Floor Cleaning Tips to create floors where you can eat off of!!

1. Welcome to our Floor Cleaning Tips Page.

The floor! This is another well traversed part of the house. In fact the floor is in every room of the house so you are always walking on it. It gets as dirty as the dirtiest room. It's just that you do not notice it as much until you look down.

There are different types of floors.

Wooden, tiled, carpetted, linoleum etc. It all depends on your personal choice and taste. Even though on some floors the dirt is not that noticeable (for instance a wooden floor) they all get dirty to a certain degree and therefore all floors must be cleaned and maintained like any other part of the house.

Below I will therefore give you tips on cleaning all the different types of floors. But first of all prepare for the type of floor you would like to clean.

2. Cleaning Hardwood Floors.

Dust mop hardwood floors weekly or clean even more frequently, if possible. As and when needed use a damp mop on the surface. On a monthly basis or as needed use a special wood floor cleaner diluted in water with a damp mop.

Every 5-10 Years or as necessary refinish the floors using a sander, sealer, and buffer if you have the expertise or have it professionally done.

Varnished or shellacked floors (1950’s an older) can be waxed with a buffer. Newer, urethane-finished floors might only need a bit of furniture oil to bring back shine.

Wood floors have come a long way since the days of labor-intensive waxing. Here therefore are some more tips on cleaning hardwood floors which will help to keep it in tip-top shape:

  • New urethane finishes require nothing more than sweeping, and manufacturers advise against using wax products. Simply sweep, vacuum, or dust-mop at least once a week to minimize damage caused by dirt, sand, and grit. (Dirt particles act like sandpaper, scratching and dulling wood floors.)

  • Place rugs or floor mats at entrances to trap dirt, and shake them out frequently.

  • Use a broom with fine, exposed ends to trap grit.

  • When vacuuming, use a brush attachment; beater bars can dent a floor's finish.

  • Wipe up spills and foot tracks as they happen. If your finish is in good shape, you can lightly damp-mop the floor using a neutral-pH wood cleaner or products recommended by the flooring manufacturer.

  • Urethane-finished floors in high-traffic areas may need to be recoated every 3 to 5 years. This involves cleaning and lightly abrading the old surface before applying fresh coats of urethane. Recoating should be done by a flooring professional.

  • Floors treated with a penetrating finish should be swept and kept clear of dirt, also. Tung oil may need to be reapplied every 5 to 10 years, or it can be applied just in high-traffic areas.

  • You can wax a floor treated with tung oil. If you do, though, never use water on it, and avoid spills; water will leave white spots. A waxed floor will need to be stripped and rewaxed once or twice a year.

  • Don't wear spiky high heels, golf shoes, or any other shoes with exposed nails or cleats. They will likely dent and damage the floor. Put felt contacts under furniture legs to prevent scratches. For the same reason, you might want to be extra-vigilant about trimming your dog's nails regularly.

3. Cleaning Laminate Floors (Pergo or other wood-look synthetic floors).

All you really need for cleaning are a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop and a damp towel for more difficult stains.

Dust mop or vacuum with a soft, bare floor attachment on a weekly basis. As and when needed use a damp mop. Microfiber pads are also quite effective and, if available, lets you avoid involving fluids. Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.

When damp mopping, avoiding standing fluids so you do not saturate the floor. Wipe immediately!

Monthly or when needed use a special laminate floor cleaner or a homemade solution by pouring 1/4 cup of vinegar into a 30 to 32 ounce empty spray bottle filled with plain water for a quick solution.

Other possible cleaning fluids that have been suggested include combining vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water (equal parts) i.e. - 1/3 white vinegar, 1/3 rubbing alcohol, 1/3 water, and 3 drops dishwashing liquid (1 quart total) - Swiffer WetJet wood floor cleaner or Windex.

Use when necessary a refurbishing polish product to bring back the original shine and appearance of an older floor. Most laminate flooring companies sell them.

Other Laminate Floor Cleaning Tips:

  • Be aware that large pieces of sand or rock can cause visible scratching. These are usually easy to catch by having floor mats and foot brushes at outside doorway entrances.

  • Don't ever apply wax, ammonia, vinyl or linoleum polishes, Lysol-type cleaners, anything containing bleach, abrasives or acrylic floor finishes.

  • Put easy-glide protective buttons on the feet of the furniture.

  • In case of more severe damage, which is unlikely to take place in most of the homes, a trained professional can be called to replace a plank. The new plank should be almost indistinguishable from the rest, if done properly.

  • Take common-sense precautions to protect your floor when working with sharp or heavy objects. For example, put down a thick tarpaulin or a carpet scrap to protect the laminate floor when installing a ceiling fan and using a drill; you can damage the floor by accidentally dropping it.

  • You can also get a little tool (touch up stick) that looks like a crayon to fill in scratches.

4. Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors.

Basically there are two basic types of ceramic tiles: Glazed and Unglazed.

