Cleaning floors may seem easy, but oddly enough, many people end up making mistakes when cleaning the floor in the house. And sometimes, what was supposed to leave the environment clean and sanitized, can end up generating stains, scratches or even damage the floor in the long run, reducing its durability.
There are several types of flooring, made from a multitude of different materials. Therefore, they cannot be cleaned in the same way. Each one of them deserves special attention and needs specific care. However, in all cases, cleaning should start in the same way: collecting all the dust and dirt accumulated on the floor with a broom with soft bristles. Only after that can your floor receive a treatment to remove stains and restore shine.
So, if you notice that your home floor doesn’t shine like it used to, that some stains are starting to appear or that they are getting dirty and grimy, it’s time to do a good cleaning. See below for tips and expert recommendations on the most appropriate products and methods for cleaning and treating 20 types of floors.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / SCRIBBLE ARCHITECTURE
The main problem with porous stones is their high absorption power, which can cause stains to appear over time. Slate is not so porous, but it still doesn’t support very concentrated products, so you need to be careful when cleaning.
The personal organizer Juliana Farias says that the first step in cleaning this type of floor is to remove the dirt. ”Use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum cleaner. Then make a solution of water with a mild detergent. For every 5 liters of water, put 1 tablespoon of neutral detergent. Wipe the floor with a soft cloth or mop”, she teaches.
If you want a shiny floor, a good tip is to add three tablespoons of white vinegar to the mixture of water and mild detergent. Juliana also says that it is possible to do waterproofing, which is a procedure that prevents water from accumulating under the floor. In addition, it will also prevent water from seeping through the structure of the property, which can result in very costly damage to repair. But beware, “do not use abrasive products, steel sponges, pumice or brushes with hard bristles to avoid the risk of scratching the surface”, warns Juliana.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / KRAKOWIAK & TAVARES ARCHITECTURE
Carpet cleaning basically consists of using a damp cloth and a vacuum cleaner. Avoid using too much water as it can cause mold. For those with allergies, this type of coating deserves special attention, as the accumulation of dust is greater, and cleaning must be frequent.
The personal organizer explains how the carpets should be cleaned: “vacuum at least three times a week and use a vacuum cleaner with good suction and a smooth mouthpiece, without rubbing too much. Nozzles that are serrated or in poor condition (rough) can damage the carpet surface, fraying the strands. Monthly or when the carpet looks dirty and lifeless, wipe the entire surface with a white, clean, damp cloth, then dry with another white cloth.”
Juliana also advises you to always test the cleaning products on a small area of the carpet before using them, so you don’t run the risk of spoiling or staining this type of floor. Also, carpet is not very recommended for those with pets, because of the accumulation of hair.
If your carpet has stains, Juliana warns that regardless of the nature of the stain, it should be removed as soon as possible to prevent penetration and fixation of the product that stained the carpet. “Some substances can react with the fibers, sticking together forever if they stay in the carpet for a long time,” she explains. In all cases, before starting the stain removal process, remove as much of the product that has fallen onto the carpet as possible with a spatula or absorbent paper.
For those who like a good homemade recipe, Juliana recommends the following formula: in 1 liter of warm water, dissolve 1 tablespoon of neutral detergent and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Shake well to form a foam. Spend the foam in a circular motion and leave for a few minutes. Lightly rub the stained area with a sponge or clean cloth, wetting the carpet as little as possible.
Important: wipe the area with a damp cloth several times to completely remove the foam residue from the detergent applied to the carpet. Drying should always be done with a clean white cloth.
3. Burnt cement
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / DECORATE ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS
Burnt cement is a type of floor that has been gaining more and more visibility, as it has a more rustic appearance, imitating concrete. Despite being a durable floor, simple to clean and impact resistant, some practices are necessary to keep it in good condition and prevent its long-term wear.
For cleaning, Juliana again recommends removing dirt, such as dust and sand, with a broom with soft hair or a vacuum cleaner. When washing the floor, just use neutral detergent, warm water, a clean cloth or cleaning brush. The surface should never get wet as other dirt can stick to it.
In cases of stains, an alternative is to very carefully sand the surface of the burnt cement with a fine sandpaper. This must be done very carefully, so as not to damage or uneven the floor. In addition, it is important to avoid the use of abrasive products, as they can cause scratches that are difficult to remove, and also acid products, which damage and de-spark the surfaces.
