Our flooring easily suffers the most battering when it comes to general wear and tear in the home. But many people aren't aware of just how to properly clean and care for their floors. It's easy enough when you have ordinary carpet. All you need to do is pull out the vacuum cleaner for everyday purposes, then give it a steam clean once a year. But what if you have wooden floors, tiles, concrete and stone floors? It's very easy to damage your precious floors with harsh chemicals or the wrong cleaning materials. So here at homify, we thought it would be handy to cover the essentials of how to clean your floors. Here are some cleaning tips for 5 common floors…
The tricky thing with tiles is that a sponge mop can easily put dirty water into the grout and actually make your floors look dirtier. So use a rag or chamois and change the water frequently. A mild detergent or warm water and vinegar is usually all you need in terms of products. For the grouting, avoid harsh and unhealthy chemical solutions. Just make a mixture of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Apply it to the grouting and leave overnight. Then scrub in the morning with liberal amounts of hot water.
avoid: using a sponge mop.
The hardwood floors in this living room from Singaporean architects eightytwo, have incredible warmth. But floors like this can be hard to maintain. The varnish can easily wear over time and the rich gloss will quickly fade. To start, dry mop or vacuum the floor with a brush attachment (be careful to avoid vacuum accessories that will leave scratch marks). Then mop the floor by following the grain and make sure that no standing puddles are left to sit. If you have polyurethaned floors, use a little dishwashing liquid. Then clean the floor again with a clean, damp mop. Finish by buffing the floor to a shine. Floor wax will help keep your floor to a high gloss as well.
For deep cleaning, use a dedicated hardwood cleaning product and use it sparsely according to the instructions. Finish with a clean mop and buff as before.
avoid: harsh solutions.
Natural stone floors are increasingly popular in bathrooms. But the variety of stone floors used in common floors vary widely. Each type of natural stone has its own needs, so it's always good to consult with a professional. But in general, it's often good to clean with a diluted mixture of stone soap and water.
avoid: vinegar and acidic substances
Laminate floors are the easiest to clean. But they can easily be damaged. Particles of dirt will scratch the floor if it's not cleaned regularly and water can easily warp the boards. So it's important to mop up any spills immediately and get into the habits of regular sweeping with a microfibre mop. Don't use a standard floor brush because it will scratch. Sweep in the direction of the flooring planks to avoid pushing particles between the edges.
For deeper cleaning, use a small amount of warm water and a mild cleaner. Harsh cleaning products can easily damage the surface, so apply the cleaner to your mop or dishrag first then use this to clean the floor. Don't put it directly on the floor. A tiny bit of vinegar can also used but it should never be used in its pure form because the acid will eat away at the laminate. It's also perfectly fine to just clean with water - as long as it's warm. Make sure the mop is only mildly damp, clean and dry it again afterwards.
avoid: leaving water spills to sit
Concrete flooring is hard wearing and long lasting. It does however require some standard maintenance. Vacuum regularly to avoid a build up of dust and then clean with a mixture of mild detergent or floor cleaner. If the concrete floor is polished, you'll need to polish it up again with a microfibre cloth as well. Avoid any solutions with a strong acidic element. They will wear down the surface and create porous holes that will leave the surface vulnerable to further damage.
avoid: acidic washes
Did you know that harsh cleaning products are one of the prime causes of childhood asthma? For more natural alternatives, check out this Ideabook… 9 natural ways to clean your home.