The Ultimate Floor Cleaning Guide for Tiles, Carpet, Hardwood, Vinyl, Laminate and More!

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Keeping floors clean, safe and hygienic is an essential part of home maintenance. But what’s the best way to clean the floors you have at home or in the office? Here we look at the ultimate guide to cleaning different flooring types to get the best results and outcome for your residential and commercial floors.

Carpet

Clean carpets are one of the defining features that add to a home or business’s appearance, safety and health. On the other hand, dirty carpets are not only unattractive, but can also be unsafe, worsening conditions such as allergies and asthma. Keeping your carpets cleaned should involve a three-pronged approach that includes regular vacuuming, professional carpet cleaning, and professional stain and odor removal.

  • Regular Vacuuming – Regular vacuuming is the first step in keeping your carpets clean and healthy from week to week. Regular vacuuming with a powerful vacuum cleaner helps to pick up dirt, dust and other debris from the floor, and diminishes the buildup of dust mites which can cause allergies. Vacuum once a week, going over the same patch of carpet 3-5 times to lift as much dirt as possible.
  • Professional Carpet Stain Removal – Understanding how to minimize the impact of stains when they first occur at home is a key skill to prevent carpet damage. Blot up as much of the stain excess as possible, you can attempt to remove stains yourself, but the safest bet is to call a professional carpet cleaner to do this for you. They can accurately analyze and diagnose your carpet fiber type, and provide the right stain removal treatment to restore your carpet’s appearance while protecting the carpet from damage.
  • Professional Carpet Cleaning – Professional carpet cleaning is recommended twice a year, to deep clean carpets and remove ingrained dirt, dust, stains, and allergens. If your business has carpet that receives high traffic, you may need to have your carpets professionally cleaned more often. Professional carpet cleaning removes dirt, bacteria, and pathogens, while also freshening carpet, removing odors, and leaving your carpets with a spotless appearance.
  • Professional Odor Removal – Even if your carpets look clean, they may not smell Unfortunately, pet accidents, smoke and cooking smells can seep deep into the carpet layers, lingering no matter how much vacuuming, air freshening and candle burning you do. That’s where professional carpet odor removal comes in. Professional carpet inspection can help to identify the odor problem and diagnose the best solution for fresh results.

Area Rugs

It’s not just wall-to-wall carpet that needs cleaning and maintenance – your area rugs need cleaning and care as well. The most important thing to remember about area rugs is that they are often delicate and composed of materials that need extra care. Each area rug is also unique, and cleaning needs to be tailored to the specific composition of the rug. Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can harbor dust mites, allergens and germs if not thoroughly cleaned. Area rugs can be kept clean through a combination of regular vacuuming and occasional professional cleaning.

  • Vacuuming – Vacuum your area rug on a regular basis in the same way you would vacuum your carpet. Take care with delicate trims and tassels to ensure they are not damaged by the vacuum cleaner.
  • Professional Area Rug Cleaning – Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can be professionally cleaned. This process is carefully and meticulously done in order to remove allergens, dust, and pathogens, while also protecting delicate fibers and dyes. In some cases, an area rug can only be cleaned ‘in plant’ to ensure they are specially handled and the dyes don’t run. Area rugs usually need to be inspected before cleaning, to ensure a correct and safe approach.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a stunning, classic option, and they are generally easy to keep clean. Hardwood floors are highly valued by homeowners, as with proper care, they can last for decades. Prolonging the life of your hardwood floors and keeping them in pristine condition involves checking your hardwood floor type with a flooring expert, regular cleaning, and occasional professional hardwood cleaning and refinishing.

