Maybe it’s finally spring and it’s time to get everything cleaned up or perhaps you are just fed up with having dull and listless looking flooring, but whatever it is, you can brighten up every type of floor with just a few quick and easy steps.
Heart your hardwoods
While deceptively easy to keep clean, hardwoods need tender loving care to stay in great shape. Cleaning tips for hardwoods abound, but most boil down to some simple ways to keep the luster.
- Keep it simple: Most hardwoods can be kept very clean with just sweeping, dusting, and mopping with warm water. Make sure you use a damp and not sopping wet mop as excess water can warp the floor over time. If there is any excess water, wipe over it with a dust mop or microfiber cloth.
- Add some shine: Adding vinegar or light soaps like Bona to a water treatment can work well for some floors, but make sure you test on an out of the way place before you use it liberally, just in case it has the opposite effect that you intend on your floor.
Brighten Up Your Carpet
Carpeting is notoriously the flooring choice that’s most difficult to keep clean. Over time it picks up grime, allergens and stains. So, giving it a deep cleaning every few months is a good way to maintain it.
- Vacuum away: Use a vacuum with a quality filter (and make sure you keep that filter clean) when cleaning your carpet.
- Steam clean or professionally clean your carpet annually.
- Spot cleaning: There are many ways to approach stains in carpeting, based on what the culprit is. Most stains react well to a quick scrubbing with warm water, baking soda and dish soap. After lightly sprinkling the stain with baking soda, add 1 tablespoon of dish soap for every 6-8 inches of carpeting you need to clean. Apply a rag and scrub softly until you see bubbles. Then using a brush or towel dipped in warm water, start to scrub more substantially. The carpet should be damp, but not soaked. After this method is used, wait for the spot to dry and then try vacuuming one more time.
Ceramic or porcelain tile is generally pretty simple to maintain. Again, a damp mop and a dry towel is usually all you need. With tile, like with hardwood, it’s usually about what you should not do.
- Do not use detergent or soap on tile as it can lose its luster that way.
- Do not use steam mops as tile can be damaged by high temperatures.
- Do not let furniture rest directly on tile, always use protective padding.
- Do not let grime or mold build up in the grout between tiles. If you see staining, it may be time for regrouting.
While laminate is easy to maintain, it requires regular care in order to look its best.
- Avoid harsh cleansers and do not use soap on your laminate floor.
- If you vacuum laminate, get a gentle vac that does not use a beater bar as this can scratch the surface.
- Never polish, buff, or wax laminate as it can damage it.
- Never use a steam mop on laminate as it can be ruined by high temperatures.
- Again, use a damp but not saturated mop, excessive water can lead to warping.
Whatever flooring surface you desire to keep clean, there is a common theme. Be gentle with your floors and they will retain the shine you want. Using harsh chemicals, excessive water, or high temperature solutions will often do more harm than good. Stick to the simple, tried and true cleaning methods and you can’t go wrong.
BONUS TIP – Prevent Scratches in your Hardwood Floors
This is a helpful post from my friend Debbie Garner over at The Flooring Gal. She’s got some terrific tips on how to prevent scratches in your hardwood floors.
Guest post by:
Content and PR Manager Your Best Digs
Sarah’s a writer who’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help consumers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting new stamps in her passport.
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