Recommended care for any type of hard floor surface:
Doormats should be placed at every entrance of your home. This will keep sand, grit and dirt from being tracked into the home. These are very abrasive materials, and can scratch and ruin hard floor surfaces.
Clean your hard floors at least once a week using a sweeper, a dust/dry mop, or a hard floor cleaner and wood floor cleaner. By sticking to this routine, abrasive materials will not be able to collect on the surface, and your floors should keep a shine much longer.
One of the major benefits of hard floors is allergens do not get trapped as they do in carpet. Cleaning hard floors regularly will lead to a healthier home.
When spills occur, clean them up immediately. This will keep substances from staining the floor or grout, and will save you the trouble of having to remove a stain from your floor later on. Clean spills on hard floors using a damp towel and warm water, or if necessary a cleaning solution made specifically for your type of floor. Never use abrasive cleaners on your hard floor.
Avoid dragging heavy furniture across your hard floor as this can cause scratches. If you can’t elevate the entire piece of furniture, use a soft glide underneath the furniture to allow it to move easier.
Place a rug in front of a sink in rooms that have hard floors. Hard floors can become very slippery when they are wet, and a rug will keep water from forming a puddle on the floor.
To see more tips on cleaning for specific types of hard floors, click one of the links below:
Wood Floor Cleaning Guide:
Wood floors are becoming more popular as people are starting to focus on a healthy home. Wood floors that are cared for properly should never have to be replaced. Most nicks and scratches can be fixed by replacing the finish on the wood, and spills can be cleaned easily with very little worry of staining.
There are mainly three types of finishes that can be placed on wood floors: varnish/shellac, wax, or a surface finish (urethane). Before cleaning a wood floor, you first must determine the type of finish placed on the wood. Most new floors come with either a wax or surface finish.
For the proper wood floor cleaner or hard floor cleaner regardless of the finish, you should never use vinyl or tile floor cleaners on wood.
Specific care for wood floors with a wax finish
If your sweeper or dust mop does not restore the shine to a wood floor with a wax finish, try buffing to restore the shine rather than immediately applying another coat of wax. Buffing should always be tried before adding another coat of wax, as this will often provide a nice shine without adding another layer of waxy build-up.
If this still does not work, you will need to apply a wood floor cleaner or hard floor cleaner and liquid wax made specifically for wood floors. After this has been applied, let the surface dry and then buff. This process should be carried out once or twice a year depending upon the traffic.
Common stains and how to remove them from a wax finished floor:
Food Stains - Most food stains can be cleaned by rubbing the area gently with a damp cloth. Start on the outside of the stain, and work your way in. Be sure to dry and wax the surface when you are done.
Water Spots (white spots) and Dark Spots (ink) - You should first use #000 steel wool to remove water or ink spots from your wood floor. If this doesn’t work, try a very fine sand paper, and then #00 steel wool and a wood floor cleaner. Be sure to wax and buff when complete.
Surface Marks - Scratches or marks in the surface of the wax finish can be cured by lightly applying a small amount of wax to the area, and then buff.
Soft or Sticky Substances - Make the substance hard by applying a cold pack or ice cube. This should allow the material to crumble away from the floor.
Specific care for wood floors with a surface finish (urethane)
If your sweeper or dust mop does not restore the shine to your surface finished floor, try cleaning with a wood floor cleaner or hard floor cleaner formula recommended by the manufacturer for cleaning wood floors with a urethane finish. If this still doesn’t work, the floor should receive a new coat of surface finish. Keep in mind you should never wax a surface finished floor.
Common stains and how to remove them from a surface finished floor:
Stains and Spots - Clean-up food, water, ink and other types of stains using a wood floor cleaner or a hard wood floor cleaner specifically made for a urethane finish.
Scratches to Surface - Repair nicks and scratches using a urethane finish repair kit.
Soft or Sticky Substances - Make the substance hard by applying a cold pack or ice cube. This should allow the material to crumble away from the floor. If a stain remains, use a wood floor cleaner or a hard wood floor cleaner specifically made for a urethane finish.
Tile Floor Cleaning Guide:
Tile floors have often been described as “bullet proof” because of their ability to withstand the harshest of treatment. With a simple cleaning routine, your tile floor can look brand new for a very long time.
Tile floors should be washed on a regular basis using a detergent solution recommended for cleaning tile floors. This should be followed with a rinsing of the floor with warm water to avoid detergent build-up. Never use an ammonia-based cleaner on a tile floor.
Common spills can usually be cleaned using an all-purpose detergent hard floor cleaner.
A grout sealer (non-epoxy) should also be applied twice a year to protect the grout from staining. Please note that tile floors should never be waxed.
Linoleum / Vinyl Floor Cleaning Guide:
Bare floors made of linoleum or vinyl are considered to be the most practical bare floor in a home with small children. As young ones tend to fall often and drop breakable objects, a vinyl floor tends to be more forgiving than wood or tile. The ease of cleaning spills on a vinyl floor also makes this a very appealing floor covering.
Beyond vacuuming/dusting your vinyl floor once a week, you should also wash your floor once a month using a a hard floor cleaner specifically made for vinyl floors. Polish can be used to restore the shine of your vinyl or linoleum floor, but be sure to use a polish recommended for your floor type.
Spills should never be left on vinyl floors, but should be cleaned-up immediately to avoid staining. If necessary, clean the area with warm (not hot) water and ammonia.