Whether you have natural stone, wood, tile or even wax/no-wax vinyl floors, learning how to clean your floors is essential for their longevity. This article will address a few DIY cloor cleaning how tos so that you can do some of the important floor maintenance yourself and save your money for the bigger projects like stripping and waxing your floors or sealing your natural stone flooring. When preventative maintenance is done right, it will protect your flooring investement and save you money.
The first tip for floor cleaning: Sweep or vacuum thoroughly before you start the mopping process!
For everyday maintenance Bona products are currently the best recommended product for cleaning wood floors. For your everyday floor maintenance, the Bona Company sells a microfiber mop with cleaning solution adapters that are easy to use and simplify the cleaning process. Too much water is never a good idea for wood floors so always be sure to really wring out the microfiber mop pad when rinsing. If you would rather not purchase the Bona, most any neutral cleaner works great! Use a microfiber mop, rinse the pad in water and a little dish soap and/or peroxide as your neutral cleaner. Wring out well and then mop away!
If your wood floors are in need of polishing, Bona polish is really the best on the market that we have found, but we recommend hiring a professional for this. Ensuring that the floor is cleaned and prepped properly and that the polish is laid evenly is not easy to do. If you still want to tackle this project yourself, check out the Floor Cleaning ABCs blog for more information.
Vinyl Wax/No-wax floors
For daily maintenance, this type of floor is really easy to clean. Make sure your mop is clean and rinse often during the process. Always use neutral cleaners like a little dish soap and peroxide cleaner. Really give the floors a good scrub so you get rid of potential dirty buildup, rinse and mop a couple of times to really get them nice and clean! If your floors are looking dull and grungy, it likely is because you are using a product that is damaging the wax or you are not rinsing the mop or changing the water enough. Not rinsing the mop head enough results in just moving the dirt around and allows for layers of grime to build up over time. A time investment in cleaning the floor correctly will certainly save you money in the long run so really take the time to do this right.
Ceramic Tile Floors and Grout Cleaning:
Ceramic tile floors are easy to keep clean and the only real drawback is that the grout has a tendency to get dirty if not sealed and maintained properly so first off- make sure you get the grout sealed with a good sealer! Grout is porous, stains easily, gets very dirty very quickly and then will be difficult to clean. Conversely, sealed grout cleans up in a snap and tough stains won't penetrate as easily. Too clean: give tile floors good mopping, rinsing the mop often to keep clean. At least once per week use a deck brush and scrub all the grout joints with a peroxide cleaner and your floors will last a lifetime!
If you have inherited ceramic tile floors with dirty grout, try thoroughly soaking the grout with peroxide cleaner, agitating and scrubbing well with a deck brush, and then extracting the dirty water. If you don't have an extractor, use a clean mop, rinsed often, to soak up the dirty water. Now that it is clean, seal it with a high quality sealer!
Natural Stone Floors:
Natural stone floor cleaning maintenance can be challenging because if you use the wrong product, they are very easy to damage. For these floors, etching or the removal of the shine, takes seconds with a wine spill, the wrong cleaning solution used or a lingering spill of juice. If this happens, restoring the polish or removing deep stains will require a professional. For honed floors, though you don’t risk losing shine, they will stain easily if not sealed properly and most natural stone scratches very easily also. Initially, the most important thing for cleaning your natural stone floors is to make sure they are sealed by a professional with a high quality sealer- our stone division SB Stonemasters recommends Dry Treat which if applied by an accredited aplicator can come with a warranty of up to 15 years. For ongoing cleaning always clean up spills right away and use a microfiber mop and the recommended cleaner (most neutral cleaners such as a little dish soap and peroxide will be fine) and mop regularly. Again, it is important to rinse your mop often and change the water to ensure you are not spreading the dirt onto the floors.
Proper floor maintenance means not only do you protect your home's investment, but successive cleaning will be that much easier. Improper or infrequent cleaning of any of these types of floors means you will find yourself having to hire a professional floor cleaning service to restore the floors which could mean hundreds or thousands of dollars! If you are already in that boat...be sure to hire a company that has good recommendations, is honest and trustworthy and has the expertise in your flooring type. Be sure to check out our Floor Cleaning ABCs for more information on this topic.