From a deep clean to your weekly spot clean, these are some of the best tips for cleaning each type of flooring.
Hardwood floors have a reputation for being difficult to maintain. Though cleaning hardwood may have a few extra steps compared to tile or vinyl, hardwood is straightforward. Before any mopping, be sure to sweep your floors to collect any dirt or debris. You can also use a vacuum but be careful when using vacuums with a beater bar. The bristles on this brush can scratch your floors and damage the finish. And, be sure you aren’t using the same broom you use for any kind of outdoor sweeping. Softer bristles or a dust mop are your best bet.
You do not want to use water or steam to clean your hardwood floors. Many people use too much water when mopping their hardwood floors, thinking the hardwood’s finish will protect it from being damaged by the water. However, it’s the joints between the planks of hardwood that are affected by mopping with too much water. Using a slightly damp mop or dry mopping is the best way to clean your hardwood floor. Also, be careful not to soak one area of your floor with cleaner. You want to be sure you lightly spray your floor with cleaner to prevent excessive moisture.
When choosing a cleaner, most manufacturers have suggested cleaners for their hardwood products. Be sure to steer clear of detergent-based cleaners. Cleaners that have detergents in them can leave streaking or cause your floor to look cloudy.
Laminate floors are easy to maintain and durable, but you have probably been cleaning them wrong. Just like hardwood, you do not want to use water when mopping laminate floors. The top of the plank is water-resistant, but the core of the plank is not. Water can make its way between the planks’ seams and soak into the wood core and ruin your floor. Use a dry mop or lightly dampened mop to clean these floors. Avoid acidic and abrasive cleaners here, too. It’s best to read the manufacturer’s care tips to avoid ruining your floors.
Have something sticky stuck to your laminate floor? Here’s a tip! Use ice to harden the wax, gum, or sticky substance and then take a knife or credit card and gently scrape it off or your floor. Avoid using scouring pads or any harsh brush that may damage the floor’s protective layer or spread the mess around even more.
Cleaning carpet involves spot cleaning, vacuuming, and deep cleaning. To spot clean a spill on carpet, be sure to blot the spilled liquid. Do not scrub or agitate the carpet, as you could be spreading the mess around even more. And, be sure to blot from the outside in. Using hot water to clean is effective, but if the stain is stubborn, use detergent sparingly. If the spot doesn’t come out after that, you can saturate it with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for an hour before blotting with a dry, white cloth.
Vacuuming is an easy, weekly task you can do to keep your carpet looking new. However, using the wrong vacuum can damage your carpet and cause the fibers to fray and lose their softness. A vacuum with large wheels, great suction, and adjustable height is your best bet. Using a beater brush or bar works for some carpets if it does not rotate too deep in the carpet. The bristles are designed to loosen dirt and debris stuck deep in the carpet fibers. Still, they should only be used with certain carpets. Premium soft carpets will last longer if you use a vacuum like Soniclean’s KSC-7500. This vacuum was made for soft carpets and instead of a beater bar that could fray and damage the fibers, it uses vibration and excellent suction to free dirt and particles from deep in your carpet.
Deep cleaning your carpet should be done once a year. Hiring a professional is always the best bet as they know how to work with specific carpet types and have the best equipment for carpet cleaning. Most professionals use a method called hot water extraction, which is also known as steam cleaning. Without the use of cleaning detergents, there is no residue left behind after this process. Hot water is flushed into your carpet and then suctioned back up, bringing along any dirt or particles with it. Always check your carpet’s warranty and care tips to make sure you aren’t doing anything to void your warranty.
Vinyl, like tile, is another low maintenance and easy to care for floor. A regular sweep to remove dust and debris from your floor will do the trick to make your floors look new again. Cleaning up spills is easy, too, as vinyl is a water-resistant product. Just be sure to clean spills promptly, so water doesn’t make its way to the core of the product or subfloor. An all-purpose cleaner works just fine but avoid detergent based cleaners and abrasive ingredients that could damage the plank’s finish.