How to Keep Your Home Clean(er) ALL Summer

picture of kitchen remodel with wood floors that need to be cleanedSummer in Wisconsin is a fun time, but all that fun can also make it incredibly busy. Between the sports camps and games, baseball outings, parties, grill outs, hiking, biking, and all those other summer favorites, life can get incredibly hectic. Those hectic summers can take a toll on the home (and the mind!)—especially when the piles of stuff gets as high as you. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips that’ll get you and your home through the summer as clean and organized as possible.

Do as much daily cleaning as often as possible.

Small cleaning tasks do add up, so try to do as many small cleaning tasks as possible. Routine cleaning tasks, such as sweeping or wiping down the table, prevents a build-up that takes more time and elbow grease to clean. Routine cleaning also keeps floors and surfaces looking new and prevents damage, such as when you do a daily sweep of a wood floor. A daily sweep removes gravel and debris that can scratch and damage hardwood.

Be prepared for busy times.

When your calendar starts to fill up, take a moment to organize and get ready for a busy week (or month!). Prepare by organizing the mudroom, and putting items that are needed for activities into a bag. For example, put all your swimming items into a bag, sports chairs into the car, and any other items into a bag or backpack that you can easily grab and go.

Enjoy al fresco dining.

If you want to minimize the mess in your home, head outside! Eat meals out on the patio or deck every night so you can keep the mess outside (plus it’s a lot of fun to eat outside!).

Bring in the pros.

Don’t have time for anything other than light cleaning? Contact the pros to do deep cleaning processes, like cleaning the floors. Schedule a floor cleaning before or after a party, or when you have time to let the carpet dry (like right before you go on vacation!). A good deep floor cleaning keeps floors looking new, removes allergens from carpet, and maintains the warranty.

Prevent the mess before it starts.

When you don’t have time to clean, try to keep the mess outside. Place mats by all exterior doors to keep gravel, water, and debris from being tracked in. If placing the mats on a wood floor, contact your local flooring store about protection that should be put under mats to minimize fading or other problems.

Clean faster.

Anyone who has ever sold their time can tell you that speedy cleaning is possible (especially when your agent calls about that possible buyers want to see the home!). Use as many “fast home cleaning” tactics as possible, such as carrying cleaning supplies with you to prevent trips back and forth, so you can keep your home clean and enjoy all your favorite summer activities out in the sun.

Is it normal for wood floors to change from one season to the next?

wood floor in a kitchen that needs to be protected from water on floorMuggy. Steamy. Hot. You either love or hate our humid summer weather in Wisconsin. It affects our moods, outdoor activities, and wood floors.

The same goes for winter. The cold weather dries out our skin, moves our focus to the indoors, and affects our wood floors.

Normal Seasonal Wood Floor Changes

The humidity (or lack there of) that comes with every Wisconsin season can make a noticeable change in wood floors. During winter, the dry air can dehydrate floors, causing a small gap to show up between the floor boards. The humid air of summer causes the opposite effect: swelling. This small change is completely normal; however repeated drastic changes or a consistently humid environment can cause wood floor boards to cup, which needs to be repaired.

How to Protect Wood Floors from Humidity

The ideal humidity range for hardwood floors is between 35-55%. To ensure that the humidity in your home is in that range, purchase a hygrometer which can give you a read out of the moisture in the room or an appliance with a humidistat. If the humidity level is above 55%, purchase a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. If high humidity is only a problem during summer, turn on the air conditioner at the first sign of humid weather.

Other Ways to Protect Wood Floors

Wood floors are definitely an investment that should be protected from the elements. In addition to damage from humidity, UV rays from the sunshine can fade floors, water spills can cause water stains and damage, and gravel can cause scratches.

UV rays from sunlight can affect certain types of wood, polyurethane and urethane finishes. The most affordable way to protect wood floors is with window treatments that block UV rays. To coordinate the window treatments with your wood floors and existing décor, visit a local designer to choose the right curtains or blinds for the room. For a long-term solution, replace existing window with new window with low-e glass. Windows with low-e glass have a protective film that filter damaging rays out of your home, protecting the wood and finish of your floors. If new windows aren’t on the horizon, purchase a protective film for your existing windows that can minimize the fading to your floors.

