Cleaning floors is an important house chore. In fact, any home cleaning job will involve 70% floor cleaning. We clean not only to remove dirt and debris, but also for aesthetic value, prevention of injuries that could result from trips, and removal of allergens, among other reasons. Of importance is to keep in mind that, different types of floors call for unique methods of care and clean-up. Here are the four common types of floors in our homes today and their best cleaning practices.
Many active families prefer laminate on their floors. It’s a heavy duty kind of flooring material that can withstand the rampant activity of children, guests and pets. In addition to its durability, laminate flooring is painless to clean. Use the following ideas to make your floor shine beyond your imagination.
It is alright to vacuum or sweep laminate floors often. Mop with a damp cloth, but keep off excess water on the floor as this can harm its top finish. Even liquid stains should be wiped out immediately. Also, do not scrub a laminate floor especially with materials that can scratch the surface. With a household cleaner, you can purge out almost any stain on this kind of flooring.
However, acetone will come in handy when dealing with ink stains, lipstick or permanent marker.
Before cleaning any wooden floor, it is paramount to establish its coating. Oil, wax, or polyurethane coated wood floors require different treatment. However, whatever finish your wooden floor has, you can follow the following steps to render it squeaky clean within a few minutes.
Begin by clearing the floor of any furnishings that are mobile to create ample space for work. Remove any loose debris or dirt by either sweeping or vacuuming. Next, pour water and a mild detergent into your washing bucket. Dip your mop in this solution and wrung it up thoroughly before swiping it around the floor to collect any remaining dirt. This will also purge out tough stains.
It is necessary to mop along the grain to keep the flooring in shape for long. Avoid leaving water on lacquered wood floors as this may cause stains or warping. For this reason, take hold of a soft material such as cloth diapers and wipe any wet areas. After cleaning waxed floors with water, you may polish them with wax to restore their patina. In serious cases of dirt, use white spirit to clean but make sure to re-wax those sections.
See Also: How to care for floors
Tile floors are a great choice for those in search of stylish, water resistant and durable floorings. Tiles can be made of porcelain, ceramic or vinyl. Always make sure to clean your tiles recurrently so that they do not accumulate stubborn stains.
In case you have to deal with tough stains on porcelain or ceramic floors, find an acidic cleaning solution, such as one made of white vinegar. You can actually make your own at home by mixing 4 liters of warm water with ½ cup of white vinegar. This will eat into grease remarkably thus giving amazing results.
Stone floors are prevalent in the bathrooms, kitchens, and stairs. Common stones used in flooring are granite, marble, and travertine. All these can be cleaned properly using the following tricks; Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove any loose dirt and dust. Use a cleaning agent designed for stones to make your mopping solution. There are also cleaning sprays suitable for stone flooring. You can use a brush to scrub the flooring and mop to wipe out the dirty water so that the floor will be left dry.
Most stone floor materials are treated at the factory. This helps them not to stain easily. Otherwise, it would be necessary to seal it regularly to preserve its sheen. In the case of acidic spills, try to wipe them out urgently before they could corrode the flooring material.
Beverly Jenkins is proud of her staff at The Tidy Maids house cleaning service in Raleigh, NC. She has 24 years of experience in house cleaning, customer service, and business operations. She knows all the tips and tricks and do-it-yourself hacks when it comes to cleaning and her clients’ homes are the best proof for that.
In Chicago, harsh weather is a part of life. This past winter was an el niño, but the bitter cold and strong winds of a Chicago winter help you appreciate the crisp mornings and misty afternoons of spring!
Of course, outside elements such as snow and sleet will make their way into your home. The wetness and dirt can seep into your hardwood floors and soak your carpet if you don’t take care of them, which can have a bad effect on future property values.
To truly give your home a great spring clean, the following are a few tips which you can use on different aspects of your home, and their benefits.
Cleaning the welcome mat
Before we focus on the interior of your home, why not focus on the first thing a person sees when they approach your door? Welcome mats take a serious beating, so they can require a serious cleaning.
The nice thing about welcome mats is that they can take a beating. They’re built for that! So beat the dirt out with a broom, wash it down with a water hose, shake it out vigorously, and leave it in the sunlight to dry. Cleaning a welcome mat doesn’t have to take tact–it just needs to get done.
