Turn off the steam mop! Here are the best ways to clean any type of flooring

To steam or not to steam? If you ask all sorts of tough questions while cleaning your floor, then don’t sweat (and probably don’t steam it either!). While it is tempting to order a steam mop based on a compelling late-night advertisement, most flooring isn’t that good at conducting steam.

According to familyhandyman.com, floor coverings such as laminate, wood, vinyl and vinyl planks are not steam wipe-friendly. The steam seeps into tiny gaps and can warp the material. So it’s best to play it safe.

Whether your home is gym rug, hardwood, luxury vinyl, ceramic tile, or laminate, there is a brush, broom, mop, or method recommended specifically for your floor. Extend the life of your floor – and keep it looking good – with these cleaning recommendations.

No wonder luxury vinyl is so popular in new builds and renovations these days. Luxury vinyl combines the look of natural wood or stone with the durability of vinyl and is often viewed as the happy medium between form and function.

If you have vinyl in your home, you probably already know that ease of care and maintenance is one of the many advantages of this type of flooring. But be sure that you are not too comfortable with the care.

Luxury vinyl may be abrasion, scratch and water resistant, but it is also not completely invincible. It can withstand water, but steam is another animal. So avoid using a steam mop. Instead, opt for a solution of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) and hot water. This combination picks up dirt on the floors without leaving a film. If you’d rather not use vinegar, Bob Vila also recommends using a vinyl floor cleaner like Pine-Sol or Pledge Multisurface Floor Cleaner.

It might be the warmest, coziest way to dress up your floors, but carpet is only a downer when it’s dirty – and you’ll get a bigger bang for your flooring if you commit to proper maintenance. In fact, maintenance may be required in order to take advantage of your floor guarantee. According to Giant Carpet One, almost all carpet manufacturers require professional cleaning every 12 to 18 months in order to maintain their warranty. Professional cleaning also ensures that the cleaning is as thorough as possible, as professionals use steam cleaners, which remove more dirt and debris than vacuum cleaners and other household cleaners.

For regular maintenance, vacuuming is a breeze. However, make sure to cover each area by going through it horizontally and vertically. In addition, you can keep your carpets cleaner by taking off your shoes while walking on the carpet and investing in carpets for high traffic areas.

For many people, nothing beats the look and feel of natural hardwood. While hardwood floors are a timeless, beautiful option, hardwood can be difficult to maintain. The best way to keep your hardwood floors clean and fresh is to vacuum them regularly with a floor brush.

If a more thorough cleaning is required, Better Homes and Gardens recommends soaking a mop in a diluted cleaner made specifically for hardwood floors, and then wringing the mop out until it is just damp to the touch. Since standing water can damage hardwood, avoid pugs that are too damp.

Parquet floors are a popular choice these days because they are easier to maintain and more damage-resistant than traditional hardwood. For this reason, technical floors contain a natural veneer that should be treated as such. Use almost dry pugs with mild, diluted detergents to remove ground in dirt. Obviously, avoid the steam mop as it can affect the natural finish of the wood.

Turn off the steam mop!  Here are the best ways to clean any type of flooring Photo: Shutterstock

Tile floors are a popular option for bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic (and moisture-rich) areas. They can also be difficult to clean – especially as grout attracts dirt and looks grubby over time.

While your ceramic tiles are easy to wipe clean, grout is rarely as comfortable. If the grout doesn’t stir, DIY Network recommends mixing baking soda and water into a paste, then applying it to the stain, leaving it on overnight, and then gently scrubbing it with a nylon brush. For stains on the tile itself, try dabbing with hydrogen peroxide and gently rubbing with a microfiber cloth.

If you’re ready to use the steam mop, HGTV gives the green light to ceramic tiles – steam away!

Laminate floors are both durable and versatile – they come in a variety of styles, replicating wood, tile, and stone. Like luxury vinyl, laminate is hearty but should be handled with care when cleaning. Be careful not to get your laminate too wet, and don’t use steam or damp mops to remove dirt and grime. And since laminate can scratch, Architectural Digest recommends avoiding abrasive tools like steel wool. Try wiping your laminate floor twice a month with a damp microfiber mop or a traditional mop that has been wrung out almost dry.

Whichever floor you prefer, it always looks best clean and fresh. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations before breaking out the vacuum, mop, or broom. For help choosing the right flooring for your home and lifestyle, visit one of Giant Carpet One’s many Utah locations.


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