Water spills are another threat to wood floors, but with an affordable solution. Place rugs by all exterior doors and in high traffic areas, such as hallways, so that water is not tracked in on boots and shoes. When purchasing the rugs, make sure that you ask about a protective bottom that can protect the wood floors from scratches. To purchase an area rug that matches home décor, order a custom rug from a local professional. If the wood floor is in a room that is directly accessible to a lake or pool, place towels in a cabinet near the entrance to minimize the chance of puddles on wood floors.

Gravel, debris, and furniture scraping across a wood floor can do serious and long-lasting damage. Regular and preventative maintenance is the key. Put felt pads on all furniture and use cardboard when moving the furniture. Sweep wood floors on a regular basis to remove gravel and debris. Vacuum rugs by all the doors to keep gravel and sand out of your home, and off your wood floors.

Bathroom Flooring: Pros & Cons of the Best Floors

tile floor in bathroom with white vanity and tile showerWet towels. Puddles from a rambunctious toddler bath time. Steam from a good, hot shower or bath. Bathrooms are the only room in the home that have to deal with daily high humidity and consistent water puddles. For that specific reason, homeowners need to use an extra degree of caution when choosing the right floor for their bathroom.

Wood floors should not be installed in a bathroom; the moisture in a bathroom can warp wood flooring and leave permanent water stains. There are other floors more suitable for the bathroom (and look great!); use this list of bathroom flooring options so you can choose the right bathroom floor for your home.

Luxury Vinyl Plank

We’ve listed the best flooring options for bathrooms before, and you’ll notice that luxury vinyl plank isn’t on the list. That’s because it’s one of the newest products on the market—but don’t dismiss this flooring just because it’s the proverbial new kid on the block. Luxury vinyl plank floors are attractive, durable, and easy-to-care-for. This floor is also a great option for anyone who wants the look of wood without worrying about warping or water damage from a bathroom’s moist environment.

Pros: Attractive, durable, easy-to-care-for, water resistant (some products are guaranteed waterproof), comes in a variety of styles, mimics the look of wood and stone, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can scratch

Porcelain Tile

bathroom with tile floor that can handle waterPorcelain tiles are one of the most popular bathroom flooring choices. These tiles come in a variety of colors and shapes, and are durable and easy-to-care-for. Some of the trendiest new styles are porcelain tiles in a plank or rectangle style that makes a bathroom look bigger, or a hectagon shape that gives a bathroom a unique, one-of-a-kind design. (For inspiration, check out these tile ideas.) Porcelain tiles can also come with a wood grain look, giving you the warmth of wood without the warping and water damage that occurs when you install wood floors in a humid room.

Pros: Attractive, durable, easy-to-care-for, mildew resistant, comes in a variety of styles, resembles wood and stone, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can be cold underfoot, grout can be stained

Brick Tile

Tiles that resembles bricks gives any home a unique look. Most brick tiles are a porcelain tile cut in unique styles and color variations, making it very attractive and mildew resistant. This flooring can hold up in rooms that have a lot of moisture (like bathrooms, mud rooms, and laundry rooms).

brick ceramic tilePros: Unique style, durable, easy-to-care-for, mimics the look of brick

Cons: This one-of-a-kind look is not for every homeowner, can be cold underfoot

Stone

Marble, granite, and limestone can give any bathroom an updated and upscale look. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors, all with their own unique veins and styles. Some natural stone requires maintenance to avoid any moisture issues; make sure you ask the salesperson how often the stone needs maintenance and cleaning when you view samples.

Pros: Upscale and unique look, easy-to-care-for

Cons: Usually most expensive option, can be slippery and feel cold

Vinyl Sheet

The biggest advantage of vinyl sheet is the absence of grout lines, meaning that the risk for water damage is minimal. Vinyl sheet flooring comes in a variety of styles and colors.

