We are a bit more concerned about cleaning right now and making more of an effort to keep all surfaces free of dirt and germs. While many of us are spending much more time than normal inside our homes, it’s a good time to make sure all this cleaning we’re doing is effective and safe for our floors. To help, we’ve compiled some tips to help keep your floors clean and disinfected!
First, we need to make sure that everyone is using the correct terminology. Cleaning, meaning regular mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming, helps keep the floor clear of stains and debris and helps to remove germs. It does not actually kill them. On the other hand, disinfecting uses some chemical agent to actually kill the germs but does not usually remove dirt or stains (and right now, disinfecting products are difficult to purchase due to unusual demand). There are also some combinations of the two kinds of cleaners that do both. The CDC has recommended that cleaning your floor daily and following other protocols such as handwashing and covering your mouth when coughing will be sufficient to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and that it is not necessary to disinfect residential floors on a regular basis.
But what is the best way to clean your floor? It depends on the flooring type you have, as each has different compositions and finishes. Waterproof surfaces, such as luxury vinyl and tile, are very different than carpet or a hard surface that is vulnerable to moisture, such as hardwood or laminate.
Hard surfaces require daily attention. For waterproof surfaces, you can use a wet mop with a floor cleanser, and stubborn stains can be handled by a soft brush with gentle scrubbing (again using a floor cleaner). These floor cleaners are available in grocery stores, home improvement stores, and online. If you are looking to also disinfect these waterproof surfaces, you can mix a diluted vinegar solution of 1 cup vinegar to one gallon of warm water (sometimes a bleach solution is recommended, but that can damage your floor’s finish). For a hard surface that can be damaged by moisture, start by sweeping or Swiffering the floor. Then use a damp mop with a cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Remember to wipe up any excess moisture from the floor with a soft cloth once you are finished with the damp mop. Disinfecting moisture vulnerable floors can only be done with a cleaner specifically designed for that purpose and used on a damp mop. They are generally not sold in commercial stores and may only be available online. You should be able to check your flooring manufacturer’s website for information about a suitable disinfectant for your floor, and they often have links to where to purchase it online. Remember to thoroughly wipe up any standing water on the floor once done.
On carpet, removing dirt and debris is usually done with vacuuming, and depending on the amount of traffic, this can be required anywhere from once a week to daily. Going slowly, and actually moving furniture, rather than cleaning around, will ensure the most thorough clean. It’s best to vacuum after you have cleaned any other surrounding furniture or surfaces, so that anything that falls to the floor is removed. If you feel like you should take the extra step of disinfecting, there are fabric safe spray-on disinfecting solutions that can be applied after cleaning that can be purchased in a grocery or home improvement store, and also online. Though these products are termed fabric safe, it’s always best to test on a spot underneath or behind furniture to make sure there is no damage to the carpet or any color change once dry.
Now, more than ever, we are all concerned with the cleanliness of our homes, and we can’t forget our floors. Keeping the floors clean from debris on a regular basis is what is recommended by the CDC, and you can also disinfect if you feel it is necessary or there has been exposure. Just remember the specific needs of your floor, and make sure you are using appropriate cleaning techniques so that the floor is not damaged. If you have questions, you can contact either the manufacturer or your Dealer for more information.
If you have decided that now is the time to start fresh with a brand-new floor, you can use our Dealer Locator to find a Dealer near you. Many of our Dealers have virtual appointments or private showroom hours, and are available by phone or email, so there’s no need to wait! You can also take a look at our Maintenance pages to answer some of your questions – carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate, resilient, cork, and bamboo.