Hi! I’m Alex and I work for Emily’s Maids of Dallas, a cleaning company in Dallas, TX. I’m so excited to collab with Eloise Cleans for this article! We wanted to create a guide for cleaning and maintaining different types of floors.
Technology has allowed us to create hundreds of types of floors that are beautiful and resistant. But, as you know, different materials require different techniques and cleaning products. You can always hire a professional cleaning service that is used to dealing with many types of floors: carpet, hardwood, tile, you name it.
If you want to tackle this on your own without ruining your beautiful floors, keep reading this guide!
Grab All Your Supplies for Cleaning Floors
Before you start, you will need to grab your equipment and cleaning products. Of course, this will depend on the type of floor. For starters, you should get a vacuum cleaner, a good mop, a steam cleaner, and different brushes.
If you have stains or scratches, you should get yourself a stain/scratch remover (we’ll give you some ideas later in this article) as well as clean, dry microfiber cloths.
How to Vacuum and Deep Clean Carpet Floors
Carpet floors are easy to maintain, but they do demand to be cleaned regularly. Because carpet is made out of tiny fibers, they tend to absorb a lot of dust, lint, and bacteria. This is why you should vacuum your carpet floors at least once a week, although every other day would be ideal, especially if you have kids or pets.
For regular cleaning, vacuuming is the best option. Make sure you check the type of fiber of your carpet: depending on the type and brand, the manufacturer might suggest a different vacuuming frequency.
Make sure your vacuum is empty before you start so it can absorb as much dirt and lint as possible. If you haven’t gotten a vacuum cleaner yet, choose one with a HEPA filter to trap allergens.
Now, for deep cleaning, you will need to clean them using steam. You can have your carpet professionally steam cleaned once per year (at least), or you can get yourself a steam cleaner for carpet floors. Because most of these devices are designed just for carpet, you should consider this investment if you have a lot of rugs or a significant area of your home with carpet flooring.
Besides, for refreshing your carpet occasionally, you can create a one-part vinegar, one-part water mix and apply using a spray bottle. You can add a few drops of essential oil such as lavender or lemon if you want a nice fragrance.
And if you just had an accident and spilled something, don’t worry! If you don’t have a stain remover at hand, apply cold, soapy water with a microfiber cloth. Remember to blot instead of scrubbing. If the stain is still there, add a bit of white vinegar into the mix and repeat the process. Do this several times until the stain is gone.
Taking good care of your carpet floors will increase their lifespan and will keep them looking great for years.
Cleaning Wooden Floors Part I: Regular Cleaning
Wooden floors are elegant and will make every room look a million dollars. But they need to be handled with care, too. Wood, just like any other organic material, needs certain conditions of temperature and humidity to stay “healthy”.
Areas like Dallas or Wilmington can reach very high humidity levels (over 85%!) which means that you should take good care of it regularly. On the other hand, if humidity is too low, you will notice your wooden floors gapping, splitting, and/or splintering.
With wooden floors, make sure you don’t use too much water, or if you use hot water (warm at most). As mentioned above, you might damage your floors if you apply excessive moisture or temperature.
This means mopping using very little water and always drying afterward.
Cleaning Wooden Floors Part II: Polishing
Even if you maintain healthy levels of humidity, they do need some moisturizing every now and then. For this, it’s best to use oil-based products to rehydrate your wooden floors. You can get a manufactured cleaning product for your specific type of wooden floor, or you can create your own DIY mix at home. For this, you will only need white vinegar, olive oil, and lemon essential oil.
Start by mixing ¼ cup of olive oil with 1/3 cup of white vinegar, and slowly add 5 cups of warm water while mixing. You can add ½ teaspoon of lemon essential oil or a few teaspoons of lemon juice (you can also skip lemon if you don’t want any fragrance).
Before using your mix, sweep or vacuum first. Dip a rag or mop in your cleaning/polishing mix and mop your floors like you normally would with water. You can also apply using a spray bottle. After you’ve worked the entire area, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes, and then use a clean cloth to wipe any excess or residues.
A good rule of thumb to figure out whether you are using the right amount: it shouldn’t dry faster than 10 minutes, this means you’ve used too little product. However, after waiting 30 minutes and wiping, it shouldn’t look or feel oily, but just a little shiny.
If you think this method was not enough, you can apply your mix with a microfiber cloth instead, scrubbing in a soft, circular motion. This will allow the mix to penetrate the wooden surface even more, but it does take more time and energy.
Cleaning Tile Floors
Fortunately, tile floors are one of the easiest types to clean. They’re meant to be in constantly humid areas such as your kitchen and your bathroom, and they are treated to stand many different chemicals, as well as grease, oil, and soap scum.
However, this doesn’t mean they won’t look rough around the edges if you don’t clean them often. For everyday cleaning, sweeping or vacuuming is fine. Make sure you clean the broom after each use.
Cleaning with water and soap is ideal at least once a week. Just go for the classic warm water with a bit of soap, and run the mop over as you go, changing the water regularly.
It’s best to use a small amount of water and soap so it’s easier to replace a few times until you cover your tile floors.
Don’t forget to clean the grout as well! You have different options here: you can stick to hot, soapy water or just bleach (never at the same time). You can help yourself with a drill brush attachment, which works like a toilet brush that you attach to your drill. With this, the grout will look spotless in less than 10 minutes!
How to Clean Vinyl Floors
Vinyl floors are, next to tile, the easiest floors to clean. They are resistant to water (in fact, they are waterproof). You can use warm water as well, just don’t go crazy with excessive heat.
For cleaning, the steps are very similar to tile flooring: just sweep and mop with a mixture of water and vinegar. You can try either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as bleach or ammonia.
It is not advisable to clean vinyl flooring using steam because you might harm the adhesive glue between vinyl planks or tiles. If you have stains, you can remove them using baking soda. Mix baking soda with water until you form a paste. Apply on the stain, let sit for 10 minutes and then rub with a soft microfiber cloth.
General Tips for Preserving All Types of Floors
No matter your type of flooring, there are always general tips to follow if you want to keep them looking nice and shiny.
First, take your shoes off as soon as you get home. You can imagine how much mud, dirt, and other residues and bacteria, can be found on your shoes after you get home. By building this habit, this won’t happen again, and you can wear comfy slippers as soon as you’re home.
Second, invest in some area rugs. They don’t need to be expensive (you can find many of them for just $20!), they just need to be functional and match the vibe of your room. Even if you already have carpet floors, adding an area rug can look great if you combine them properly.
Not only it will be so much easier to maintain heavy-traffic areas if they have an area rug, but you will also add a nice touch to your home and switch it up easily whenever you need it.
Third, always try cleaning solutions in a small, inconspicuous area, and let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes after removing them to make sure nothing wrong happened to your floors. Every material and surface is unique and reacts differently to chemicals and cleaning products.
And last but not least, consistency is key! Clean your floors at least once a month if you want to preserve them. Besides, you will avoid building up dirt and bacteria which can increase your allergies, for example. Try different schedules to see which one fits your daily routine the best. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Just good enough so that it allows you to build a habit.
There you have it! Easy tips to cover pretty much all types of floors, or at least the most common ones. Remember you can contact a professional cleaning service if you need extra help with taking care of your floors, as well as the rest of your home.
We hope you enjoy these tips and we can’t wait to see your floors looking nice and shiny!