Cleaning Wood, Laminated and Cork Floors

How to Clean Wood Floors: Use caution on wood or laminated floors when you choose both a cleaner and a mop. The wet swiffer type mops, microfiber mops and vegetable oil cleaners like Murphy's all damage these floor surfaces. Unfortunately you do not know if a product will damage a floor until it is too late. Most wood floors, not all but most, can be sanded and refinished. Laminated floors require replacement.

Caution: Never use self- wringing mops on these floors as the excess moisture works between the boards and warps the edges.

Vacuum or dust mop any hard surface floor prior to mopping them. Wood, laminated and cork floors scratch easily so fine grit must be removed. Raise the beater bar of your vacuum to prevent damage to the floor.

As much as my heart is torn by this, some wood floor manufacturers require you to clean their floors with their cleaner. The use of any other cleaner voids the warranty. During my years professionally cleaning homes, food grade distilled white vinegar and water safely cleaned most wood floors except for older floors.

Grab a terry towel, toss it over a Mary Moppin's mop then fill a 32 ounce spray bottle half full of water. Add ' cup distilled white vinegar then finish filling with water. Lightly spray the towel with the vinegar and water solution or the solution required by the manufacturer, and mop the floor. This adds enough moisture to the towel to damp mop but not enough to warp the boards.

Dust mop older wood floors laid prior to the mid 1970's. Occasionally they can be damp mopped as above. Use a barely damp cloth to wipe up spills or clean soiled areas. These floors must be treated with a floor paste wax like MinWax at least twice a year to maintain the finish.

Care of Laminated Floors: Treat these floors as you would hardwood floors. They tolerate a bit more moisture but go easy as excess moisture tends to dull the finish. Laminated floors cannot be sanded and refinished so take care with the products and tools used to clean them.

Caring for Cork and Bamboo Floors: Light from window or doors fade cork and bamboo floors. Keep these areas covered with light colored throw rug. Dust mop cork floors only then spot clean with a barely damp cloth. If the floor must be mopped use very little water as you do for wood floors.

Vacuum regularly with the beater bar raised. Put felt protectors under all chairs and table legs as these floors dent easily. Never drag a chair across a cork floor. Lift then move the furniture.

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About Mary

Mary Findley is a veteran cleaning expert and Founder of Mary Moppins. Mary built the company on the idea that she could create a way to make green cleaning easier, which inspired her to co-author "The Complete Idiots Guide to Green Cleaning" available on Amazon. The Mary Moppins line of specially designed cleaning tools are eco-friendly, yet industrial strength to give you the cleaning power you need to clean quickly and thoroughly.