The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and homeowners are cleaning. After a cold winter, there’s much to be done around your home, including cleaning your floors and carpets. But this doesn’t mean that spring cleaning your home has to be a chore. It can actually be a satisfying process.
Of course, in cleaning, several chemicals can be introduced into your home that can place both humans and pets in harm’s way. Fortunately, there are many ‘green’ products on the market which can help drastically reduce the amount of chemicals that enter your home.
There are many products you can make at home to clean your floors and carpets. However, the most important thing to remember with all of them is that one cleaner will not work for all types of flooring. When in doubt, always test cleaners in a small but hidden spot before cleaning.
For hardwood floors, tea can be used. Steep a handful of tea bags in warm water. Then, dip a soft rag in the solution and wring out and wipe down the floor. This will really help to make them shine.
Floors made of tile or ceramic can benefit from either steam cleaning or warm water. Stains and scuffs can be eliminated by combining baking soda and water in a paste, and then scrubbing.
Vinegar is another very powerful cleaner that can be used throughout your home as well as on some floor surfaces. Because vinegar is very acidic, lower amounts are best when unsure. It is also a good idea to keep track of how long vinegar is allowed to set before wiping, blotting or vacuuming away.
Frequency of Maintenance
Some floors require frequent cleaning in order to maintain their finish. One example of this is a floor made of ceramic. These floors require daily maintenance in order to avoid the build up of grime, mildew and mould. Plain water is best for this purpose. After washing, dry thoroughly with a clean cloth or towel. Discoloured or stained grout can be addressed with a solution of mild detergent and water at a ratio of 50ml to 1 gallon respectively.
Carpets are best maintained with a good-quality vacuum cleaner. It’s also crucial to ensure any filters are clean to ensure optimal suction. Any spot cleaning can be done by attempting to remove any stains, first with water, and then with harsher solutions. Blotting is usually better than rubbing, which can cause staining to migrate farther down the carpet fibre where it cannot be reached.
Wood floors can be refreshed with vacuuming or sweeping, but mopping is best for stains or spillage. Steam cleaning can remove all manner of dirt and stains as well. When mopping, care should be taken not to moisten the mop too much, as this can cause water to leak between planks and damage the adhesive. Mix mild detergent in a small amount of water, finishing with plain water to ensure that no residue is left behind.
Vinyl flooring can be very low maintenance, as all that is usually required is to sweep or vacuum on a regular basis. Vinyl floors can be occasionally mopped with water alone, or with a water-mild detergent mixture for stubborn spills or stains. For a polished finish, vinyl flooring can be coated with an acrylic polish, which can be purchased at a home supply store.
Although floors are only one part of a multi-surface spring clean, they are an important part, especially if your flooring was recently installed. The better your floor is maintained at the start, the longer it will last.