Tips To Maintain Your Floor

Start with the basics.
Stacy McCall, president and CEO of ServiceMaster by Stratos in Memphis, says, “Sweeping works fine for most floors, but vacuuming is a better choice, even for tile. Most vacuums have a hard floor surface setting. If not, raise height to maximum setting to avoid scratching [the] floor. This will make mopping easier and prevent dirt that sweeping left behind from being spread around.”Know your surfaces
David Schliefer of Grout Works in New Jersey says, “In order to clean a tile floor you must first be aware of the type of tile you have. Any natural stone, such as marble and travertine, is sensitive to many cleaning products.” Only use products intended for the type of tile you have.Wipe up spills immediately
To avoid spending hours on your hands and knees scrubbing away stains and dirt, wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Use an absorbent cloth or a wet/dry cordless vacuum to get rid of spills and dirt on tile floors.

Damp mop once a week
Most tile floors don’t need to be cleaned with harsh chemicals. A damp mop in hot water is all it takes to get your floors really clean. Be sure to clean the dirty mop water and refill your bucket often while mopping. The only time you need to use an actual cleanser is for built-up grime, pet accidents, dropped raw meat, or other heavy bacteria spills.

Use the right cleaner
For heavy spills and excessive dirt, you will need to choose the right cleanser depending on what type of tiles you have. Ceramic and porcelain tiles can almost always be cleaned with just a damp mop but, for dirty grout, add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to each gallon of water before mopping. Wipe up any excess water to avoid saturating the grout. For vinyl tiles, mop your floor with a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and one gallon of water. For marble and other stone tile, you need to be very careful. Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and many store bought cleansers can destroy your tiles. Instead, add some mild dish soap to your mop water. After cleaning, mop again with plain water to eliminate any soap residue.

Finally, McCall adds that prevention is the best medicine for dirty floors. She says, “Don’t forget — the best way to keep your tile floor clean is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. Mats, both outside and just inside each door, can go a long way toward preventing dirt from tracking in — just make sure you clean the mats regularly. Making a habit of taking your shoes off at the door can help too.”