The choice of flooring options is many and varied. Keeping your floors clean, whether that a hard floor or carpet, means understanding how to clean them effectively. It also means knowing how regularly to do so. This flooring guide reveals all you need to know about cleaning different types of flooring, from carpet to wood to concrete.
A carpet offers warmth underfoot as well as a layer of insulation in the home. Vacuuming regularly is key to keeping them in good condition but there comes a point where vacuuming isn’t enough. Shampoo your carpets at least once a year to keep them looking and smelling fresh and clean.
There is a growing range of vacuums on the market that offer superior performance. But carpet cleaning experts say that we are all making one rookie error: we vacuum too fast! Allow the vacuum to glide slowly across the carpet or rug so that it concentrates suction power across the carpet.
But before deep cleaning carpets, it is important to:
- Check the material – carpets are made from different such as synthetic fibres, wool or a mix of both. Wool carpets can be washed or steamed without too much of a problem, but some synthetic mix carpets may not respond well to being made very wet.
- Test on a small piece of unseen carpet – if you are unsure what your carpet is made from, or you have concern that the dye will run, test on a small area of unseen carpet. If in doubt, call a professional carpet cleaning company.
- Carpet pile – what will also affect carpet cleaning is the carpet pile. This is how long or short the individual fibres of the carpet are. Short pile or close weaved carpets and rugs are relatively easy to clean but long pile carpets can take a little more effort.
Hard floor cleaning
Keeping hard floors clean is fairly easy and quick but using the right cleaning products is important.
- Ceramic tiled floor cleaning. Mop glazed ceramic tiled floors with a general purpose floor cleaner diluted in warm water. Always dilute it according to the product instructions as too much can leave a dull residue on the tiles. Non-glazed tiles are porous and so you should treat it as if cleaning a limestone floor, that means a general purpose floor cleaner, followed by a second mop with clean water to remove any residue.
- Laminate floor cleaning – laminate flooring gives the appearance of wood but at a fraction of the cost. And it is easy to keep clean too. Either brush or vacuum it, paying close attention to the edges and corners. Use a general purpose floor cleaner diluted in warm water, using a mop and bucket. Do not use solvent-based cleaners or strong, abrasive cleaners on laminate flooring.
- Limestone floors – limestone is a natural material that is both soft and porous. As a result, this style of floor can pick up stains very easily. Seal the floor with a limestone sealant. Use a vacuum to pick up dirt and dust and then, with a general purpose cleaner in warm water, mop the floor. Rinse the floor by mopping it with clean water to remove any residue.
- Marble flooring – another natural material, marble is a luxurious choice for flooring. Unsealed, however, it is very porous. After mopping with a gentle detergent in water, it will need to be mopped again with clean water. Reseal it from time to time to prevent damage and staining.
- Polished concrete floors. Another great choice, concrete can be mixed with various dyes and chemicals to produce a high-gloss finish. It too will need to be sealed to prevent stains. Once vacuumed or brushed, the floor should be washed with a gentle detergent mixed with warm water.
- Slate flooring – slate is a material that is in plentiful supply in the UK. Giving a modern yet hard wearing flooring for any home, slate can be cleaned using a general purpose floor cleaner with water. Like other natural stone floorings, the slate flags will need stripping and re-sealing from time to time. Avoid heavy detergents so as not to cause heavy building up and dullness on the slate flags.
- Stone flooring. Stone is porous so make sure that it is sealed to keep it looking great and hygienically clean. Again, a general purpose floor cleaner in warm water, applied with a mop, will work wonders.
- Wood floors. Wood is also a natural material that needs to be treated slightly differently from stone floors. Brush with a broom, or vacuum the wooden floor. Next, use a microfibre ‘mop’ to scoop up the last of the dust and debris on the floor. Mix 240ml white vinegar in 4.5 litres of water to mop the floor. There are also wood floor cleaning products available at supermarkets, but always follow the instructions.
How often should floors be cleaned?
Experts suggest that carpets and rugs should be vacuumed at least once a week, although most people agree that if you have pets, daily vacuuming is ideal.
Carpet cleaning, e.g. washing either by yourself or a professional, should be something that takes place at least once a year. But if you have pets in the home or you notice heavy stains on the carpet, we recommend you wet clean them every six months.
As for hard floors, daily brushing can help reduce wear and tear on the surface. Soil, dust, dirt and sand, for example, are abrasive, meaning they scratch the seal or varnish on the hard floor. This means that dirt and stains can become ingrained, making it harder to keep clean.
Vacuuming, especially around the edges and in the corners, can also help hard floors stay glossy for longer. Mop the floor as often as needed, but at least once a week to keep the floor clean and looking good.
Keeping floor hygienically clean without damaging them means that no matter what your floors are made from, they last the test of time. While it might seem a bit of a task to get it done, once you’re in a routine, you’re sure to have flooring to be proud of.
Main cleaning photo created by Racool_studio – www.freepik.com, Carpet photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com, Wooden floor photo created by yingyang – www.freepik.com, Marble floor photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com, Tiled photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com
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