine or limestone do not end up ruining them.
How To Clean Vinyl Flooring
Over the past few years, vinyl floors have once again become very popular. It is easy to lay, costs very little, comes in a wide range of styles and looks fantastic.
This is probably the easiest type of flooring to keep clean. In a bathroom, you can usually get away with cleaning it once a week. But, when laid in a kitchen or high traffic area like a hallway, it will need cleaning every two or three days.
You do not even have to get the mop out to clean this type of flooring. Simply put ¼ cup of vinegar in a 16oz spray bottle.
Top it up with water and a couple of drops of washing up liquid.
Gently shake it and squirt it over the surface of your floor, paying particular attention to the very dirty areas.
Then immediately, go over it with a mop or microfiber cloth.
If you notice marks in-between cleaning sessions get rid of them using a dry mop and your homemade cleaning solution. Every couple of weeks, fill a bucket with hot water and mop the entire floor.
Change the mop head to a dry one and use it to give the area a polish.
How To Clean A Linoleum Floor
A lot of people think that linoleum is the same as vinyl. As a result, they just assume that it should be looked after in the same way. In reality, the two flooring materials are quite different.
Vinyl floors are made from chemical products. Linoleum or lino flooring is traditionally made from linseed oil, a product which is extracted from the seeds of the flax plant.
Linoleum floors are also usually colored using natural mineral pigments rather than chemical dyes.
As a result, you need to take more care when cleaning linoleum. It needs to be looked after in a similar way to natural stone flooring.
The best approach is to add a couple of drops of dish soap to a spray bottle filled with warm water and use that. Lightly spray the floor and use a mop or absorbent cloth to immediately lift the water and dirt from your flooring.
How To Clean & Care For A Cork Floor
Surprisingly, cork is a fantastic flooring material. It looks wonderful, is warm underfoot and creates a beautiful textured non-slip surface.
However, cork is a soft material, which means that it is very easy to damage. As a result, cork floors are usually sealed. This means you have to take extra care when you clean it.
The best approach is to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Failing that, clean it with a solution of vinegar, dish soap, and warm water.
Again, make up a spray mixing ¼ cup of vinegar with a drop of dish soap and 16ozs of water. Spritz the floor and wipe it clean with a mop or cloth.
How To Clean A Laminate Floor
Do not be fooled by the appearance of laminate floors. They may look like wood, but they have very different properties. Surprisingly, most of them are a lot more delicate than natural wood is, yet they are still far easier to take care than hardwood floors are.
To clean them, just run over them with a dry mop or vacuum every few days. Any marks can be spot-treated using a damp cloth.
You should resist the temptation to apply polish to this type of flooring. Doing so can cause a chemical reaction that ruins the finish that has been applied to them.
Plus, there is a risk that water will become trapped between the laminate and the polish layer. This can lead to peeling and sometimes even light warping.
How To Clean & Maintain Hardwood Flooring
Keeping a hardwood floor clean and looking good takes a fair amount of time and effort. The approach you need to take is largely dependent on the way the floor has been finished.
You need to first establish what the finish is. To do this, rub your finger across the floor. If doing this creates a smudge, you have a wax finish. If your floors are particularly well worn, carry out this test in a corner of each room. In that area, the wax will not have worn off. Should the finish not smudge, your floors have probably been finished with polyurethane.
It is also possible that the wood has not been treated at all. Do not worry, when this is the case, this will be fairly obvious. The floor will not have a glossy look, apart from in areas where footfall is heavy.
For polyurethane finished wooden floor use a solution of ¼ cup of PH-neutral soap mixed with a bucket full of water. Mop the floor using this and dry it immediately with an absorbent cloth.
You can also use a little vinegar and dish soap mixed with a large bucket of warm water. However, you need to understand that, over time, including vinegar in the mix can dull the finish.
Therefore, it is probably best to stick with the PH-neutral soap solution and only use the vinegar mix if you have no soap to hand.
How To Clean A Tile Floor
Tile flooring is extremely hardwearing and, thankfully, easy to clean. Again, mix a ¼ cup of vinegar with a few drops of washing up liquid and 16 fluid ounces of water. Put this in a spray bottle and spritz your floor with it.
Lightly spray the entire floor and use a mop or micro cloth to get it dry and produce a streak-free finish. Occasionally, you will need to give your tile floor a deeper clean. This is necessary to stop the grout from discoloring.
The best tool for the job is a steam cleaner.
How To Keep Your Carpet Clean
Carpets need to be thoroughly vacuumed on a regular basis. How often depends on footfall. Most of the time, you can get away with vacuuming only the exposed areas.
However, once or twice a month, you should pull out the sofa and move your coffee table and chairs, so you can vacuum underneath them.
Around about twice a year, you will need to deep-clean your carpets. A good approach is to use a steam-cleaner.
Deep Cleaning A Carpet By hand
If you have not got one of those, every couple of months, wipe your carpets over with a detergent solution. To do this, add a few capfuls of detergent to a bucketful of warm water. You do not want it to be too soapy. If there are a lot of bubbles or suds, water it down a bit more.
Dip a microfiber cloth into the water and wring it out thoroughly. Then rub it over your carpet. You will be amazed by how much dirt is lifted off onto the cloth. Periodically, rinse the cloth out in a second bucket of plain warm water. As soon as the cloth starts to look grubby, change it for a new one.
Also, keep changing the detergent mix and the rinsing water. If you do not do this your cleaning efforts will not be effective.
This way of cleaning carpets is far more effective than using the kind of products that you shake over the carpet and vacuum out. If anything is spilled onto, or trodden into, the carpet, clean it up immediately.
For carpet stains, make up a spot-cleaning paste. You can do this by mixing equal parts of baking soda and vinegar together. Thin it out using water to form a thick liquid and rub it into the stain using a stiff brush or toothbrush.
Then, rub most of the moisture off using a cloth. Once it is completely dry thoroughly vacuum the area. Repeat, if necessary.
Dealing With Pet Hairs On Carpets
If you have pets, the best way to keep your carpets free of hairs is to vacuum regularly. Unfortunately, even if you do that, you will find that the hairs will gradually build up.
When that happens, take a dry squeegee and drag it across your carpets slowly to pull the hair out of them.
Or, if you prefer, rub your carpet in a circular motion while wearing a bone-dry rubber glove that has a knobbly surface.
Provided there are enough nodules on the gloves, the pet hair will be dragged free of your carpets.