Are You Cleaning Your Kitchen Floor Often Enough?
A myriad of factors—including where you live, whether or not you have kids or pets, and your general lifestyle—determine how often you need to give your kitchen floor a good clean. Those living with a crawling baby, a furry dog, or a landscaper, for example, may need to give their flooring a once over more often than a single person sans pets who takes her shoes off at the door. With all of these variables, how can you determine the correct kitchen floor cleaning schedule for your space? Ahead, two experts share their insight, noting that it ultimately all comes down to material.
Ceramic and Tile
If you are currently living with pets, kids, or someone who tracks in dirt or debris on the bottom of their shoes, you should be cleaning your kitchen floor daily, says Rochelle Wilkinson, the owner of Dirt Detectives Cleaning, a service based in Phoenix, Maryland. Balking at this intense frequency? Don't fret—a quick once-over with a vacuum will do the trick. Wilkinson recommends a cordless stick machine, like Shark's Rocket model ($219.99, amazon.com). And if you need to use water? It all comes down to your floor's material, she says. Aim to mop ceramic or tiled floors twice a week; sticking to this schedule will result in less frequent deep cleans.
Wood and Specialty Flooring
Wood floors should be subjected to less frequent cleanings—just once per week—to avoid ruining their finish. "They are durable, but sensitive," Krystle O'Brien, the owner of My Pristine Clean, says of this flooring type. And since they don't handle moisture well, O'Brien recommends using a dry mop or a vacuum before wiping them down with a flat mop. "Never use a steam mop on wood floors," she notes.
Maintenance cleaning allows you to get away with less intense sessions; if you're on a once- or twice-weekly schedule, you may only need to give your kitchen floors a deep scrub once per month. As for how to tackle this tougher job? Wilkinson says that you can either get down on your hands and knees with a scrub brush or opt for a mop and bucket—or a combination of both, if you are truly dedicated. "I like to fill my O-Cedar Spin Mop's bucket ($29.98, amazon.com) with a neutral floor cleaner and just barely wring the mop head out," she says. "Using a swishing motion, I soak the floor with the cleaner to let it break down the dirt and get in the grout lines." Next, Wilkinson goes over the grout with a scrubbing brush. "I then fill the bucket with very hot water and—using a new mop head—rinse the floor," she says. "I promise: It will look like you spent an hour scrubbing, but should take just 15 minutes, and will allow you to get away with a quick mop in between."
Because your kitchen cabinets and counters also need frequent attention, you should always clean from the top, down; this goes for those spots under your cabinets and against your walls, like the kickplates and molding, as well. "If you decide to mop, remember these kickplates," explains O'Brien. "They can absorb moisture and are most definitely absorbing leftover dirt, crumbs, and cobwebs!"