Depending on what kind of floors you have, your cleaning routine might be simple or complicated. The good news is that these days there are many products on the market that can take the chore out of keeping your floors clean. It’s all about knowing the tricks.
Hard floorsIf you have hard floors, you might know that you can simply mop them. Mopping is a good way to keep them clean, but even within the category of mopping you have several choices.
If you have real wood floors or laminate flooring, the first thing to consider is a lack of water. That is, the less water you use to clean your floors the better. Water can damage the floors, so that’s why using a mop and a bucket of water is no longer the best method for cleaning your hardwood or laminate floors.
These days, most experts will tell you that for regular cleaning, it’s best to keep cleaner in a squirt bottle and simply squirt the cleaner right onto the floor and then mop it up. Do this in small sections of floor so you don’t let the cleaner sit on any one part of the floor for very long.
If you have hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to polish them on a seasonal or bi-annual basis.
To keep floors looking nice, use the right cleaner for your floor type (check with the manufacturer of your floor to see what the recommendations are), avoid wearing high-heeled or heavy-soled shoes on the floors and vacuum or sweep them regularly to keep things from being ground into the floor.
Tile floorsMany people choose tile floors because they are easy to care for and excellent for people with allergies or for those who live in a very warm climate.
While they are easy to care for, there are still some solid tips you should take into consideration when cleaning your tile floors.
First, just sweeping or vacuuming the floor is fine when you do your speed clean session. Unless you have a spill, or something you can see that needs additional cleaning care, the floors are best suited by a light touch, or just the vacuum or sweeping.
But, you will need to give the floors are more thorough clean every now and then. When it’s time to do that, here is how they should be cleaned:
Sweep or vacuum first to get up dust, dirt and any debris. As with wood floors, work in small sections so you don’t over-wet any one area of the floor. Use your choice of cleaning product: You can use a product designed for tile floors, or a solution made from ¼ cup vinegar and 2 gallons of water, or you can use an all-purpose household cleaner. Spray a small amount of cleaner on the floors and clean them, making sure you get up as much water as possible. You can dry the floors on your hands and knees with a towel, use a wet mop to dry them or let them dry naturally.
Other floorsYou might have concrete or slate floors, travertine or marble. We have given suggestions for the most common hard floors, but if you have something else, consult with the manufacturer or your flooring (or the artisan who installed it for you) and get specific recommendations on how to clean the floors.
Many people view carpeting as the most desirable of flooring types. Some will choose to have hard floors in the main living area of their house, but install carpet in the bedrooms and hallways. Though certain styles come and go, carpet itself is always a popular choice.
Cleaning carpetOne of the best things you can do to keep your carpet looking nice is to keep it vacuumed. Much depends on the thickness of your carpet, but any carpet will trap and hold dust, debris and pet hair. If you vacuum regularly, you can pull that out of the fibers of the carpet, helping it stay looking nice longer.
Some people think they will damage the carpet in their home if they vacuum too much, but most carpet manufacturers will tell you that vacuuming often is good for the carpet. It keeps the fibers clean and forces the fibers to move back and forth with the vacuum and this keeps them pliable and soft.
Beyond regular vacuuming, you should shampoo your carpets on a regular basis. Most experts will recommend having a professional cleaning every six months, but if that’s not viable for any number of reasons, you can buy a steamer and steam your carpets yourself every few months. You can then reduce the frequency of professional cleanings to once a year.