Your floors can be one of the most beautiful parts of your home (and something everyone notices!) and also one of the dirtiest. Kids, pets, guests—they all track in dirt, grime, water, snow (thanks Wisconsin winters!) on to our handsome floors, making them, well, not so handsome over time. And if you’re like most homeowners, you have different floors to keep clean in your home: wood floors, carpet, tile and vinyl—and a million questions about how to clean each different type of flooring.
Put rugs by all exterior doors. An ounce of prevention goes a long way to keep your wood floors looking their best. Make sure you have rugs by all your exterior doors to keep the dirt, sand, water and other daily grit off your floors. That daily grit can scratch your floors or wear down the finish, making your job of keeping your wood floors (especially the finish) in peak shape.
Protect your wood floors from scratches. As long as we’re talking about preventative steps to keep your wood floors looking great, this is one of the cheapest, and most important, ways to protect your laminate and wood floors: felt pads. Make sure you have felt pads on the bottom of your chairs and furniture. Use caution (and soft padding underneath) when moving anything around to prevent scratches.
Wipe up water and spills immediately. A water spill on a wood floor can make any homeowner’s heart stop, and for good reason. Don’t let water damage or warp your wood or laminate floors. Keep paper towel or a rag handy so you can get that puddle of water cleaned up immediately.
Use regular maintenance to keep your floor clean. Sweep, dust mop or vacuum (most flooring manufacturers recommend using the wand attachment or a gentle vacuum) to clean up the small particles that can scratch and damage your floor.
Be VERY cautious when using a steam cleaner on your wood floors, or don’t use one at all. If you’ve watched TV, you’ve undoubtedly seen ads for steam cleaners. Steam cleaners are a great way to clean hard floors, and some ads suggest that steam is a great way to clean your wood floors. Their claim is contrary to the common knowledge that moisture and wood don’t mix, so we checked three of the most common wood flooring manufacturers and found that Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw do not recommend that their customers use a steam cleaner of their wood products. Before purchasing a steam cleaner for cleaning your wood flooring, consult your manual to see if your warranty will be void if you use a steam cleaner.
Only use approved cleaners on your wood floors for deep cleaning. Wood floor cleaning is not a time to experiment. Some cleaners—even with common household ingredients—can damage your wood floor finish or the flooring itself. You’ve invested too much into your wood flooring to harm it on a whim. A few minutes of research can save you a lot of time, money and heart ache. If you don’t what kind of wood floor cleaner to use, ask the experts at Y’s Way via email, phone or through their Facebook page.
Buy a vacuum that won’t damage your carpet, and vacuum regularly. All vacuums are created equal and won’t damage carpet, will it? Unfortunately, you’re wrong. Some vacuums are so powerful they can damage the fibers in your carpet. Use our post to determine what vacuum cleaner is right for you, and for your carpet. Once you’ve chosen the right vacuum cleaner, use it once a week to keep your carpet looking like new.
Clean up carpet stains quickly and with blotting. Did your aunt spill soda all over your new carpeting? Is the puppy not completely potty trained? When you find a spot on your carpet, clean it up as soon as possible—the sooner the better. And do you apply some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those pet stains, spilled juice or muddy footprints? You may be damaging your carpet fibers. Next time you need to clean up carpet stains, blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill.
Carpet clean once or twice a year. We’re not talking about renting one of those cheap store brands. Give your carpets a real, professional deep clean twice a year, or at least annually. Make an appointment with a Y’s Way professional to give your carpets a deep clean, and to keep them clean—and looking new.
Use rugs to your advantage. Keep rugs by all exterior doors for your guests and family to clean off their feet. If you have a dog, clean off paws before they enter the house. In high-traffic areas, put down area rugs to take the strain off your carpet. For example, if the area is a common walkway (or runway in the case of children), put down a runner. Vacuum the rugs often to make sure the dirt stays on the rugs.
Sweep or vacuum regularly. The everyday grime that accumulates on tile floors also can scratch and damage your tile. Use a dust mop or broom to keep your tile clean in between deep cleanings.
Clean up spills ASAP. Juice spills and other puddles can stain grout, and water can also do damage. Be ready to wipe up spills as soon as you see them.
Know what works on your tile floor, and what doesn’t. Be cautious when using cleaners on your floor. If you are trying a new cleaner, test clean an area that is not visible, such as behind an appliance. Check with Y’s Way Flooring or your flooring manufacturer to determine what works best, especially if the flooring is new and under warranty. If you’re looking for a tile cleaner you can make with household products, mix together vinegar and warm water (remember to test it before applying to the whole floor!).
Stop the dirt before it gets to be a problem. Use rugs strategically placed at your entry ways and regular sweeping to keep daily dirt away. Dry mop or vacuum your hard floors. Be careful when vacuum cleaning; sharp parts of your vacuum can scratch or damage your vinyl floors.
Protect your vinyl floors from scratches. Use caution when moving furniture around to prevent scratches. Put a piece of plywood over your floor and under the furniture if you are sliding furniture pieces from place to place. Use protectors under your chairs and furniture to prevent scratches on your vinyl floor from daily activity.
Test before cleaning. This should be a mantra in your floor cleaning; before you do any deep cleaning, ALWAYS test an area that is not visible first. This simple step ensures that the cleaner does not discolor or damage your floor in high-traffic areas. If your floor is under warranty, check in with floor installer or flooring source, such as Y’s Way Flooring, to find out what cleaners are recommended to keep your warranty intact. If you have any questions about vinyl floor cleaning (or any type of floor cleaning), don’t hesitate to ask via email or on Facebook. They’ve seen and installed almost any type of flooring, and can give you floor cleaning tips to keep your floors looking their best.