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Our floors get the most day to day abuse with being tracked in on, spilled on and ignored for daily cleaning. When it comes to finding the best floor cleaning products, you will want to choose a cleaner that will not only clean your floors, but will also pamper them to keep them looking good for years to come.
There are two types of wood floors, real hardwood floors and engineered wood floors. While these floors may look the same, they need different types of cleaners.
Engineered wood floors only have a small layer of wood in them. This makes them much more susceptible to damage from choosing the wrong product. And, if ruined, engineered floors aren’t easy to fix, because you can’t sand them down and refinish.
Before you get to work cleaning your wood flooring, make sure you have all of the dirt and debris off of it first. Picking the best hardwood floor vacuum will help you get the job done quickly.
For engineered wood floors you will want to use a neutral PH balanced cleaner. If you are using pantry items to clean your floors then skip the vinegar and opt for rubbing alcohol mixed with water and a little Dawn for a great mopping solution.
If you are dealing with real hardwood floors then you can use a vinegar cleaning solution to clean them right up. If white vinegar dulls your hardwood floors too much then opt for apple cider vinegar to keep their brightness.
For either real hardwood flooring or engineered flooring, a good chemical cleaning product that works really well is Pinesol.
Make sure that before you mop the floor with the product, you take the time to sweep up dirt and debris from the floor. You can also vacuum up large piles of dirt, hair and debris if you have the right vacuum. This keeps you from rubbing all of the dirt right back into the floor as you mop.
Related: How to Deep Clean Hardwood Floors
Also when it comes using floor cleaning products on your wood floors, less moisture is best. Use a damp mop and avoid having excess water on the floors. If you see any puddles then use a towel to dry them quickly. You don’t want those floors warping from moisture.
Tile floor can be tricky to clean. Tile is porous in nature, making it more difficult to get all of the dirt and debris off of it. And, you’re really cleaning two surfaces when cleaning tile flooring: the tile and the grout.
You can purchase floor cleaners for tile but you need to make sure it won’t cloud your floors or damage them.
A tip – use an old tootbrush to scrub the grout. It’s usually the perfect width to fit between the tiles.
If your tile floor is cloudy, you can opt to use a mild acidic cleaner such as fresh lemon juice. This is okay for ceramic tile, but not for marble tile. Make sure you rinse your tile floors with water to avoid any sticky residue.
If you grout is really dull looking then make your own water and baking soda paste. Rub the paste into the stained grout and let it sit overnight. In the morning, use a non metal scrub brush (like an old toothbrush) on the area and rinse clean with a damp towel.
Cleaning carpets can be frustrating since stains tend to cling to the fibers. There are chemical cleaners that can work fast or you can also make your own carpet cleaning solutions.
Before you apply any cleaners, run a stick vacuum over the floors to pick up any dirt or debris. This will make it easier for any cleaners to penetrate into the fibers to clean your carpets. If your carpet is really dirty, you might need a more substantial vacuum, like a canister vacuum, to pick up all of the debris.
The easiest option for cleaning is to use a steam cleaning vacuum. A steam cleaner will deep clean your carpets, using steam to work the stain out. Simultaneously, it will also vacuum the carpet of debris, and pull up the excess water from the steam.
If you elect not to use a cleaning machine, then you will want to pick between natural floor cleaning products or a stronger, chemical cleaning product.
Vinegar, water and a dab or two of Dawn is a popular mixture for carpet cleaning that is very natural. You will scrub this mixture into the carpet using rags. You can also use baking soda with vinegar, sprayed on it to create a fizzling mixture. Baking soda is also great on it’s own as a carpet deodorizer.
There are many more stain fighting single product items that you have laying around the house. Put them to use if you are battling old or hard to clean up stains.
With natural products, you may need to repeat the process. However, if the stain does not improve then you will want to switch to a different cleaner that would be more chemically compatible on the type of stain.
Resolve is a chemical mixture that is powerful at cleaning carpets, whether it is tackling old stains or new ones. Often, you’ll need to use it several times to remove a stain.
This is often used in tandem with more natural options too. For example, use Resolve to remove a stain, and then sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet to deodorize and remove some of the chemicals.
Whether you opt for a natural, home-made cleaning product or a stronger, chemical cleaning product, picking the right solution to tackle cleaning your floors is worth the time and energy. Picking the best floor cleaning products makes your life simpler and your home cleaner.
Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.