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How to Clean a Floor

Updated on February 28, 2013

How to Clean a Floor

There are many different floor types and many different ways to clean floors.
There are many different floor types and many different ways to clean floors. | Source

Different Types of Floors Needs Different Care

There are a large variety of choices, we have in flooring. Different types of flooring require different cleaning techniques for the best results. Before we go into the best way to clean a floor, let's look at the various types of flooring that is commonly used in homes. Tile is the sturdiest type of flooring and stands up well in high traffic areas. There are many types of materials that make up tile. Ceramic is very common. There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of flooring. Tile wears very well and cleans up nicely. Tile hardly shows its age and withstands a lot of walking on it. Tile needs minimal care to look good and will last for years and years. The high gloss finish can easily scratch. The grout in between each of the tiles, easily stains. minimum of care.

Carpeting is common in many people's home. It comes in a variety of colors, textures, lengths, and uses. Some carpeting is wall to wall, some carpeting comes in the form of runners, and some are rugs. Vacuuming is an easy and efficient way to upkeep carpeting. Carpeting can make a room feel cozy, it insulates, adds warmth to a room. Carpeting requires a lot of maintenance to stay clean. For people with allergies, carpeting may not be the best choice. Carpeting absorbs odors. When wet, it can cause mildew.

Hardwood floors were common long ago. It has a beauty and style that give a rich feel to the room. Parquet floors are a type of wooden floor that has a pattern to it. Hardwood floors absorb water easily Liquid left on the floor may cause it to warp. Hardwood floors will change color as they get older. Hardwood floors can give a cold look to a room.

Vinyl Flooring and linoleum are two different products. Vinyl flooring was always a cheaper alternative to wood and tile and stone floors. They are good in bathrooms, kitchens, and entrance ways, where there is a lot of upkeep needed. Vinyl floors are easy to put down, lower priced, and come in many different varieties. Vinyl comes in sheets or tiles. With tiles, it is important to clean up spills right away to avoid water getting in between the seams and lifting the tile or causing mildew underneath the tile.

Cork and Bamboo Floors are a fairly new alternative to flooring. Both of these product wear well and are priced economically. Both of these products are environmentally friendly. They are biodegradable, so they don't leave as much waste in the landfills.Cork is well used in kitchens because it has a texture that is sponge like. Cork needs more care than other types of flooring to keep it looking good. Bamboo is an excellent alternative to wooden flooring, and needs similar care to hardwood floors.

Linoleum was invented in 1860 as an option to rubber based floors. It is made from linseed oil and other natural products and in recent years has seen an increase in use because of it green, environmentally friendly, products. Earlier construction of linoleum did not wear well. Today this type of flooring wears better but than it did years ago, but still requires more upkeep than other types of flooring.

The type of flooring you have, will depend on the type of care it needs. Every variety of floor requires different upkeep, and different products that can used to clean and maintain it.

Which Mop to Use

A mop can be described as a tool used for cleaning, which has a long handle and an absorbent end. Mops clean solid surfaces and come in a variety of choices. Different mops can be used for specific purposes, and have their negative and positive features. Whichever mop you choose, it is largely a personal decision.

A good mop, is one that is easy to use and leaves you with satisfying results.You will want a mop that is comfortable for you. The mop should be practical and not heavy or awkward for you to use. The mop should feel comfortable to hold and make it easy for you to glide it across the floor.

A good quality mop does not have to cost much money. It should last well after it is rinsed and cleaned from doing its job of mopping the floor. Let the mop dry well to prevent mildew. After you have finished mopping and then cleaning the mop, let it dry by storing it upright. If you are using a string mop, let the cotton strands hang down so that it will dry properly.

There Are Different Types of Mops

type of mop
ease of use
have a throw away or re-usable pad that can be attached to it
great for cleaning corners and hard to reach areas
not so good at scrubbing floor areas
made of fibers from cotton or synthetic, cut very short and close
has a flat mop head made of a sponge
great for cleaning tile and have a removable head and an attached wringer
can harbor bacteria
used as a wet mop
usually have a long handle
great for floors, walls, ceilings
not for cleaning a wet floor
use only dry
great for scrubbing
makes cleaning simple
needs to be wrung out well
usually made of cotton
made of synthetic material cut into strips
works like other mops
doesn't work as well as a cotton string mop doesn't scrub as well
also known as rag mop
plug in appliance - allows to clean with steam
cleans without scrubbing - great for disinfecting
steam can damage vinyl floors and are more expensive than other mops
may not be good for all floors. Steam in crevices can cause lifting.
uses throw away cloths
simple to use and easy cleanup
does not do as good a job as other mops
can be wet or dry. Swiffer is a well known brand
has a bottle of cleaner attached with spray attachment
simple and easy to use
regular mops clean just as well
uses throwaway or washable pads
absorbent and easy to use
more expensive than other mops
comes in a variety of shapes and sizes

Preparing Your Floor for Cleaning

Before you clean your floor, there are important things to do to prepare it

  • move all big and small objects out of the way and off of the floor.
  • clean any counters, tables, and furniture before you start on the floor, so that anything that falls, goes on the floor before you have cleaned the floor.
  • send everyone else, including pets, and people out of the room, so that you are not competing with anyone else walking across your soon to be wet floor.
  • using a broom and a dust pan, sweep the floor thoroughly. Sweep under furniture and radiator.
  • use a damp paper towel for spot cleaning and rub any areas that need extra scrubbing.or may be areas that are sticky.

