The state of the floor in your house is a dead giveaway of the state of the rest of your house. It occupies the largest area in your home, and because it sees the maximum activity, it tends to get dirty fairly quickly. It soon becomes a hotbed of germ activity and infection. Worryingly, children and babies tend to spend a lot of their time on the floor – a dirty floor can make them sick before you know it.
Keeping the floor in a pristine condition every day is difficult. Just sweeping or vacuuming it takes away a large chunk of your time. You may be left with little time (and energy) to follow this up with mopping and buffing. Also, your floor cleaning routine depends on the kind of floor you have.
Since not all floors are created equal, there is a unique way to clean each one. We break down the cleaning technique you should adopt, based on the type of floor finish you have:
* Tiled: Tiled floors are the easiest to clean. Just take a bucket of soapy water and a mop and clean it to perfection. Tiled floors require very little by way of maintenance, and are largely resistant to heat and water. However, they can get a little slippery at times so you must never wax them. Also, you might need to steam clean them once a month to remove dirt and grime.
* Linoleum: Linoleum requires handling with care or you might ruin its texture. You will know when it is time to clean it – linoleum becomes sticky when grease or dirt accumulate on it. Spritz a few drops of disinfecting cleaner into a bucket of water, squeeze out the mop completely and run it all over the floor. Follow it up immediately with a dry mop to remove excess water – water droplets always stain linoleum. Let it dry.
* Cork: These require a similar floor cleaning technique to linoleum. However, it is extremely absorbent and prone to staining, so it is better to use a cleaning solution comprising one part vinegar to three parts water. Vacuum or sweep the floor clean, then quickly run the cleaning solution over it. Wipe with a damp mop. Follow up with a dry mop to remove excess water.
* Laminate: These are hardier than cork and hardwood, but you must be careful not to mop them with sopping wet mops. Spot cleaning often works better with this finish. Try using a mild floor cleaning solution and wiping the floor with a damp mop. Let it air dry.
* Stone: This one is tricky to clean, especially because harsh detergents can rob the stone of its shine and dissolve the minerals in it. Ditch cleaners comprising acids and bleach. Instead, use pH balanced all purpose cleaners – these are milder than other cleaners and will not harm the stone’s texture and shine.
* Porcelain: Porcelain tiled floors can get grubby very quickly, and may require steam cleaning to dislodge dirt and kill germs. Start by vacuuming the floor. Follow it up with a steam cleaner. Wipe the floor with a damp mop before spot cleaning with an all-purpose cleaner mixed in water.
When you are done with your floor cleaning, let the floor air dry. Sunlight works best to kill bacteria and germs, so open the windows to let fresh air and sunlight in.