How to Clean a Floor With Best Results

A well-maintained floor can elevate the appearance of any residence and improve its functionality. On the other hand, failing to clean your floors regularly can cause wear and tear, diminishing their attractiveness and effectiveness. To keep your floors looking and performing at their best, it is important to establish a consistent cleaning routine, particularly in places like Spokane where the streets can be coated in snow salts, mud, and dirt. By doing so, you can ensure that your floors remain a stunning centerpiece of your home.

 

Why Flooring Finishes Break Down

Dirt can be a significant threat to floors, as even the most durable floor finishes are not immune to its abrasive effects. Over time, dirt can gradually damage the surface of your floors, reducing their appearance and lifespan. To protect your floors and keep them looking their best, it is crucial to prevent the accumulation of dirt as much as possible. This can be achieved through regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping to remove dirt and grime, as well as being mindful about tracking in dirt from outside. By maintaining a clean and dirt-free environment for your floors, you can preserve their finish and ensure that they remain a valuable and functional feature of your home.

It is surprising to learn that even the most durable floor finishes can be damaged by the abrasive effects of dirt. This highlights the importance of maintaining clean floors, especially in environments where there may be more dirt or grit present, such as beach houses or homes in high-traffic areas. By engaging in regular cleaning and maintenance, you can safeguard the finish of your floors and keep them looking attractive for an extended period.

In summary, the key to preserving the beauty and finish of your floors is to keep them free of dirt. This can be achieved through regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping to remove dirt and grime, as well as being mindful about tracking in dirt from outside. By establishing a consistent cleaning routine and taking steps to maintain the cleanliness of your floors, you can help to keep them looking and performing at their best for a long time. Overall, keeping your floors clean is essential for maintaining their attractiveness and functionality as an integral part of your home.

Products Can Help To Prevent Flooring Damage

Furniture can be a source of damage to floors, especially if it is not protected or positioned correctly. To minimize the risk of damage, you can use floor protectors or pads on the feet of your furniture. These products are designed to evenly distribute the weight of your furniture and prevent scratches or dents on your floors. You can also place rugs or mats in high-traffic areas or under heavy furniture to provide additional protection for your floors. Additionally, it is a good idea to rearrange your furniture periodically to avoid the formation of permanent indentations or scratches on your floors. By taking these precautions, you can help to preserve the beauty and integrity of your floors.

Simple Way to Prevent Dirt on Your Floors

To prevent dirt from entering your home, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Encourage all members of your household to remove their shoes upon entering the house
  • Keep a shoe rack or designated shoe area near the entrance of your home
  • Use doormats inside and outside your front door to catch dirt and grime
  • Wipe your feet or use a boot tray by the door to remove excess dirt and moisture before entering the house
  • Consider using door mats made of materials that are specifically designed to remove dirt and debris from shoes, such as coir or rubber
  • Regularly sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors to remove any dirt or grime that may have been brought into the house
  • Use area rugs or runners in high-traffic areas to protect your floors and make them easier to clean

By following these suggestions, you can help to keep your floors clean and free of dirt, and prevent wear and tear on your floors over time.

Best Practices to Stop Furniture from Damaging Floors

To protect your floors from damage caused by furniture, there are several steps you can take. One option is to use floor protectors or pads on the feet of your furniture to evenly distribute weight and prevent scratches and dents. To prevent indentations, try not to leave heavy furniture in one spot for an extended period of time, and be careful when lifting and placing furniture rather than dragging it across the floor. You can also use rugs or mats under heavy furniture for extra protection or use furniture sliders or gliders to make it easier to move your pieces without damaging your floors. Additionally, rearranging your furniture occasionally can help to prevent the formation of permanent scratches or indentations. By following these tips, you can keep your floors in excellent condition.

  • Use pads under your furniture, especially chairs, which should be changed out every six months. Felt pads work well and can help to preserve your floors.
  • Avoid sliding furniture, as this can put a lot of pressure on the and potentially damage the finish. Instead, lift and carry your furniture to prevent dents and scratches.
  • To protect your floors from damage caused by your refrigerator, invest in plastic fridge runners. These will help to distribute the weight of your fridge and prevent the wheels from damaging your floors.
  • Avoid moving your refrigerator too frequently, as the weight and small wheels can create a lot of pressure on your floors. By following these tips, you can help to keep your floors in perfect condition.

Overview of Cleaning Products For Floors

When you enter a store in Spokane, Idaho, you will likely see a variety of products for floors, including cleaners, rejuvenators, and other items that claim to help maintain the appearance and condition of your floors. However, it is crucial to be cautious when choosing products to use on your floors, as some can potentially cause more harm than good. Using the wrong products can add films, acrylics, and other substances to your floor that can degrade over time and make your floor look unattractive or require frequent reapplication to maintain its appearance. In the following text, we will discuss some products that may not be suitable for your floors and others that have been proven to be effective.

What Cleaning Products to Use For Floor Cleaning

Our store and online shop offer a range of products that are suitable for use on nearly all types of flooring, including LVP and LVT. These products use a pH level of 7 to effectively clean your floors without altering their shine. They are specifically formulated to aid in the cleaning process without leaving any residue or requiring frequent reapplication. Properly maintaining the cleanliness of your floors is essential, and using the right products is crucial to achieve this without causing any damage or wear to the flooring.

