Floor Cleaning Tips

Here are a few floor cleaning tips designed to save you time and money, and allow you to keep your home sparkling. Cleaning your floors, like cleaning all of your house, requires very few special products. One of the most important floor cleaning tips is to practice regular maintenance.


The Basics

cleaning floor
  1. Vacuum Frequently. Before washing any floor you should give it a thorough vacuuming, but it is also a good idea to vacuum between more major floor cleaning efforts. This will keep dirt from getting ground in and significantly reduces the number of times you are going to need to wash the floor. When vacuuming hard flooring, be sure to use the correct attachment so that the floor is not damaged.
  2. Or Dust Mop Frequently. I prefer mopping over vacuuming for most surfaces - unfinished concrete, carpeting, and my old wood floor with lots of cracks are the exceptions. If you have large areas of hard flooring, mopping is going to get the job done quicker and with a lot less fuss and noise then the vacuum.
  3. Use Microfiber. Microfiber is a miracle material for house cleaning. It can be used for both wet and dry cleaning. These days it comes in all sorts of formats - mops, sponges and clothes - so you can always find the right tool for the job. Microfiber can be safely used on just about any surface.
  4. Get Rid of Floor Clutter. Of course you want to get rid of clutter in your whole house, but if you have to choose, try to keep it in the closets and off the floor. Nothing slows down cleaning the floors more than having a lot of objects to work around. So put away the stacks of books, clothes, magazines, boxes, shoes, or whatever it is accumulating on your floor.
  5. Use Entrance Mats. Keep your floors cleaner longer by keeping the dirt out in the first place. You should have generous interior and exterior mats at every entry into your home.
  6. Clean up Spills. You should clean up all spills as soon as they happen to preserve your flooring. This is especially true of absorbent surfaces like marble.
  7. Damp Mop. Damp mopping is appropriate for almost all floor types. To damp mop, plunge your mop or cleaning cloth in a bucket of clean warm water mixed with just a little mild cleaner, then wring it out before using it on the floor.
  8. Know Your Floor. It is absolutely essential to correctly identify what your floor is made of before cleaning. Different floor materials can require different treatments to get them clean and some rather innocent looking products can damage some surfaces.

Tips for Different Surfaces

Bamboo Floors

- These are pretty simple to maintain. You can wash them with water and a little dish detergent. Do not wax.

Concrete Floors

- Concrete floors in your home should be sealed. They are then easily cleaned by damp mopping with something as simple as a few drops of dish detergent and warm water.

Garage Floors

- Many times the concrete flooring in the garage is not sealed. Unsealed concrete constantly releases dust and grit, so no matter how many times you sweep up, there is still more to clean. This is one place you'll want to vacuum, but the best solution is to have the garage floor sealed. Cleaning Garage Floors.

Laminate Floors

- You don't want to get laminate flooring soaking wet, but there is no problem damp mopping with warm water.

Linoleum Floors

- Treat your linoleum floor gently with frequent dry mopping and an occasional wet mop. When wet mopping, there is no need to use anything stronger than water with a little dishwashing liquid.

Marble Floors

- Never use anything even mildly acidic on a marble surface. You can damp mop with just plain warm water then dry with a soft towel to avoid water stains.

Slate Floors

- Slate floors are relatively easy to maintain as long as they have been sealed properly. A damp mop with a mildly soapy solution is all you need for regular cleaning. Different stains require differnt treatments. Cleaning Slate.

Tile Floors

- Some tile floors are porous and require special treatment. Ceramic tile just needs a simple damp mopping and an occasional re-sealing of the grout lines.

Vinyl Floors

- Avoid harsh chemicals on your vinyl floor. Here again the best recommendation is frequent dust mopping or vacuuming and wet mopping with water and a mild cleaner.

Wood Floors

- Most modern wood floors that are coated with a polyurethane finish are easily cleaned by damp mopping and a mild cleaner.

Carpets - A Case Apart

Obviously if you have carpets covering your floor, you will be using an entirely different technique to get them clean. Learn some basic ways to remove carpet stains.


More Floor Cleaning Tips

Homemade Floor Cleaner

- The easiest homemade floor cleaner is warm water with a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Use this with a microfiber mop and you will be set to clean most types of floors. There is absolutely no reason to be sacrificing your money and health with an arsenal of questionable floor cleaning products.

Floor Steam Cleaners

- A home floor steam cleaner can be used on many types of floors where damp mopping is appropriate. Avoid attacking your floors with anything too powerful though - you risk damaging the flooring and also the adjoining walls.