Keeping your floors clean is a constant process, and the steps involved are different depending on the material you have, and your goal. That is, whether you want to do a light clean, deep clean, or if you want to remove scratches. Let’s take a look at some popular flooring materials used today, and ways to clean them.
Luckily for homeowners, tile is quite easy to clean. The grout in tile, however, can be a dirt magnet. So here are some tips for getting tile all cleaned up.
- Daily – sweeping or mopping works excellently
- Stain removal – the key is to act fast and mop up the spill, and then use a detergent solution to clean the area
- Cleaning grout – we recommend vinegar and dish detergent. While vinegar works well for water stains and other hard stains that need to be dissolved, detergent is excellent for tackling grease and dirt.
- Stubborn areas – soak overnight by soaking a tissue in vinegar, and placing it over the area that needs to be cleaned. In the morning, you should be able to moisten and brush away the dirt. You can also apply a baking soda paste and spray some vinegar onto it. Let this sit for a couple hours, and then brush clean.
*Note: For grout cleaning vinegar and detergent work well, but if the tile is Natural Stone then the vinegar may etch the stone, so try not to use it with Natural Stone.
Cleaning Vinyl Plank
When it comes to cleaning vinyl flooring, remember that less is more. Sweeping and vacuuming are enough for day-to-day cleaning, and use a damp cloth to mop up stains. If you need to clean a particular spot for stains or grime, use a mild cleaner that’s designed for vinyl.
If you just can’t get a stain out, you can consider hiding it by placing a rug or table over it, or even replacing the stained planks. These are extreme measures, however, and you shouldn’t have to resort to either if you use the proper cleaning technique.
Cleaning Wood Floors
Wood floors look gorgeous, and add a lovely ambience to your home. Here’s how to clean your hardwood floors, so they look nice and shiny:
- Do some quick cleaning with a vacuum or dust mop every few days
- To remove grime, we recommend getting a wood cleaner. However, you can also use a vinegar solution (vinegar and water in a 10:1 ratio), with a few drops of detergent added in.
- Use a mop to deep-clean the floor. Dry the floor as you go (or mop on a dry, windy day and keep the windows open), because hardwood is susceptible to moisture damage. If you have textured hardwood, you need to be especially vigilant about drying the floors.
- Fix shallow scratches by rubbing a wax crayon on the scratch (choose a color that’s similar to your floor’s), then liquefying it with a blow dryer, and finally removing any excess with a soft rag or tissue.
Cleaning Other Floor Types – Cork, Stone, Laminate
Here are some tips for cleaning other flooring materials:
- Cork: Sweep or vacuum daily to get rid of dust, and mop the floors with water and vinegar once a week. For stubborn stains or dirt, use a cork-floor detergent, and follow the instructions on the label.
- Stone: Never use acid to clean stone, as it can stain the surface permanently. Instead, use soapy water to mop the floors.
- Laminate: Laminate needs to be protected from moisture, so never wet-mop your floors. Sweeping and vacuuming are sufficient, and for stubborn dirt you can use specially made laminate floor cleaners.
- Concrete: Sweep or mop for regular cleaning, and use soapy water for stain removal. If outdoors, the floor can be power-washed.
- Carpet: Vacuum regularly, and spot treat dirty or stained areas. Be gentle and patient.
Using sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning agents is very important, because cleaning is something you do on a daily basis. From disinfecting chopping boards to washing dishes to mopping floors – imagine the difference you’d make if you switched to an eco-friendly cleaning agent!
Vinegar is a great option in this regard. As you’ve seen above, it serves well as a cleaner. It’s a natural substance, it’s cheap, and if you don’t like its smell, you can give it a nice scent with the help of some kitchen scraps!
How To Make Scented Vinegar
- Clean and dry several glass jars
- Collect lemon and/or orange peels, mint leaves, and cloves. You can do this over several days.
- Put the peels and herbs into the glass jars until they’re approximately half full
- Heat some vinegar on the stove until it’s nearly boiling (don’t try to smell it!)
- Pour the hot vinegar into the glass jars, and close them
- Place the jars somewhere and leave them undisturbed for 24-48 hours. After that, open the lid and give the contents a stir.
- Your scented vinegar is now ready! Strain the peels and herbs out, and store the vinegar in a spray bottle or other container.
Builders Interiors is your go-to flooring store in Woodinville, WA. If you have any questions about your floors or need help with installation or repair, give us a call!