Cleaning Floors Dos and Don’ts: How to Clean Any Type of Floor

High quality flooring from top manufacturers like Shaw and Mohawk are more rugged, durable and affordable than ever. However, even the best materials require special cleaning care. Various natural and synthetic materials will respond differently to moisture and cleaners. With that in mind, we have put together a handy reference guide with everything you need to know about cleaning your floors so that they can continue to look great for years to come.


How to Clean Wood Floors

Not only are solid wood floors a beautiful addition to any home, they are also incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Natural wood provides a rich, warm and welcoming feel and doesn’t accumulate excessive dirt and dust, but there are still things to keep in mind to keep your wooden floors in tip-top shape. For example:


  • Wash or wet mop. While your floors are probably covered in water-damage resistant sealant, there is no reason to overdo it with too much water and unnecessarily expose your floors to moisture.


  • Dust the floors with a microfiber cloth mop. This will pick up any dirt and dust so that you don’t end up just pushing around the dirt when you damp mop.

  • Use a water-based cleaner that is approved for wood floors and damp mop the area. Remember to thoroughly wring out the mop before you begin. This will not only limit the amount of water on the floor, but also speed up dry times.


How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate floors create the look and feel of solid wood at a more affordable price. It is the perfect choice for the budget conscious homeowner who doesn’t want to compromise on looks and durability. But even this durable flooring has some do's and don’ts when it comes to cleaning.


  • Use abrasive cleaners, paste was or solvent-based polishes. When it comes to laminate floors, simple is better.


  • Begin by sweeping or vacuuming up any loose, surface dirt. If you use a vacuum, use the available attachments and avoid placing the spinning brush on the floor. Once the majority of the dirt has been removed, you can safely mop the floor with a mild cleaner.

  • When shopping for the right cleaner, look for products that are made for laminate floors and avoid anything that contains ammonia or chlorine.

Bonus Tip: For the spot treatment of tough stains caused by markers, tar or paint, use acetone, otherwise known as nail polish remover, and a clean white cloth to remove. Be sure to wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining acetone.


How to Clean Linoleum Floors

Linoleum floors provide an extremely durable and affordable option for more utilitarian spaces. This material is highly resistant to water, making it perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Consider some easy steps to keep these floors looking like new.


  • Use any abrasive cleaners. Linoleum is designed to be a tough, durable and low-maintenance material, but mild household cleaners are more than enough to remove stubborn dirt.


  • First, remove any loose dirt with a broom or vacuum.

  • Next, add 6-8 drops of cleaner to a bucket of hot water.

  • Be sure to thoroughly wring out the mop before mopping. You don’t want to leave excessive standing water on the floor.

  • Once you have mopped the floor, empty and refill the bucket with just hot water and repeat the process. This will remove any residual soap and leave a clean final product.

With linoleum, it is also a good idea to wax the surface every 2-6 months to bring back that shiny appearance.


How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors

Ceramic tiles come in a virtually limitless number of colors, shapes and styles to help create a unique look that is also durable and long-lasting. Try the below to keep your floors beautiful for longer.


  • Use cleaners that contain acids or ammonia.

  • It is also a good idea to avoid using sponge mops and opt for rag or cloth style mops instead. Sponge mops tend to push the dirt around rather than picking it up off the surface.


  • Again, begin by removing any dirt by vacuuming or sweeping the surface.

  • Mix 6-8 drops of a mild, liquid detergent into a bucket of hot water and thoroughly mop the floor. Continue to rinse out the mop in the water as needed and replace the water if it becomes too dirty.

  • It is also a good idea to finish the process by going back over the grout lines with a clean, dry cloth to soak up any water.


When it comes to cleaning floors, hot water and a mild soap are usually the way to go. Don’t worry about using strong, chemical cleaners. In most cases, if you simply remove loose dirt and avoid leaving standing water on the surface, you will be in good shape. It is also a good idea to keep this handy guide on how to clean floors close by in case you have any questions. 



Contributed to Your Home blog by Amy Blitchok

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Published 6.8.18

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