Cleaners for hardwoods and other flooring types
Not all floor cleaners are alike because not all floors are alike. What works for carpeting is not going to be the best choice for wood flooring. More and more, people are choosing non-carpet types of flooring, as carpets can retain allergens and odors. Alternative flooring can be a little pricey, but you can keep your investment from decreasing by using proper cleaning and care.
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Common Floor Cleaner Choices
Many people choose any bottle that says "carpet and floor cleaner" on the label in order to clean any type of flooring. These generally include combinations of soaps, bleach and ammonia, with perhaps a dash of essential oils in order to improve the smell. They can come in a dry powder that you have to brush or vacuum, or a wet solution that you either blot with a sponge or use with a carpet cleaning machine.
Despite their name, carpet and floor cleaners are best for carpeted floors only; they can strip floor wax and other finishes off of other flooring types. When choosing a carpet cleaning product, be sure it will penetrate to the bottom of the carpet for best results.
Hardwood Floor Care Products
Do not use regular carpet and floor cleaners as part of your hardwood floor care. They will damage and discolor your expensive flooring. Instead, choose products made specifically for hardwood floors.
You need to know what kind of finish your flooring has in order to pick a hardwood floor cleaner and wax. If your hardwood floor has a urethane finish, you cannot use floor wax on it. Most wood floor cleaners are thicker than those for carpet and are not water or petroleum based.
For grit or mud, wait until it dries and then sweep it up. Use a dust mop rather than the usual wet mop. Wipe up liquid spills right away to prevent water damage. Using protective coasters on your furniture legs and keeping your pet's nails trimmed will help prevent cracks and scratches, and having your floor buffed every now and then will help keep its shine.
Slate and Tile Floor Care Products
It's always good to sweep up before using cleaners. A good broom and dustpan should always be part of your cleaning arsenal.
For cleaning, warm water applied with a wet mop tends to be the best cleaner in many instances. However, stubborn stains can often be removed with a combination of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then wipe up with a clean, damp cloth. Commercial grout cleaner is available at stores, but plain shaving cream and a small nail brush can often do the trick.
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