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The best method for cleaning flooring depends on the floor’s material. Generally, only small amounts of floor cleaner and water should be used when washing floors. Even when cleaning products made specifically for floors are used, too much of the product may leave a dull film. If an excess of water is used when cleaning flooring, on some types of floors moisture may seep in along the edges and cause damage. Most floors require mainly daily sweeping and weekly vacuuming to stay clean.
Sweeping and vacuuming work well for wood floors. Any spills should be wiped up quickly. Even sealed wood floors shouldn't be washed with a lot of water. Sealing creates a water-resistant seal on hardwood flooring, but that doesn't mean it's completely waterproof. Wood cleaning products may be used if the product manufacturer's directions are followed.
Laminate flooring looks like wood, but is actually photographs of wood graining with a clear durable coating. Although laminate floors aren't natural wood, the amount of water used should also be limited. Even mild detergent may dull a laminate floor. Cleaning flooring of this type can be done with plain warm water. Some people like to add a little vinegar to the water when mopping with a damp, not wet, mop.
Keeping laminate floors swept daily with a soft indoor broom can lessen the amount of floor washing needed. Vacuuming laminates with a soft bristled floor brush, at least once a week, is also a good idea. Cleaning flooring made of unsealed linoleum with liquid of any kind isn't a good idea because this natural material is extremely porous. Sealing linoleum will make it easier to sweep and vacuum as well as wash.
Vinyl flooring is usually very shiny and needs mostly sweeping and vacuuming to keep it clean. Scrubbing vinyl floors with a little mild detergent and water may be needed once in awhile. Since vinyl floors tend to be soft, keeping them vacuumed before little bits of debris can press into the flooring is a good idea. Ceramic floors are usually fairly low maintenance although lighter colors tend to show dirt easily. Cleaning flooring with grouting, such as ceramics, may work best with hand washing rather than mopping.
When cleaning flooring of any type, taking a few extra minutes to really clean the corners is usually worth the effort. Dirt can build up in a floor's corners and edges. Wiping down the baseboards is another way to keep any type of floor sparkling. Sweeping and spot wiping the kitchen floor at a regular time each day can keep it looking clean with minimal effort.