Your floors are one of the largest and most expensive features in your home, and unfortunately, often times the most mistreated. Surprisingly, this abuse is typically not due to neglect. A lot of us think that we’re doing a fantastic job keeping our floors squeaky clean, little do we know we’re actually damaging our most precious commodity. In another article, I pointed out that there are many cleaning mistakes that the average person makes with good intentions, that actually do more damage than good. Think you’re not part of this reckless bunch of oblivious floor abusers? Well, if you’re doing any of the following, I’ve got bad news for you…
You scrub spills out of your carpet
Yes, I know that its our first impulse when we see stain-causing liquids hit our immaculate, plush carpeting, but its the worst way to treat a spill. All that rubbing and scrubbing will untwist and fray the fibers, leaving the pile disrupted and uneven. Its best to just blot the spot until you have all the liquid absorbed, then follow up with a stain treatment to remove the remaining discoloration.
You mop your wood or laminate floors with a bucket of water
No, no, no! Step AWAY from the bucket! Excessive water on hardwood and laminate floors gets soaked up and can cause mold. Over time it can even cause your beautiful floor to buckle, ruining that pristine look you had before you took that mop and bucket to it. Its best to just sweep and dust the floors, then use a DAMP cloth to further clean if needed, or sparingly use a cleaner that is specially formulated for your style of flooring.
You’re vacuuming in the wrong direction
Do you push your vacuum toward the wall, then back when vacuuming? Well, then you’re just pushing dirt and particles up under your floorboards, creating a new mess that’s even more difficult to clean. It’s best to vacuum parallel along the walls. This way you are getting the particles and dirt along the wall without pushing it under the floorboards. If you have hardwood floors, you should also read this article.
You’re using bleach or ammonia based products on your tile
Why are you being so harsh on your beautiful tile? What did it ever do to you? You should be using a mild cleaner and soft cloths or mops to clean your tile. Bleach and ammonia can eat away at tile grout, causing it to discolor over time. You don’t want that now, do you?
Who doesn’t like feeling like their floors are squeaky-clean and germ-free? But if you’re using your steam mop or rug steamer too often, you’re damaging your floor. Steaming too often can damage the seal of hardwood or laminate flooring, and cleaning carpets excessively can damage the fibers and pile of your carpeting. Its best to use these types of equipment sparingly, and make sure you’re on their lowest heat settings when you do. Other mistakes to avoid when using your steamer:
— Do not use it like a vacuum. Steamers are designed to sanitized and remove dried-on messes. They don’t suck up particles or dust, make sure you keep this in mind when you’re reaching for your steam mop or rug steamer. — You can easily burn your skin. Steam is created by heating water to temperatures up to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Use extreme care when operating your steamer. — Steam cleaners can not kill all types of mold. If you think you have a mold problem, its best to call a professional.
How many of these mistakes have you been making regularly? Don’t feel bad if you have been a perpetual floor abuser in the past, you still have time to correct your bad behavior. Just make sure you don’t fall back into any of these terrible cleaning habits, and your floors will stay immaculately beautiful for years to come. You can also check out my other article here about cleaning mistakes that you shouldn’t be making in 2015.