To maintain durability, a good option is treatment with acrylic or water-based resins, which reduce surface porosity and prevent the absorption of fungus and dirt. Before applying the resin, it is recommended to apply a protective base with the aid of a roller, brush or pistol. It is recommended to apply the resin in two coats, respecting the interval of 12 hours between them. Resin maintenance should be done every three years.
For those who want to keep the floor shiny and prefer a more economical option, a good alternative is to use wax or even varnish, applied weekly. It is also possible to use specialized polishing services to ensure a very smooth surface. As it is a porous floor, it is also recommended to waterproof it right after the work.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / MARTA AROUCHA
Cork floors are sustainable and have greater resistance to fungi and bacteria. As with most floors, the recommendation for cleaning is the same: water solution with neutral detergent and application with a soft cloth.
However, even so, it is necessary to keep in mind that the cleaning of cork also depends on its insulation. Some floors have a protective and waterproofing top layer, while others are not installed in this way. Pay attention to the specific care for each case:
Waterproofing: If the floor is well waterproofed and can tolerate some moisture, then it is safe to clean it with water. In that case, fill a bucket with clean water and then add mild detergent. Juliana always recommends the proportion of 1 tablespoon of neutral detergent to 5 liters of water. Dip a mop into the soapy water and squeeze out the excess. Even if the floor is well insulated, the less water the better. Clean the floor normally. Then use a clean cloth to dry or let it air dry. If you prefer, you can choose to clean with specific products for this type of floor. Always look for a specialized store and make sure that the cleaning product will not damage the cork insulation.
Not waterproofed: In this case, the best strategy is not to use water and liquid detergents. You can use a soft rubber sponge, a soft broom, or a vacuum to remove dust and other loose dirt. If you choose the vacuum, be careful to handle it gently and without scratching the floor. In the most affected places and with ingrained dirt, apply a clean cloth, slightly dampened and apply a little pressure to clean. Then wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove any traces of water and moisture. Repeat these last two steps until completely clean. Allow the floor to air dry.
Most of the time, the manufacturer already puts a special protective layer on this type of coating, which prevents stains and reduces every day wear and tear to a minimum. However, to maintain the durability of the cork floor, it is also possible to wax it regularly. Just pay attention and always use the proper wax so you don’t run the risk of damaging the floor. You also need to be careful with furniture that is too heavy on the surface and even with pets.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / M LIGHT
This floor is very versatile, the rubber plate can be found in different models, colors and even simulating wood. Cleaning this floor is very easy and also only requires a damp cloth and neutral detergent. To remove dirt build-up, use clean, lint-free floor cloths.
Remove any excess loose dust with a broom. Use neutral detergent, which can be diluted in either warm or cold water, again in the proportion recommended by Juliana, 1 tablespoon for 5 liters of water, and mix it until it forms a foam. Apply the product over the entire floor and spread with the help of a broom. Allow the solution to act for a few minutes to help loosen any impregnated dirt. Then start rubbing the surface in circular motions.
When finished, rinse with water and remove all soap. Finally, dry the entire floor with a dry, soft cloth or flannel. It is recommended to dry the floor well so as not to accumulate or stick to dirt and dust that may be present in other rooms.
You can also use a disinfectant to complete the sanitization and restore shine. In addition, it is also possible to use vinegar, which helps to restore the shiny appearance and also works to eliminate unpleasant odors. If you don’t like the characteristic smell of vinegar, you can dilute some of the product in a bucket of soapy water.
Cristiana Ayres, manager of the R&DP department of the
Casa KM cleaning products brand, recommends some brand products for this type of floor: “For a general and light cleaning, dilute ½ American cup (100ml) of Casa & Perfume in 3 liters of water. Moisten the cloth and apply on the surfaces to be cleaned”. For heavy cleaning, Cristiana recommends applying the pure product with a squeegee and a damp cloth. In addition, she warns: “never use solvents / removers and do not apply waxes, as it cannot be removed”.
To keep clean, broom two or three times a week. In areas with high traffic, more maintenance is required. In these cases, wipe with a damp cloth with an all-purpose cleaner without bleach or any non-slip floor cleaning product.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / FLAVIA CARDIM
Granulite is a differentiated stone that is composed of a mixture of materials such as marble, granite, quartz and limestone, which can be mixed or not, in addition to cement, sand and water. This mixture forms the speckled finish of the coating.
