- Tim McGrath
Clean Your Floors!
Today is National Clean Your Floors Day and we wanted to take some time to go over proper cleaning techniques for different types of flooring.
Use a damp, flat mop, microfiber pad, or microfiber mop. A high quality cleaning agent is crucial to maintain the finish on your floors while also giving a deep clean. We recommend a cleaner made by the manufacturer of you floor, such as the hard surface cleaner from Shaw Floors. Bona is also a highly rated and moderately priced good choice. Opt for their Hardwood Floor Cleaner, which is water-based and contains biodegradable ingredients. Get a good amount of spray on the floor and wipe it away with your mop. If streaks appear after drying, this is a sign that dirt still remains and you will have to go over it. Check your mop to make sure the soil level is still under control. If it picked up too much dirt, you will need to replace the head before cleaning again. Does the surface feel sticky after drying? You may have used too much cleaner. Go over the floor again with a clean mop head and warm water.
Some people like to use diluted vinegar to clean their hardwood. While this is an acceptable choice, we do not recommend it. Because vinegar is an acid, it will break down the coating on your floor over time. To get the vinegar to a pH level that a floor can withstand, so much water must be added that you may as well just wash your floors with water. Obviously this just spreads dirt around and is not an effective way to clean. Stick with a cleaner specially formulated for hardwood!
Vinyl Flooring (LVT/LVP)
Just like with hardwood floors, we recommend a cleaner that is formulated specifically for the material. Rejuvenate's luxury vinyl cleaner is a great choice. If you want to opt for a more natural solution, diluted vinegar is acceptable. We recommend 1 part vinegar (white or apple cider is fine) to 2 parts water. Although vinyl does have a "coating", it is not as fragile as the coating on hardwood. Thus, vinegar can be used if a homeowner wants to clean with a natural product.
Most of the time, vacuuming is good enough to clean carpet. However, there's a different protocol with stains. Cleaning carpet can be tough, especially if you do not have a stain-resistant carpet. In most cases, baking soda and vinegar will do the trick, but in the case of a stubborn stain, visit This Old House's guide to removing common stains. In a worst-case scenario, the stained section of carpet can be cut out and replaced.
As with anything, cleaning goes a long way in terms of durability. We recommend sweeping or vacuuming floors daily and doing a deeper clean once a week. The best way to extend the life of your floor is to proactively prevent damage by cleaning. Acting quickly helps, too. Stains are less likely to set in if you get to them right away vs. waiting until cleaning day. We hope these tips help and inspire you to maintain your floors on a daily basis. Happy cleaning!