Your floors take a beating. They are walked, played, stomped, spilled, danced, scooted and crawled on. So who can blame them for looking a little dull and dingy? But if you’d like to see them glisten again, you can take a few simple steps to get — and keep — your floors looking great.
Learn more about how often to vacuum, how to keep dirt out and how to use the best spray mop to have a floor that always gleams.
Keep Dirt Out
Consider leaving shoes at the door. Along with dirt and dust, the bottoms of your shoes can carry salmonella, listeria, staphylococcus, E. coli and more yucky stuff.
Wiping down pets before they come in from outside, emptying your vacuum canister outdoors and changing your air filters regularly will cut down on the dirt, as well.
Vac and Sweep Routinely
Your kitchen likely sees a great deal of activity, from meal preparation to packing lunches and feeding pets. So, it’s no surprise that experts recommend adding a quick sweep of kitchen floors to your daily cleanup routine.
As for vacuuming, the pros say a weekly once-over is a minimum, although carpeted floors should be vacuumed at least twice a week. This is so dirt and dust don’t become trapped in the fibers.
Finally, if you have pets, you should run the vacuum daily. Not only do they shed hair and dander, but they can also bring in bacteria from the outdoors. To make it easier on yourself, consider investing in a robotic vacuum that you can automate.
Spot Clean Spills
Little messes happen every day. While it can be tempting to ignore them when you have so many other things going on, cleaning them up right away will make it simpler in the long run.
The best spray mops make quick cleaning a breeze. Even if you don’t use it for more intensive mopping, you can pull it out, swiftly wipe up sticky, muddy, dirty or wet messes, and then go about your day.
Don’t Spread Dirty Water
If you dip your mop into the same bucket to get it soapy and then rinse it, you’re just spreading the same grime back onto the floors. The ideal solution is to use two buckets: One for cleaning and the other for rinsing.
If you don’t have two pails, replace the water as soon as it becomes murky. However, don’t pour it down the sink drain. Mop water is full of germs and can contribute to clogged drains. Instead, flush the dirty liquid down the toilet.
Use Proper Products
Not all flooring is created equal, and the types of cleaners you use should suit each one. For instance, a vinegar and water combination is the best way to clean sealed hardwood floors. Then, either fill a steam mop with the mixture or spray bottle with it and spritz the floors before mopping.
Add a drop of dish soap to the vinegar and water mixture for tile floors. And for laminate floors, a damp mop is usually enough. Typically, less is more.
“Avoid using abrasive cleaning supplies like scrubbing pads or hard bristle brushes to prevent scratches,” Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority, told Martha Stewart.
Once you have established a routine, keeping your floors polished won’t take much time or effort at all.