What’s under your feet (or how you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to the house. That’s why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A-to-Z guide that will give you the confidence to make the flooring choices you’ll love. Read the manual from A to Z here.
Grease applied to the tiles after working in the garage. Science experiments have gone wrong in the kitchen. Muddy paw prints on the living room rug. There are countless ways for damage to find its way inside our homes.
Fortunately, most situations that seem like a major mess at first glance are not. as well difficult to manage, as long as you don’t let them linger. Below are five tools – affordable and practical workhorses that you might not think are as crucial as them, which you can all find at The Home Depot – that will ensure your floors will stay in pristine condition for years to come. to come up. (For even more information on cleaning ideas for different types of flooring, be sure to refer to their specific letter in the A to Z Flooring Handbook.)
Tool: Starter brush
The first thing a cleaning expert will tell you about clean floors is to keep outdoor shoes out of the house.
“This is my number one [piece of] tip: take your shoes off at the door ”, says Carolyn Forte, Director of the Appliances and Cleaning Products Laboratory at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “You may not want to ask the guests to take off their shoes, but even if the family itself has [the] usually it does an amazing job of keeping the floors looking better. ”
But if there are resistance fighters in your ranks, or if the guests don’t quite understand what the hubbub is, general contractor Mark Clement of MyFixitUpLife suggest to buy a shoe and boot brush and park it right in front of the entrance. Ideally, this will encourage anyone entering to clean their shoes before entering your home. (Placement welcome mat where the shoes can be wiped off the outside of the front door can also help with any unwanted dirt.)
Tool: Wet-dry mop
Drop the dirty water and the bucket for good with a wet dry mop, like the GH Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Mop seal carrier. This tool can clean the dust and debris that collects on hard surfaces when in dry mode, then seamlessly switch to its mop version for larger jobs, where wet rags are attached.
There are even products that come with a integrated spray system for a cleaning solution if you work in a larger space but still prefer a lighter, more streamlined tool than a traditional mop. (Yes, please!) The wet pads and the dry pads of both wet and dry mops can be thrown away after use, making cleaning easier.
Tool: Specific surface cleaners
When it comes to cleaning, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and expert advice, lest you end up with a messy mistake that cannot (easily) be fixed. While flooring isn’t a place to improvise with any cleaning supplies you might have on hand, there is often some overlap for the types of flooring they can handle.
The laminate cleaning process floors is a good example. “Many cleaners safe for hardwoods are also safe for laminate,” notes Forte.
There are also triple-use cleaners for laminate, stone and tile. (Tip: If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection to make cleanup even easier down the line, consider applying a sealer to the appropriate styles of flooring, like tile.)
And if you are allergic, there are cleaning products, like Bona is free and easy for hardwoods, specifically formulated without dyes or fragrances.
Tool: microfiber mop
Spills turn into stains on floors when not dealt with quickly, making time very important anytime an accident occurs. Whether the accident occurs on hardwood, laminate, vinyl or tile, a microfiber mop is one tool you can turn to for its multi-purpose properties: try it dry to capture dust in tight spaces, wet for general cleaning, and wet for spills.
To use one effectively, Forte recommends working on a small square section three feet at a time: apply whatever cleanser you’re using, wipe it off with a microfiber mop, and then let it dry. Also, be sure to remove any cleaning residue that may linger on the floors and make them appear cloudy. The goal is a spic-and-span, but also shiny floor.
Tool: Stick Vacuum
This is not news per se, but apart from one-off disasters, regular attention and care will keep your flooring in top condition for years to come. One of the best ways to do this is to vacuum regularly at least once a week, and stick vacuum is the space-saving, lightweight way to make this task as easy as possible.
“Dust and dirt are abrasive: if you look at sand, dirt and sand, they are sharp,” says Forte. “If you walk on this stuff day to day, it can end up dulling the [floor’s] finish. “
Stick vacuums can often pack the same punch as their larger cartridge counterparts (especially for apartments or people living in smaller homes) and have some serious advantages, including wireless models, versions specially designed for tackle animal hair and the possibility of converting to portable model for efficient cleaning in crevices.
If you have carpeted floors in the house, it doesn’t hurt to call in the pros once a year or so. “In addition to vacuuming and removing spills, it’s important to have carpets professionally cleaned from wall to wall every 12 to 18 months,” advises Forte. “Professionals can reapply a coat of stain protection that will help carpets look longer.”