Kitchen floors are a potluck of dirt, grunge, and grime.
Cleaning floors of different materials - linoleum, vinyl, hardwood, laminate, stone, terrazzo, and concrete - requires a special cleaning regimen.
Don't know the secret floor cleaning code? No problem.
These 8 tips for cleaning floors can help, password not required.
Keeping linoleum clean requires little more than regular damp-mopping or dry dust-mopping to get rid of surface grit and dust before it's ground in.
Each week, deep-clean linoleum floors with a neutral-pH cleaner, such as a little dishwashing detergent dissolved in lukewarm water. To keep linoleum floors shiny and lustrous, apply a wax finish each year to seal and protect the surface.
Areas of your linoleum floor that get heavy use should be stripped and rewaxed as needed.
A few cleaning don'ts for linoleum floors:
One of vinyl's most vexing cleaning challenges is keeping daily dirt out of surface crevices. Since these tiny particles can quickly become ground in, vacuum your floor regularly rather than sweeping it with a broom. The reason?
A vacuum pulls the dirt away from the floor, while a broom drags dirt across the floor, increasing the risk that smaller particles will be left behind.
Hard though it may be to believe, vinyl floors really do only require regular sweeping and damp-mopping with water for general cleaning.
But for those grimy jobs, you may need a cleaner with a surfactant that will provide more uniform cleaning and drying.
Choose a water-based, neutral cleaner, such as Spic and Span Pine Liquid (rinse well and air dry) or Cannington Rinse-Free Cleaner. Or just add a few squirts of liquid dishwashing detergent into your mop water.
Finally, for stubborn, ground-in dirt, give TSP (trisodium phosphate) a try. With this caveat: Use a 1/2 tablespoon per gallon of water - not a pinch more.
This caustic but extremely effective stuff can remove just about any grunt thing from your vinyl floor. Including a surface finish if used in too strong a concentration.
Other vinyl don'ts:
Whether your hardwood floors are oak, maple, ash or beech, cleaning them is about as safe and simple as it gets. Once-a-week cleaning with a broom, vacuum, or dust mop is all most wood floors require. If your floors get lots of use, and if they don't have a urethane finish, damp-mop once a week with a neutral-pH wood cleaning product.
Standing water or other liquids can damage the wood floor's finish, which is why promptly wiping up spills is key to keeping them looking good.
A few don'ts for cleaning wood floors:
Keep laminate floors luxurious by regularly vacuuming or dust-mopping with a damp (not wet) cloth to remove dust and dirt.
When the dirt and grime get tough, a solution of vinegar and water works well for general cleaning. To remove tough spots and stains, buff the blemish with acetone nail-polish remover, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Laminate floor cleaning no nos:
Even with the modern sealers on the market today, stone floors are vulnerable to staining from water and oil-based liquids, and should be wiped clean daily.
Daily wipe-downs may seem cumbersome, but it you're prepared for the job with a water-only mop hanging in a nearby closet, it takes just minutes for a clean shine that lasts the whole day.
Start with a cleaning routine designed to keep grime from building up and prevent the need for heavy-duty cleaners. Regularly vacuum and damp-mop tile floors, and clean up spills as they happen.
For deep cleaning, use a neutral-pH cleaner without surfactants (which can leave a residue on tile floors), for tough grease-cutting action.
This polished natural stone looks its best with regular sweeping and damp-mopping with water and mild detergent. Since terrazzo floors stain easily and the polished finish tends to wear quickly, professional products tend to be the safest cleaning bet.
This may be the ideal kitchen flooring. All you need to do is sweep, vacuum, or damp-mop regularly.