Care & Maintenance

Proper Care & Maintenance

Carpet

Many people don’t realize that one of the best things they can do to maintain the life of their carpet is to vacuum it frequently. Vacuum low traffic areas at least once weekly. High traffic areas, especially areas where children and pets spend a lot of time, should be vacuumed at least three times weekly.

Have your carpet cleaned at least once a year, preferably by a carpet cleaning professional. If you have children and pets, you need to have your carpet cleaned twice a year.

Clean up spills as soon as possible

Hardwood

For some finishes, light damp mopping does the trick – see your manufacturer’s instructions for more specific guidelines. Do not clean or wet mop your hardwood floor with water as it can dull the finish and damage the floor permanently. And never use a wax or cleaner that must be mixed with water, such as an oil soap, as this may totally ruin your floor and you could even lose your warranty. Don’t use wax, polish, or abrasive cleaners or scouring powders like Comet, andnever under any circumstances use steel wool.

To keep normal amounts of dirt off of your floor, sweep them often with a soft, fine bristle broom. You also should vacuum them once or twice a week, especially if you live on or near a beach where excessive amounts of sand can be tracked in. Again, use a soft brush attachment to minimize scratching. If it gets wet, get rid of that water right away! Remove those spills immediately using a soft towel or wet/dry vacuum, then dry it thoroughly. This is especially important with wood floors with a urethane finish.

Check to see what the manufacturer’s recommendation is for a “no wax” cleaner on your urethane-finished floor and use that in conjunction with a clean cloth to rub into spills. Some stains can be stubborn and those may require additional scrubbing with an appropriate scrub pad. You should never apply wax to a urethane floor topically. Periodically clean it by applying a recommended cleaner to a dampened sponge mop, not the floor itself. Do not allow puddles of cleaner to linger on the floor’s surface, get them up right away!

Vinyl

First of all, sweep your floor often to remove loose dirt. Wipe up spills as soon as you can. If you have dried spills remove them with a mild cleaner or clean cloth. You should not use harsh abrasives or scrubbing tools on your vinyl floor. Occasionally take a damp mop to the floor using a quality no-rinse cleaner to eliminate dirt build-up. Use a manufacturer’s recommended cleaner or 2-3 capfuls of clear, non-sudsy ammonia diluted into one gallon of water. Using too much ammonia can leave a dull film on your floor.

Ceramic

Caring and maintaining ceramic tile is usually a breeze due to its durability and resistance to moisture. Routine cleaning wall tiles only involves wiping with a damp cloth or sponge. Floor tiles require sweeping and vacuuming (without a beater bar) and wiping clean with a damp cotton mop. All-purpose cleaners, like Mr. Clean, Spic ‘n Span, or Lysol, are fine to mop with. Be weary of cleaners that contain acid or ammonia. For heavy soil build up let the cleaning mixture soak into the dirt for 5-10 minutes before mopping (or scrubbing if the floor is that bad). Do not let the cleaning solution dry on the tile, though. But the floors should not get that dirty if you routinely sweep and mop and clean up spills immediately.

Laminate

You should clean your laminate flooring routinely, using certain guidelines.

First of all, use a damp cloth to blot up spills immediately after they happen. As with any flooring surface, do not allow liquids to stand on the floor. For those stubborn spills, such as oil, paint, makers, lipstick, ink, or tar, use acetone (nail polish remover) on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.

Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly (as with hardwood and ceramic, don’t use the beater bar). This prevents accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the finish. If you live in sandy areas, like on a beach, you may need to dust-mop or vacuum more frequently.

You should periodically clean the floor with cleaning products specifically made for laminates, we recommend Shaw’s R2X Hard Surfaces Floor Cleaner($6.78 in our store).  Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaner. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation and void your warranty.

Never use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or chemicals with a lot of ammonia or chlorine on laminate floors. Also, do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine. For pesky spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice cubes and then simply scrape them off with a plastic scraper of some kind like a spatula or credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface while doing this. Afterward, wipe it clean with a damp cloth.