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Our floors are not only an area of our homes that takes a significant beating but are also the first area that is noticed when someone walks through the door. In most cases, try as we might, we can never get our floors to look as clean and pristine as we would like.
If you feel like you only take your vacuum cleaner and mop and bucket out of your utility closet once a week—don’t feel alone. According to data obtained via a survey by Bissell, 32 percent of American households clean their floors on average once a week. If you are one of the 32 percent cited in the survey, don’t despair. We are here to offer up some handy hacks to make your floors absolutely sparkle.
Create Your Foundation
For any plan to work, and work well, it will have to be built upon a solid and sound foundation. In this case, the foundation is that of a floor cleaning routine. Set a schedule to vacuum and clean your floors one day a week. And when we say clean, we do not mean halfway–we mean clean as if you mean it.
Don’t just sweep a little or Swiffer lightly over the floor. We mean really clean! Take one day, the most optimal is a weekend day, and spend at least half an hour if not more tackling any of the accumulated dirt from the week before.
Remove Those Shoes
If you want to minimize the grunge and dirt that your floors accumulate, you might want to take on a “no-shoe” policy in your household. This policy is the perfect means to control, if not eliminate, the amount of dirt and grime that gets tracked into the home on a daily basis. The soles of our shoes provide the perfect surface, almost as if a magnetic, for dirt, dust, and grime.
According to data collected from a study conducted by the University of Arizona, they can even play host to such bacteria as that of E. Coli. To lessen the inevitable build-up of dirt and such, set a basket at the door where family members are encouraged to remove their shoes. In this basket, offer such items as indoor slippers or even skid-proof socks. These types of footwear will encourage both family members and friends alike to shed their shoes before entering your home.
Even though you are now working to control the amount of dirt and grime, along with bacteria, that makes its way into your home, you still have to chore of addressing those messes that are created by family members. Whether the primary issue is a somewhat half hazard crumb trail in the kitchen, or the hallway with the eve- present muddy footprints, you will need to identify your most troublesome areas.
Once you have these areas identified, you will need to set a few minutes each day to clean them. It may not appear like it at the time you are cleaning, but it will be time and effort well spent. Keep in mind that the presence of bacteria can lead to illness in your home, and crumbs only serve as an open door invitation to pests and other critters.
When cleaning in the kitchen, there are several types of products available on the market. It is essential to remember that each product is geared towards cleaning a specific surface. For instance, you wouldn’t want to use a bleach-based cleaner on a wood surface of the flooring. With that said, one of the most widely used and efficient types of floor cleaner is that in a Swiffer type product. Available as a dry, reusable, microfiber cloth for a quick-dry mopping, and available in a wet cloth with a cleaning solution for a little more intense cleaning.
Here is a handy tip: purchase the Swiffer spray mops, attached a dry cloth, and fill the reservoir with simple soap and water. Or you can have the kiddos don an old pair of socks, liberally spray down your floors, and let them loose. Talk about the utmost in frugality! And your floors will shine like a new penny.
Mats At The Doors
In pretty much the same vein as the removal of shoes before entering the home is the use of doormats. Taking the time to place a good quality doormat at each entrance into your home will go a long, long way to helping trap any dirt, grimes, or germs before they can even begin to make their way into any part of your home. Again, for the best results, make sure that the doormat used is of high-quality as well as being well made. For outside the house, at the door entry, a weatherproof mat is perfect. Then, just in case it is needed, place a lightweight utility rug just inside the door as a second barrier.
When we pull out chairs and push them back in under the table, we cause scratches in the flooring underneath over time. As the scratches grind in overtime, any dirt, grime, or dust that falls into them will become ground in as well and eventually causes a build-up. This build-up can have a very unpleasant appearance on your floors, leaving them looking dull and dingy. By placing felt pads on every piece of furniture, you can prevent the scratches’ occurrence and the nasty grungy build-up.
Microfiber Is The Bomb
Most of us have grown believing that nothing beats a good old bucket full of hot water and a mop when it comes to cleaning non-carpet surfaces. That may be how our parents and grandparents did it, but unless you change the water every few minutes, you only serve to be pushing around dirty, gross water. YUCK!These days, the traditional mop and bucket are replaced with the spray bottle and a microfiber mop. I mean, it is so easy peasy—simply spray the cleaner on the floor and then follow up by wiping the area with the microfiber mop—no back-breaking bending over to wring out a mop or lugging around a bucket of dirty water. Spray, wipe—spray, wipe—you can do the entire kitchen in a few minutes. And if that isn’t wonderful enough, when finished, you can toss the reusable microfiber mop into the laundry to clean for future use.
Nothing is more stunning than a clean tile floor. However, when the grout starts to get grimy and dingy, those same floors can go from stunning to gross in no time at all. Although several store-bought cleaners are adequate in cleaning grout, your best bet is to go back to the basics. With a mixture containing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap, and using a brush and a little bit of elbow grease, you will soon have those tile floors sparkling once again. If your grout was initially white in color but is far removed from it now, you can go the white shoe polish route. Apply the polish to the grout lines, and then let it sit overnight. Come back in the morning and polish any excess off.
Dealing With Pet Hair
If you know or have ever had pets you know what I am going to be talking about next. It seems no matter how hard I tried, I never felt like I was winning the war when it came to my dog’s hair. Then there was the problem of little dirty paw prints during those wetter days and months of the year. For the muddy paw prints, I used the hack above utilizing the spray and microfiber mop. Works wonders! Of course, placing a quality doormat where the furry baby enters and exits the home will alleviate many of the muddy paw prints; some will still succeed in making it past the mat.