Pros: Mimics the look of tile, durable, easy-to-care-for, waterproof, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Can look cheap, can be scratched

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is not a type of floor, and another flooring needs to be installed over a radiant heating mat. Also called underfloor heating, radiant heating gives off an even heat that conducts through the floor. If attached to a thermostat, the heat can be set different temperatures during the day and night. Radiant heating can be installed with a hydronic heating system (heating with a boiler) in new construction or with an electric mat.

Pros: Even and warm heat, can make stone or tile floors feel warm underfoot, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project

Cons: Adds to the cost of the flooring

8 GOOD Reasons to Buy Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors

luxury vinyl plank floorIt’s not often that a flooring checks off all the boxes, but luxury vinyl plank floors are beautiful and versatile enough to fit in any almost room. For busy households or high traffic commercial buildings, luxury vinyl plank flooring is tough enough to handle a lot of foot traffic—just one of many reasons to consider luxury vinyl plank floors for your home or business.

Durable with a capital D.

Luxury vinyl plank floors are fairly worry-free. Unlike other floors, they don’t scratch easily and are hard to stain. For that reason, they are ideal for homes and businesses with pets and kids. These floors can take all the foot and paw traffic without showing any signs of wear.

Easy to care for

Vinyl floors are fairly easy to care for, only requiring a regular sweep and an occasional mop. Be cautious about using a vacuum cleaner on the floor; look specifically for vacuum cleaners that are gentle on hard floors. Abrasive cleaners can also damage vinyl floors, so make sure you consult with the experts for cleaners that are manufacture-approved and won’t void the warranty.

Practically waterproof

Most luxury vinyl plank floors are water resistant; some products are also guaranteed waterproof. This resilience makes cleaning up spills, pet accidents, and water puddles incredibly less stressful (no damage!).

BEAUTIFUL

Wood. Stone. Wide plank. Tile. Luxury vinyl floors come in many different styles, easily mimicking the look of wood and tile floors. These floors can look stunning in a mud room, laundry room, or bathroom without any fear of water damage—and your guests’ll never guess that the floors are not wood or stone.

Affordable

Luxury vinyl plank floors are becoming increasingly more affordable—especially if you buy in bulk. If you need a large quantity, talk to salesperson about purchasing the floor in bulk which is often offered at a lower price per square foot.

Built for MORE extreme temperatures

In the past, vinyl floors could become extremely brittle and fragile in extremely cold temperatures. Today’s luxury vinyl plank floors are being manufactured to handle severely cold and hot temperatures; one of the newest luxury vinyl plank floors can be installed in a room where temperatures reach as low as 25 and as high as 155 (and that’s not a typo!).

Ideal for a basement

Because these floors are water resistant (or waterproof) and can handle extreme temperatures, luxury vinyl plank floors are ideal for basements. Basement flooring is installed over a porous concrete slab that moisture seeps through, warping floors affected by water. Luxury vinyl plank floors can handle moisture and extreme temperatures and still look stunning.

A convenient DIY project

Luxury vinyl plank floors can be installed with or without grout, making them an easy do-it-yourself project for a handy homeowner. Ask your local flooring pro to connect you with products that can serve as a great DIY project and a handsome new flooring in your home.

Pet Stains: Tips for Cleaning those (Gross!) Carpet Spots

little girl and house training puppy playing on carpetDogs may be easy to love, but they can be a little hard to clean up after (and even a little nerve wracking to own when you have new carpet!). The good news: cleaning up after your dog has an accident on the carpet is not a lost cause. Even the worst pet stains can be cleaned up—and no one has to know about the accident if you use these tips for cleaning up pet stains (trust us, we’ve cleaned a lot of carpets!).

Sop up as much of the liquid as possible.

As soon as you can, remove any solids with a utensil that you can clean or dispose of (i.e. dust pan, plastic spoon, etc.) and sop up as much of the liquid as possible (paper towels and gloves are ideal). Don’t be afraid to apply pressure; your goal is to get out as much of the liquid as possible. If there is a lot of urine, feces, or vomit, use a wet and dry vac to remove the urine or vomit.

