How To Clean & Maintain Your Floors
Keeping your floors clean and well maintained is a crucial part of any property upkeep routine. Doing this properly not only ensures your surface stays looking its best – it means your flooring will last longer as well.
So it’s not surprising that people often ask us how to clean engineered wood floors. But the good news is there’s nothing very complicated about it once you know what you’re doing; nor does it have to be particularly time-consuming.
How to clean real wood floors
Of course, there are some basic things you can do to keep wooden floors looking good. For a start, mop up any spillages immediately, so they don’t sink into the wood, sweep frequently and sand and refinish your floor when necessary.
Then there are the preventative measures which stop issues before they happen. These include having protector pads under furniture legs, not walking on the surface with dirty boots or shoes, or even removing footwear completely. You should also steer away from abrasive cleaning products, steam cleaners or equipment or products such as polish which are designed for furniture. Equally, using grip tape or similar on the underside of mats keeps them in place so they don’t slide and scuff the surface of the wood.
When it comes to the cleaning itself, a weekly sweep (or a daily one if you have time) followed by a clean removes superficial debris and helps prevent scratches. Use a vacuum on the right setting, a dry microfibre cloth or mop or a broom with softish bristles.
Next use a just-damp mop. Obviously, you don’t want to get too much moisture on your flooring. Indeed, any liquid left long enough has the potential to change the tone of your floor or leave marks. If you’re using a spray, make sure it’s a pH-neutral one.
We’ve also written previously about keeping pets’ claws trimmed, along with other tips for looking after animals you have at home.
This product essentially has multiple synthetic layers and replicates the look of real wood very effectively.
Laminate is comparatively low-maintenance, but bear in mind that it’s not waterproof, given that it does contain some wood, and too much liquid can cause marks or warping. Some of the preventative measures outlined above such as placing protectors under furniture legs, and dealing with spillages right away, also apply to this surface (It’s also a good idea to have a doormat to keep dirt and grime away).
You’ll also need to study the manufacturer’s instructions. But essentially a regular soft broom and a mop are the only cleaning tools you’ll need.
For most laminate surfaces, use a vinegar and water solution of a cup of household vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Clean the flooring with a barely-damp mop, and don’t get it too wet.
Again, you can use a vacuum on the right setting, a soft broom or a dry microfibre cloth to gather up loose dirt. Never use a scouring pad or anything else abrasive.
Shoe scuffs and scratches can be removed from laminate with a wet sponge and a rubber eraser.
Vinyl is another synthetic flooring material that again is durable, cost-effective and a piece of cake to fit. And if you’re wondering how to clean vinyl floors, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
Again, for regular brush-ups, a broom, dust mop, microfibre cloth and vacuum cleaner are your friends. Don’t use hot water or a steam mop.
For a more intensive clean, you can use water with vinegar or washing-up liquid, or a store-bought specialist floor-cleaning product. Other options include rubbing alcohol or baking soda and water.
A daily sweep or vacuum is enough to handle most surface grime. But, where needed, you can also use water and a mop. Dry with a clean cloth afterwards, or allow to air-dry.
For more stubborn marks, you can remove food stains with baking soda, grease with rubbing alcohol, and scuff marks with WD-40.
How to clean LVT flooring
Luxury vinyl tile or LVT flooring is another popular option, so we’re often asked how to clean LVT flooring. It resists moisture, is so robust it’s virtually indestructible, and is super low-maintenance. So again, cleaning and maintaining it needn’t detain you unduly.
The regime is pretty similar to other surfaces. Sweep or vacuum up loose debris, then use a wrung-out mop or damp cloth, but don’t over-wet the tiles. Try and wash LVT flooring twice-weekly.
Make sure any cleaning fluids you use are compatible with an LVT surface and safe for any kids or pets you have at home.
A damp cloth, warm water and mild detergent should lift most stains. You could also try using a soft-bristled brush with circular movements. Wipe over with a clean damp cloth and fresh water to finish off.
All the other do’s and don’ts mentioned above also apply to looking after an LVT floor.
At Creative Wood Floors, we supply cleaning and maintenance products through our online store, as well as a wide range of flooring. Browse online or pop into our Basingstoke showroom – and get in touch if you have any questions about how to clean wood floors, or the upkeep of your vinyl, laminate or LVT surfaces.