The floor made of this material has a high durability and cleaning is also no different from most. Before anything else, we should sweep it and, if possible, vacuum up excess dust and residues. After this procedure, we can enter the washing part. Wash the entire floor with the same solution of water and mild detergent as previously recommended, using a soft cloth or mop. After cleaning, rinse the entire floor with clean water.
Two types of granulite can be found on the market, polished and fugue, which differ in texture. The first receives a smooth finish and a layer of resin, and the second maintains the gravel relief. It is important to point out that polished granulite, when wet, becomes very slippery due to its resin, therefore, after washing, dry it immediately.
In this case, Cristiana Ayres recommends: “do not use acids, products with chlorine or with abrasive agents, as they can damage the surface of the floor”.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / ELMOR ARCHITECTURE
The floor coated with this noble rock is also of great durability and also has low water absorption and is stain resistant. The biggest problem with granite is that it can be easily damaged by conventional cleaning products. Therefore, it is worth taking care to ensure a floor that is always sanitized and shiny.
Give preference to brooms with soft bristles to remove loose dirt. In order not to make a mistake when washing, use the water and neutral detergent solution once more. You can also choose specific products for this surface, which are pH neutral. Use cold water. In addition, “use waterproofing once a year to facilitate cleaning and avoid stains”, recommends Juliana.
In addition to conventional cleaning products, do not use hard objects, such as wire mops, or products to clean ceramic floors, as they can take away the shine from this surface. Acidic or alkaline solutions such as vinegar are also prohibited for this floor.
– For stains, rub the area lightly towards the grain. Do not make circular movements so as not to damage the floor.
– Use a microfiber cloth to dry and brighten the floor. Never let it dry naturally to avoid watermarks.
– Avoid using a vacuum cleaner on the granite floor as it may scratch it.
– It is recommended to place a rug at the entrance of rooms that have granite floors.
– If you are going to use objects on the floor, such as vases, for example, place them on a rubber mat so that they do not come into direct contact with the floor.
– If you want to further prevent possible damage and scratches, you can apply a protective layer on the floor.
8. Hydraulic tile or tile
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / INÁ ARCHITECTURE
Hydraulic tile floors are handcrafted and spend about eight hours underwater to cure, which makes them durable and has grip when stepping, not to mention ease of maintenance.
Although it is resistant, it is also a very porous material, so it should be cleaned and treated with care. Once again Juliana’s infallible recipe must be used. Remove loose dirt and dust using a broom, then clean with detergent and water or mild soap. Then dry the coating thoroughly with a flannel or lint-free cloth. Drying it well will help prevent water stains and also that the dust in the room will stick to the finish.
Every 20 or 15 days, you should apply specific wax for hydraulic tile or colorless liquid, apply with the aid of a squeegee and flannel. This helps to reinforce protection and polish the floor, restoring its natural shine. Another option is to use a fine sandpaper with a little water in the place that is dull or use a scale remover, using an industrial polisher.
Avoid abrasive cleaning products and, to avoid scratching the finish, use a soft sponge. Clean up any liquid spills immediately and avoid dragging furniture or metal parts.
On the other hand, tiles are types of tiles that, over time, end up dirtying, wearing out and losing their shine more easily, as they have a great capacity to retain residues. It is recommended to do your cleaning on average every 15 or 30 days. You can use the same products and recommendations as the hydraulic tile.
9. Demolition wood
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / DÉCIO NAVARRO
Demolition wood floors are hardwood floors of very high durability. High quality woods such as Probe Rosa, Pie, Jacob and Jacaranda, for example, are normally used.
Juliana recommends the same cleaning process again: soft brooms to remove loose dirt and the solution of water and detergent for washing, always using a damp cloth. But, for this floor, she gives a special orientation: “wrung the cloth very well, because the wood can absorb water”. Too much water can lead to surface swelling.
As this floor is more rustic, then the stains it gets over time end up making the wood even more charming, that is, it reduces the concern with a heavy cleaning routine.
If you want tips on specific cleaning products for wood, Cristiana, from Casa KM, says: “if the wood is coated with a non-acrylic waterproofing agent, use the perfumed cleaner Casa & Perfume. For heavy cleaning, apply the product neat with a squeegee and damp cloth. For light cleaning, dilute ½ cup (100ml) of Home & Perfume in 3 liters of water. Moisten the cloth and apply on the surfaces to be cleaned. Now, if you want to enhance the shine, use Special Care Easy Shine. Apply the product directly on a damp or dry cloth and spread it evenly with the help of a squeegee. Let it dry. Remember not to over-apply”.
