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How often should I clean my floor?

Custom home interior with beautiful warm wood floorsHow often you clean your floor depends on the kind of floor you have. If you have wall-to-wall carpet, you can vacuum every day without harming the carpet. Practically speaking, vacuuming every other day or three times a week is more than enough. Most carpet manufacturers recommend professional, hot water extraction cleaning every 18-24 months. Some manufacturers write that into their warranty.

Other floors require more complex care than carpeted floors, however.

Hardwood Floors

You should use an electrostatic cloth about twice a week to rid hardwood floors from dust. If there is larger debris, you can use a broom and dustpan. Once a week, you should vacuum thoroughly. Then prepare a solution of 1 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of water with which you can mop the floor. Make sure to wring the mop out tightly so that it is only slightly damp, you do not want too much moisture on the floor.

Once a year, you may opt to hire a professional to do a deep chemical etch clean, followed by re-applying a finish to protect the beautiful hardwood appearance. Some people, however, choose to keep the imperfections because they prefer a "distressed" look to their hardwood floors. It's completely up to you.

Vinyl Floors

Never use hot water; always use warm or cold. If you happen to be low on specific no-wax floor cleaner, use a tablespoon of Dawn or Palmolive dish detergent in 2 gallons of water, it works great. When it comes to sweeping, it is best to do it daily with vinyl floors. A good way to remember is to sweep or vacuum just after you start the dishwasher with the dinner dishes. Vinyl flooring isn't as tough as hardwoods, so abrasive particles can scratch them easier. When using a mop, remember to use mild cleansers like dish detergent instead of heavy-duty ones.

Concrete Floors

They're not just for unfinished basements anymore. In the 21st century, many people are choosing decorative concrete for their general living spaces. While concrete is incredibly tough, it does require regular maintenance. The schedule for this maintenance, including cleaning, depends largely on how much traffic to which the floor is exposed.

General cleaning can be done weekly. Usually, you can just mop with plain water and get the dirt. If the floor is more heavily soiled than usual, use a mild, concrete-approved cleanser. If the floor is really dirty, sweep, mop with water, mop with the mild cleanser, and then mop with ammonia. Be sure to dry the floor thoroughly as soon as you finish mopping. Water can cause and widen any existing cracks. Should the sealant wear through, it's imperative to reseal the floor immediately.

Use your common sense when it comes to concrete floors. The more traffic in your home, the more your floor will need attention. Remember, professionals, are available to help you clean your floor of any type should you want extra help.

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