With all the different types of flooring available, it may be confusing to figure out the best way to clean your floors. Popular choices for a hard-surfaced floor include hardwood, natural stone, tile and laminate. While all of these choices have different looks and constructions, they all have the same basic method to get your floors clean and beautiful.
Basic Floor Care
Regardless of floor type, most sealed floors have the basic idea to get them clean:
1. Prep. Using a broom, dry dust mop or vacuum, remove any dirt and debris from the floor. Debris particles can act as an abrasive on the surface of your floors, so this initial step is important to maximize the cleaning process. If you are using a vacuum, beware of beater bars—they can damage floors.
2. Light Clean. If you clean your floor regularly, all you may need is a light cleaning after you prep. For most purposes, water is all you need to remove any additional debris that wasn’t picked up before. Make sure your cleaning tools are damp. Excess liquids can damage your floors.
3. Deep Clean. For tougher jobs, a cleaning solution is necessary. Gentle cleaning solutions, like Bona cleaners, are preferred. Depending on your floor type, you can go with the manufacturer’s suggested cleaner, but that’s not your only option. Stay away from cleaning solutions that use soap since that can cause streaking/dulling/clouding on your floor. Also, avoid the DIY combination of vinegar and water. Vinegar is an acid and can eat away at your floor’s protective finish.
4. Dry. You can let your floors dry on their own, or you can speed up the process with a dry mop or cloth. Drying the floors yourself will help reduce streaks. If you go the air-dry route, be sure to have proper ventilation to speed up the drying time.
Special Concerns for Laminate
Laminate is a good alternative to hardwood. It has a similar look for a cheaper price. The one disadvantage to laminate flooring is that it can’t be refinished like hardwood floors can.
When you are cleaning laminate floors, consider these points:
• Avoid using soaps since they can add a residue that will dull floors.
• Avoid using a wax on laminate. Wax can dull floors as well.
• Avoid all-in-one, “clean and shine” solutions. These have a tendency to leave streaks/residue on floors.
Special Concerns for Stone/Tile
Stone and tile can provide a lifetime of beauty and provide a wide array of colors, textures and patterns that fit any style. When dealing with stone and tile, you also have to be concerned with the upkeep and cleaning of grout.
Here are things to remember when cleaning stone or tile floors:
• Use a cleaner with a neutral pH. Acidic cleaners can scratch surfaces or discolor them.
• Use a baking soda/water paste to clean grout. To further protect your grout, use a sealer after the initial floor installation. Be sure to let the grout cure before sealing it.
• Avoid combining bleach and ammonia as this will produce toxic vapors.
No matter the floor type, a good cleaning routine will ensure that your floors will last a lifetime. A good routine will make future cleanings easier and provide a safe, healthy space for you and your family to enjoy.
Bona has the perfect cleaning solution for your nonhardwood floors. Check out our nonhardwood floor care system and have peace of mind knowing that our products are designed to be safe and effective for your floor surface.