Glazed tile is most often used on traditional walls, counter tops and floors. It has a tough, glasslike surface.

Unglazed tile is composed of natural clays, which are sometimes mixed with pigments. It can be used on floors, walls, counter tops. It may require more careful attention than glazed tile.

For glazed-tile floors, vacuum regularly to remove dirt and gritty particles. Follow with a mop or sponge dampened with an approved nonabrasive household cleaner. Clean unglazed-tile walls and floors in a similar manner. However, dampen mop or sponge with a solution of water and soap less detergent.

There are many excellent household cleaners on the market today. They should all do a good job for you, so use your favourite. Remember, read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommended usage. Good ones are Soft Scrub, Scrub Free and Ajax liquid.

Monthly or as necessary use your preferred general household cleaner (Lysol, etc.) diluted in water, paying special attention to grout.

Tile grout is the material used to fill the spaces between tiles. It gives the installation its finished look. It may present a special cleaning problem because it is susceptible to many staining agents.

It should be cleaned immediately if in contact with the following with the appropriate solutions:

  • Grease and fats - Soda and water or commercial spot lifter.

  • Inks and coloured dyes - Household bleach.

  • Mercurochrome - Ammonia.

  • Blood - Hydrogen peroxide or household bleach.

  • Coffee, tea, food, fruit, juices, lipstick - Neutral cleaner in hot water, followed by hydrogen peroxide or household bleach.

Apply silicon sealer several times a year for maximum protection.

If you break or damage a tile, it can be replaced. You can either tackle the project yourself by cutting away grout and re-grouting, or you can hire a professional (recommended).

If your grout is not sealed, you should seal it to reduce disintegration, discolouring, and possible mold in the grout.

Do's and Don't of Ceramic Tile Care:

  • Do not combine ammonia and household beaches.

  • Do not use harsh cleaning agents (such as steel wool pads), which can scratch or damage the surface of your tile.

  • Do not use a cleaning agent that contains colour on unglazed tile. It has a relatively porous body and may absorb the colour.

  • Do test scouring powders in a small area before using on tile.

  • Do use silicone sealer on grout joints if continuous staining is a problem.

  • Do read and follow label directions for all cleaners.

5. Cleaning Vinyl and Linoleum Floors.

Dust mop, sweep, or vacuum with a soft, bare floor attachment on a weekly basis. As necessary use a damp mop that you wring the water from twice.

Every month or when needed use a gentle household or cleaner specially designed for vinyl or linoleum floors. Dilute as much as possible (more than the label says) and wring out your mop twice before applying water to your floors.

As and when necessary during the life of the floor, Linoleum requires polishes or waxes that wears down over time. They will need to be stripped and reapplied. Vinyl flooring should not be waxed, but should be stripped and resealed when the sealant wears down.

Note: Never install linoleum or vinyl flooring over existing linoleum or vinyl flooring. Eventually, patterns will wear through the top floor.

If you experience a blister in your sheet flooring (a raised area) or the edges start coming up, they can easily be repaired, even by a beginner do-it-yourselfer.

6. Cleaning Carpets.

Not cleaning the carpet correctly, or even not cleaning it at all, will reduce its life expectancy significantly.

On a weekly basis vacuum thoroughly. Vacuuming removes dirt that dulls appearance. Select a vacuum with good suction and strong beater bars, which brush the carpet and loosen dirt.

Every 6-18 months, hire a professional steam cleaner to professionally vacuum and clean your carpets. Professionally cleaning a carpet on a regular basis will extend its life expectancy considerably, in addition to keeping it hygienic and looking good.

Professional cleaning methods include steam cleaning (known as hot water extraction), absorbent pad or bonnet cleaning, rotary shampoo, and dry foam powder.

Other Carpet Cleaning Tips for minimising wear and tear:

  • Food - Clean spills up immediately.

  • Furniture - Place glides under heavy furniture to combat crushing. Rotate furniture to give carpet a rest.

  • Sunlight - To prevent fading, avoid long hours of direct sunlight on carpet. Close blinds or shades periodically.Select a lighter coloured carpet in sun-drenched rooms to minimize fading.

  • Traffic - Change traffic patterns. Rotate furniture, so people have to alter their path through the room.

  • Outside Doors - Place doormats inside and outside of exterior doors to minimize tracking in dirt.

  • Rippling - High humidity and heat can cause wall-to-wall carpet to ripple. Call a professional to restretch it with a power stretcher.

  • Animals - Vacuum often and use deodorizer on previous "accident" sites. Some animals will have repeat "accidents" because they're drawn to the smell.

  • Cigarette and Other Burns - Snip off the damaged fibers. Blot with a soapless cleaner, like dry cleaning solvent ordenatured alcohol. Check first to make sure the cleaner doesn't discolour the carpet.

7. Updates are ongoing.

More information about Floor Cleaning Tips will be given as we develop this site further. Please bear with us as we gather the relevant information.

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