Everything You Need for Sparkling Floors: Tools and Solutions

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Cleaning Tips, Going Green

Just like your house, your floors deserve to be sparkling clean. All you have to do is to arm with the right tools and solutions. If you don’t know where to start from, you are at the right place. You will need…

Mops

Mops are your dearest assistant in the never-ending fight for sparkling floors. Actually, your home needs two of them – a dry mop which works great for collecting pet hair, dust, and dirt, and a wet mop, which is designed for picking wet spills and washing hard-surface floors. If you are carpet owner, make sure to check this post on how to prolong its life.

Your wet mop should not only dissolve dirt, but also remove it from the floors without making the mess bigger than it actually is. This is why you should avoid using string mops – they are heavy to carry, hard to use and move around with, and almost impossible to be cleaned afterwards.

If you don’t have a wet mop mounted on a swivel base with removable terry covers, it is time to get one. It is easy to use and extremely efficient – the dry cover quickly collects liquid spills, and when the cover is dampened in a solution, it removes dirt easily. However, don’t forget to replace the covers when they get too soiled.

There is a great variety of dry mops to choose from. Small mops that are made with disposable pads can help you clean tight corners or below the couch, but sometimes replacement pads are extremely expensive and hard to find.

Another option is using sponge mops. They are a reliable tool for cleaning spills because they have a large head, thus more room is covered in just one go. However, make sure that the hinge mechanism is made from metal as plastic counterparts aren’t quite durable.

A more affordable alternative to the above is the reusable microfibre mop. Some of these mops use hook-and-loop fasteners to attach the pad to the mop face. Other models will require you to replace the disposable pad with reusable microfiber sheets.

We asked the pros from All Flooring, which pretty much know the ins and outs of any type of flooring, to point out the most important thing to look for when choosing a mop. They advise to always choose the one that has a metal hinge mechanism and handles as plastic counterparts are not quite reliable. They also shared a recipe for creating a homemade wood floor cleaner.

Brooms

There are three types of brooms: corn, push, and synthetic:

Corn brooms

The natural bristles in corn brooms are what makes them an all-in-one solution for the sweeping tasks around the house. When you combine a corn broom with a dustpan, there is nothing that can stop you. Thanks to their bristles, corn brooms do a great job when cleaning areas which are known to hold dirt, such as concrete or brick surfaces. Also, they are flexible enough to clean corners and tight spaces.

Tip: When your broom starts aging, trim the bristles an inch to restore their initial state.

Push brooms

Push brooms are made from synthetic bristles grouped into a wide flat base.
Their primary use is for sweeping large areas, like garages and backyards. Their relatively rough bristles are great for cleaning uneven surfaces. Always go for brooms with tacked-in bristles instead of bristles which are glued together. Also, a metal connection between the head and handle is a good thing as plastic wears out quickly.

Synthetic brooms

For indoor cleaning jobs, the synthetic brooms are your best option. They are light and cleaning behind the furniture is easy. Store them with the head pointing upwards to avoid bending the bristles.

Vacuum cleaners

There are two main vacuum cleaner models – canister and upright ones. They both have special filters to catch dirt and dust. Upright vacuum cleaners are best for cleaning carpet textile floorings. They are less expensive and way easier to store compared to the canister ones.

Canister vacuums are designed to clean hard types of flooring, stairs, and places which are hard to reach. They have an extension hose and removable heads, such as a crevice tool and a dust or upholstery brush.

Homemade floor cleaning solutions

The specialists from All Flooring also shared this great recipe for floors made of wood:

Create a solution from ½ cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Then, rub the mixture gently into the flooring surface. Finish with a good wipe to avoid any slippery accidents.

And here is one homemade multi-purpose floor cleaner:

Here is the original post of this natural all-purpose floor cleaner. To make your own, you should combine the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup of white vinegar;
  • 2 cups of warm water;
  • ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol;
  • 3 drops of liquid dish soap (read below for more information);
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (optional).

Katie Berry gives some extremely helpful tips, which may save you many hassles:

  1. Avoid using dish soap which contains oxygen bleach, antibacterial ingredients, or -moisturisers.
  2. Don’t replace the dish soap with Castille soap as the second is oil-based and will leave streaks on the floor.
  3. When adding essential oils, make sure that they don’t have any added fragrance or another form of oil.
  4. The recipe above works on marble, granite, and natural stone floors. You shouldn’t worry about the acid in vinegar as it is being diluted by the water and the rest of the ingredients.

You can apply the solution using a bucket or a spray bottle. If you choose a bucket, you have to get rid of the solution after cleaning. When using a spray bottle, you can store the remaining amount in a dark and cool place for future use.

Katie also suggests disposing of your current commercial cleaners properly before switching to homemade ones, and we absolutely agree with her on this.