Test your carpet cleaner before you use it.

As gross as pet stains can be (insert shudder here), don’t be in such a rush to get rid of the stain that you damage your carpet fibers. Test your carpet cleaner on a small area of carpet that is not usually visible (such as a closet or a corner) before you apply it to the pet stain. An untested cleaner can fade or permanently discolor carpet—even natural or household cleaners can do damage! If you have new carpet, using an unapproved can void the warranty (to get cleaners that are approved, visit the local carpet experts).

Don’t use a steam cleaner.

It’s tempting to grab a steam cleaner and give your carpet a deep clean—it works in other situations, right? When it comes to pet stains and carpet, no. A steam cleaner can actually lock in the stain and smell. Instead, remove the liquid, apply the cleaner (after testing!), and blot at the carpet fibers. Don’t scrub too hard; too much elbow grease can damage carpet fibers.

Get out the smell.

No matter what kind of pet emergency you’re cleaning up after, chances are it’s going to smell. Removing that odor is important for you and your dog. For you, it’s a nuisance and can affect the resale value of your home (or the security deposit on your apartment). For your pet, an odor (even the slightest smell) can turn an accident into a habit; your pet can smell the spot and may continually urinate or defecate on that spot.

To remove the odor, neutralize the odor. A household mixture of vinegar and water sprayed on the stain may do the trick; for a more intense smell, ask the local carpet pros for a professional carpet odor neutralizer crafted specifically for the job.

Be honest with your carpet cleaner.

Cleaning up the (hopefully) occasional pet accident is only part of keeping your carpet looking (and smelling) new—even with pets. An annual professional deep cleaning can get out some of the worst pet stains and odors. When you call (or message) for a carpet cleaning appointment (or when getting a free estimate), tell them that you have pets and accidents. A good carpet cleaner can pre-treat the carpet to remove the stains and odors, give you honest answers about whether they can get the stains and odors completely out, and tell you when you and your beloved pet can enjoy your clean (pet stain free) carpet.

Pet Owners: Can your carpet be fixed?

Puppy wrapped up in a blanket sleeping before house trainingWe all love our pets, but—admittedly—there are times when that love gets tested. Like when our favorite cat rips up the carpeting. Or when the puppy has an accident on the carpet (even after months of house training!). And then there are those trying times when the dog takes a bite (literally!) out of the new carpet.

During those times, pet owners need a LOT of patience even as the questions race through their head. “Can my carpet be saved? How am I ever going to get THAT stain out? Can that big rip in my carpet be repaired? Do I have to get new carpet?”

The comforting news is that you’re not alone. We’ve helped pet owners with damaged carpets plenty of times, and in all different kind of situations (pet stains, rips, tears, holes, etc.) The bad news is that sometimes the carpet can be cleaned or repaired, other times not. We’ve put together a list of cleaning and repair tips that can keep your carpet looking new—or assist you with the decision to save or replace (if you have any doubts, e-mail us or message us with pictures and information so we can help).

Carpet stains

How to fix it: Start cleaning your carpet as soon as possible. Before you apply any cleaner, remove the solids or blot up the liquid. Do not scrub hard on the carpet; it can damage the carpet. If necessary, use a wet/dry vac to remove a lot of liquid. Once the liquid is completely absorbed, test your cleaner on an area of the carpet that is not visible to guests (i.e. in a closet, a corner, or under furniture). Even household solutions can damage and discolor the carpet; when in doubt, contact a local flooring store to get an approved cleaner that won’t void the warranty. Apply the cleaner and blot at the stain (again, not too hard!). If the source of the stain is pet urine, spray the stain with a mixture of two tablespoons of white vinegar and one quart of water.

If that doesn’t work: If you still can’t get the stain out, contact a carpet cleaner with professional equipment and cleaners that can take care of even the worst pet stain. Sometimes the liquid gets absorbed into the carpet pad; the odor cannot always be removed in these situations. To find out, contact the pros to get a free estimate and an answer on whether the stain and odor can be eliminated.