Cristiana also says to avoid products that leave the wood too damp, especially if it is not waterproofed, as it can absorb them and, therefore, stain and even rot.
Other than that, the recommendations are simple: never use industrial waxes and oils found in supermarkets. They can stain and will definitely change the floor’s original color. Maintenance can be done monthly with a very light sanding done with a steel sponge and application of natural varnish or pure carnauba wax. Remove excess two hours after application. This wax can be found in carpenters’ stores, but in supermarkets there is a floor paste made from carnauba, which can also be used.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / DANYELA CORRÊA
Hardwoods are heavier and stronger, in addition to being rigid and waterproof. For this reason, its main advantage is greater resistance to temperature variations and natural pest infestations. It can be used in the format of clubs, floors and planks.
Cleaning rules are no different from demolition wood, so follow the same steps already explained. For treatment and durability, a considerable advantage of this type of floor is the possibility of making scrapings to renew the surface and recover its appearance. However, as natural wood is porous, after sanding, it is exposed and it is necessary to seal it with resin, wax or varnish.
If you choose varnish, the options are mirrored, semi-gloss and matte floors. But before choosing the varnish, talk to an expert to find out the best option for your home conditions. You can also look for specialized companies that apply synthesis to make your flooring brand-new again. It is ideal for the case of old, loose and peeling boards and clubs.
If you choose wax, the best option is paste, as the application of liquid wax on the sanded wooden floor can stain the pieces. In addition, colored waxes are terrible for the maintenance of any type of floor, as they can cause terrible stains, so always opt for clear wax. Colorless natural wax in paste is also a good solution to protect the floor from moisture.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / PATRICIA AZONI
The tablets glass are often used on walls, but also look beautiful on the floor. However, to ensure the beautiful appearance of the coating, it is necessary to keep the pieces always clean.
Before talking about routine cleaning, it is important to talk about post-construction cleaning, that is, the first floor cleaning. Before starting to clean, let the grout dry for at least 30 minutes. In this first wash, try to remove excess grout using a soft, clean and damp sponge. Do everything very carefully, as some abrasive materials, such as cement and sand, can stick to the inserts. Finish with a clean, dry cloth.
After application of the insert, it is recommended to use a grouting additive. This product creates a protective film that helps protect against the spread of mold and mildew.
For routine cleaning, it is not necessary to do a deep cleaning, because the tablets are not easily absorbed as common floors. This way, the coating doesn’t stain or stain, but daily cleaning helps keep the pads shinier. The frequency of cleaning varies depending on where the floor is used, but a good sign to start heavy cleaning is when the tablet starts to fade or form mold in the grout.
About the best products for washing, the solution with water and neutral detergent is always the best option for all types of flooring. “Avoid solutions based on hydrofluoric acid and abrasives”, warns Juliana. These components tend to make the coating porous and more susceptible to stains, which can end up damaging its durability. Also do not use brushes with steel bristles, steel sponge, piassava broom or any other product that has steel in its composition, as they can scratch, damage or remove the shine of this type of floor.
Another tip is to always keep rooms with tile floors airy, especially bathrooms and kitchens. Constant air circulation helps to dissipate moisture and grease.
12. Ceramic floor
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / SHEILA CRUZ
Ceramic is one of the easiest coatings to clean. In most cases, damp cloths, detergent and water are sufficient to remove the dirt. GIs lane Pereira, customer service supervisor at Ceramic Ordinary, explains how the right cleaning should be done for each variation of this floor:
“Satin and polished floors should be cleaned with a soft bristle broom or vacuum cleaner. To finish, just a damp cloth with neutral detergent is enough. On the other hand, non-slip floors should be cleaned with a hard bristle broom. For washing, a powdered soap can be used, or even the use of pressure washers (jet)”, she says. For the bathroom, where there is more humidity, weekly use of bleach is also recommended, to avoid mold and mildew. Always dry the floor after cleaning.
According to GIs lane, “the best product for satin and polished floors is neutral detergent. For the removal of some deeper dirt, you can use creamy soap”. Also pay attention to products that cannot be used. Powder soap is not recommended because it forms a film that leaves the floor cloudy. Besides, never use acids or steel wool, as they cause stains.
To clean grout residues: in post-work cases, grout residues can stick to the tile floor. To remove them, use soap diluted in water and rub with a hard sponge. Then apply white vinegar diluted in water and let it act for a few minutes before rubbing again.