Mopping is a simple procedure. You will need:

  • mop
  • bucket
  • hot water
  • cleaner

Another Mopping Tip

The Best Mopping Tips:

Use a bucket partially filled with hot water to sanitize the floor. The bucket doesn't have to be full because by frequently changing the water, you can keep the water hot and the water cleaner.

Dip the mop in the bucket of water and wring the mop out with the wringer of by hand. Mop the floor in a figure 8 style for best coverage and ease of mopping.

How to Mop the Floor

Before you begin, make sure you are using the proper ratio of cleaner to water for the cleaning solution you are using.

Dunk the mop into your choice of cleaner and wring the mop until it is slightly damp. If your mop is too wet, it actually can make cleaning more difficult. Too wet of a mop, or the floor, is only spreading the water around the floor, instead of removing the debris. A damp mop lets the dirt to be attracted to the mop.

Begin at the farthest corner of the room. Use a gliding motion in the shape of a figure 8. As you mop sway the mop towards where you are. Always keep yourself standing in the dry area of the floor. Doing this will keep the floor cleaner and avoid dirt tracks and streaks. Change the water and cleaning solution often so that you are always using clean water. If the water you are using is dirty, you are obviously putting that dirty water back on your floor.

After you are done mopping the floor, dump the bucket out and clean the bucket constantly until there is no soap or cleaning residue. You want the bucket to be clean enough so that there is no residue left in it for the next time you use the bucket. Cleaning thoroughly will avoid cross contaminating the next time you clean. Do the same thing for the mop.

How to Clean a Floor

  • Sweep the floor, then vacuum it to make sure all the debris is off of the floor. Mops are good at cleaning, but not at removing things. Mops need a floor free of all the dust, and crumbs, and loose dirt that sit on the floor.
  • Whichever cleaning solution you use, pour it in the bucket with water. Make sure the liquid completely covers the mop, when you dip it in the bucket.
  • Dip the mop and wring out any excess liquid so that the mop is only damp.
  • Move the mop in a figure 8 until you have covered a small area completely. When the mop looks dirty, dip and wring again. Continue this procedure until the whole floor is done.
  • When you are mopping a polyurethane floor, move the mop in the same direction as the grain of wood
  • If the area is very dirty, mop twice, making sure the mop is a little wetter so that the area gets damper. Then let it sit for a couple of minutes so that the cleaner can dissolve the dirt. Mop again, making the mop only damp once again. The area should have loosened the dirt.
  • Try to avoid the wet area, so that you do not step on the newly cleaned floor. Your shoes will dirty the floor again.

Caring for Your Mop

Maintaining your mop is important so that it is a reliable tool to sanitize and clean your floors. Mops don't need too much care, but there are certain routines that are good practice to do, so that you will get the best results from cleaning time after time.

Each time after you mop your floor, clean it by rinsing it throughly until the mop rinses clean in the water. You want the mop to be free of dirt, cleaning products, and dust, so that the next time you use it, it is like new.

Use hot soapy water and a mild detergent. You can wash it by hand or in the washing machine. If you put it in the washing machine, it is best to put the mop head in a wash bag, and put the machine on gentle or low cycle. Some mop heads can then be put in the dryer on the low or cool dry cycle.

Always avoid using a fabric softener because it can damage the fibers of the mop.

After you have washed the mop, if you are not putting it in the dryer, wring it out well. Let it dry so that mildew does not appear.

There Are Different Types of Cleaning Solutions

type of floor
type of cleaner
oxyclean, tilex, clorox clean up
dish detergent or ammonia
murphys soap, pine sol, fabuloso, bona
dish detergent
clorox clean up
vinegar or glass cleaner
dish detergent or ammonia
pine sol, fabuloso
Be sure to mix all cleaners with water.

Cleaning Cautions

  • Never use furniture dust spray on wood or any flooring, it will make the floor very slippery and unsafe.
  • If you use too much water or too hot of water you can damage your floor
  • Do not use wax on linoleum floors
  • Avoid soaps, ammonia, or abrasive products on a laminate floor
  • Avoid using water on wood floor that has a lacquer or shellac
  • Do not use vinegar, abrasive products, lemon, oils, or ammonia on marble flooring.

Special Cleaning Situations

Cleaning a Wood Floor - use a cleaner that is made for polyurethane floors so that the product evaporates fast. This is to ensure that the cleaner will not seep into the floor and cause more moisture that can affect the floor.

If your wood floor has oil or grease on it, wipe the area with a damp cloth and apply a commercial cleaner for floors with polyurethane to it.

For the grout between tiles,tight corners and against the wall, use a toothbrush soaked in the cleaning solution. Let it dry after you have scrubbed the area. You will only be able to tell the grout is clean when it is dry.


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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Thanks Ruch.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Great tips, toknowinfo.

      Voted up as useful