Good wet cleaner products we have found over the years:

Good dry cleaning products:

  • Microfiber towel / mop
  • Swiffer dry (dry only not wet)

Our store offers cleaners that are specifically formulated to remove dirt and grime from the surface of the floor without altering its appearance or requiring frequent reapplication. These products are suitable for use on a variety of flooring types and can help you effectively maintain the cleanliness and appearance of your floors.

What Cleaning Products to NOT Use For Floor Cleaning

While there are many products available in Spokane that claim to be suitable for cleaning floors, some of them can actually cause damage to your flooring. These cleaners and rejuvenators may initially improve the appearance of your floor for a short period, but over time they can cause the floor to dull, become excessively shiny, or even flake or peel off. The issue with these products is that they do not bond correctly with the finish on your floor, causing long-term damage to the surface. To avoid these problems, it is important to be cautious when choosing products for cleaning and maintaining your floors.

Products to avoid for cleaning floors:

  • Bona polish – This product has a tendency to peel or ruin your floor. While Bona offers other high-quality flooring products, this particular product is not recommended.
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap – This product contains acrylics that leave a film on the floor that will eventually peel off.
  • Vinegar and water – The acidity in vinegar can cause the finish on your floor to age more quickly over time. It is better to use a pH-neutral cleaner.
  • Orange Glow – This product is an acrylic that dries hard and attracts dirt and dust, which can cause it to flake off. It also has an orange color that may not be desirable.
  • Steam mops – Using steam to clean your floor can be more harmful than using water. The steam can penetrate the coating on your floor, and once it cools down, it cannot escape, leading to rot. It is best to avoid using steam mops when cleaning floors.

How To Clean/Sweep/Mop Floors

Keeping your floors clean and attractive can be simple if you use the right methods. After testing and refining various techniques for the past 10 years in Spokane, I have found certain methods to be particularly effective and received positive feedback from my past customers about their effectiveness. If you want the best results for your floors, I recommend using the methods that I have found to be the most successful.

The Best Methods for Cleaning Floors

Dust, dirt, and grime can damage floors by abrading the surface over time. To prevent this, use furniture pads to lift and move furniture rather than sliding it across the floor. To effectively remove dirt from your floors without damaging the finish, follow this step-by-step guide:

  • Prepare the floor for cleaning – First, remove any large debris such as toys or extra furniture that may be in the way. This will allow you to clean the entire floor without missing any areas or trying to navigate around obstructions.
  • Vacuum the floor – Use a vacuum specifically designed for floors, with soft bristles around the head to avoid scratching or damaging the finish.
  • Remove any remaining dirt or sticky grime – It may be necessary to use a separate method to remove particularly stubborn dirt or grime from the floor. We will discuss this in more detail below.
  • Dry tack – Use a microfiber or Swiffer dry pad to pick up any remaining dust, hair, or fur on the floor. This is an important step to ensure the floor is fully prepared for wet cleaning.
  • Wet tack/wet mop – Use a damp pad (microfiber with a cleaning solution) to wipe the floor in a “S” pattern, starting at the edge of the room and making turns at the end of each pass. Be careful not to use too much cleaning solution, as you don’t want to flood the floor. The goal is to clean the , not create a muddy mess.

When cleaning your floors, it is essential to be mindful of the amount of water you use. Excessive moisture can increase the moisture content of the floor, potentially causing problems such as cupping or finish damage. To avoid these issues, use a small amount of cleaning solution and make sure to thoroughly dry the floor after cleaning. This will help to protect your floors and preserve their appearance and functionality.

Overview of Long Term Maintenance of Floors 

In addition to regular cleaning, maintaining the long-term health and appearance of your floors requires a comprehensive maintenance plan. In Spokane, the finish on your floor can become worn or damaged on a daily basis. To avoid the need for frequent sanding and refinishing, it is essential to implement a maintenance plan that includes deep cleaning and screen and coat treatments to keep your floors in top condition. By following these recommendations, you can help ensure that your floors remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

Deep Cleaning Flooring

Deep cleaning is an effective option for homes with high foot traffic or for commercial spaces such as shops and restaurants. This method is more thorough and removes oils, dirt, and hard-to-remove grime from the pores of the floor. While it is not necessary to deep clean your floors on a daily basis, it can be helpful to do so once a year for high traffic homes or once every quarter for commercial spaces. The deep cleaning process uses a more abrasive cleaner and specialized equipment with soft bristles that do not damage the finish. The combination of the abrasive cleaner and the gentle bristles is more effective than traditional cleaning methods. One of the advantages of deep cleaning is that the water is immediately vacuumed up, preventing the floor from coming into contact with excess moisture.

Buff and Coat | Screen and Coat Floors

With proper maintenance, your floors should only need a buff and coat or screen and coat treatment every 5-7 years. This is necessary when the existing finish becomes thin and wears down, requiring a refresh with new finish. A flooring professional (not a carpet specialist) can typically complete this process in half a day. Once the screen and coat treatment is finished, the floor should appear almost brand new again, with its original shine restored. Here is a brief overview of the screen and coat process:

  • clean the floor
  • vacuum the floor
  • buff the floor with sandpaper
  • clean the floor with an adhesion booster
  • vacuum the floor
  • tack the floor
  • put new finish on

By following the above recommendations and performing a buff and coat or screen and coat treatment on your floors, you can help to avoid the need for full refinishing in the future. Proper maintenance and the use of protective measures can extend the lifespan of your floors and keep them looking beautiful for many years to come.