A lot of people associate Empire® with strictly carpet. And rightfully so – we’ve been pumping out commercials with carpet in the spotlight since the late 1970s. But did you know we’re also prolific with hardwood, laminate, tile, and vinyl flooring?
If you have one of these hard floors in your home, then you know that it takes more than just a quick sweep to keep them looking clean. In part two of Empire’s Spring Cleaning Series, we present Advanced Flooring Care.
Cleaning hardwood or laminate flooring properly doesn’t require a Master’s Degree in the Custodial Arts. But you should know that wood can change over time if you clean it with excessive water or harsh chemicals.
Eliminate Dirt and Dust
Dirt and dust are easily managed with a gentle dust mop or low power vacuum, especially in high traffic areas. Stickier messes like dried mud or syrup can be softened with an ice cube and removed with a dull plastic scraper or moist cloth. The key is to be gentle! You wouldn’t want to scratch up your laminate or hardwood flooring with aggressive scrubbing.
Act Fast with Standing Liquids
Accidents are likely to happen, so be prepared to wipe up spills with a clean, non-abrasive cloth at a moment’s notice. Wood and water do not mix well, so the sooner you wipe standing liquid up, the better.
Hire a D.C. (“Designated Cleaner”)
No, this doesn’t mean you need a cleaning service. It’s recommended that you only use floor cleaner designated for hardwood or laminate. Follow the instructions on the bottle and never over saturate. Too much water or cleaner can cause wood flooring to buckle and/or separate. If you are using a mop, make sure the pole isn’t making contact with the floor. And we recommendstaying away from steam mopsor buffing machines, as they can both damage your wood or laminate floor.
The Vinyl Resurgence: Luxury Vinyl and Sheet Vinyl Cleaned Right
The nice thing about cleaning vinyl flooring is you don’t have to worry as much about water as you do with wood. It’s no coincidence, then, that luxury vinyl and sheet vinyl remain a popular flooring choice in bathrooms and kitchens. Here are some tips for cleaning vinyl.
Clean Often, But Gently
Remove loose dirt with a soft bristle broom. If you prefer to vacuum, disengage the beater bar and use a “bare floor” setting to help avoid damage to your vinyl.
Use Mopping Sense
It’s recommended that you clean vinyl daily with a damp mop. Highly abrasive scrubbing tools, steamers, and buffer machines are not recommended (unless you want to risk bubbles in your floor, or bent corners). For smaller spills, a soft white cloth or eraser are typically the best choice on vinyl.
No Rough Stuff
Avoid detergents, abrasive cleaners, and “mop and shine” products. These can coat your vinyl with a dull film. Ammonia and bleach should never be used with vinyl floor. The key is to use a non-abrasive floor cleaner designated for vinyl and follow the directions carefully. For intense stains such as paint or nail polish, isopropyl alcohol can work wonders.
Avoid Trial and Error When Cleaning Tile Floor
Tile has an unmistakable beauty that brings elegance to virtually any room. Especially effective in main foyers and master bathrooms, tile flooring deserves a little extra attention when cleaning it to preserve its natural, earthy feel.
Mop with a Purpose
Clean your ceramic or porcelain tile with a damp mop (steam mops are also not recommended) once a week. High traffic areas may require daily attention. And please hold the detergent or soap – these products can dull the surface of your tile.
Keep Mud at the Door
Place mats are your friend! Keep moisture and mud near the door and off your new tile (something tells us you won’t mind enforcing this one…).
Protect Your Floor
Have you considered floor protectors? They’re relatively inexpensive and can help protect your tile from deep scratches. Affixing felt or similar pads to table and chair legs can save you a lot of frustration later.
New flooring is a wonderful investment for a lot of reasons, but we love it because it is typically easy to maintain. As you check more items off your Spring Cleaning list, be sure to devote extra attention to cleaning your lovely floors.
And if you’re not thrilled with the way your flooring looks even after a deep clean, it’s time to Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate to see hardwood, laminate, tile, and vinyl options in the comfort of your own home. Give us a call today!