  • Daily Sweeping – A quick sweep every day keeps your hardwood floors spotless and prevents excess dust and dirt collecting in cracks.
  • Weekly Mop/Vacuum – A weekly mop or vacuum helps to pick up all the extra dust and dirt you may have missed during the week. Check with your hardwood manufacturer or flooring expert about which technique is right for your floor, as some hardwood finishes benefit from a damp (not wet!) mop, while others are best to be vacuumed only. Ensure you have a hardwood fitting for your vacuum before you use it on hardwood floors, as a beater bar can damage your hardwood.
  • Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaning – Occasional professional hardwood floor cleaning protects your hardwoods floors and keeps them looking their best. Deep hardwood floor cleaning should always be done by a professional to prevent damage to floors. The best professional hardwood floor cleaning should involve no harsh chemicals, contain low VOCs and fumes, and be GREENGUARD Children & Schools SM Certified.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Sanding and refinishing removes deep stains and restores the luster of your hardwood floors. As sanding takes some layers off your hardwood floors, you only need to do it every 3-5 years.

Tiles

Tile floors are attractive, durable and easy to clean, and there is a huge range of materials and designs to choose from to make your tile floors. While keeping grout clean is a priority for all types of tile floors, certain tile types might need other specific care as well.

  • Basic Tile Cleaning – Keep your tiles clean week to week by sweeping or vacuuming daily (without beater bar on the vacuum cleaner) and mopping weekly. Use a gentle detergent and chamois style mop to collect dust and dirt, rather than a sponge type mop that can push it into the grout.
  • Grout Cleaning – One of the most important aspects of clean tile floors is clean grout. Unlike most tiles, grout is porous, which means it readily absorbs dirt and dust and can stain more easily. Keeping grout clean can be a challenge as grout accumulates dirt and mold over time, and many household cleaning products only erode grout when ‘cleaning’ it. The best way to keep grout white and gleaming is to have grout professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. This professional grout cleaning treatment can lift ingrained dirt and deep stains out of grout while protecting grout and tiles, leaving outstanding results without the back breaking
  • Grout Sealing – After installation of tiles, or professional tile and grout cleaning, you should have your grout sealed. This offers the best protection to your grout, limiting the buildup of dirt and dust, and preventing stains affecting your grout.
  • Glazed/Polished Tiles – Glazed and polished tiles include glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles, as well as dense, polished stone or marble tiles. These tiles are usually highly water and stain resistant, and easy to clean as they don’t stain or absorb spills. Glazed and polished tiles can be cleaned with sweeping/mopping/ vacuuming weekly, and professional tile cleaning once a year.
  • Unglazed Tiles – Unglazed tiles tend to be ‘softer’, more absorbent and more porous, including unglazed ceramic tiles and some stone tiles. Because unglazed tiles absorb more spills, they are more likely to stain. Deep professional tile cleaning can lift stains, marks, and dirt out of unglazed tiles.
  • Slate/Stone Tiles – Certain types of stone tiles, such as slate, need to be sealed after installation for protection and water resistance. Sealing helps to prevent slate tiles being scratched or stained. Acid based cleaners can wear away at the slate, so use only gentle cleansers for your slate tiles.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood provides the look, feel and performance of real wood, integrated with composite materials and a protective polyurethane coating. Engineered wood is easy to care for, durable and practical, and maintaining it is easy too.

  • Regular Sweeping/Damp Mop – Engineered wood floors are more moisture resistant than hardwood, thanks to their finish and high-quality plywood base. Use a cool, damp mop with gentle cleaning agents to wipe away dirt and dust, or a gentle sweep to clear away day to day debris. Never use harsh chemicals (including ammonia or vinegar) or steam on engineered wood floors.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Some engineered wood floors can be sanded and finished, and some cannot. It’s important to check with your flooring manufacturer or a flooring expert before you attempt to do this. Because the wood layer on engineered wood floors is thinner, even if your floors can be refinished, it can only be a limited amount of times. In some cases, engineered wood flooring can benefit from professional wood floor cleaning, so speak to your local professional cleaning company for more details and an inspection.

Vinyl

Vinyl sheet has long been a popular form of resilient flooring that’s ideal for a range of settings in the home and the office. Luxury vinyl tile is a new innovation that accurately emulates the appearance, texture, and feel of other flooring types, including hardwood, stone, and tile for a fraction of the cost. High-quality vinyl is both water and stain resistant and easy to install, making it an increasingly popular choice for homeowners.