To remove paint and rust stains: Make a mixture of bleach and soap.
To remove stains from juices, teas and coffee: Clean with detergent and hot water, followed by hydrogen peroxide.
To clean grease: Grease can be cleaned with baking soda diluted in water.
Extra care: Ceramic floors can scratch when furniture or metal is dragged over them. In many cases, the enamel that covers the floor is resistant to friction, but it can still be marked. The glaze that makes ceramic smooth is also very similar to glass, so it can chip or crack if hit by sharp objects or projected with too much force. Therefore, the ideal is to put protection under the feet of the furniture.
13. Marble floor
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / GABRIELA HERDE
The marble floors are beautiful and elegant, but they demand extra attention. This material is very porous and has a high absorption capacity. Therefore, “do not use highly concentrated, corrosive or greasy products such as acids, solvents, alcohol, chlorine, washing powder, kerosene, soaps, bleach and abrasive materials”, adds Juliana.
Besides cleaning products, the biggest enemies of this coating are oils and grease, so be very careful not to spill food and cosmetics on the marble floor. Care should also be taken with acidic liquids in general, such as lemon juice and vinegar, as they can corrode the surface. Double attention also with coffee, wine, cans, nails and plenty of water, as they cause stains and can change the color of this floor. In case of spilled fluids, it is recommended to clean with absorbent paper immediately.
The recommendations for cleaning marble are basically the same as for granite. Daily cleaning should be done with a mop or cotton cloth moistened with a solution of 1 tablespoon of mild detergent, mild soap or coconut soap diluted in 5 liters of water. After this procedure, rinse with a well-wrung wet cloth and finish by drying with a soft cloth.
For maintenance, it is recommended to sweep with a soft broom and vacuum frequently, as the dust easily settles on its porous surfaces only with the pressure of people walking on the floor. Another tip is to wax the floor after cleaning with a colorless liquid wax. To do this, use a soft cloth and then a flannel for shine.
14. Laminate flooring
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / TATIANA COUTINHO + ROBERTA VILELA
Laminate flooring is made from particleboard, and the most important detail for cleaning this type of material is that it cannot be washed. Contact with water and direct sunlight on the floor can deform the pieces.
According to Renate Braga, product manager at Duratek, responsible for the Dura floor laminated flooring brand, cleaning this type of floor is very simple and quick. “For better results in everyday life, just use a well-wrung damp cloth, a broom with soft bristles or a vacuum cleaner, following the textures of the rulers along the length (longitudinal). When washing wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, protect the laminate floor by preventing water from coming into contact with it. Never wash laminate flooring,” he explains.
To remove stains, Renate advises that there are specific indications for each use: “for shoe grease, grape juice, wine, coffee, soda, lipstick, mercury, nail polish and enamel paint, cleaning is recommended with the use of detergent and alcohol. Alcohol is also effective for removing ballpoint pen, modeling clay and marker smudges. If your problem is caused by splashes of latex paint, water cleaning will do the trick. To remove glue, the ideal is to use nail polish remover. In case of other resistant residues, a clean cloth slightly dampened with enamel remover can also be used. This simple solution solves most cases”.
Another important recommendation is regarding the products used in cleaning. For daily cleaning, just use neutral detergent diluted in water. However, for a specialized cleaning, Renate suggests: “we recommend the cleaner Deistic® Laminates Floors, by Reckitt Benckiser, which must be applied directly to a dry cloth and always passed along the texture of the floor (length of the planks)”. See this product and other suggestions below.
And be careful, never wax the laminate floor. “Over time, it tends to stain the Dura floor, as the layer that covers the floor surface is impermeable (it has no porosity). Therefore, if any type of wax is applied to the surface of the product, it will not be absorbed, in addition to making it extremely slippery. This applies to both liquid and pasty wax”, explains the specialist.
If you have already applied the wax without knowing it, the recommendation is to use a remover. “You can use the remover that the wax manufacturer itself indicates, K&M remover or the English wax remover. However, it is not guaranteed that the total removal of the wax will occur and that the floor will return to the same previous characteristics”, warns Renate.
In addition, never use sharp or abrasive material, electric polishers, steel sponge, sandpaper or silicone-based products, as they create a greasy layer that damages the floor and makes further cleaning difficult. To maintain the cleanliness, durability and shine of this floor, stay tuned for these tips:
– It is recommended to use a mat or the equivalent in direct street entrances to retain stone particles and dirt.
