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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5 Tips on How to Make Cleaning Fun & Easy
Cleaning is not always an easy task, and it certainly is not always fun. Sometimes even a glimpse at the daunting task of cleaning the whole house can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and may prompt you to put it off “just one more week”. However, with school year finally coming to a close, now is a great time to get things de-cluttered (with the kids help) and well-organized so summer can feel like a breeze.
How to Make Cleaning Fun and Get it Done!
Who could not use a hand with cleaning? Between the kids, toys, old paperwork, dust that has accumulated, and old clothes that are taking up space, many do not even know where to begin.
Below are 5 tips on how to make cleaning fun and easy:
1. Play Music
Make a fun, upbeat playlist of music that gets you moving or find one on most popular music streaming channels. Research has shown that music serves as a “good distraction”, one that deters your attention away from the specific task you're doing and makes you less aware of physical exertion. This, in turn, allows you to keep the energy up to get your house clean! Have the whole family join in by playing something up-beat that everyone can sing along and dance to while they clean.
2. Turn It Into a Workout
Who said cleaning had to just benefit the house? Cleaning is a great opportunity to get a workout in! Turn it into a workout by using a pedometer or smart watch to keep track of your movements. You can also burn extra calories by using some ankle weights or a weighted vest. Make sure to wear comfortable, loose clothing, and crank up the music!
Not sure what to tackle first?
Here are some calorie references for various tasks around the house:
If you have an hour:
Mopping— 168 calories
Dusting— 174 calories
If you only have 30 minutes:
Cleaning the bathroom —200 calories
Mowing the lawn — 185 calories
Loading the dishwasher — 105 calories
Each task adds up, so when you’re done — reward yourself!
3. Prep for Pauses
Always remember to take breaks every 30 minutes or so during vigorous cleaning. The goal is to clean the house, but you also want to keep it fun for the family. Having healthy, energizing snacks, and cold water are great options to restore your energy during breaks.
4. Make It a Game
What better way to keep the family motivated than with a game? Try keeping a chart where each task is assigned a certain number of points. The winner gets a prize! This cleaning tip can also be a great motivator for those not-so-fun tasks, such as cleaning the bathroom or clearing the gutters, and can help keep even the adults motivated.
5. Get Good Gear
Nothing beats coming home to a clean house, and investing in good quality cleaning products can help make your home look and smell wonderful. Ensuring that the cleaning products and tools you use are safe around your children and pets is also important to keeping a clean, happy, and healthy home.
Some of our favorite natural brands include:
Now that you know how to make cleaning fun for the whole family, go ahead and get started! It will be a fun experience, and you will find that your cleaning has never been easier. If you find you need to make some repairs along the way, click here to find some easy home care guides!
Contributed to Your Home blog by Joshlin Grayson
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