Green Floor Cleaning

Green Floor Cleaning

Green Floor Cleaning

Cleaning your floors can be a mystery wrapped in an enigma. There are so many kinds of flooring options availableand of course, expensive manufacturers cleaning products to go along with them. But there are plenty of eco-friendly ways to clean them.

There are two key simple tricks for cleaning any hard floor surface. The first is going easy on the product you are usinga little goes a long way. Too much product will result in a sticky floor, which not only feels yucky under foot, but attracts dirt faster; in other words, by using too much product, you will have to double your efforts to get a clean floor. The second trick is to always make sure the mop is well wrung out. If the mop is too wet, it will leave streaks and water marks which are unattractive, and can even be damaging to certain flooring types.

A general cleaning technique is to use an S-pattern to ensure you are not cleaning certain areas and missing others, and to help pull any remaining dirt out of the room. It also saves your energy because you are being strategic about your moves. To mop in an S-pattern, start in one corner of the room and bring the mop horizontally all the way over to the other side of the room. Move the mop down below the damp trail and cross the floor, this time, right to left. Continue doing this until you have reached the lower corner of the room. If you are a skier, slalom skiing is a lot like S-pattern cleaning.

There are a ton of mops and products available, but there is one that I have found to outperform others: A microfiber string mop (Vileda sells a terrific one) and a cone-wringer bucket provides the best cleaning power with minimal streaks. The microfiber head is keyit picks up much more dirt than other materials. I recommend this type product for any floor type. When using a string mop, be sure to wring out well, until the mop is almost damp dry.

With these two tips in mind, we can look at various floor types and see what to do with each kind.

Hardwood, Engineered Hardwood, Laminate, Bamboo, or Cork Floors

These floors are easy to clean and are very durable. For general cleaning, use one drop of dish soap or castile soap in a bucket of warm water. You can also add a capful of vinegar to this mix, which is great for floors with more grime or for homes that have pets (it will naturally disinfect and breaks dirt up better). You want to make sure you have swept or vacuumed the floor prior to mopping so that no stones or other items are dragged around during the mopping, this can scratch the floor.

Ceramic Tile or Polished Cement Floors

Green Floor Cleaning

These are the easiest floors to clean. The most important thing here is to make sure you are using a clean mop head and clean water, or else the dirt from the mop can stain the grout around tiles or can penetrate the seal and stain a cement floor. Using a half cup of vinegar in a bucket of hot water is a sure way to get rid of grime and provide a strong and powerful cleaning agent without damaging the floor.

Marble, Granite, or Slate Floors

The best way to clean natural stone floors is with hot water. These materials are porous and dont need any products to clean them. If there is a dirty spot, consider soaking the dirt with a bit of water for a few minutes and then mopping clean. Marble and granite with a high polish finish can be buffed with a microfiber cloth to make them sparkle.

Keep in mind these are daily maintenance tips, and certain floors may require additional waxing, stripping, sealing and polishing. Be sure to consult the flooring manufacturer for more details about these tasks.

More on Cleaning Green from Naturally Savvy

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