Floors can be made from many different materials, and all need specific cleaning methods and products. Read on how to clean your floor here!
Caring for Hardwood Floors
How to Clean Laminate Floors
You may also be wondering about how to clean laminate floors. Laminate is a synthetic tile often used to simulate stone, wood or other natural materials. Laminate floors are often made of durable synthetic materials that are easy to care for. You can clean laminate floor with traditional tile cleaner, but it is important to keep laminate floor fairly dry, as too much water will cause the tiles to warp or swell.
1. Get on a Schedule
In order to keep hardwood floors looking their best, the following cleaning and maintenance schedule is recommended.
- Daily: Sweep up dirt and wipe up spills.
- Weekly: Clean using a product approved for your specific hardwood floor.
- Use the Right Cleaner
- Hardwood Flooring Care
Whenever possible, get cleaner recommendations and care instructions from your flooring retailer or manufacturer. Some manufacturers even produce their own brand of floor cleaner. For example, Shaw Floors makes an R2X Hard Surfaces Flooring Cleaner that removes dirt, grease and other signs of daily wear from hardwood floors.
When selecting a cleaning product, avoid using the following materials to clean your hardwood floors:
- Water: Surprisingly, you shouldn’t clean your hardwood floors with water. Water and wood don’t mix, because moisture can damage wood over the longer term.
- Silicone, ammonia or undiluted vinegar: These products can damage your floor’s finish.
- Products that contain oil soaps, liquid or paste wax: These cleaners leave a residue on your hardwood.
- Products that contain citrus, lemon or tung oil: These products can eat away at the floor’s finish.
Use the cleaner at least once a week after you’ve swept up loose dirt. Be sure to spray on the cleaner evenly and never pour it directly on the floor. Use a mop with a terry cloth or micro-fiber pad. Again, read the label of any new product carefully before using it on your floor.
2. Use the Right Tools
Sweep your floors regularly to keep dirt from building up and causing scratches. Use a broom with polypropylene or acrylic bristles. You can also vacuum with a bare-floor attachment with a brush or felt-type head
- Some experts say vacuuming picks up the most debris, but the choice of tool is really a matter of personal preference. Make sure the wheels of a vacuum or other tool are free of debris or sharp edges. Soft cloths are perfect for picking up spills. Clean up sticky substances with a damp cloth and be sure to dry the area immediately.
- Never use a steam cleaner on hardwood; it can warp the floorboards. Hard-bristled brooms scratch hardwood, and vacuums with rotating brushes can make dents in the floor.
3. Prevent Damage
Some manufacturers offer hardwood flooring that is resistant to scratches and other imperfections. Shaw Floors offers ScufResist Platinum, a hardwood floor finish that resists scuffs six-times better than the competition. However, hardwood floors are susceptible to damage, and prevention helps protect them. Put rugs in high-traffic areas, use entry mats at doorways to reduce wear and place felt pads on the feet of furniture to minimize scrapes and gouges. Placing entry mats at doorways is one of the most important things you can do to protect your floors. Blinds or curtains prevent the sun from bleaching out areas of your floor. If you have a dog, keep its nails trimmed, so they don’t scratch up the floor. If you have indoor-outdoor pets, keep their paws free of dirt, gravel, grease and oil.
How to Clean Granite Floors
Granite lends itself to a more sophisticated look, but it can be easily scratched if not properly cared for:
• Consider investing in special granite cleaner, as traditional household cleaners may leave your granite tiles spotty or streaked.
• Apply your granite cleaner (found at your local hardware store) to the tiles and use a cloth to wipe away the moisture, using in a circular motion.
• Never use a rough cloth on granite floors, as this will leave scratches.
• Consider applying a sealer to prevent future stains and blemishes.
How to Clean Terracotta Floors
Terracotta is an ideal floor choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms that get a lot of footfall. Though terracotta does not show spills easily, it can collect a lot of dirt. Clean terracotta floors by:
• First sweeping away any dust and debris.
• Then mop the floors with a terracotta floor cleaner (found at your local hardware store).
• Mop in an up- and downward motion, in order to remove any dust or dirt stuck in the tile.
• For particularly stubborn dirt stains, use a scrubbing brush in a circular motion.