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June 27, 2017

How to Clean Floors [Tips & Tricks for Any Type of Flooring]

Updated:
April 10, 2022
Written By:
  • EuroMaids
  • Blog

Keeping your floors clean is essential to maintaining your home. Whether it’s your own home, a business, or commercial space, the methods for how to keep your floors clean are the same, and all it takes is a few floor cleaning tips and tricks.

From ceramic floors to hardwood floors, laminate, marble, cork, bamboo, and carpet, there is no shortage of floor cleaning tips, and as the top cleaning company in the Naperville area, EuroMaids knows just how to clean floors for a pristine finish.

Not sure where to begin? There are plenty of DIY methods for easy floor cleaning. Explore our tips for how to clean different types of floors and get your space spick and span.

How Often to Clean the Floor

Before we get into just how to clean your floors, we first need to understand how often you should complete this task.

Typically, in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, entryway, and hallway, it’s best to sweep or vacuum every 1-3 days, followed by mopping once a week. Mopping is wonderful for keeping floors clean, but sweeping and vacuuming is a must to maintain the finish of your floors as this process works to remove dirt that can cause damage as you continue to walk on it.

While sweeping and mopping are often regarded as common tasks, not everyone knows how to do them right, particularly when it comes to mopping. The biggest mistake people make with mopping is forgoing a second bucket to rinse water. Many rely on just one bucket to rinse the mop and use that same bucket to wash the floor.

However, for truly clean floors, one of our go-to floor cleaning tips is to use two buckets, one with a solution of water and detergent, and another for a clean rinse. Trust us — this will make a big difference.

How Can I Keep the Floor Clean Longer?

Okay, even our expert cleaners at EuroMaids understand that cleaning the floor isn’t everyone’s favorite weekly task. So, how can you keep your floors clean longer?

Dirt, dust, and grime are bound to build up over time, but there are a few ways to prevent this from getting out of control. One way is to utilize doormats at your entryways and ask visitors to remove their shoes, lessening the amount of debris that is tracked into the home. Additionally, we recommend wiping up any spills as soon as they happen. Otherwise, you really can’t avoid cleaning for too long!

Floor Cleaning Tools & Materials

On your journey to discovering what is the best way to clean floors, you must start with the right set of tools for the job. To properly clean your floors, we recommend:

Equipment/Tools:

  • A broom and dustpan or a vacuum
  • A mop
  • Two mop buckets
  • A rag

Materials:

  • A sponge
  • Mopping detergent
  • Household cleaner
  • Paper towels as needed

How to Clean the Floor

Hardwood Floors Cleaning by EuroMaids Aurora, IL

Alright, time to dive right into the topic you came here for — how to properly clean floors. From choosing the right materials to mopping not once, but twice, we are breaking down all the steps to master the task of cleaning the floor. Let’s break it down.

Step 1: Choose the Right Mop, Buckets, and the Cleaner

The first step to cleaning your floors is to get the right tools and materials for the job.

The right mop for you depends on the floor type you’re cleaning. For instance, if you are cleaning a floor with texture, like a ceramic floor, a classic string mop will do the job. However, if it’s a smoother floor, a sponge mop will be best.

In terms of buckets, you will want to look for buckets with built-in wringers if you are using a string or strip mop. For other mops, any bucket will do. Then, when choosing a cleaner, be sure to purchase one that is designed specifically for your floor type. This will be displayed clearly on the bottle’s packaging.

Step 2: Begin with Sweeping or Vacuuming

Before mopping your floors, you’ll need to start by sweeping or vacuuming. This will help avoid any sticky or muddy residue after mopping. Plus, this is a good time to remove any of the particularly gunky spots that you see before mopping, as these areas may be more challenging for a mop to remove. To tackle these rough spots, use a cleaning solution or soapy water and a sponge to scrub them away.

Step 3: Fill the Buckets

The next step for easy floor cleaning is to fill the buckets with hot water. Hotter water will clean better than warm or cold water. Then, add your detergent to the bucket designated for washing. However, don’t add too much detergent in hopes of getting floors extra clean — this will just lead to harder to rinse residue. Instead, follow the specific directions on the bottle.