If you have to replace: Visit a local flooring store to view pet-friendly carpets. There are specific carpets designed just for households with pets. Ask about waterproof carpets, carpets with a blocker that keeps the liquid from reaching the pad, or a stain-resistant carpet.

Holes & Rips

damaged carpet with ripsHow to fix it: The exact type of repair depends on the amount and kind of damage; always keep extra carpet for every room on hand just in case it is needed for repair (your installer typically gives you any excess carpeting after it is installed). When your dog removes a piece of carpet, it can be replaced with another piece (cut to the exact size) from your excess supply of carpeting and double-faced seam tape. A section of ripped carpet can be replaced in a similar manner. Contact a flooring installer if you need assistance; a carpet repair is typically affordable (especially when compared to the cost of replacing the carpet).

If you have to replace: Talk to a local flooring pro that really knows the kinds of pet-friendly carpets on the market. Choose a carpet that is durable and can handle pet nails (unfortunately, there is no carpet that can handle a determined set of pet jaws!) to avoid rips. Carpets with high piles can catch pets’ nails, causing snags and injuries. Keep your dog’s (and cat’s) nails trimmed to avoid rips or snags in the future.

Carpet Cleaning: All Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

woman holding tea cup and tablet while sitting on the carpet at home just before spilling on carpetBad pet stains. Funny carpet odor. Necessary carpet maintenance. Removing allergens. There are a lot of reasons to type in ‘carpet cleaning services near me’ on your computer—and a lot of questions that come with this necessary home cleaning task. We’ve done our best to answer common questions we hear from our local carpet cleaning customers; unfortunately, some of these answers only apply to our carpet cleaning service (which cleans carpets in Watertown, Oconomowoc, Waterloo, Lake Mills, and surrounding areas).

How long does it take to carpet clean a room?

Depending on the size of the room, carpet cleaning can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The amount of time depends on the size of the room, the amount and size of stains, furniture that needs to be moved, and the kind of cleaning products and equipment that needs to be used. We can usually give a general estimate of the amount of time after you request an estimate. The room also needs to vacuumed and some stains need to be pre-treated before carpet cleaning begins. The homeowner does not need to be home during the carpet cleaning.

Do you move furniture or should I move items before you come? What do I need to do to get ready for a carpet cleaning?

As part of our service, we move the furniture for our clients. We do ask people move breakable items, such as electronics and knick knacks, to ensure that everything is kept safe. If the customer does not remove items, we can and will move everything as carefully as we can. We are as cautious when we move items as possible.

In addition to picking up fragile items, please lock any pets away from the carpet cleaners or remove the pet from the home. If there is a particular issue you are concerned about (and we haven’t come out for an estimate), let us know about the issue so we can have the right products on hand and are ready to tackle any problem areas on the carpet.

What is the cost of carpet cleaning? Can I get a free estimate so I know how much it costs?

The cost of carpet cleaning is based on the square footage of the room (though you can check our Facebook page for floor cleaning specials).

We encourage all customers to contact us for a free estimate. Carpet cleaning consultations are invaluable because we can see the amount of stains and be prepared for any problematic areas. We can also give estimates over the phone, but the price may not be as accurate because we cannot see the flooring.

How long will my carpets take to dry?

Typically, carpets take 12-24 hours to dry after a carpet cleaning. To hasten the drying process, it does help to raise the thermostat five degrees in the winter and lower the air conditioner in summer to move air and aid with drying. We do try to remove as much moisture as possible after we clean.

Is it okay if my kids and pets lay on the carpet after a carpet cleaning?

Yes. We do advise that homeowners let the carpet dry first before the carpet is used (without anyone walking on the carpet). After that, it is perfectly safe for pets, kids, and adults to enjoy!

Can you get out all the stains on my carpet? Do you remove odors?

We have been successful in removing blood, wine, coffee, nail polish remover, and pet stains. We can answer many questions about whether we can remove the stain when you request a free estimate. If we cannot remove a stain, we explain it to the customer when we arrive. For example, on a recent job, we found green stains in the master bedroom. The green stains were dried paint that had set in and could not be removed. We notified the customer right away and explained why the stains could not be removed. Please do not try to bleach a stain away!

