We are all human and no one is perfect. We make mistakes all the time, including spills! The old expression “Don’t cry over spilled milk” is easier said than done. In this complete guide, we will be going over the most effective ways to clean all types of floors you could possibly spill on…even carpet.
Before you attack your wood floors with a good old-fashioned mop and bucket, you need to sweep! With hardwood floors you have the option of either sweeping or vacuuming, but at the end of the day, make sure all the dust, dirt, and debris is cleaned up before you start polishing.
The key to maintaining hardwood floors is not too much liquid. We cannot stress that point enough! Any excess liquid is bad for wood floors as the excess is easily absorbed by the wood and may cause buckling or staining. If you come across any sticky spots while sweeping, using a slightly damp cloth and wood cleaner should do the trick to cleaning those spots. Applying a heavy mist of wood cleaner using a spray bottle is best as any excess of moisture is damaging to a wood floor.
For wood floors, using a flathead mop with a microfiber cloth is most effective. If this is not at your disposal, a string mop will work well as long as it is thoroughly wrung out, almost dry. Stick with the spray bottle of wood cleaner and mop with the grain of the wood for the most effective clean.
Although laminate floors may look like wood floors, they are actually easier to clean! Yes, you read that correctly. Laminate is more durable since it is made of pressed wood thus it resists moisture, scratches and wear and tear better than wood.
Begin with sweeping or vacuuming your floors to get rid of any dust, dirt, or debris. A walk across them with bare feet will reveal if you’ve accomplished your task. After you’ve successfully picked up any stubborn debris, use cleaning products specific for laminate flooring to treat any spots you come across.
Every two to three months, after sweeping and spot treating, use a flat mop with a microfiber cloth to clean the floors. Wring out your mop until it is almost dry as, similar to wood floors, excess water can damage your flooring if it seeps underneath. After mopping, go over the floors with a dry mop or microfiber rag to ensure the floor is completely dry.
Similar to laminate floors, vinyl flooring is easy to clean.
Begin with your preferred broom or favorite vacuum and pick up any dust, dirt, and debris you come across. Look for extra dirty spots to clean with either water or a commercial vinyl floor cleaner.
After spot cleaning, take a microfiber mop and use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to clean the floor. The vinegar will remove the dirt without leaving a soapy film.
Mix one cup of Apple cider vinegar to one gallon of hot water. Again, your mop should be just very slightly damp as too much water can damage your flooring. It’s really that easy!
Cleaning the tile
This is where things get a bit more complicated. Begin by sweeping your tile floors, getting rid of all dust, dirt, and debris.
Using a mop and either a neutral floor cleaner or a mixture of vinegar with hot water will work best with tile. If choosing the homemade cleanser, mix ¼ cup white vinegar with two gallons of hot water.
Be careful to not use anything too rough as tile is more prone to scratches and dulling than other floor types. Also, your mop should be a chamois mop or use a rag; a sponge mop will push the dirty water into the grout.
Cleaning the grout
When it comes to cleaning the tile grout a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste will work best.
Mix a ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1 tsp of dish soap. Apply your homemade cleanser to the grout and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Then take a cheap toothbrush and scrub the mixture in the grout to loosen up any stubborn dirt. Finally, give the tile floor one final mop using warm water to get rid of any remaining dirt and cleanser.
Carpets add warmth and texture to any home but are a burden when it comes to spills. For every day dirt and debris, your carpets should be vacuumed once a week to keep them looking fresh and to avoid damage to carpet fibers.
For specific spills and for deep cleaning, which should be done every 12-18 months, the process for your carpet takes a few steps.
- The first step in cleaning your carpet is the vacuuming. You should be consistently vacuuming your carpets to avoid grounding dirt into the carpet backing.
- Next, you will want to apply your preferred carpet cleaning solution. There are various solutions for different problems. Once you have decided on a carpet cleaning solution you will want to test it in a hidden area on your carpet to make sure it doesn’t de-color your carpet. Follow the instructions on the back of your carpet cleaner to understand how to use that specific product but for a tip, use a white cloth so the color doesn’t bleed onto your carpet. For tougher areas use a scrub brush, gently rubbing the stain, then blot with your white cloth.
- Buy or rent a carpet cleaner. You can rent carpet cleaners at most home improvement stores. Make sure you read the instructions. Using hot water and a small amount of the carpet cleaner used earlier, clean the carpet from front to back. Carpet cleaning machines push water out as you move forward and pull it back up as you move backward. Make sure you are pulling up all the water you push out as to not cause any mold or mildew. Allow the carpet a full 24 hours to dry. Open up doors or windows to speed up the process.
- Once the carpet is dry, go over it with the vacuum to pick up any leftover dust and debris.
Understanding how to treat your specific type of flooring is important for keeping your floors in good shape, with this knowledge you won’t cry next time you spill the milk!