– Do not drag furniture during cleaning. If you need to move something, protect the feet and bases with felt or rubber to avoid scratches and stains. If it is necessary to move heavy furniture, cover them with cloths, pieces of upholstery or carpets to avoid friction.
– Be careful with chairs with wheels, they scratch the resin film of natural wood and the surface of the laminates. In specialty stores, you can find protectors for them. In other furniture with wheels, the recommendation is to replace nylon with polyurethane.
– Avoid stepping on thin-heeled shoes with metal fasteners.
– Do not allow the floor to be exposed to rain through windows, doors or eaves. If this occurs, immediately arrange for drying. Also protect the floor from the sun’s rays using blinds or curtains.
– Are you going to do some work at home? Cover your laminate flooring with cardboard to avoid scratching.
15. Vinyl flooring
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / D2N ARCHITECTURE + INTERIORS
Vinyl flooring is very similar to laminate and wood, it is very resistant and, in addition, it is produced with recyclable materials. Therefore, like the two floors mentioned above, cleaning should also avoid water and should only be done with a damp cloth.
The manager of Tackett, a company specialized in vinyl floors, Bianca Tangelo, guides the cleaning process for the two aspects of this type of floor: the glued vinyl floor and the click vinyl floor, which are those that are applied by a fitting system.
“Cleaning the glued vinyl floor should only be carried out seven days after installation, as this is the period for the adhesive to cure. Remove dirt from the floor (sand or dust) with a hair broom or dust mop and apply a solution of water and neutral detergent, with a water mop or cleaning machine (red or green disk) all over the floor. Rinse using a squeegee and clean cloth or mop water. Use as little water as possible and allow the floor to dry completely before releasing it for use,” she explains.
In the case of click vinyl flooring, Bianca says that cleaning can be done immediately after installation. Use only a damp cloth and mild detergent, and rinse with a clean damp cloth. In addition, for both cases, if the environment is still under construction, remember to protect the floor with bubble wrap or canvas.
She also warns about cleaning products that should be avoided for this type of floor: “products that damage the floor surface, such as abrasive brushes and sponges, chemical products such as bleach, removers, turpentine, etc. Many vinyl floors do not require the use of wax, but if you want to make the floor shinier, we recommend using acrylic wax, which promotes shine and does not need a polisher”.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / FILIPE RAMOS
Porcelain tiles need some special care when cleaning to ensure their beauty lasts longer. After the work, it is extremely important to carry out the first cleaning, it will give shine to the coating and prevent the appearance of superficial stains in the first years. In addition, when done well, it will also facilitate daily cleaning.
With the help of a soft, dry cloth, start by removing the mist, which is the superficial film formed on the coating. Cleaning and finishing should be carried out within 30 minutes after application, using a sponge moistened with clean water. Then apply a post-construction cleaning detergent, which can be found in major building supply stores. It will remove any stains that may have appeared and leave the floor looking perfect. This product can also be used in extreme cases, such as stains that are difficult to remove.
For daily cleaning, sweep the floor with a soft-bristled broom, then wipe with a damp mop. GIs lane Pereira, from Ceramic Ordinary, also gives guidelines for porcelain: “we always recommend neutral detergent and soap. For polishes, a cloth with alcohol can be wiped. The porcelain tile’s brightness does not change over time. With proper maintenance, it will look the same again for years.” After washing, dry with a clean cloth.
For more effectiveness, Giuliana recommends the two-bucket technique. Learn step by step:
- In the first bucket, put clean water and neutral detergent.
- In the second bucket, put only clean water.
- Remove loose residue with a broom or vacuum cleaner.
- Take a clean cloth and dip it into the first bucket, then apply it to the coating and let it act for three to five minutes.
- Rinse the cloth in the second bucket and wring out well.
- Wipe the coating to remove excess detergent.
- To finish, dry with a clean cloth.
If there is still an impregnated dirt, let the detergent and water solution act on the floor for a few more minutes and then scrub with a brush or soft-bristled broom. You can also use vinegar, always diluted with water, since it doesn’t stain, doesn’t diminish the shine and is harmless for porcelain.
To clean the porcelain tile heavily, “use a creamy soap diluted in water. The dilution should be one part of the product to 9 parts of water. The non-dilution of the products, as well as their direct application on the floor, can lead to the appearance of permanent stains. After cleaning, rinse well with only clean water and dry with a clean cloth”, explains personal organizer Juliana Farias.
