Fury paw prints, food stains, stickiness…all sound familiar? Our floors take a lot from us, so we need to give them the care they deserve. At least once a week, we need to wash our floors to avoid the build-up dirt and grime. Sparkling floors will have your home looking their best.
Hard surface flooring needs both vacuuming and mopping. Vacuuming will take care of the dust and loose particles, while mopping the floors will rid them of any stuck-on food or mud and have them shine. Floors can lose their luster over time, but with the right tools, cleaning products and tips your floors can look brand new.
Determine The Type of Flooring
First, determine the type of flooring that is in your home. Floors can be porcelain, vinyl, laminate, hardwood or ceramic. Heavy mopping with water is ideal for ceramic, vinyl, tile and porcelain flooring, but hardwood or laminate floors need to be treated with caution. An occasional damp mop is only necessary for hardwood or laminate floors. Avoid cleaners with pine or a product that adds shine as it will diminish the sealant on this type of floors. The hardwood or vinyl can end up looking dull over time. Use a special cleaner designated for hardwood, laminate, cork or bamboo floors.
Gather the needed tools.
- Vacuum cleaner with floor attachment, or broom with dustpan
- 2 buckets
- Mop with sponge head, strip head or string head
- Dish soap or choice of household cleaner
Vacuum or Sweep The Floor First
The first step in cleaning your floor is to vacuum with a floor attachment to pick up loose hair, dust, crumbs, and other particles. You can also use a broom or a dry dust mop, like a Swiffer.
Fill The Buckets
The reason for two buckets is that with the first one you will add the cleaning detergent; the second bucket is for rinsing the mop. Fill both with hot water as this will make it easier to clean the floors. To one of the buckets, add the cleaning agent. Always follow the directions on the label. Adding more agent will not clean the floor better but will leave a residue.
Dip The Mop In The Bucket
After deciding on which mop to use, dip the mop in the bucket with a cleaning solution. Wring out the mop and use it damp, not sopping wet with water. Extra water can potentially damage the floor and make it harder to dry.
Mopping should be done backward like you are exiting a room. Be sure to stand in a dry area. You can mop in straight lines or draw a figure eight. If there are sticky spots or stains, be sure to apply some extra pressure on those areas. After a couple of areas, rinse the mop in the bucket with hot water. Dip the mop again in the cleaning solution and start the next area. Be watchful of the wash water and rinse water. If you find that both are getting extra grimy or cloudy, refill the buckets. Mopping with dirty water will only spread the dirt and bacteria.
After completely mopping the floors, fill a bucket with hot water. Mop with just the hot water to give your floors a final rinse and mop up any residue that may be remaining. Let your floors dry completely before walking on them.
Clean Your Tools
This is step is often overlooked or missed. Cleaning equipment needs to be rinsed out and cleaned. If you miss this step, the next time you use them; you will begin your cleaning with dirty tools. Wash and rinse the mop head and buckets of any cleaning product and let them dry.