Tips to Get Perfectly Clean Floors

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There’s nothing I hate more than opening the curtains on a sunny afternoon so those sunbeams can dance along my hardwood floors only to discover I really should get the mop out. Or worse, that I thought I had cleaned them properly. These tips to get perfectly clean floors are here to help you get the job done right the first time.

See also: Want to get started on those walls, next? Check out these mops that are perfect for getting the job done!

Tips to Get Perfectly Clean Floors

Floors should be visibly clean, so free from dirt, spots, and streaks. Whether you’re spring cleaning, or just want clean floors on a daily basis, with the right tools (and a few tips to get perfectly clean floors) you can make it happen. Even if you have bare floors, carpet, or a combination of both! 

Perfectly clean floors with kids and pets

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I have 5 kids and hard floors throughout including hardwood, laminate, and linoleum. With kids in the house, it feels like every time you clean they spill something. At least the floor was sanitized recently for when the spill food… 

As for pets, I know too well what it’s like to have them run in on dark floors and get mud everywhere. Spring is the worst! And what dog owner hasn’t let their pup in during a rainstorm only to have it shake itself dry all over the hardwood. Sigh. 

My best advice to get perfectly clean floors to stay clean would be to get rid of the kids and pets. Maybe your spouse too. But since that’s not realistic in my house it probably isn’t in yours either. So instead I have my best tips on what I do to get my floors clean and help them stay that way.

Tip 1: Have the right tools

Cleaning tools for hard floors

Before you can mop you need to make sure the floor is free from debris. If you like to clean with a broom, make sure it’s good quality and the bristles aren’t too frayed. Dry mops with a microfiber pad are great if your floors don’t get too messy and just need dusting.

Personally, I suggest a good quality vacuum that can be used on bare floors if you have kids or pets. You won’t spread the dirt around as much when you clean and you can get into all the crevices that a broom might not reach. If you’re dealing with food mess, though, it’s better to sweep up before vacuuming to prevent mould or even ruining your vacuum. 

Mopping tools for hard floors

A good mop is easily the most valuable investment you can make if you want perfectly clean floors. You might even want to pick up more than one depending on your flooring types and family’s needs.

A heavy duty mop is handy if you have children and pets that sometimes make big messes. If you often have to scrub your floor to get it clean, investing in one that removes dirt helps a lot. These are also good if you have frequent spills because they can be wrung out as you mop the mess.

A spray mop with a microfiber pad is great for quick jobs and light dusting. Swiffer makes a disposable version which is great for cleaning up something gross. For the environment, though, I prefer the washable microfiber pad versions that allow you to use your own cleaning solution. These are lightweight and quick to use, which is perfect for those in-between mopping spot cleans.

Or if you want to get really fancy, steam mops are amazing. I personally think they do the best job of cleaning most floors, but they’re also a bit more expensive. For those worried about chemicals in their cleaning it’s important to point out that steam mops only use water… So no harsh chemicals! One downside is they’re not always the best solution for lifting stuck on dirt (can’t scrub) or mopping up bigger spills.

Cleaning tools for carpets

For your carpets, you’ll need a great vacuum. There’s so many options out there so I won’t go into too much detail, but definitely look for something that’s good for kids and/or pets if you have them at home. 

Along with your vacuum it’s nice to have a home carpet steam cleaner or spot treater. You can get these relatively inexpensively and they can make a huge difference with how clean your carpets look!

Finally, a quick option is good to have as well for those in-between cleaning messes. I like the cordless vacuums that you can get from Dyson or Shark, but even something like a Dust Buster or old fashioned carpet sweeper can do the trick. Just make sure it’s lightweight and convenient. 

Tip 2: Pick the right cleaning solution

The cleaner you use should be chosen based on your floors. They make commercial products designed specifically for hardwood, laminate, tile, and so on, for a reason. All purpose cleaner does work fine, but if you want the best clean and shine you’ll want to pick up something made for your floor type.

Alternatively, you can use natural products to clean your floor. Vinegar is great on most flooring except marble, stone, and unfinished or waxed hardwood. If you wring it out well it shouldn’t leave any spots, either. Two downsides of vinegar are that it’s not technically a disinfectant (although it does have disinfecting properties) and it makes your house smell like french fries.

Tip 3: Keep your carpets clean too

Hard surfaces aren’t the only floors that you might need to get perfectly clean. To get perfectly clean carpets, make sure you’re vacuuming regularly. Don’t just clean around the furniture, either. Take the time to move things and get under the couch for a more tidy look. Finally, use the crevice tool to get into corners and next to baseboards… There’s nothing worse than a floor that’s only clean in the middle! 

Every time you get a bad spill that can’t be cleaned easily, and every few months, running a carpet cleaner through helps your carpeted floors look clean and refreshed. You can purchase one, grab a rental, or hire a professional. 

A final tip for your carpets: Sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes prior to vacuuming. It will deodorize and help lift surface dirt.

Tip 4: Spot clean ASAP

After you get your floors perfectly clean, how do you keep them that way? Well besides a regular cleaning schedule, you should always wipe up messes and spills as soon as they happen or quickly vacuum up visible messes. If you leave things until the next time you mop or vacuum your floors will always look dirty.

