What’s the best way to clean the floor? (with pictures)

Hardwood floors should be cleaned with a damp mop.

The best way to clean floors varies, depending on the type of flooring you have. For example, wooden floors benefit from a very light damp mopping with cold water and a mild wood soap solution, while stone floors can be washed with hot water and more aggressive soaps. While the basic scrubbing technique remains more or less the same in all cases, the choice of soap is crucial.

A damp mop is a great way to clean a hardwood floor.

Before cleaning the floor, gather the necessary supplies, including a mop, bucket, cleaning solution of your choice, and broom. Cloth mops are best for textured floors as they actually lift dirt off the floor, while sponge mops are great for smooth floors. As a general rule of thumb, use mild cleaners on stone and tile, while more aggressive cleaners can be used on linoleum. On hardwood and Pergo floors, you may want to avoid using soap unless the floor installer has recommended a specific type of soap, as you don’t want to damage the floor.

Stone floors can be washed with hot water and more aggressive soaps.

Start by clearing all objects and debris from the floor. If you are going to clean that room, do it before mopping the floor, so you don’t throw dust and other materials on the freshly cleaned floor. Take the time to move the furniture to another location while you mop the floor, to ensure that you really do clean the entire floor. Then sweep or vacuum the floor to pick up large pieces of debris.

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Before cleaning a hardwood floor, clean it of dust and debris.

Fill the bucket with hot water and soap of your choice; if you want an especially shiny floor, you can use vinegar, but be aware that vinegar can stain or damage floors made from wood and stone. Dip the mop in water, wring it out well, and start scrubbing. Cloth mops should be moved in a figure eight, while sponge mops can be swept across the floor in a straight line. Work your way from the top of the room toward the door while mopping the floor so you don’t get stuck in a corner, and dip and wring the mop frequently to get the dirt off the mop.

Using vinegar on hardwood floors can cause stains or damage.

If you haven’t mopped in a long time, or if the room is especially large, you may need to change the mop water halfway through your mop session. It’s worth taking some time to do this, otherwise you’ll be spreading dirt all over the floor instead of fresh water and soap. After mopping the floor, allow it to dry completely before moving items back to the floor, and rinse the mop well, hanging it to dry so it doesn’t mold or mildew before using it again.

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