How to Clean Every Type of Floor: Our Best Tips to Get and Keep Your Flooring Spotless
Cleaning your floors doesn't have to be a massive task. Here are our easy and stress-free care tips for the flooring throughout your home, including the best products to use in each space.
Giving your space a good cleaning is essential to achieving a happy and healthy home, but maintaining your floors—especially when your house has a variety of different flooring that all require their own specific type of maintenance—can feel like an insurmountable task. Still, cleaning the floors regularly is a necessity, but once armed with our tips, you'll find that your weekly clean doesn't have to be something you dread. Whether your home is mostly hardwood, carpet, tile, or stone—or even a mix of all four—we'll teach you how to properly clean them. What's more, we're sharing pro-approved products for every task.
According to Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority, "For most surfaces, it is important to sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors to remove any dirt and dust that has collected on the floor." But how to clean your floors, and how frequently you should give them a good wash, depends on a multitude of factors. "It is best to clean your floors every one to two weeks. Be sure to regularly sweep your floors especially when cooking a lot to make sure food and other debris does not get kicked around and scratch up the floors. Sweeping is also best for any type of floor whereas water can damage floors including waxed wood," says Stapf.
The type of flooring you have also affects your cleaning method. Some mediums are more finicky to clean than others. Mary Gagliardi, Clorox's in-house scientist and cleaning expert, says it's important to be careful when cleaning hardwood floors. "Avoid using abrasive cleaning supplies like scrubbing pads or hard bristle brushes to prevent scratches," she adds. Clean Republic's director of marketing and brand development, Robin Vega, urges consumers to read labels before cleaning their floors. "Did you know that manufacturers are not required to list ingredients on household products?" she says. "Yes, this should shock you!" To be sure you're maintaining a clean home without dangerous chemicals, she recommends checking the Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines before washing your floors. Ahead, our experts share the best methods and products for cleaning every type of floor in your home.
"How often you clean your hardwood floors depends on how many people and pets you have in your home and how much foot traffic you get," says Gagliardi. "To keep hardwood floors looking their best, it's usually best to sweep, vacuum, or mop up dry debris at least once a week." She says the more people that step foot on your floors, the more frequently you'll need to clean. "Dirt and grime, especially, can make your hardwood floors look dull. If this is the case, deep clean hardwood floors every two to four weeks," she says.
Best Products for Cleaning Hardwood
"To clean and disinfect your hardwood floors in one step, Clorox® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths ($4.49, target.com) are ultra-textured to help you trap particles, dirt, and hair—and are safe on multiple surfaces, including finished wood," Gagliardi says. To deep clean, she recommends Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner ($9.98, homedepot.com).
Cleaning tile floors is actually quite simple, according to Gagliardi, which is good news considering the fact that this is a task that should be done weekly. "All you need is a broom or vacuum and a clean cloth. Once you collect your supplies, just sweep or vacuum up any dry debris, like grit, dirt, sand, or crumbs. Then, wipe up any spills with the cloth," she says. "You can also help keep tile floors from getting dirty as quickly by placing area rugs or mats in high traffic areas. This will ensure dirt sticks to the rugs and is not tracked across the tile."
Best Cleaning Products for Tiled Floors
When it comes to the best cleaning products for tile floors, Gagliardi says to avoid sponges. "Chamois mop, sponge, or cloth—but not a sponge mop because it can push dirty water into the grout," she says. Meanwhile, Vega suggests the Bissel Powerfresh Steam Mop ($89, amazon.com) accompanied by Clean Republic for tiled floors.
"Always use a product that is formulated for use on carpet, especially for spot treating because you want something that can be easily absorbed back off the carpet after cleaning," says Gagliardi. "Avoid using stain-removing laundry products on carpets, because they require way too much water for thorough rinsing, and any cleaning agents left behind can serve as dirt magnets. Choose products specifically formulated for carpets for the best result."
If you always remember to take your shoes off at the door, bravo, says Stapf. "Many homeowners forget and track the bacteria and dirt from their shoes across the carpet. Not only can a buildup of grime break down your carpet fibers, but it can also harbor pollutants that may make you sick. You should vacuum at least twice a week to remove any germs sitting on the surface. To really penetrate the carpet, try to get a thorough steam cleaning done every six months or at the minimum, once a year." For tough stains, Stapf says to blot with either a paper towel or washcloth. "This will soak up any remaining liquid as opposed to scrubbing it deeper into the fabric," she says.
Best Carpet Cleaning Products
While there are so many vacuums on the market, doing your research is key to figuring out the best one for your floor type. A go-to for one expert? "My current favorite vacuum is the Shark Navigator ($199, amazon.com)," recommends Vega.
Similar to cleaning tiles, you must be careful when tackling stone floors. "It is best to clean your floors every one to two weeks," says Stapf. "Be sure to regularly sweep your floors especially when cooking a lot to make sure food and other debris does not get kicked around and scratch up the floors."
Best Cleaning Products for Stone Floors
You can use Pine-Sol Original Squirt 'N Mop ($38.85 for six, amazon.com). "It's safe for hard nonporous surfaces like ceramic and porcelain tiles, and also sealed granite," says Gagliardi. "You can apply this product directly from the bottle over a three foot by three foot area and start mopping. Then, keep working your way over the entire tile floor one section at a time. To finish, use a clean, damp mop to wipe the floor clean."
Whether you're cleaning carpet, wood, or tile, when it's a pet-related stain you're tackling, you want to use the right type of product. "Clorox Pet Solutions Stain & Odor Remover Spray ($5.69, petco.com) is a powerful cleaner formulated with hydrogen peroxide that actually breaks down pet stains instead of simply covering them up with fragrance," says Gagliardi. Just be sure to test for safety in an inconspicuous area of your floor first.