Category: Home Maintenance
Floor cleaning products are available nowadays in an incredibly wide variety, and with so many products to choose from, it’s come to a battle of the brands.
Competitive products and various marketing strategies, countless advertisements, discounts and promotions are designed to attract as much buyers as possible. Still, how to avoid getting caught in the middle, and buy the best floor cleaning products regardless of the brand?
Different flooring materials require specific floor cleaning products, because if you use the wrong method and formula your floors can be ruined. So when you go out hunting for the best cleaning products, first of all take into account the type of flooring surface you need to clean.
If your floor has a surface finish, it means that the coating on top of the surface is designed to protect it. First of all, when cleaning don’t soak it in water, just use a damp mop. Just water won’t do the trick, so you need the right wood floor cleaning products. The best formula for this type of floor is 1/4 of a cup of mild liquid dish washing detergent, added to a bucket of water. For scuff marks, take a damp sponge and rub the spots with a sprinkle of baking soda. Avoid oil soaps, wax cleaners (or other products for shine), ammonia cleaners, high pH cleaners (such as harsher soaps), or vinegar (it’s an acid which will eventually dull the finish).
If your wood floor has a penetrating finish, it means that it’s protected by the oil or wax, resins or sealers. The best floor cleaning products for this type of flooring are solvent-based cleaners, preferably natural citrus solvents. Spray it on the floor and wipe it with a dry mop or cloth. Don’t use water-based cleaners, or any cleaners designed for surface finish floors, because it can make the penetrating finish cloudy.
Pro Tip: Always use a high quality vacuum for hardwood flooring before you apply any wet products. Some of the best cordless vacuums aren’t overly expensive and do a great job at keeping your floors dust & debris free.
Laminate floors are very durable and very easy to clean, due to their melamine wear layer. Just vacuum and wipe them with a damp mop or cloth. Don’t use abrasive floor cleaning products, steel wool or scouring powder, avoid soap-based cleaners, waxing or polishing.
Resilient floors include vinyl, linoleum and cork surfaces. Keep your floor clean by sweeping frequently, vacuuming and dust mopping. Use a mild natural liquid dish detergent combined wit warm water, and wipe the floor with a damp mop. You can make your own floor cleaning products by adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to the water, in order to rinse and increase its shine. You can remove scuff marks by rubbing with a sponge dipped in jojoba oil. Don’t scour the floor, and avoid solvent-based cleaners.
Ceramic Tile Floors
Ceramic tile floors should b cleaned frequently, in order to keep their stylish look. First of all, it’s best if you pre-wet the floor before using any floor cleaning products, so the cleaning agents won’t penetrate into the tile body. Sweep regularly, vacuum and dry/damp mop. Use a combination of warm water and mild detergent with a low pH, damp-mop the floor and then dry it with a soft cloth. Don’t use any harsh abrasives that might scratch the glaze, and avoid any acid-based floor cleaning products. Also, always rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
As long as your choice of cleaners is based on the type of flooring material, cleaning should be easy and effective. Universal cleaners, advertised for being suitable for any floor type, are not as good as specific cleaners, designed particularly for that flooring material. Follow the advice above, and also read the instructions and recommendations of the floor manufacturer. Using the proper cleaning products will not only make your job a lot easier, but the wrong cleaners may seem to be effective for the moment, and ruin your floors in time.