Step 4: Start Mopping

Now, it’s time to start mopping. This is a must when cleaning the floor, but what is the easiest way to mop a floor? We recommend working from one side of the room to the other, moving backward so you never step on a mopped area and create tracks. Especially when using a sponge mop, you’ll want to be sure to mop in straight lines. However, if it’s a rag mop, use a figure-8 motion to get the most effective clean.

Step 5: Rinse the Mopped Area

Once you’ve scrubbed each area of the floor, rinse your mop between sections in the rinse bucket. To do this, dunk the mop in a few times and ring it out to get rid of that dirty water, removing as much debris as possible. You may want to repeat this a few times to get it clean.

Step 6: Keep Mopping

You’re not done yet. Continue mopping your floors section by section until you’ve finished mopping your entire space. As you continue across your floors, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the wash and rinse water. If it starts becoming super gray and dirty, you’ll want to empty and refill the buckets to avoid spreading dirty water across the floor. This will only make the rinsing process more challenging.

Step 7: Rinse One Last Time

You’re almost done with the process of cleaning the floor. But first, we have to rinse the floors once more. Once you’ve fully cleaned your floors and there’s not much detergent residue left, mop over your floors once more with a fresh rinse of hot water. This way, you can remove all those last detergent marks and debris for super-clean floors.

Step 8: Let the Floor Dry

Last but not least, let the floors dry. Now that you’ve rinsed the floors, they will need to completely dry before walking on them. If you walk on them before, you may notice track marks running across your newly clean floors, making them look dirty even after all your hard work.

The Best Ways to Clean Different Types of Flooring

Now that you know the basic floor cleaning tips, it’s time to consider the best methods for how to clean your floors and their unique material. Use the guide below to expertly master how to clean floors of all different materials.

Laminate Floor

When looking at easy floor cleaning for laminate floors, we recommend regular vacuuming, dusting, or wiping the floors with a lightly damp mop. For this flooring type, it’s best to avoid the use of soap-based detergents. This is because they will cause a buildup of film on the floor. Additionally, don’t use wax polish on laminate — this will create a super slippery surface.

To remove any harder to clean marks and stains, opt for a mix of water and vinegar. This will be less abrasive than other cleaners, preventing any scratching or damage to the laminate. And for those harder to remove spots, use mild solvents or WD-40 — one of our most trusted cleaning solutions.

Furthermore, to protect laminate, we recommend implementing felt pads beneath all furniture legs, as well as drip trays under plant pots to avoid those tough to clean marks and stains.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

For how to clean your floors that are porcelain or ceramic, weekly cleaning is best. To clean your floors, try out a mixture of ¼ cup vinegar in 1 16-ounce spray bottle, and add one drop of dish soap, plus warm water. To use this, spray the mixture on the floor, one section at a time, and wipe away with a dampened microfiber mop.

As you work your way across the floors, use a steam cleaner to clean the tile and grout. We do this because grout can be a bit more stubborn to get clean, but the steam will work to remove any stains and bacteria. Sure, it takes a little extra work, but it will get your floors extra clean.

To further clean the grout in ceramic and porcelain tiles, use a mixture of lemon juice and shaving cream. This is one of our top floor cleaning tips for grout. Just apply it to the surface and scrub with an old toothbrush for clean, stain-free floors.

Vinyl Floor

To clean the vinyl floor, start by sweeping with a soft brush, or use a vacuum. Then, wipe with a mop using mild detergent. Then, you know the drill — time to rinse thoroughly. Finally, to get rid of any scuff marks, grab a cloth and dip it in neat washing-up liquid, wipe at the scuff, and then rinse.

When cleaning vinyl floors, we again recommend steaming to help further clean out the grout. As we’ve mentioned before, steaming will help remove stains and bacteria, and while it may take a bit of extra time, it will help finally get that pesky grout clean. Plus, this is a great way to address additional stains, too.

For additional vinyl floor cleaning tips, we recommend shining your vinyl floors, too. For this process, we recommend a simple baby oil to get your floors shiny and new. We mix a few drops of baby oil with apple cider, vinegar, and hot water. This should be about one cup of vinegar in one gallon of hot water for the right consistency. Then, spray this mixture on the floor and rub it well with a microfiber mop. This will help you achieve shiny floors with a DIY solution.

Wood Floor

Now for one of the most common floor types people are looking to maintain — wood. This flooring can come in two different finishes, including polyurethane and wax. Before cleaning, you’ll want to know which type you have. To understand, rub your hand across the surface. Did a smudge appear? This means your floors are waxed.