We can and have removed odors (i.e. from pets, smoke, urine, dead animals, etc.). Issues can arise if the odors are in the sub-flooring or cushion under the carpet.

How often should I get my carpet cleaned?

At a minimum, carpets should be cleaned every 18 months. Flooring manufacturers typically honor the warranty if you get the carpet cleaned within that time window.

What’s the difference between a professional carpet cleaning and a rental from the store?

There are two advantages: time, equipment, and expertise. Our cleaners come in and quickly and efficiently clean your carpets—no worrying about picking up and returning anything! We use a strong vacuum, extremely hot water (that stays at a specific temperature and minimizes cooling), and specific products that are suited to almost any kind of spot you may have. Our technicians are certified to know what products are needed to address any spots or stains on your floor.

Last Minute Tips that Get Your Home Ready (FASTER!)

dining room with four chairs ready for ThanksgivingAre you expecting a house full of guests? Do you feel overwhelmed by your huge list of cleaning? Things need to get done FAST. We won’t waste any more of your time; instead use these tips to get your home ready (quickly!) for all the people (and fun!) that is to come.

Pre-clean as much as possible.

One of the most effective ways to make your cleaning better and faster is to pre-clean as much as possible before you dig in. Sweep the floor before you mop. Pick up clutter. Wipe down counters. Spray cleaners that need to “soak in” before you scrub.

Take a few minutes to prepare BEFORE you tackle the cleaning.

Before you scrub a counter or clean the toilet, organize yourself (and your team hopefully!). Gather all the supplies you need, such as cleaners, sponges, brooms, and mops. Make a list of every cleaning and maintenance task that needs to be done around the house and assign a member of your family to each task.

Carry your supplies with you.

If you want to speed up the cleaning process, carry your cleaning supplies with you. When you clean the bathrooms in your home, gather all the cleaners and cleaning supplies together. Put them in a carrying case and take them with you from bathroom to bathroom. When you’re pressed for time, don’t experiment with new cleaners. Talk to the professionals for recommendations for cleaners that won’t damage or discolor your floors and counters. If there is no other option that a new-to-you cleaner, test the cleaner on a surface or flooring that is not visible to guests—before you use it everywhere as you clean.

Divide and conquer.

When time is of the essence (and guests are coming!), don’t take a whole-home cleaning on yourself. Split up the checklist and assign each room or cleaning task to every person on your team. Then, divide and conquer until the home is clean and ready for a get-together.

Don’t forget the outdoors.

First impressions count when your guests pull up to your home. Don’t forget to clean walks, do yard work, and include all the outdoor maintenance and cleaning tasks that impress your guests before they even walk through the door.

Minimize the after-party clean up.

There’s no shame in prepping your home now so your clean-up list is shorter when all the fun is done. Put rugs by all the doors (inside and outside) to catch any mud or debris that can get tracked in to your home. Keep a cleaner and towel or wash cloth in arm’s reach so you can mop up any spills and prevent warping or damage to your floor. You can also ask guests to leave their shoes at the door. Lastly, schedule a professional carpet cleaning that can make your home look like a house full of fun never happened.

Spring Cleaning Mistakes that (Almost) Everyone Makes

shopper looking for cleaners for spring cleaningEven it doesn’t always feel like spring, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and clean off all the dirt and grime that accumulated through winter. Cleaning out the refrigerator, sweeping away cobwebs, deep cleaning the floors…spring cleaning comes with an extensive to-do list and a million chances to make mistakes that can slow down your progress and leave a mark long after your spring cleaning is over.

Using the wrong cleaning supplies

Not all cleaning supplies are created equal; using the wrong cleaning supplies on your surfaces and floors can cause fading or scratches. As dirty as the stain is, avoid using abrasive sponges, pads, or cleaners that can damage your counters and floors. When using a cleaner on your flooring, test a spot that is hidden in a closet or under furniture before you use it to clean the entire floor. If you have new flooring, visit your local cleaners to purchase cleaning products that are approved by the manufacturer and won’t void the warranty.

