Floor cleaning. It's one of those mundane activities you can't get away from, especially if you have pets or, you know, ever leave your house. Cat hair, dog hair, bunny bedding, melting snow, melting salt, dirt – it's awful! But whether you have carpet, hardwood floors, vinyl, linoleum, or ceramic tiles, there are several different options available to you, all the way around those floors. Just as an example, here are 7 different techniques for cleaning your floors.
1. Vacuum First
This is naturally true for carpet, but I'm talking about doing it for hardwood, tile, vinyl, and so on. Most vacuums have a setting for sweeping harder floors; use it, live it, and love it, because you need it. It gets rid of all the debris that your mop can't get and your broom can't reach. And trust me, once you start mopping, you'll be glad you did this.
2. Broom, Broom, Broom
You should use your broom as well. There are, after all, some places your vacuum can't reach – like under the tub in the bathroom, behind the toilet, et cetera. Plus, there are certain things vacuum cleaners won't pick up, no matter how good they claim to be at picking up all kinds of debris. Vacuums lie, but the broom always tells the truth.
I don't know about you guys, but my pets' hair always ends up around the baseboards, like it's some kind of magnetic vortex bent on pulling all the fur out of the room. A lot of times, neither the vacuum nor the broom can fight the power of that vortex. It's a hassle and a half, but sometimes you just have to give up the ghost, play like Cinderella (minus the helpful mice), get down on your knees, and scrub the outer edges of your floor.
4. The Stain Game
Floors get stains. All of them. For carpet, it's fairly easy to remove stains, there are so many products for any manner of stains you could possibly imagine. Out of all of them, I like Resolve, but that's just me. But what about stains on hardwood and other types of floors? Well, for hardwood, both treated and untreated, there are also several kinds of stain removers, but here's the kicker: you have to spray them on, seriously let them sit for the 3-5 minutes advised, and then wipe them off quick! Most of the time, these stain removers bleach the stains out of the wood – and if you let them set too long, they can bleach the wood as well.
5. Swiffer Tips
The Swiffer is awesome – most of the time. It makes it incredibly easy to clean your hard surface floors – most of the time. But – most of the time, again – the Swiffer fluid doesn't work that great. No problem. You can still use your Swiffer – and its cleaning fluid – just put down some other mopping formula as well, to take care of tougher messes.
6. Mopping Malaise
Ah, mops. There are so many! Foam mops, rag mops – all right, so I can only think of two. Foam mops are maybe the most popular choice because they're easier to handle – but they also get clogged up with dirt and debris really easy. If you don't want to be spreading hair everywhere then, again, vacuum and/or sweep first, but also make sure you clean the head after every room. This is gross, but you'll be glad the next time you have to mop.
Finally, sometimes homemade really is better. You can make your own cleaning fluid for any type of floor. There are recipes galore out there and reviews to go with them. You can save a lot of money this way, and because so many of the ingredients are nonabrasive and, in many cases, natural, you won't have to worry about messing up your floors.
I hate doing floors, but what can you do? My iPod makes it easier; at least I can pretend I'm live in concert while I'm cleaning. More to the point, how do you keep your floors clean and sparkly?
Top Photo Credit: Rafael Peñaloza