It’s never too early to start thinking about spring cleaning, especially during the winter weather when everyone is tracking dirt, mud, wet leaves, and maybe even snow onto your floors. Before spring hits, let’s discuss what you’ll need to clean your floors and keep them clean all year.
Cleaning Tile Floors
Tile floors can be easy or difficult to keep clean, depending on the type of tile you have. Hard surfaces are easy to wipe down, but grout stains are harder to clean. Let’s take a look at a few methods you can use to deep clean your tile floors.
Before you try any of these cleaning methods, make sure to sweep and vacuum first.
Vinegar and Hot Water
Combine equal parts vinegar and hot water in a bucket and grab your floor mop. The acidity in the vinegar can remove unseen grease and residue from your tile floors. If you don’t have any vinegar, use half a cup of rubbing alcohol instead. You’ll need a separate mop bucket of clean, fresh water to rinse your floors when you’re done. For large rooms, don’t be surprised if you’re changing out for a fresh batch in the middle.
If the term “scouring powder” is unfamiliar, you may know it best as Comet, Ajax, or Bar Keepers Friend. You don’t have to go commercial, though. You can make your own scouring powder with salt, baking soda, and borax cleaner. Combine the powder with water to make a paste. It’s great for stains you want to target, but you can use it on your entire floor.
Spread the paste over your tile with a cloth or paper towel and let it sit for five to ten minutes. After the paste sits, use a soft brush to scrub your tile. When you’re satisfied, or your arm gets tired, rinse the area with a cloth and warm water.
Sometimes the real problem with your tile floors isn’t the tile but the grout. That’s because it’s porous and isn’t stain proof or waterproof. Buy grout cleaner at the store or make your own with a combination of baking soda and vinegar (watch out for the volcano eruption), hydrogen peroxide, or bleach. Use bleach if your grout is a light color.
The mixture should feel like a thick paste. Rub this over your grout lines and let it set for several minutes. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the area. Rinse and repeat as necessary. If that doesn’t work, you may need to call in a professional to get your grout lines clean.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors and their laminate counterparts are beautiful flooring options and fairly easy to keep clean. A broom, dust mop, and vacuum will do the trick most of the time. If dirt is a constant issue, a damp mop with warm water will clean up the biggest messes. Remember, never leave standing water on your hardwood floors.
Hardwood Floor Cleaners
When you’re ready to deep clean your hardwood floors, it’s time to move past the dust mop or the warm water. You need to break out the cleaners. Hardwood floor cleaners like Bona are available, or you can make your own with liquid soap and distilled white vinegar. To bring back the shine, try a cleaner made with black tea by combining tea, rubbing alcohol, water, and essential oils for a pleasant smell.
Polishing or Waxing Hardwood Floors
Once you’ve cleaned your floor and made it look like new, you want it to stay that way. Some people will tell you to polish your floors, others will recommend waxing. Either method will work since the results are nearly the same.
Polishing or waxing your hardwood floors will help prevent stains, resist scratches and scuffs, and help your floor last longer. Buy a hardwood floor polish or make your own with olive oil and vinegar. If you go with wax, you have three options: solid paste, liquid wax, or water-based silicone.
Cleaning Your Carpets
Keeping your carpet clean probably seems fairly simple. Vacuum regularly, making sure to go over the fibers multiple times, in different directions. Easy, right? Well, yes, but vacuuming will only pick up so much. To really deep clean your carpets, you have other options.
Steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction, is by far the most popular method for cleaning carpets. You can always hire a carpet cleaning company to do it for you or buy your own steam cleaner. If you do it yourself, use a pre-spray detergent and apply it directly to your carpet. Let it set for five to seven minutes and then use a soft brush to scrub your carpet fibers to loosen the dirt. Also, make sure to change the water in the steam cleaner as soon as it gets dirty.
Turn your HVAC system and fans on when you’re done and your carpet should be dry in eight hours. After 12 hours, if your carpet is still wet, you run the risk of mold and mildew forming.
The dry foam method is most commonly used with floor cleaning equipment rentals or by professional carpet cleaners. You apply the foam directly to the carpet and work it in with brushes. It’s then vacuumed up with the cleaning equipment and, ideally, your carpet looks like new again.
Using dry powder on your carpet is more for maintenance than cleaning, but it’s a good method to use all year-round to prevent odors and stains from living in your carpet. Apply the powder to your carpet, scrub the fibers of your carpet with a brush to loosen the soil, and thoroughly vacuum your floor. Your carpet will be a little cleaner and smell much fresher.
Now that you know the different methods for cleaning your floors, it’s time to get the floor cleaning products ready, grab the mop bucket, and make those floors sparkle, shine, and smell good for spring and all year round.
Do you have any floor cleaning questions? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll be happy to answer.