Top > Down > Back > Front
This rule is an approach that many professional cleaning companies use when they are working their way through a client’s home. We do this when we perform a spring cleaning, party cleaning, or even a light touch up every two weeks!
The way this works is that you focus on things that are higher up first.
- Tops of bookcases and cabinets
- Dusting the ceiling fans
- Cleaning the light fixtures
- Dusting the tops of window sills and frames
- Dusting picture frames
- Crown moldings
Next, focus on things that are mid-height, such as:
- Table tops
- Shelves within cabinets (before counters!)
- Dusting other shelves and decorations around the house
Of course all of this will end up on the floor, but you don’t have to worry about that yet!
Next, you turn your focus to furniture pieces. If you want to really get in there, get a proper vacuum with all the attachments and extensions, take off the couch cushions, separate your box spring and mattresses, and vacuum everything. If you plan on cleaning upholstered furniture, feel free to use a shampoo vac for this process.
Once this is done, it’s time to finally clean your floors. Depending on what type of floor you have, it might be a good idea to check out our article on floor cleaning to help you out.
For brevity’s sake, the main things to remember is to start in the back of your home, and work your way to the front. One extremely important tip is to make sure you sweep before you vacuum! Of course make sure you dust your baseboards with the broom as you sweep around your home.
Next, you can vacuum and/or shampoo your hard floors and carpet as needed. The important thing to remember here is that you should get to the spots where you can see debris, but also where you cannot. A good vacuum can pick up things the human eye can’t see, and a good clean is meant to rid your home of the hidden dust particles, bacteria and otherwise potentially harmful things that inhabit your home each year.
You thought you were done? Well, in most cases you can be, but when it comes to a good hardwood floor, damage can occur year after year unless you do things that help retain the initial shine and finish of your flooring.
You can have this done professionally or do it yourself. Some types of floors don’t require staining/waxing later on, so it’s best to use a mixed solution.
We recommend you do this one a year.
Hope these tips helped you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a clean, healthy home!
Cleanify was started out of Canada and has since expanded into several US markets, looking to be a destination for clients all across both countries to have their cleaning needs met.
Companion Maids has long strived to be a Chicago maid company that focused on providing innovative solutions for a good booking experience, while maintaining a high quality of work. Because of a shared desire to serve clients using 21st century technology combined with high quality workmanship, we felt that partnering with Cleanify was a home run for our company.
We are still a young company that has served Chicago since 2014. We utilize many different avenues of marketing and networking to get our brand out there, so we were thrilled when Cleanify reached out to us. We did our research on this company, and once we got a sense of the values they stood for, we knew that offering our services on behalf of this company would be a good move for us.
Working with Cleanify has allowed us to of course work with clients that we may not have worked with otherwise, while providing a more well-rounded employment experience for our cleaning technicians. While Companion Maids doesn’t book a tremendous amount of hourly jobs, all Cleanify jobs are booked on an hourly basis, so we were able to fine tune how to work with a system that assigns a finite amount of time to a cleaning project.
Our staff has learned to work more efficiently, and begin to focus on areas of emphasis as needed, rather than simply cleaning the entire home over the course of a variable time slot. Because we generally do flat rate pricing, we normally work until the job is done, not necessarily paying much attention to how much time it takes.
Clients do seem to enjoy the lack of hassle in terms of not thinking about whether the price is going to fluctuate, but not all clients need their entire homes to be cleaned. In these situations, an hourly clean is usually a better option.
Cleanify of course allows us to practice these cleans and again, become more well-rounded. One way in which we utilize our staff with Cleanify is to send cleaners that are relatively new with us, but that we’ve already gained a good relationship with.
The different format allows our intermediate cleaners to become more versatile, which allows our overall staff to better serve our clients.
We first began conducting cleaning appointments as a Cleanify partner in February of 2015, a little over a year ago. Since then, we have performed hundreds of cleanings for this company, and there have been very few complaints on either end.
Cleanify has done a great job in terms of keeping the lines of communication open and prompt, and Cleanify clients are well researched and understanding.
We have enjoyed the work we have done with this company, and we will continue to explore ways in the future where we can continue to serve the great community in which we live.
There is perhaps no more important cleaning item in the house than floors. As a cleaning company, we hear many requests about how to handle a certain part of the house, but floor care is our most frequent request.
