Keeping Your Floors Clean
The Low-Down on Floor Cleaning
Some principles are true for all types of floors.
- Keep some of the dirt out and keep your floors cleaner by using throw rugs at the entryways to cut down on dirt, sand, and grit that comes in from the outside.
- Enforce a no-shoe rule to reduce tracked-in dirt and floor damage. Kids are notorious for muddy shoe prints, but high-heeled shoes, especially stiletto heels, can wreak havoc on wood, vinyl, and linoleum flooring.
- Regular cleaning is essential for the longevity and beauty of your floors. Floors should be dusted, vacuumed, or swept with Swiffer® regularly to remove dirt and sand particles that can scratch your floors or damage carpet fibers. Wood, vinyl, and linoleum floors should be dusted or vacuumed thoroughly before wet cleaning.
- When you vacuum carpeting, use the beater bar (or carpet setting) to help loosen and remove dirt. However, on wood, vinyl, and linoleum, be sure to NOT use the beater bar as it can damage the floor.
- Protect wood, vinyl, and linoleum floors with furniture protecting pads attached to the chair and table legs. Self-adhesive felt pads are readily available at hardware stores.
- Area Rug6. Protect high-traffic areas with area rugs—both on carpeted and uncarpeted floors. They'll help the floor to wear evenly.
- Clip your pets' claws regularly to avoid scratching wood floors and snagging carpet.
- Before cleaning your floor, determine what type of surface it is. By all means, if you have manufacturer information handy, consult it first.
- When cleaning under heavy appliances, lay a piece of plywood on the floor first to protect the wood, vinyl, or linoleum flooring, and then slide the appliance over it to distribute the weight over a larger area and avoid making indentations or grooves in your floor.
Tips from Julie B.
Because they're susceptible to water damage, wood floors require different care than vinyl or tile floors. Here's how to keep them beautiful:
- If you're unsure, use this easy test to determine if your wood floor has polyurethane finish or if it's waxed or oiled. Choose a small, inconspicuous area of the floor, and put a drop of water on it. Allow the water to evaporate completely. If a small white circle appears, the floor is probably waxed or oiled. Remove the white circle by rubbing in and buffing a small amount of wax, and contact the floor manufacturer for an appropriate cleaning recommendation.
- Polyurethane-treated and laminate floors can be cleaned with a product that's specially designed for wood floors. But be sure to use a system that minimizes moisture on your floors such as the Swiffer WetJet.
Vinyl and Linoleum Floors
Part of the appeal of vinyl and linoleum floors is how easy they can be cleaned. And, with the suggestions above, you'll find less mess on your floors to clean. In addition, Swiffer WetJet Cleaning Solution is safe to use on ceramic floors with sealed grout, linoleum, and vinyl floors (and, as we mentioned before, finished wood and laminate floors).
- Be sure to thoroughly clean the floor by vacuuming or using a Swiffer cloth.
- Clean the floor frequently. And new products on the market might even allow you to lift your mood while you clean your floor with a variety of scents.
Vinyl floors can also be cleaned with a solution of Mr. Clean® in warm water. Simply follow dilution directions on the package. There's no need to rinse.
Tip: Dilute Mr. Clean with water in a spray bottle as a floor prespray, all-purpose cleaner, or for quick touchups.
Regular vacuuming and quickly blotting up spills are possibly the best methods to keep your carpet looking its best.
Febreze is also a great way to remove carpet odors on a regular basis, and spraying it on your way out the door ensures a clean-smelling house when you return.
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