To help stem the amount of hair on the carpet, using a standard squeegee can prove to be a masterful hack. Simply drag it over an area of the carpet, and watch the dog hair come to the surface and roll into clumps. Genius!!
You have finally figured out the best method to make sure your floors are always clean and sparkling. However, for all of its sparkle, many hardwood floors can suffer from everyday wear and tear that can lead to those nasty, dreaded scuff marks. By its very nature, linoleum is one of the materials that are most prone to this problem. Many don’t realize that one of the best methods of dealing with scuff marks is using a tennis ball.
You will only need to rub the scuffed area with the tennis ball, and like what seems to be magic, the scuff will disappear. This method will only work with a tennis ball. Do NOT attempt this on linoleum or waxed floors with the Magic Eraser. The Magic Eraser will only serve to remove the coating that gives your floor its shine, and you will be left with patchy dull spots all over.
Ditch The Damp Mop
Unless your hardwood surface floors are caked in dirt, grime, and a complete sticky mess, there is no real need to damp mop them every time you clean. In fact, you can limit damp mopping them to four times a year—or when the season’s change. When you do damp mop, use a microfiber mop that has been slightly dampened, making sure to mop in strokes in the same direction as the wood grain.
You should never use a mop that is sopping wet, as the water may permeate even the best-sealed floors and cause hoovering and buckling. If you feel that you can’t get as good a clean as you would like without using a commercial brand cleaner, make sure to use one with a spray applicator. These types of applicators provide an adequate amount of cleaning solution with each mist.
Tea For Two—And Floors Too
There is more to black tea than the apparent health benefits that the herb bestows. It is also useful in the maintenance of your floors—in not one but two ways. First up, tea can be used to cover scratches on any type of wood, which means wood floors as well. Take a teabag, and place it in boiling water. Allow the bag to steep until it achieves the color you desire—the longer you let the teabag and water set, the darker the color. Take a cotton swab, dip it in the tea-infused water, and apply to the scratches. The tea will permeate the wood and stain it, making the blemish less noticeable.
The other use of black tea is in shining your floors. This time around, you will need to make a large batch, placing several tea bags into boiling water. Once the tea has finished steeping, allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, you will use it to mop your dark hardwood floors as usual. Not only will the tea give your floors a good cleaning, but it will also leave them sparkling and shiny.
Iron And Ammonia
Here is one that I had never heard of, but after a little research found that those who tried it loved the end results. It also works as a dual purpose cleaning hack, as it will work on stains on your carpet, as well as any dirt that has ground into linoleum or laminate material floors.
You will need ammonia, water, a white cloth, and a clothes iron that has been heated for this cleaning method. Begin by mixing one-part ammonia with one part of water. You will then dampen the white cloth in this mixture. Place the dampened cloth over the stained, grimy area allowing it to set a few minutes. You will then place the hot iron on top of the cloth and move it in circular motions. Repeat this process with a fresh, dampened cloth until the stain or grime is gone.
Olive Oil For Restoration
Throughout the life of your wood floors, they will begin to look dry, scratched, and well, let’s face it, dingy. Many choose to use harsh chemicals to restore their floors to what was once their glory. Although these types of chemicals will work to some extent, they are not very forgiving in the long run. If you prefer a more natural and less harsh means, why not try olive oil? Yep, it’s not just for cooking these days, as olive oil can offer your hardwood floors a new and shiny finish that will make them look new again. In a spray bottle, mix two parts olive oil to one part white vinegar with just a few drops of your favorite flavor of essential oil. Spray lightly over your wood floor in small sections. Then use a microfiber mop and buff until you see them sparkle and shine.
Turn Off The Beater Bar
These days, many people prefer having the choice of vacuuming their hard surface floors rather than sweeping them as grandma did. Several vacuums are specially designed just for cleaning hard floors and let me tell you can be very costly. However, you can save yourself the extra expense by simply turning off the beater bar on your current vacuum. If you don’t take the time to turn it off, all you are achieving is having all the dirt and dust you are trying to vacuum up being thrown back towards you. YUCK!
Vinegar With Canola Oil
We have already mentioned using olive oil to renew your floors shine, but did you know canola oil will work just as well. However, canola oil will do somewhat of double duty in that it will also work towards removing the scratches that ultimately occur on wood floors. Mix 3 cups of canola oil to one cup of distilled white vinegar in a large container or bucket. For use on scratches, use a washcloth to rub a small amount of the solution into a scratch on the wood. For a good as the day, it was bought shine, use a large mop to mop the mixture across the floor’s entire surface. Allow the solution to sit undisturbed for five to ten minutes, and then wipe over it again with a clean, dry cloth.
Keep The Dust In The Pan
The whole purpose of sweeping your floor is to make it sparkle and shine. However, dirt and grime work against this end means, and they have a conspirator aiding them—that of your dustpan. There is a hack that will put the dustpan to work for you, instead of the dirt. By simply wetting the dustpan down, you will be able to not only capture but hold any dirt in your path. The moisture component will prevent any particles from fall off in the process of cleaning. Once you are done, knock as much of the captured dirt off into your trash can, and give the dustpan a good wiping down with a paper towel. Easy peasy!
As you can see, several simple and easy hacks can aid in the cleaning of your floors. You will soon have floors that sparkle and shine like when they were brand new in no time at all. Need a helping hand? Our Philadelphia cleaning team can take care of all the dusting, mopping, and vacuuming so you have more time to do what you love.