Not gathering cleaning supplies

Don’t jump into spring cleaning without a plan—it’ll take longer and be less efficient. Instead, use a spring cleaning checklist and divide up the tasks into a manageable schedule (don’t forget to include other helpers in your schedule). As you work, gather up all the cleaning supplies you need for each room; it’s faster and more efficient. Before you clean your bathroom, collect all your cleaning supplies and then go from one bathroom to another. Do the same for every room in your home until you can (happily) proclaim your spring cleaning done.

Using too much water and cleaner

It’s common to attack your spring cleaning with a vengeance; however, that cleaning tactic can become an issue when you leave puddles behind. Puddles can permanently stain surfaces and flooring (especially wood and laminate), so make sure you don’t apply an excessive amount. Wipe down all surfaces and flooring after you clean to ensure you don’t leave any extra liquid behind (and cause any excessive damage!).

Not sweeping or vacuuming

When you’re done tracking in all the mud and grime of winter into your home, don’t start mopping and carpet cleaning until you’ve removed all the gravel and grit that gets tracked in. Vacuum your carpets and sweep hard floors BEFORE you start deep cleaning floors (or contact a professional floor cleaner to take on the vacuuming and deep cleaning); this simple step can remove deep grit and prevent scratching the floors.

Steam cleaning wood floors

As tempting as it may be to use a steam cleaner on your wood floors, don’t. Steam cleaners can leave excess moisture on the floors, leaving behind stains and permanent damage. Using a steam cleaner on wood floors can also void the manufacturer’s warranty; if you have any questions about the correct way to deep clean your wood floors, use these tips or contact the local flooring pros to schedule a deep clean.

Washing windows on a sunny day

It’s a common picture of spring cleaning: washing windows on a beautiful spring day with the sun brightly shining in the background. However, this common practice is not necessarily going to get you the streak-free impeccable results you’re trying to achieve. Washing windows on a sunny day can cause the window cleaner to dry as you work, leaving behind a ton of streaks.

Scrubbing carpet stains

Elbow grease gets you great results when you are scrubbing grout or washing the walls. It is, however, the enemy of carpeting. When tackling carpet stains as part of your spring cleaning, blot at the stain. Don’t scrub, which can damage carpet fibers. If you have a carpet stain that you can’t get clean, contact a carpet cleaner to remove the stain and clean the room carpeting.

13 Cleaning Tips That Keep Your Luxury Vinyl Floor Looking New

luxury vinyl plank floorLuxury vinyl floors are a popular choice these days. These floors are water-resistant, durable, and look great (just like wood and tile). They are a great addition to any home’s décor because they’re gorgeous—and can keep looking as striking as the day they were installed IF you use these cleaning tips.

Preventing Damage

  • Place mats and rugs by the door and in high traffic areas to protect the floor from dirt and chemicals that get tracked in.
  • Train your pets to stop at the door so you can wipe their paws off before they come in.
  • Attach felt pads to furniture to avoid scratches and damage to luxury vinyl flooring.
  • When moving furniture and appliances, sweep the floor and place the furniture on cardboard to avoid scratches. Lift—don’t drag—the furniture and appliances as much as possible.
  • Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent stains.
  • Keep your luxury vinyl floors looking like the day they were installed by purchasing window coverings (and keeping them closed when possible) to avoid fading.

Vinyl Floor Maintenance

Cleaning Tips

  • Do not clean the vinyl floor immediately after installation; wait 48 hours (ask your installer for an exact time frame) to allow adhesives to dry before you mop the floor.
  • Only use manufacturer approved cleaners so you don’t void the warranty (visit your local flooring pros to find out what cleaners are approved and purchase them).
  • Use non-abrasive, gentle cleaners on luxury vinyl floors.
  • Always sweep the floor before you mop.
  • Vinyl floors are water resistant, but don’t use too much water as you mop. When you are finished, make sure there are not water puddles left on the floor.