Cleaning. Everybody has to do it. Unless you hire it out. Or if you’re a caveman. But then you’d probably not be reading this anyway. Now that we had a finished floor all over our ground floor, I thought it wise to up my knowledge about cleaning a floor. Turns out you can easily make mistakes…
What I will outline here are some general principles, and specific stuff for our floor interwoven.
Use that vacuum cleaner
No matter what type of floor you have, it always, always, always starts with vacuum cleaning it all. Get rid of all loose grit, dirt, dust, and what not. Skip this step and it will come back to haunt you sooner or later. Not all things are created equally scratch resistant unfortunately… Just make sure you’re using the right nozzle on it, or you risk creating those scratches anyway.
It all starts with what material your floor is made from. Our travertine needs a milder soap than what a ceramic tile would take, and a laminate or parquet will need another soap again. Ceramic tiles probably are the easiest: most ceramic tiles can handle pretty much anything you throw at them, so a general floor cleaner like a Mister Clean will do perfectly. For our travertine floor the people that did the renovation recommended us to use HMK liquid stone soap (P324 or P24, it’s the same product but a different name).
Once you picked your soap, it’s time to start filling your buckets with warm water. Yes, you read that right, buckets, as in plural: you need two buckets! Put the recommended amount of soap in one of them, and keep the other with only fresh water. In general you don’t need to overdo the amount of soap, as it will most likely only result in a thin layer of greasy soap residu on your floor anyway. There are exceptions: when our floor was just renovated, I did use the maximum recommended amount for some time, as the stone sucks in some of the water and soap. They call it “feeding the stone”, and it should result in a stone floor that is saturated, and has a deeper glow and cleans more easily.
As you can see I only filled the bucket without soap half. There’s a reason for that, which you’ll know in a second. Now you can start cleaning, so dip your mop in the bucket with the soap. You don’t need it to be dripping wet, so give it a squeeze above the water-only-bucket (that’s why I didn’t fill it completely to begin with). Then you can mop the floor, I usually take on around 2 to 3 square meter depending on how filthy the floor is. Before you think of dumping your mop in the bucket of soap, rinse it in the water-only-bucket! Squeeze it as dry as possible, and then you can drop it in the bucket of soap, and the cycle restarts.
Using that second bucket ensures that your soapy water remains more or less clean, while all the dirt and grit goes into the other bucket. Once that one gets too dirty…
… you need to empty it and fill it up again with clean water of course. Depending on how filthy the floor is, I mop around 15 to 20 square meter before I clean that one out. That might seem like a lot of water down the drain, but think about it: you can’t get a clean floor if your mop is dirty. You also risk scratching your floor, so just don’t skimp on it!
That’s how I roll baby! But how do you clean your floor? What kind is it, and what soap do you use for it? Our entry and storage have ceramic tiles, and the other floors of the house will get some kind of wooden floor, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know!