Juliana also talks about the products that harm this type of floor: “do not use waxes or waterproofing agents, nor products that contain fluorine and its derivatives, especially hydrofluoric acid. Never also use powdered soap, brushes, acids, bleach or caustic soda on the parts. Steel wool or similar products are not indicated, as they can scratch, damage and remove the shine of the porcelain or enamel coating”.
The use of unsuitable products can cause a chemical attack, leaving the surface porous and favoring the appearance of stains, scratches and opacity on the floor. Giuliana reinforces this concern: “products that contain acid in their composition or the design of a skull on the label cannot be used. These products chemically attack the porcelain, causing irreversible stains over time”.
Cristiana, on the other hand, suggests products from Casa KM that are specific for this type of flooring and that provide a fragrant and glossy cleaning: “Use Special Care Easy Brilliance, a cleaner for porcelain and ceramic floors. Apply the product neat on a clean, dry cloth, it does not need to be diluted. Spread evenly on the floor, using a squeegee and let it dry. Do not over-apply”. But beware, the specialist advises not to mix the products with other cleaners and not to apply them directly on the floor. Always follow the floor manufacturer’s recommendations.
To remove stains from paint, enamel, pens and other types of pigments: while carrying out the work or renovating the house, the porcelain tiles may have splashes of paint. To remove them, it is recommended to use an organic solvent. Do not leave the product on the floor for a long time.
To make the environment more fragrant: neutral detergent diluted in water does not leave the house with that clean smell. So after you’ve cleaned your floor with this solution, use a scented room spray. Just be careful not to spray directly onto the floor.
17. Liquid porcelain
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / ROBERTO MIGOTTO
Liquid porcelain is the name given to monolithic floors that is, with a homogeneous appearance and no grout, made with resin and with a glossy final appearance. The first cleaning should only be done after 24 hours after installing the floor.
Routine cleaning also follows the basic rule of soft hair broom for removing loose dirt and dust, and then a damp cloth with a solution of neutral detergent diluted in water.
For added durability, avoid dragging furniture and heavy objects across the floor, and always protect your feet with felt adhesives. If the floor cracks, isolate the damaged part, collect the chipped material and request a visit from specialized companies. In addition, the natural wear of the floor may require re-applying the area. It is very important to carry out reviews within the periodicity recommended by the supplier.
18. Epoxy resin
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / NATIONAL EPOXY
Epoxy resin is a liquid applied to the floor and spread with a kind of squeegee, forming a layer that automatically levels out on the surface. This floor is also known as a self-levelling floor. It has greater chemical resistance, is waterproof and does not absorb dirt. However, it is not very resistant to scratches, thermal shocks and expansion, and has a greater risk of cracking. Therefore, avoid dragging and supporting very heavy materials on the floor, as they can cause cracks.
Sanitization is very similar to that of liquid porcelain and, like it, the first cleaning must be done within 24 hours after installation. For daily cleaning, use a broom with soft bristles or a blue dust mop, and preferably use neutral detergents.
For heavy cleaning, you can scrub the floor with a microfiber foam pad, hot water, and clear ammonia. Four to five drops of ammonia are indicated per 15 liter gallon of water. It is important to sweep before scrubbing the floor to avoid damage to the epoxy as harder debris can scratch the floor.
If you cannot remove the dirt with hot water, use neutral degreasers. Do not use chemical cleaning products that are abrasive, acidic (including citrus and vinegar) or alkaline such as soap and bleach. Also, do not use soap-based products, as they leave residues on the floor that damage the shine and also make it more slippery.
In case of spillage of juices, soft drinks and liquid foods in general or drops of vehicle oils, wipe it off with a paper towel or other soft cloth. If you prefer, dampen the cloth to make cleaning easier. This way you will avoid damage to your floor.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / IVOTI STONE
This type of stone is durable and widely used as table tops and kitchen countertops, but it can also be used on floors. If you have siltstone on the floor of your house, repeat the classic cleaning procedure recommended by Juliana: remove the dirt with a broom with soft hair or a vacuum cleaner. Then make a solution of water with a mild detergent. For every 5 liters of water, put 1 tablespoon of neutral detergent. Wipe the floor with a soft cloth or mop.
Another alternative is to moisten a cloth with hot water and apply a glass cleaner to the floor. Spread well with a cloth and then wipe with another cloth dampened with only water and dry.
– Do not use water repellents or sealants to enhance shine. These products provide an artificial and temporary shine.