  • Regular Sweeping/Mopping – Regular sweeping removes dirt and grit from your vinyl floors before it gets ingrained. If you have no-wax vinyl, ensure you use a cleaner made specifically for no-wax floors. Older vinyl flooring may require waxing. Only use a damp mop, not a wet mop or a steam mop, and rinse floors well to remove soap residue.

Laminate

Laminate is a synthetic flooring composed of multiple layers of pressed wood or other synthetic products fused with a lamination process. The flooring emulates wood or sometimes stone with a photographic layer under the top protective wear layer. Laminate flooring is easy to clean, and with proper maintenance can last for years to come.

  • Regular Dusting/Sweeping/Vacuuming – Laminate can be kept clean on a regular basis with dust mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming without the beater bar. While you should avoid cleaning laminate with excess water or steam, you can use a specific laminate cleaner to remove tougher dirt and dust. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto laminate as this can stain, lightly spray on a damp cleaning cloth or mop instead.

Commercial Flooring

It’s not just at home that floors need to be kept clean and beautiful, it’s equally important for businesses to keep their floors clean and to the standard expected by their customers and their industry. It’s a good idea to outsource your commercial floor cleaning, whether that’s regular maintenance or professional deep cleaning. Most business owners don’t have the time or know how to clean their business space, and professional cleaning ensures a high-quality and safe result.

  • Floor type and Business Type – The best way to clean your commercial flooring really depends on the business type and your flooring type. Most businesses conduct light cleaning such as sweeping, vacuuming or mopping at least once daily.
  • Professional Commercial Carpet Cleaning – Carpets add comfort and warmth to business spaces, but they also need regular professional cleaning as they can quickly absorb stains and odors. Professional carpet cleaning may be recommended every 4-6 months, depending on the traffic received and the nature of your business.
  • Professional Commercial Hard Floor Cleaning – Hard floors such as tile, laminate, vinyl, and rubber are popular in commercial settings as they are stain resistant and easy to clean. In commercial settings, it is essential that these floors are anti-slip and treated correctly. Professional tile cleaning helps to remove germs, dirt, and mold from tiles and grout, while deep professional commercial floor cleaning treatments can be applied to other types of commercial hard flooring.

While incorrect cleaning can damage your floors, using the proper cleaning technique helps to create clean floors that look and smell better, and keep the users of the flooring safe and healthy. If you’re unsure about the right cleaning for your floors, talk to a floor cleaning professional to learn more or to book a thorough, professional floor cleaning.

5 Most Common Misconceptions About Professional Carpet Cleaning

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Professional carpet cleaning can refresh and renew carpets and soft furnishings more effectively than any other cleaning method. However, there are some common misunderstandings about professional carpet cleaning that can cause confusion for both home owners and businesses that want to maintain the cleanest environments possible. Here we bust 5 of the most common myths and misunderstandings about professional carpet cleaning.

It’s Best To Wait As Long As Possible Between Carpet Cleanings

Many business and home owners think that it’s best to wait as long as possible between carpet cleanings to ensure the maximum amount of dirt and dust is picked up with every professional clean. However, unfortunately this misunderstanding couldn’t be more incorrect, because the dirtier your carpet gets, the harder it actually is to clean. Leaving longer times in between carpet cleanings allows dirt to build up and seep deeper into the carpet layers. It also allows stains to become set into carpet, making complete stain removal impossible. Grainy dirt and dust particles can damage and mat and tangle carpet fibers over time, while stains can leave marks that permanently damage the appearance of an entire room. Regular carpet cleaning, such as once a year, can help keep dirt levels minimal and control staining for more flawless carpets.

New Carpet Doesn’t Need Professional Cleaning

As soon as carpet starts being used and walked on, dirt, dust and pathogens start building up. Once dirt becomes lodged in the carpet fibers, it accelerates wear and damage on the carpet, causing it to age more quickly. No matter how new your carpet is, professional carpet cleaners strongly recommend that you clean your carpets yearly. This helps to prevent dirt and stain build-up, and ensures your carpet keeps it’s ‘as new’ look for longer.