For heavy traffic areas, like your front entrance, consider having a spray mop in your front entrance closet. Then make it part of your evening tidying routine to give the floor a quick clean. 

Another solution is to have a spray bottle with floor cleaner (or water and vinegar) and a microfiber cloth handy to spot clean your floors as needed. You can use this on the carpet too for spills! 

Tip 5: Clean your tools regularly

You use your broom, vacuum, and mop to clean the floors… But how often do you clean your cleaning tools themselves? Having a dirty tool at best won’t get your floors perfectly clean, and at worst might make them even more dirty.

To clean your broom, first remove as much of the debris and hair from it by hand as possible. Then fill a bucket with warm soapy water and soak the broom head in there for about half an hour. Once it’s been soaked, rinse the broom clean and let it dry.

For your mop head, it’s better to clean and sanitize. First, rinse the mop under running water until the water runs clear to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Then fill a pail up with 2 gallons of hot water and a cup of bleach. Soak the mop head for about 10 minutes before rinsing again. 

Your vacuum head can be cleaned too! Depending on the style, you might need to disassemble the power head before cleaning. If the head is detachable and doesn’t have power in it you can wash it in hot, soapy water. If the vacuum can’t come apart at least remove as much stuck hair as possible then wipe down with a cloth. 

Tip 6: Prevent mess in the first place

What’s the saying about an ounce of prevention? Well it definitely applies here. There’s a lot of ways you can prevent your perfectly clean floors from getting dirty as fast.

  • Spot clean regularly
  • Keep your home’s surfaces dust free
  • Have guests and family members remove their shoes
  • Use a mat by the door both indoors and outside (and keep them clean)
  • Boot trays or pet-specific mats help keep daily messes off your floor
  • Cover your floor when doing a messy project or feeding young children
  • Regularly bathe and groom pets

Tip 7: Enlist help

There’s plenty of ways you can help keep your floors perfectly clean. Have family members and guests remove their shoes before entering your home. Teach kids to wipe up spills and messes immediately. If you have pets, keep a towel by the door to wipe paws before they come back inside. 

If you still can’t get perfectly clean floors, consider hiring some help. A cleaning company can get them to a level of clean that’s easier to maintain, or you can have them come back regularly to keep it up. 

Tip 8: Don’t choose high maintenance flooring

Although changing out flooring isn’t an option for everyone, if you’re struggling to keep your floors perfectly clean it might be worth considering. Some flooring is easier to maintain than others especially when dealing with kids or pets. Dark hardwoods and light carpets are two examples. Tile also can be high maintenance depending on the style.

There’s a lot of low-maintenance, dirt resistant flooring out there. Choose something that doesn’t show dirt easily and is durable enough to withstand regular use and cleaning. 

Tip 9. Keep rugs clean and fresh

Even if you have perfectly clean floors they’re not going to look their best if your area rugs don’t. If you’re mopping hardwood, for example, don’t neglect the area rug. Either vacuum it or bring it outside for an old fashioned beating. 

If your rugs are stained or worn, consider a replacement. Not only will it look cleaner, you can also refresh the whole room without doing something as drastic as buying new furniture.

Rugs and mats in high traffic areas should also be cleaned regularly. If you have dirt sitting on mats there’s more opportunity to track the dirt throughout the house. 

Tip 10: Hide the imperfections

We can’t always get perfectly clean floors when our floors aren’t perfect in the first place. But that’s OK, no one is really perfect. If a replacement isn’t an option you’ll have to get creative. Find ways to cover up problem areas with rugs or well-placed furniture.

Tip 11: Keep things off the floor

Maybe it’s gravity, but somehow everything ends up on the floor. Even if your floors are perfectly clean they still might be messy. To have perfectly clean floors in your home you have to also upkeep the clutter and mess.

One tip is to have laundry baskets in everyone’s room so there’s no clothes on the floor. For the toys, make sure you have great storage solutions and pare down small (messy) odds and ends. That way clean up will be a breeze when you’re done having fun.

Tip 12: Do it by hand

This is one of my personal tips to get perfectly clean floors. If all else fails, or you want to do a really good job, get down on your hands and knees and scrub. I use a combination of cleaning rag and plastic scraper to get off any stuck on dirt.

I use this opportunity to clean out anything stuck in my hardwood cracks and to wipe down baseboards. Once you’re done with an area, dry with a microfiber towel to avoid spots. 

Tips for How to get perfectly clean floors:

  1. Pick up any objects that don’t belong on the floors.
  2. Sweep up large debris or dust bare floors.
  3. Clean all your floors, move furniture if necessary.
  4. If you really want to get your bare floors clean, do it by hand.
  5. Spot clean daily and prevent more messes. 

See also: Want to keep up the pace getting things done on cleaning day? Check out these products that we recommend for speeding things up in the laundry room!

It’s totally possible to get perfectly clean floors in your home! It just takes the right tools, a little bit of elbow grease, and regular maintenance. Following these tips to get perfectly clean floors will give you an advantage on household cleaning, so that it goes even faster next time!


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