More people are opening up their homes as the weather continues to get warmer and many homeowners are well underway with their spring cleaning. The floors of your home should be one focus of your spring cleaning efforts as snow, slush, and salt has been dragged into the house all winter. This debris not only causes your floors to look dirty, but it can also shorten the life of the floor by causing the finish to wear out, making it important to thoroughly clean your hard surface floors in the spring.
There are many effective household cleaners available that will work for all types of hard surface floors but some homeowners may prefer eco-friendly cleaning options that leave little to no lasting environmental impact. The following are effective eco-friendly cleaning methods for each type of hard surface floor.
- Ceramic Tile Floors: This type of flooring can be effectively cleaned using only warm water and avoiding cleaning products altogether. The first thing you should do when cleaning ceramic tile floors is sweep or vacuum to eliminate dirt and other debris. Once this is done, you can wipe the floor with either a mop or rag and warm water to clean the surface of the tiles. You must take into account that sponge mops and rags can push the dirt into the grout lines but micro-fiber mops will pick up the dirt to avoid spreading it around. If you are using a rag to clean your ceramic tiles, make sure to wipe the surface in a circular motion.
- Hardwood Floors: One green cleaning method that is effective for hardwood floors is using warm water that has been steeped with black tea bags. Black tea contains tannic acid that leaves an impressive shine without the need for any chemicals. Just heat one quart of water to a boil and steep two black tea bags in the water for about three minutes. After removing the tea bags, let the water cool to room temperature before using it on your floor. Get a rag damp with the mixture and scrub the floor in circular motions.
- Vinyl Floors: Vinyl floors can be cleaned using a mixture of warm water and Borax. Just add 2 tablespoons of Borax to a gallon of warm water and mix. This mixture should be effective for vinyl and some tile flooring.
- Linoleum Floors: Linoleum is composed of natural materials such as wood flour, rosins, cork, and other materials, making it a green option for flooring. There are several green cleaning methods that are effective for cleaning linoleum floors as well as removing scuff marks and stains. The most effective eco-friendly cleaning solution for linoleum floors is a mixture of all natural liquid dish soap and warm water. You can also add half a cup of vinegar to the clean rinse water to improve the shine of the floor. Scuff marks on linoleum floors can be removed with a sponge dipped in jojoba oil or even with a pencil eraser. If you encounter a stain that cannot be removed with these methods, you can make a paste with water and baking soda to help get rid of the stain.
- Grout Lines: The grout lines between tiles are notorious for picking up dirt, stains, and other debris that can cause the entire floor to appear dirty. Grout can be cleaned most effectively by professionals that provide tile and grout cleaning services but there are also several green cleaning methods that homeowners can use to clean the grout lines. You can make a paste by mixing baking soda with one of several common household substances such as water, vinegar, ammonia, lemon juice, or chlorine bleach. Apply the paste to the affected areas and let it sit for a while before scrubbing it with a toothbrush or similar object and rinsing with clean water. Light stains can also be removed with a pencil eraser or sandpaper.
As you continue your spring cleaning throughout your home, consider these eco-friendly cleaning tips for your hard surface floors. Regardless of what type of flooring you have in your home, there is a green cleaning solution that is safe and effective for you to use. If your floors are not as clean as you would like them to be after trying these methods, contact a professional for hard surface floor cleaning. Many professionals offer green cleaning options that are effective for all types of floors.