All Carpet Cleaning Methods and Companies Do The Same Thing

Not all carpet cleaning methods are equal and neither are carpet cleaning companies. Dry carpet cleaning is quicker because it requires no drying time, but it can leave a residue on your carpet and dry cleaning isn’t as powerful as ‘wet’ or steam carpet cleaning. Hot water extraction using powerful truck mounted machinery is the most effective carpet cleaning method to remove ingrained dirt and stains. The effectiveness of your professional carpet clean also depends on the skill and training of your carpet cleaner. Just because a cleaner has the machinery, doesn’t mean they know how to use it safely and effectively. Choose a highly-rated carpet cleaner who has varied experience, and knows how to handle your unique of carpet composition and type.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Do The Same Job As Professional Cleaners

While it seems like they do the same job, DIY rental carpet cleaning machines are nowhere near as powerful as professional carpet cleaning technology. Professional carpet cleaning equipment is more powerful and effective. Additionally, for the best carpet cleaning result, you need more than just a carpet cleaning machine. Professional level carpet cleaning requires training and skill with the machinery in order to ensure an effective clean that doesn’t deposit too much water in the carpet, or wear the carpet out. Given the cost of hiring a carpet cleaning machine and the potential damage improper use could cause, choosing a professional for your carpet cleaning is always the better choice.

Carpets Don’t Need Professional Cleaning Until You Can See Dirt and Stains

Just because your carpet is not visibly stained or dirty, doesn’t mean that it isn’t in need of professional cleaning. While not visible to the naked eye, pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as allergens like dust mites, pet dander and roach droppings can all be lurking in your carpet fibers. Even without a single stain you can see, your carpet can be full of disease causing compounds. Regular carpet cleaning at least once yearly minimizes these disease causing pathogens in your carpet and keeps your home healthy and fresh.

Breaking through these common misconceptions about carpet cleaning makes it clear how important regular professional carpet cleaning is. Talk to your local carpet cleaning company about setting up a regular carpet cleaning schedule to ensure your carpets are always spotless and healthy.

Why Expertly Cleaned Flooring Is Essential for Professional Offices

If you have a professional office or commercial business, you might not invest much time or thought into the cleanliness of your flooring. However, the commercial flooring in your office, shop or warehouse will be noticed by your clients, customers and employees, and should reflect the high quality and cleanliness you desire for your business. Here we look at some of the reasons why commercial carpet cleaning and floor maintenance is so essential for professional offices and businesses, and the many advantages it can offer your business.

A Professional Appearance

When you are running a business or a professional office, a polished and clean appearance is essential for maintaining the professionalism and appeal of your business. Dirty, stained carpets, scuffed and scratched floors, and old, smelly area rugs can heavily detract from the impression of a commercial or corporate space, and make your business less appealing to customers and workers.  Contracting a commercial floor cleaning company to professionally clean your carpets or flooring on a regular basis helps to maintain a professional appearance without you having to worry about cleaning.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

Nobody wants to attend a doctor’s or dentist’s office where the carpet is not regularly cleaned and could be hosting thousands of different germs. Likewise, unclean floors in any office setting detract from the hygiene and cleanliness of the entire space and can lead to increased illness and allergies.

Professional commercial carpet cleaning deeps cleans carpets to remove germs, dirt and contaminants, for safer, healthier and more hygienic floors for your customers and clients.

Workplace Health and Safety

Unkempt and dirty flooring could become a health and safety hazard in the workplace without regular professional cleaning. Oily residues, mold and slime can build up on smooth flooring like laminate and tiles, increasing the risk of slips, trips and falls. Commercial tile and grout cleaning can clean deeper than any DIY method, removing deeply ingrained dirt and mold and improving the appearance and safety of your floors.