When it comes to sealed wood floors, this flooring type usually has a urethane, polyurethane, or polycrylic coating that helps protect them from damage and stains. To clean this flooring type, just use a mix of mild soap and water in a bucket. Then, use your trusted microfiber mop to clean the floors using this solution, wringing it out throughout so it’s barely damp to avoid soaking the floors. This way, your floors will dry faster!

On the other hand, if you have waxed wood floors, you’re in luck - these floors are much less prone to damage! To clean, use just a bit of water and a damp mop, and sweep or vacuum regularly.

For additional floor cleaning tips and tricks, there are a few ways we can address scratches on hardwood floors during the cleaning process, too. If you are noticing unwanted scratches, use a shelled walnut and rub at the scratch with it. Yes, really. This will help fill any scratches with the natural oils for a nearly flawless finish.

Cork Floor

It’s important to know how to clean your floors that are made of cork; you’ll need to take special care with this highly porous surface. This is because cork is more susceptible to water damage and is more absorbent. Thankfully, most cork floors are sealed, but you still need to be a bit careful. This means avoiding vacuums, which can cause scratches, and wiping up spills immediately to avoid them sinking into floors.

For cork floors, to clean your floors opt for vinegar and soapy water solution. The vinegar with the soap will help cut through dirt and buildup, disinfecting floors for a cleaner finish. Just spray the solution on floors and wipe it with your damp microfiber mop.

Linoleum Floor

Cleaning linoleum floors is a relatively simple process. As with many other floors, we recommend starting with sweeping or vacuuming to remove any obvious debris. Then, with a clean mop or damp cloth, use a floor cleaner or detergent to wash the floors. However, use water sparingly to avoid drenching floors. And, as always, rinse after washing.

For those more stubborn marks and to make linoleum shine, use a dampened fine nylon pad and rub at marks for a good clean. You can even use toothpaste to buff these floors — a simple solution you already have at home.

For easy floor cleaning for natural stone flooring, the number one tip is to avoid vinegar at all costs. Acidic materials are highly likely to cause damage to stone floors, and so will harsh options like bleach and ammonia. Instead, to clean natural stone flooring, use a mop with a pH-neutral wash that won’t affect the minerals in natural stones.

For this process, a simple microfiber mop and hot water will do the job. For the more stubborn spots and marks, a steam cleaner will help get your stone clean.

Carpets

Ideally, mastering how to properly clean floors that are carpet involves a carpet cleaning machine. This is the best way to clean carpets, however, there are still a few ways to get your carpet clean without one.

The first way is to spot clean any stains and marks. A stain remover made for carpets is best for the job. To do this well, follow the manufacturer's instructions, and be sure to tackle stains quickly after they occur to avoid them sinking too deep or drying onto the surface. One way to do this is by sprinkling salt over the stain. Let this sit for a bit, and then vacuum it away.

Then, it’s important to vacuum the carpet. You’ll want to use even the smaller accessories of the vacuum to reach those tiny spaces and get the carpet super clean. If your surface is especially thick, a power brush or turbo brush will help get any remaining dirt or pet hair off the surface.

Bamboo Floor

When it comes to how to clean your floors made of bamboo, it will require some softer tactics. This sustainable floor choice is more prone to scratches and nicks than other surfaces, like hardwood. For this reason, being extra careful to frequently sweep away dirt and debris is a must.

In the case marks do appear on your bamboo surface, you can use something as simple as a tennis ball to buff them away. Then, to clean these floors, use a mix of mild or pH-neutral soap and water. Use a barely damp mop to mop this solution over your floors, wiping away the excess moisture with a dry microfiber cloth as you go.

Takeaways

Now that you know all about how to clean different types of floors and the essential floor cleaning trips, it’s time to get your floors back to their best condition. Whether you’re scrubbing the grout between tiles or mopping your hardwood floors, we know just the way to get your unique flooring shiny and clean.

We hope you enjoyed all the DIY floor cleaning hacks. To help everyone achieve super clean floors, share your favorite floor cleaning tips and tricks below. And if you’re having any trouble with cleaning your floors or carpet, EuroMaids is here to help. As one of the top cleaning services in the Naperville area, we can provide any assistance and answer your questions to achieve clean, pristine flooring. Contuct us!

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