How To Clean Floors?

The following points apply to all hard floors, including stone, wood, laminate and vinyl:

Sweep or vacuum hard floors at least once a week, more often in areas of heavy traffic. Mop hard floors once a week. If you have large areas of floor, consider buying an electric floor cleaner. Modern models are lightweight and easy to use. They can be used on vinyl, ceramic and any sealed floor surface but because they deposit quite a lot of water on the floor, should not be used on any unsealed surface or wood block, which could swell. Always vacuum or sweep before using an electric floor cleaner. If there is any grit on the floor, the scouring action of the brushes can scratch the surface.

Sweep the dust

Use a soft-bristled brush, which will not lift the dust. In a large room, start at the back of the room in one corner and, working left to right, sweep the dust towards you until you reach the door. Use long, smooth strokes – you want to do as little work as possible. Finnaly, sweep the dust into a dustpan and brush or vacuum it up. In a small room, start at each corner and sweep the dust to the center in front of the door. Sweep the dust into a dustpan or vacuum it up.


Vacuum a floor

Always vacuum a room last, after dusting, cleaning and any other tasks, such as making the beds. That way, you will get rid of all dirt and dust that you have knocked on to the floor. Adjust the vacuum cleaner to the type of floor you are vacuuming. To vacuum hard floors, use the brush attachment or set the beater bar high. Reset the power to maximum. Work from the back of the room, ending at the door. Work from left to right, going across the room in strips. Hard floors are much quicker to vacuum than carpets, so you can to this speedily.

Mop a floor

Move everything out of the way and off the floor. Have two buckets, one containing water and a little detergent or mild washing-up liquid, the other containing clean water. Start from the back of the room. When mopping, the trick is not to use too much water. Dip the mop in the first bucket and wring it out as much as possible.

Mop the floor in a figure-of-eight pattern, pushing the mop right into the corners of the room. Once you have finished cleaning one section, dip the mop in the second bucket, wring it out until almost dry and rinse the section you have just cleaned.

Proceed in this way, working from left to right across the room and from the back of the room to the front, until you reach the door. Replace the water in both buckets as it gets dirty. If you keep the mop as dry as possible, the floor should be almost dry by the time you have finished.


If a floor is very dirty, sometimes your only recourse is to get down on your hands and knees. Many people are reluctant to do this because of its connotations of skivvydom, but it is as quick as mopping, especially in a small room, and gets the floor much cleaner. While you are down there, you may as well take the opportunity to clean the skirting boards at the same time.

Again, have two buckets, and use a lint-free cotton floor cloth. Wring the cloth out until it is barely damp and clean from the back of the room to the front, rinsing as you go.

Tags: floor cleaning, home cleaning tips

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