There’s nothing like the sight of a dirt free, sparkling clean floor in your home that makes you feel that little bit more accomplished.
But wait, are you choosing the best products or initiating the best cleaning regime? Are you cleaning your floors correctly or actually causing more harm than good in your choices of products and manner? When it comes to cleaning floors, it’s actually incredibly easy to make mistakes and damage your floor, which could lead to a range of problems further down the line.
We’ve collected 5 of the most common floor cleaning mistakes that you could be making, so that you can change your habits and keep your floors not only clean, but well-maintained and built to last.
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Mistake number 1: you’ve not cleaned your vacuum
Did you know that maintaining your vacuum is one of the most important things you can do to help keep your carpets and hard floors their cleanest?
Many vacuums nowadays are so full of fantastic features that we forget the most basic rule that by keeping it clean, you maintain its life and keep it working at its best for years.
The good thing is that this is easily changed, and you can ensure that your vacuum is left in tip top condition after every vacuuming session. These are simple, little things that take less than 5 minutes and can severely change the way your vacuum continues to pick up and store dust, debris and dander.
Firstly, empty your vacuum canisters as soon as they’re full. Or when they’ve reached the MAX capacity if your canister has this function.
As the collected dirt becomes more packed and cramped in the canister, it prevents your vacuum from being able to pick up any more dirt, meaning that no matter how good the suction is, it simply won’t make any difference. Empty your canister as soon as it becomes full and give your vacuum a new lease of life. You’ll be able to feel the difference immediately.
Secondly, clean or change the filters in your vacuum.
Many vacuum companies boast about their amazing filtration systems that help keep your vacuum running for longer. But you still need to change or wash your filter occasionally (at least once a month for cleaning) to ensure that it accurately traps all those microscopic allergens and bacteria as well as all of the bigger pieces.
If your filter is washable, it’s as easy as running it under a warm tap and getting rid of the build-up. Once you’ve done this, you’ll begin to notice cleaner floors and fresher air. We guarantee it.
Mistake number 2: you’re using the wrong vacuum attachment
Nowadays, vacuums come with a wide range of accessories and attachments, all created to help pinpoint different areas of the home.
With that being said, sometimes the arrival of so many different attachments can be off-putting, especially if you just want to give your floors a quick once over. You don’t always know what each attachment is for, and it can be a hassle learning all the different names and what their use is.
It’s worth getting to know the various attachments that come with your vacuum though, in order to keep your hard floors safe from unnecessary scratches, and to give your home the proper clean that it deserves.
A misused attachment can cause havoc on your hard wood floors, creating dents and extra crevices for dust to hide in. Similarly, if you’re not using the correct attachment for your carpet, you’re just not going to be able to vacuum deep enough to rid it of all the excess dust and allergens that go deeper than just the surface.
Always check the brush type in each attachment head and work out whether they’re fit for hard floors, or need to be kept on carpets or even upholstery only. This way, you’ll never find unwanted scratches on your hard floors, and won’t have to worry about damaging your carpet fibers.
Mistake number 3: you’re not cleaning up spillages immediately
We’re all guilty: sometimes we don’t have the time, energy or the products to clean up a spillage immediately.
Sometimes we hide an ill-timed spillage with a piece of furniture, or a well-placed rug. However, if we want our carpets and hard floors to remain looking best for a long time, we should be cleaning up that spillage before it has chance to become a stain.
If you can spend a good 2 – 3 minutes tackling a spillage when it first happens, you have a way greater chance of it not being left behind for good, or having to spend 20 – 30 minutes scrubbing away at it once it’s settled later.
It’s not just the impending stain though. Depending on the substance, a sticky spillage, especially food related, will ensure that bugs and other unsavory creatures will want to invade your home. You don’t want to end up having to call the exterminator over what could have been a two minute clean up job.
What’s more, a wet spillage can damage both carpets and hard floors, and ruin the materials, meaning that they won’t last for much longer. Water or juice seeping into the cracks of your wooden floors, or spreading and puddling in your grout will only leave impossible to remove stains or lasting damage that could see you relaying your floors way earlier than you’d hoped.
Always tackle spillages immediately. If there’s excess water, mop that up first with a dry cloth, then use appropriate products to ensure that staining can’t begin.
Mistake number 4: Using water where it’s not needed
This mistake ties in nicely with our previous one, because leaving wet patches and excess water on your floors could give you lasting damage and create more problems further down the line.
If you’ve got a variety of hard floors in your home, it can be tempting to mop them all in one fell swoop, and get them all over and done with. However, this could lead to some serious damage if you have wooden floors in that mix.
Technically, you should never mop a wooden floor.
Firstly, a wooden floor is incredibly absorbent, and will suck that excess water right up as it seeps through the cracks. Secondly, this will cause the floor beneath to warp or swell, which is bad news. This warping or swelling will seriously damage your wooden floor, and create movement. This could end up with you having to replace your floor completely, which is costly and time consuming.
Instead, dry mop your wooden floors to ensure that they still get a good clean but without the danger. If you have a few stains forming, feel free to use a slightly damp mop to buff it out, but never use a saturated mop.
Mistake number 5: Using harsh chemicals or basic household cleaners
When you clean your floors, its paramount that you use the correct cleaning solutions, whether they come with the machine you use, or they’ve been created specially to work alongside your machine or cleaner.
By using harmful chemicals, you potentially put your own health at risk, as well as the life span of your floors, and when you use basic household cleaners, they can seriously damage the state of your floors if used for a long period of time.
Most of us believe that switching up the chemicals for a more holistic approach to cleaning is better, and that using baking soda, vinegar or any ammonia-based products will give you the same effect but in a safer manner.
Whilst it’s true that it’s safer for us, these products can seriously damage the integrity of your floor, and can remove the coating on your hard floors and eat away at the surface. That means that they’re a no-go.
Many cleaning machines come with their own safe, and often fresh scented floor cleaners to help you get the best clean possible, although these can be the more expensive options.
If you still want to stay as chemically free as possible, your best bet is to find an oil-based cleaning solution that will not only maintain your floor and keep it looking fresh and shiny, but won’t damage the floor in any way.