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Cleaning Cork Flooring

Updated on December 1, 2010

About Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is very popular now in not only Europe but also in America, Canada and Australia. However, cork flooring is still a relatively new idea to many people living outside of Southern Europe where most cork is produced.

Cork flooring is made from the remains of cork bark after it has been used for making wine bottle stoppers. The stoppers are punched out of the cork bark and instead of throwing away the remaining cork bark it is instead granulated and then compressed with low VOC adhesive to make cork flooring.

How to Clean Cork Flooring

It is important to remember when you are cleaning cork flooring that you must not let water stand on the floor. Cork flooring is water resistant because of the suberin in the cork, but it isn’t totally impervious to water. For many the temptation is to wet clean flooring. It is not necessary to wet clean cork flooring every week: once a month is enough.

To wet clean cork flooring mix some all purpose cleaner with warm water. Do not use detergent, especially one containing ammonia. One of the best options is to use normal soap. Another tried and tested cleaner is a mixture of vinegar and water (4 parts water to one part vinegar). Get a clean mop or cloth and wet it in the soapy water. Wring out the cloth or mop and then clean the cork flooring. Remember that when you clean cork flooring you are cleaning the finish and not the cork itself. Check with your cork flooring supplier about the type of finish that has been used and they can recommend a suitable cleaning product. The standard finish for cork flooring is either polyurethane or wax and oil.

A cork flooring with a polyurethane finish can be cleaned with a damp mop or cloth as described above. Whereas to clean a wax finished floor liquid wax is often used in conjunction with a damp mop or dry mop.Only solvent based waxes are suitable for cork flooring.

It is more important to regularly clean your cork flooring to remove dust, dirt and other particles.

Cork flooring is exceptional flooring in that it is allergen free, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. However, cork flooring is only allergen free if you regularly use a dust mop or vacuum with soft brush attachment to pick up all the dust and other debris. It is the excrement from dust mites that often triggers allergic rhinitis.

Also when people enter a house they often bring grit and other particles into the house. If these particles are allowed to remain on cork flooring they will be pressed into the flooring by pets and people and can damage the finish of the flooring and the cork itself. Not only should you try to vacuum or dust mop twice a week but you should also consider placing mats by the outside doors to catch particles entering the house and you should also encourage people to remove their shoes in the hallway before walking on the cork flooring.

Finally, it should be kept in mind that cork flooring reacts to the UV rays in sunlight. These UV rays cause cork flooring to fade. It is thus best to use blinds or light curtains to protect your cork flooring from fading.

If you regularly clean your cork flooring and do proper maintenance on the flooring it is possible to make cork flooring last over 100 years.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring comes in various colors and designs
Cork flooring comes in various colors and designs

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