Basic Floor Cleaning Tips
Clean floors are the basis for a clean house.
Think about it: if your floors are dirty and dusty, and your family is walking all over the house, stirring it up and breathing it in - it’s not very healthy.
Especially if there is a person in the house that suffers from allergies – I don’t need to tell you how bad that is!
I walk around in my socks a lot so I like my floors clean. And because I don’t wear shoes very often in the house I want to make sure the floors are picked up. I don’t need to risk stubbing a toe or injury by tripping over something left lying around.
I also have a few different types of flooring in my home, which is quite standard in many new homes and for those who are remodeling their homes.
So I’ve learned a thing or two over the years, but maybe you’re still scratching your head trying to figure out where to start and what to use.
I can help you with the cleaning methods, what you use on one floor may ruin the flooring in another room.
Let’s go over the basics and some different ways of keeping your floors clean.
Keeping Your Floors Clean
It may seem kind of silly for some but we do this in my house.
Clean Your Shoes or Take Them Off
We actually keep our slippers in the garage and switch from shoes to slippers before coming inside the house.
At the very least, you should try and get everyone in the habit of knocking off or wiping excess dirt off before coming in the house.
You can also keep a shoe and boot scrubber by the most used doors to the house. Before you enter the house, all you have to do is put one foot at a time in to scrub off dirt and debris.
Most of the dirt and grime that ends up on the floor is trucked in from the bottom of your shoes. The more people that live in a home, the more dirt will get carried inside.
Use a Door Mat
Placing a welcome mat in front of every door (including the one coming in from the garage) will help keep the dirt to a minimum.
Dogs and Dirty Paws
If you have dogs that are in and out and sometimes with dirty feet, keep a towel or baby wipes by the doors you use to take them out.
Before the dogs come in wipe off their feet with one or the other.
Pick up After Yourselves
I’m speaking from experience with hardwood floors. If everyone does their part by picking up after themselves and putting things back where they belong – you can eliminate damage done to hardwood floors.
Once you get yourself and family members doing this, you’ll find after no time at all it becomes second nature.
Starting with the basics will help towards keeping the carpets looking their very best. To keep a carpet clean, you should vacuum at least once a week, more depending on the amount of traffic coming and going.
If vacuuming is not done on a regular basis and you continually walk on a dirty carpet, the bits of dirt, grime and whatnots will work down into the carpet pile. This makes it a little tougher for the vacuum to do its job and could damage the carpet.
Regular vacuuming will remove the surface dirt before it gets the chance to create a problem.
Vacuuming is easy and one the most effective ways of keeping your carpet clean – well that and a good vacuum.
For best results, start at the back of a room and work your way out, take your time and vacuum the area slowly with slightly overlapping the strokes.
Like cutting the grass – I will occasionally change the direction in which I typically vacuum, I do this to reduce the look of matting.
One other thing I have done is use a carpet rake before vacuuming. A carpet rake will loosen dirt, pet hair, and other debris.
Just be sure to use as instructed so you don’t damage the carpet fibers and make sure, prior to use, this is an acceptable method for the type of carpet you have.
No matter how diligent you are on vacuuming and the prevention of too much dirt getting in the house, you should periodically have your carpets cleaned.
Hard Floor Surfaces
Not only do we have carpets in our home, we also have a couple of different hard floor surfaces. Here are some of the things we do:
A Swiffer Sweeper can be used with wet or dry cloths and they are great to use on a daily basis for cleaning your hardwood floors.
These pull dirt and dust from the floors better than a broom and are quick to clean a room. Plus they don’t spread the dirt and leave a mist of dust behind.
My kids love using them. It’s actually fun for all of us to watch the dirt and dust just lift up off the floor onto the Swiffer cloths.
Hard Surface Floor Steamer
Periodically we use the hard surface floor steamer to sanitize and disinfect our floors without the use of chemicals.
They are pretty simple to use and can last years but there are some floors you should not use them on like unsealed wood floors.
If you’re in the market for one, make sure it is a recommended method from the manufacturer.
Cleaning Hard Surface Floors with Vinegar
As a universal cleaner, nothing beats plain white vinegar. There's hardly a surface you can't use it on. However, you do want to make sure you are using the proper dilution of vinegar to water to protect your flooring.
Some people don’t like the smell of vinegar and it does have a distinct odor, but the smell does not last long, it will quickly dissipate.
Even though white vinegar can be used to clean so many things, do not use it on marble or natural stone surfaces.
Glazed Ceramic Tile Flooring
For a glazed ceramic tile floor, you can use 1/ 2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon warm water and a sh-mop. No need to rinse.
After you apply the cleaning solution and sh-mop it, put a clean, dry microfiber pad on to dry the floor and make it shine.
Laminate and Linoleum
For laminate and linoleum flooring, use the same solution as the glazed ceramic tile.
Rinse using clean water and then run a dry mop over the floor.
For hardwood flooring, a vinegar-based solution does work, but you must take great care on two fronts.
First, make sure you use a much-more diluted solution than the other methods. Use only 1 tablespoon vinegar to an entire gallon of water.
Second, only use a damp mop to clean the floor. Standing water can ruin a floor, so again make sure the mop is only damp and completely wrung out before cleaning.
Thoroughly dry the floor when you're done.
Following these simple cleaning tips for your floors can keep them clean and looking great for a long time to come.