With that in mind, many people have no idea how to clean their floors the best way.
The simple answer is that different floor types require different styles of cleaning to eliminate the most dirt and grime while doing the least amount of long-term damage to the surface. One thing to keep in mind is that the key to floor health is not just in how well you clean, but in how well you treat your flooring in between cleanings.
Here is a brief guide to handling different types of floors.
How To Clean Hardwood Floors
The most important thing to do before applying any wet cleaning agent to a floor is to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Feel free to use a duster, a high quality broom, and/or a vacuum to pick up the little pieces that were left behind.
Go over this a second time, and make sure that you’re either not wearing shoes or you’re wearing shoe coverings. Obviously, you don’t want to track dirt.
Next, you want to use a mop with just a little bit of cleaning solution. You can add a few drops of some type of scented oil if you’d like (lemon works pretty well on floors.) Two important things:
- Mop along the grain of the wood
- Do NOT use to much water on the floor so as not to leave any standing water
An easy way to ensure you’re not using too much liquid is to use a swiffer mop instead of a regular one. We use them a lot at Companion Maids, and we’ve found them to be a universally good tool to get the job done, especially in a bind.
Hardwood Floors with a stain
The following advice is from an article featured in “Better Homes and Gardens”
Consider your floor’s finish before trying to remove a mark. If the stain is on the surface, your floor probably has a hard finish, such as urethane. If the stain has penetrated through to the wood, the floor probably has a soft oiled finish — common in older homes whose floors have not been refinished and resealed. Wipe surface stains from a hard finish with a soft, clean cloth. Never use sandpaper, steel wool, or harsh chemicals on such a surface because they can permanently damage the finish.
The following remedies are for hardwood floors with soft oiled finishes. If needed, end each treatment by staining the wood, then waxing and buffing the spot to match the rest of the floor.
- Dark spots and pet stains: Rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If the area is still dark, apply bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak into the wood for about an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth.
- Heel marks: Use fine steel wool to rub in floor wax.
- Oil-base stains: Rub the area with a soft cloth and dishwashing detergent to break down the grease. Rinse with clear water. If one or more applications don’t work, repeat the procedure. Keep children and pets out of the room until you’re done. Let the spot dry, then smooth the raised grain with fine sandpaper.
- Water marks or white stains: Rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If the stain goes deeper, lightly sand the floor and clean with fine steel wool and odorless mineral spirits.
How To Clean Tile Floors
As said above, the first thing to do is make sure you have swept and vacuumed the surface area so as not to track dirt with your mop or cleaning rag. You should do this regularly to keep the floor in good shape.
Again, the name of the game is to use a mop with very little water. You don’t want any water to seep into the cracks, especially if your tile is stone or you have a lot of grout in between the tiles. We recommend using a swiffer.
However, the key to a “clean” versus “truly clean” tile floor is how you handle the grout. Because grout is porous, it absorbs grease and other stains and gets dirtier over time, making it harder to clean. As a result, the best way to treat grout is to make a mixture of baking soda and water, mix it into a paste, and rub it into the grout, focusing on areas that are dirtier.
Now let that paste sit there overnight. The next morning, scrub the paste off with a dry, stiff brush material like nylon. Do not use metal as it will scrape away and damage the grout. Repeat as necessary.
How To Clean Linoleum Floors
Linoleum or vinyl flooring is much more simple to care for, from a cleaning perspective. Caring for the floor relies more on your daily routine and movements than how you clean it. Don’t use heavy furniture, or slide chairs across the surface, as this can leave a dent or scratch the floors. It is also important to wax the floors occasionally to retain it’s beautiful shine.
As always, before cleaning the floor, make sure you remove dirt and debris with a broom or dust mop. Only use a small vacuum (like a dirt devil) so as not to damage the surface with heavy machinery.
Cleaning the floor with a mop is pretty easy, just be sure that your cleaning solution is not too potent. A low strength detergent will do you just fine here.
As always, be sure to not use too much water.
We hope that this advice on different types of flooring can help you keep your floors clean and healthy. Companion Maids prides ourselves on providing high quality cleaning services in the Chicago area, and one of the main things we focus on his having a clean floor.
Feel free to check out our other posts on keeping your home clean, such as how to clean your carpet.
