We've all been there. You spend what feels like a lifetime toiling over your floors with a mop and bucket only to take a step back and realize what you expected to shine only streaks. Fear not, we can help.
First and foremost, it's crucial to note that no two types of floors clean the same. Before you break a sweat, consider the type of floor you're about to clean.
Ceramic Tile Floors
Ceramic-tile floors may be one of the easiest to clean, but first, be sure to sweep or vacuum to remove any loose soil or grit. Using warm water and a micro-fibre mop you should be able to pick up most of the dirt. While it may seem like an appealing option, never use a sponge mop to clean ceramic-tile floors; it'll pull the dirt into the grout tracks making it more difficult to clean.
If you opt for the old fashioned "on your hands and knees" with a rag and some elbow grease, then be sure to wipe in a circular motion across the floor.
Looking for something a bit stronger than soap and water? Try white vinegar. A natural, non-toxic product that safely deodorizes, disinfects and cleans most hard surfaces without harsh fumes, vinegar is a mild acid that dissolves grease and hard water stains. Once vinegar dries it leaves behind a fresh, neutral scent that you can customize by mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the solution before cleaning.
When cleaning, don't forget the cabinets and baseboards. If you have really dirty grout, use a brush.
When cleaning hardwood floors speed up the process by first dusting the floor with a mop or use disposable electrostatic cloths designed to pick up dust, dirt, and pet hair that might scratch the floor surface.
Unless specially treated or sealed, most hardwood floors can be cleaned with warm water and a mop. If you want to get a creative and give your floor a nice finish, steep two teabags in two cups of boiling water and leave it until it comes to room temperature. Remove the teabags and soak a clean cloth in the liquid, wring out, then wipe floor clean. The cloth only needs to be damp (not soaked), to help the floor dry quicker. You can also dry it with a soft cloth. The tannic acid in the tea will help bring wood to a shine.
If there are scratches that stand out after cleaning the hardwood try this trick. Take a crayon the color of the floor and fill in the scratch. Next, use a blow dryer to heat the area where the crayon was applied. Finish with buffing the scratches area with a soft cloth.
Keeping your floor clean not only helps with appearance, but it helps with your vinyl's durability. Get into the habit of sweeping your floors every evening to ensure maximum protection from wear and tear.You can also try vacuuming your vinyl floors on a regular bases, and most importantly, wipe up spills as they happen.
While heavy-duty cleaners may sound appealing when it comes to cleaning up tough messes, avoid these and instead use milder methods. To clean dirt that the broom or vacuum can't pick up, use a mop dampened with warm (not hot) water. Feel free to add a small amount of dish soap, but only when your floor really needs it. Believe it or not, soap can actually leave a film that collects dirt! When you do need to wash the floor, use two mops—one for washing and a second one just for rinsing.
It's important to not use an overly wet mop on vinyl because the water can easily work its way into the cracks and floor seams, which in turn can destroy the glue bond that holds down the vinyl, causing it to come loose or curl.
For removing hairspray from a vinyl floor, just mix a squirt of shampoo with a gallon of water water, mop, then rinse with a damp cloth or mop.