You’ve taken your time to choose exactly the right flooring for your space, invested in a plush woollen carpet that makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds, or an expensive wooden flooring that evokes the essence of the forest it once grew in … and now you’ve got to care for it. HL takes the guess work out of floor care with this handy guide:
- Whether it’s wool, sisal or jute natural fibres hate getting wet and literally turn to mould in damp environments. To get natural fibre rugs and carpets in trim Rowley and Hughes recommends that you vacuum your carpet regularly to avoid a build up of dirt and dust. You should also never use soap, bleach or wet carpet cleaner on these types of products.
- Instead, if you do have a little topple of the tipple, tackle the stain immediately with a dry carpet cleaner.
Wooden floors and veneers
- To prevent dings and scratches avoid walking on the floors in stilettos or other hard edged heels and while you’re at it, make sure your pets claws are well clipped.
- Place felt floor pads (available from most hardwares, or make them yourself) under all furniture legs and avoid dragging furniture (or anything) across your wooden floors.
- No matter what your granny tells you wax-based products are a no no, as are ammoni- based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax based products, bleach, polishes and abrasive cleaning soaps or even vinegar.
- If you spill anything, mop up immediately – wood hates water.
- Use specialized wood or laminate floor cleaners that evaporate quickly.
- In the case of tough stains, dampen a cloth with methylated spirits and rub the spot gently.
- Firstly you need to determine whether your carpet is colour fast or not because this will determine which products or cleaning materials you choose. To do this you will need to find a swatch of the carpet or an inconspicuous are of carpet, such as behind a cabinet. Vacuum the area. Dampen a white cloth with the cloth with carpet cleaner you intend to use and dampen the area. Leave it to dry thoroughly and blot with the white cloth, if any of the carpet dye comes on to the cloth the carpet isn’t colour fast and you will need to try another cleaner or buy the cleaner recommended by the carpet manufacturer.
- Before cleaning remove all furniture and thoroughly vacuum the carpet. You can hire a carpet cleaning service or simply hire the machine and do it yourself. If using a wet extraction method (the most common method) make sure to leave the carpet to dry undisturbed for 24 hours before redistributing your furniture.
Tiles or linoleum
These are the easiest floor types to care for and take little effort or specialized products.
- Be aware of treading dirt over the floor a small piece of stone embedded in a shoe can damage the floor.
- Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to prevent grit from scratching the surface.
- When mopping the surface only use a small amount of water (most of the time cleaner isn’t necessary), a sponge based mop with a squeegee works best.
- For a more extensive clean add a small dose of tile cleaner or some vinegar. Don’t use soap, because it creates a sticky surface that attracts dirt.