– Do not use paint strippers, caustic soda or products with a pH greater than 10.
– If you choose to use bleach, rinse with plenty of water. Never leave this product in permanent contact with the floor.
PHOTO: REPRODUCTION / PAULINHO PERES
The care with the glass floor must be the same as other surfaces with this material, such as windows and doors. Follow the same procedure as for other floors for light cleaning. Remove dirt with a broom with soft bristles and then make a solution of water and mild detergent. Wipe the floor with a soft cloth or mop.
To combat stains that leave the glass cloudy and dull, make a mixture of detergent and white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Dip a sponge into the mixture and then wipe the floor without pressing it to form a lot of foam. Leave on for four minutes, rinse well, and dry with a microfiber cloth as cotton towels leave lint scattered. To avoid further staining, try to wipe the sponge and cloths in one direction only. For better maintenance, you can perform this procedure monthly. Avoid using products with ammonia, chlorine or bleach.
Another homemade recipe option is to mix 300ml of alcohol 70 with 300ml of filtered water and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Spread the solution as directed above and dry well at the end of the process. In cases of grease stains, warm water with mild soap is the most efficient formula.
Although this floor uses well reinforced glass, be very careful when supporting furniture and heavy objects on it, as it runs the risk of cracking or even cracking the surface. Do not drag furniture and protect the bases with felt.
Classic cleaning problems
Now that you’ve learned how to properly clean each type of floor, it’s important to be aware of other little problems that can raise doubts when cleaning. They are: the grimy white floor and the cleaning of grouts. Find out what to do in each case:
Grimy white floor
Having that white floor at home, very clean and shiny is all good! Not to mention the feeling of peace it brings to the environment. But as not everything in life is flowers, this beautiful floor can end up getting grimy over time and lose all its charm. But don’t be scared, this problem has a solution.
Juliana Farias, personal organizer, recommends how to proceed: “try to clean it by soaking it with water and neutral detergent. If the dirt doesn’t come off, use a specific product for your type of floor. Depending on the state of the dirt, it is best to turn to a company that specializes in floor cleaning. Remember that once the floor is damaged after using the wrong product, there is no turning back”.
If you still want to try another homemade recipe before moving on to chemical products, Giuliana Pereira, from Ceramic Ordinary, suggests: “you can always use bleach diluted in the proportion of 3 to 1 – 3 parts of water to one of water sanitary. Leave to act for 15 minutes and rinse with clean water”.
Starting with the floor cleaner: on the market there is a wide variety of these products that can help to remove the grime from the floor. But always remember to read the packaging carefully to find out which is the most suitable and follow the instructions for use. In this case, “use the pure product, as the actives will be more concentrated, presenting a greater cleaning power”, explains Cristiana Ayres, manager of the Casa KM brand.
But be careful, to avoid the formation of stains that are difficult to remove, make sure that the cleaning agent you have chosen is not too concentrated and avoid using alcohol-based products.
The grouts also deserve special attention. They are porous and so, inevitably, dirt will accumulate. If they do not undergo frequent cleaning, this dirt can become very concentrated and impregnated, causing a lot of headaches when cleaning. The best thing to do is not leave it dirty, rubbing it every week or whenever you notice that the grout is starting to darken.
“Alcohol vinegar is very good for cleaning white grouts. Before applying all over the floor, test in a more hidden area to see if the vinegar does not create any kind of stain. Put a good amount of pure alcohol vinegar over the grout, let it act for 30 minutes and then scrub with a brush. Do not let it dry. Wash the floor or wipe with a damp cloth with water and mild detergent. There are also specific products on the market to clean grout. Read the label carefully to make sure if the use is for your type of floor”, explains Juliana.
You can also use creamy soap to clean the grout, but always choose the liquid version, which is much less abrasive than the powder. To do this, apply the pure product over the grout, let it act for ten minutes and then clean with a sponge, using the yellow side, which is softer. To make sure that the soap will not stain the floor, dilute the product in water and test only one part of the piece. “You can also use diluted bleach, let it act for 15 minutes and rinse”, recalls GIs lane.
Suggestions for specific products for cleaning floors
We have separated a list of specific cleaning products for floors to help you clean your home. .
Did you like our tips? We hope the days of cleaning the floors are not so difficult anymore. Knowing the right way to clean each material is essential to keep the floor clean without damaging its properties. That way, your house will always be clean and you won’t need to spend money on frequent renovations and restorations either.