For Immediate Release January 29th, 2016
COMPANION MAIDS WINS SUPER SERVICE AWARD IN 2015
Young cleaning service in Chicago wins Super Service award for the second year in a row
Chicago, 01-26-16 – Companion Maids, a locally owned, on-demand maid/cleaning service announced today that they have won the Super Service Award from Angie’s List for the second time in a row.
Donald and Thomas Spann, Co-Owners, have been Angie’s List vendors since August of 2014, and joined it as a way to expand their reach in the Chicago market. The company offers flat rate pricing by the bedroom for residential homes, and provide their own supplies and a satisfaction guarantee.
“One of the things that allowed us to differentiate ourselves in this market was the ability to offer simplicity,” said Donald, an owner of the company. “Many companies don’t show clear pricing, or require a site visit to give you a quote, but when you visit our page, you know what you’re getting, you know what you’re paying, and there’s no surprises.”
According to Donald and Thomas, Angie’s List has been a great avenue for Companion Maids. Angie’s List users pay a monthly or yearly fee for membership, and access to trusted Angie’s List vendors and reviews, so there is less confusion about phony users and reviews. The Super Service award is awarded each year to the top 5% businesses in each category, so winning this award twice was quite an achievement for the new company, which has been around for just over two years.
“One of the great attributes of a typical Angie’s List client is that they are typically more knowledgeable about what to expect,” Donald said. “We strive to maintain a certain standard, but when we do make a mistake, Angie’s List clients are more willing to work with us to allow us to rectify the problem and create a satisfactory cleaning experience.”
Companion Maids is one of a new wave of cleaning companies that offer on-demand cleaning services for Chicago residents. Companion Maids is one of few companies on Angie’s List that have won the Super Service award their first two years on the platform.
About Companion Maids
Companion Maids is Chicago’s premier local on-demand maid service. We fervently strive to remove the hassles and frustrations that come with traditional maid services. Book a cleaning on our website at a flat-rate in 60 seconds or less, using our simple booking form. Please visit: www.companionmaids.com to learn more about our specific services.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Without proper cleaning and maintenance your carpet may not last very long. Carpets are among the most frequently used items in the home, therefore they will only be in good shape if they well taken care of. The following are some of the essential carpet cleaning tips that will prolong the lifespan of your carpet and keep it looking fresh.
A fresh carpet is necessary for indoor air quality. Carpet fibers can harbor dirt, allergens and other particles that can pollute the indoor air quality. These particles and germs can accumulate to dangerous levels. Preventing the buildup of dirt and grime through vacuuming is the first and most important step in carpet care. However vacuuming alone is not enough, there are other ways to ensure your carpet does not wear out quickly from all the foot traffic and spills.
A thorough carpet cleaning will require multiple shampooing and vacuuming. Passing over the carpet once with a vacuum cleaner only helps to pick the dirt from the outer surface. You must ensure you approach the carpet from diverse angles for you to catch all the debris entangled right into the carpet fibers.
To avoid discoloration carry out a spot test on a tiny portion of the carpet to confirm whether the sanitizing agent is safe to use before applying generously to the entire carpet. Pretreat the affected areas on the carpet before using a machine to shampoo the whole carpet to get the best outcome. Consider blotting instead of rubbing the stained areas and work from the edges toward the center of the stain. This will keep the stain from spreading to the adjacent areas on the carpet.
Wipe Spills Immediately
Dealing with spills, stains or spots immediately after they happen is an effective strategy of keeping the carpet in good shape. It maintains the health of the carpet preventing staining and odors. Another important and mostly ignored tip for carpet cleaning is to allow the carpet to dry completely before setting foot on it again. This helps to prevent the carpet from forming dents and quickly catching new stains. Fluff out the dents resulting from heavy furniture on the carpet by combing the piles and repositioning the furniture every once in a while. Keep rugs looking vibrant by regularly rotating them, to ensure the areas under the tables and sofa do not wear out too quickly.
Hire an expert
The techniques applied to clean carpets may differ depending on the pile length, material and dyes applied on it. If you are not certain what specific approach to use to clean your carpet then you can hire a professional cleaning service. How a carpet is built and the strength of its fibers will determine the cleaning and maintenance approach required. An expert trained in carpet care can handle the most difficult scenarios with your carpet while preserving and restoring the carpet. Click here for a full list of Companion Maids services.