Improved Interior Air Quality

The carpet in professional offices and shops is subject to a huge amount of traffic every day. Shoes can bring in dirt, dust, allergens, pollutants and chemicals that get dislodged in carpet fibers. During vacuuming or foot traffic these particles can be stirred up again, diminishing air quality and increasing the risk of allergies being triggered. Regular commercial carpet cleaning reduces particle build up in your office carpet and maintains a higher indoor air quality.

Greater Employee and Customer Satisfaction

Healthy customers and employees are happier customers and employees. By professionally cleaning the carpets in your offices or shop on a regular basis, you improve the health and safety of your professional space and make it a more appealing location to visit and work in. This helps to boost business and make your professional space one that clients are happy to visit again and again.

Commercial carpet cleaning and floor cleaning in Walnut Creek and the entire East Bay allows professional offices and stores to create a more beautiful, safe and healthy environment that can be enjoyed by clients, customers and employees alike.

3 Surprising Effects Pet Stains Can Have On Your Carpet

For those of us with carpeted floors and pets who spend some of their time indoors, it’s almost inevitable that pet accidents will happen on the carpet. While we might simply shrug this off as unavoidable, clean up the visible mess and move on, there are some side effects and consequences to pet stains on carpet that you may not be aware of. Here we look at 3 surprising side effects that pet stains on your carpet can cause, and what you can do to prevent them.

Pet Stains and Odors in Subflooring

Even long after a pet stain on the surface of the carpet has been removed, pet stains may continue to cause odors and other issues in your home. To understand why this happens, it’s important to take into account that carpeted floor has many layers, and if your pet stain was in liquid form, the stain has most likely penetrated and affected some or all of those carpet layers. This is one of the reason pet odors and pet stains are so difficult to remove from carpet. In many cases, a liquid stain will penetrate not only the carpet, but also the carpet pad, subflooring, baseboards, and sheetrock.

Furthermore, pet stains and the odor molecules can become trapped in the carpet backing, where removal can cause delamination/damage to the carpet structure. If you are trying to manage carpet pet stain removal and odor removal but you are not having much luck, it’s worthwhile calling in a carpet stain removal specialist or your local carpet cleaner, to more accurately diagnose the extent of the staining, and the required removal process.

One Pet Stain Can Often Mean More

If you notice that your pet seems to have the same ‘accident’ in the same area over and over again, you’re not just imagining it. Because pet stains and pet odors are so difficult to remove from carpet, these odors linger and can attract pets to soiling the carpet in the same area again. Only professional carpet cleaning can remove pet stains and odors sufficiently to prevent pets going back to the same spot and soiling the carpet yet again, so it is crucial to enlist the help of your local carpet cleaner to remove pet stains whenever they arise.

Pet Stains Could Carry Disease

Home stain removal of pet stains is often unable to remove all traces of the stain, and even trace amounts of solid pet waste left in your carpet can mean millions of bacteria, parasites and disease-causing organisms are left behind. Solid pet waste can carry nasty germs like Toxoplasmosis, E.Coli, Campylobacter and a range of worms, while pet urine contains ammonia which can cause irritation to the throat and lungs when breathed in over a period of time. Deep carpet cleaning and targeted pet stain removal is often the only way to remove these potentially harmful germs and compounds from your carpet after a pet stain.

While pet stains might seem harmless, correct and thorough pet stain removal provided by an expert carpet cleaner offers the best solution to protecting your carpet and your family’s health from some of these surprising effects of pet stains on carpet.

 

Carpet Cleaning Tips

DID YOU KNOW:

Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.

STAIN REMOVAL

BLOT….DON’T SCRUB: Never aggressively scrub a carpet as it will distort the fiber. BEST PRACTICE: Blot the spill with a white towel or cloth….then apply the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel and blot the stain, thereby transferring it to the cloth/towel. Reposition the cloth/towel to a clean spot and repeat until the stain is completely transferred.

HELPFUL HINT

Never use bleach to try and remove stains from carpet. Yes, it will take the color out of your carpet and not always the stain. If you have any doubts or questions in regards to stains on your carpet call our office for FREE advice over the phone. Our number is 925-833-0408

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