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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.