You want to get your floor as clean as possible while also avoiding anything that could possibly scratch, warp, stain, or otherwise damage it. This can be difficult to navigate, especially when you have different surfaces in your home. This guide will provide total cleaning solutions for any floor surface that will help you understand how to clean the particular flooring in your home.
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How to Clean Hardwood
In order to determine how to clean your hardwood floors, the first thing you need to know is the type of finish. The finish acts as a protective layer between you and the hardwood, and it is the surface you are actually cleaning. (Keep in mind that it is very uncommon to find flooring made of unfinished wood.)
Surface-sealed floors using substances such as polyurethane are relatively easy to clean. Sweep to clean up the dust, and mop with soapy water to finish cleaning. Avoid ammonia cleaners which can be damaging, but some of Aqua Air’s ammonia free cleaning solutions are great to use and can be used on multiple surfaces.
Ryan, cleaning expert from Tidy Casa in Phoenix Arizona, suggests using “a simple microfiber mop with a very small amount of water. This will be enough to pick up dirt and most messes you’ll get on a wood floor. If you’re looking for more of a good shine you can add a little Murphy’s Oil to the mop water. This works especially well on real wood floors. The biggest piece of advice I’d give here is to keep it simple. Don’t over think it and avoid Bona floor cleaner. It takes 3 times as long to clean with, and shine effects it gives don’t last more than a day and it’s expensive to boot.”
Wood flooring treated with an oil finish should be treated with a wax and can be swept and vacuumed but not mopped.
Lacquered and varnished floors are similar to oil-finished flooring in that mopping should be avoided and they should be treated with a wax finish. However, they are less resistant to spills and moisture than the other surfaces and extra caution should be exercised around them. The dry vacuum system can help with keeping your floors clean and easy to use.
How to Clean Tile Floors
Tile floors should be swept daily, if possible, and mopped weekly. While tile is relatively easy to keep clean, the thing you have to look out for is keeping the grout between the tiles clean. A microfiber mop is preferable to a traditional mop and bucket because the traditional method can cause dirty mop water to seep into and discolor gout. Use a mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner. With having to sweep and mop a wet-dry vacuum would be great for tile flooring.
To clean a persistent grout stain, apply a baking soda and water mixture overnight. When you have a stain on the tile itself, wash the stain with hot water and detergent. If the stain persists, try blotting it with hydrogen peroxide.
How to Clean Carpet
It seems everyone knows how to clean carpet on a regular basis: Vacuum at least once a week (ideally two or three times) and clean with a steam cleaner at regular, less frequent intervals. Josh Matteson from Lula Home Services advises that “it’s better to thoroughly vacuum once or twice a week than it is to quickly vacuum four or five times a week. Vacuuming slowly and switching directions will help be sure you get the most out of a vacuum session. Going too quickly can result in stirring up the dust and allergens on your carpet into the air.”
When it comes to a deeper clean than regular vacuuming, Aqua Air cleaners are a great solution if you want a cleaning method that is a little stronger than a simple vacuum but less expensive and intrusive than a carpet steamer. If you need your carpet to be extremely clean, consider hiring a professional to do a deep clean.
The most difficult part of cleaning carpet is stain removal. When something stains your carpet, the most important thing is to act quickly. Absorb as much of the spill or stain as possible with a dry cloth. Then blot with water. If you are unable to remove the stain by blotting with water, first try a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. If this still fails to get out the stain, move on to a commercial carpet cleaning solution. Remember to always test new substances on a hidden piece of carpet to ensure they will not discolor your carpet.
How to Clean Laminate Wood
Laminate wood flooring is great not only because it looks good and lasts a long time, but it is also known for being easy to clean. To clean laminate wood flooring, you have to avoid scratching the surface and warping it with excessive moisture. Avoid using a hard bristle broom for regular cleaning. Over time this can scuff your laminate wood floor. Vacuums with rotating brushes should be avoided for the same reason. Dry vacuum systems are a great solution for this since they are durable and don’t have the rough bristles.
In order to avoid moisture damage, stay away from any cleaning process that will cause pooling or excessive wetness. This includes very wet mops or pouring liquid or cleaning agents directly onto the flooring.
For regular cleaning, use a microfiber or dry dust mop. If you really want to make it shine, try using a microfiber cleaning cloth to buff it. For occasional wet cleaning, try using a mop, lightly dampened with a vinegar or ammonia-based solution, or use an residential central vacuum system for a solution that will use moisture to clean, but also immediately dry the flooring in order to avoid warping.
How to Clean Vinyl
Vinyl should be kept clean with regular sweeping. Using a microfiber or dust mop is also a good way to pick up loose dirt and dust. Vinyl scratches relatively easily, so you will want to avoid any kind of abrasive cleaners like brushes. The wet-dry vacuum would also be a great tool for vinyl flooring since its powerful but still not causing damage to your flooring.
When mopping, make sure to use the right kind of soap. It is always good to find a cleaner made specifically for your type of vinyl, but if this is impractical, opt for a gentle soap and steer clear of ammonia. Vinegar is good for spot cleaning, and if you have any scuffs try putting WD-40 on a soft cloth and rubbing it away. Above all, avoid steam when cleaning vinyl floors as this will warp your flooring in no time. Look at Aqua Air’s variety of cleaning solutions that could help with stain removal or other spots on your flooring.
How to Clean Linoleum
Linoleum is not naturally as durable and long-lasting as some other materials, so it’s important to clean with a little extra caution. When cleaning your linoleum floor, start by vacuuming or sweeping loose debris. Mop your linoleum floor with a mixture of hot water and a few drops of normal dish soap. Before using it, wring out your mop until it is mostly dry—standing water can warp your flooring. Follow this with another round of mopping, this time using nothing but warm water, in order to remove any soapy residue. If there is any leftover moisture on the floor, dry it with cloths or old towels. Another process is to use a wet-dry vacuum system which makes cleaning your floor a one-step process and less time-consuming.
When your are spot cleaning linoleum, use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. For particularly difficult stains, consider using the above approach with a scrub brush or some of Aqua Air’s cleaning products.
How to Clean Painted Concrete
Painted concrete floors are easy to clean because of how even and uniform the surface is. The first step to cleaning a concrete floor is always to sweep. It’s a good idea to go over the area with a dust mop afterward to collect any last particles of dust you may have missed. Follow this up with a wet mop. With painted concrete, you should always use a mild detergent. Avoid ammonia and vinegar solutions, which can be damaging to the finish of painted concrete.
Painted concrete is very resistant to staining. However, if allowed left to sit for long enough, some substances can leave a stain. Almost all of these should be able to be cleaned up with water and some pressure. Try scrubbing with a rag, or if all else fails, use a power washer on a low setting. If for some reason water isn’t resolving your stain try one of Aqua Air’s cleaning solutions.
How to Clean Laminate
Laminate flooring may seem sturdy, but there are a number of factors to consider when deciding how to clean your laminate floor. Try to avoid scuffing by staying away from hard bristle brooms. In order to avoid warping, don’t spray any cleaners directly on to the laminate and instead spray a cloth and wipe. You should avoid using a wet mop for the same reason.
The best routine for a laminate floor is regular vacuuming with a soft-brush vacuum. Aqua Air offers a variety of dry vacuum systems depending on your needs. For a deeper clean, use a mop that is slightly damp with a mild detergent. Remember to dry the surface as soon as possible—you don’t want to leave laminate damp for an extended period of time.