Moving home

Floor cleaning – our top tips

Source: iStock / FluxFactory

Nobody really likes cleaning floors, and it’s the last thing you do before moving out. Get sparkling results with the following Comparis tips.

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Essential tools

To clean all the floors in your home, you will need the following tools:

  • Broom with soft bristles
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Flat cloth mop with handle kit, scrubbing brush or mop

Clean in the right order

No matter the type of floor, it is always important to clean in the right order.

  1. Sweep the floor with a soft brush or use a vacuum cleaner.
  2. Prepare a bucket of mopping water with a little detergent or soap. Remember: not all cleaning products are suitable for all types of flooring.
  3. Open your windows before damp mopping to make sure the floor dries quicker.
  4. Dip your cloth or mop in the mopping water and wring out thoroughly before mopping the floor. Regularly rinse out the cloth or mop and change the water at least once. Using dirty mopping water or too much detergent will cause streaks.
  5. Always start at the back of the room and mop towards the door. This helps you avoid footprints and unnecessary waiting in a corner for the floor to dry.

Cleaning fitted carpets

You only need to give fitted carpets a good vacuum and possibly shampoo them if this is stated in your rental agreement. Some cleaning products cause carpets to fade. If the landlord asks for specialist cleaning work to be carried out by a professional, tenants can refuse. Any clauses that require tenants to have fitted carpets cleaned by a professional are non-binding.

Cleaning floor tiles

A bit of descaler or vinegar in your mopping water helps remove stubborn lime stains on tiles. But watch out: vinegar can make plastic sealant brittle. A soap-based cleaning product helps remove greasy spots. Soak stubborn stains. Rough brushes and metal scouring pads can leave unsightly scratches. Add a bit of hair shampoo or rinsing agent to water to make dull tiles shine again.

Be careful with natural stone tiling. Marble, slate, sandstone and terracotta tiles are sensitive to acidic cleaning agents.

Mix some baking powder with water to clean dirty tile joints. Scrub the paste into the joints and clean with warm water.

Cleaning PVC or vinyl flooring

To clean dirtier floors, pour a little vinegar, mild general purpose detergent, soft soap, glass cleaner or special vinyl or PVC cleaner in your mopping water. Refrain from using aggressive and abrasive cleaning agents or solvent-based or bleach-based detergents. They can damage or discolour the surface and make it dull. A steam cleaner will make your floor too wet. Water will enter the joints and the PVC tiles will swell up.

Cleaning laminate flooring

Laminate is made of fibreboard, paper and adhesive. When mopping, try not to use too much water otherwise it may penetrate the joints. If the fibreboard get too wet, it will swell up, which is why you shouldn’t use a steam cleaner either. Never use scouring or bleaching agents or solvent-based cleaners. They will damage the surface.

Cleaning cork flooring

Clean cork flooring with a lint-free cloth or a damp mop. Excessive moisture will damage the cork flooring. Contact the manufacturer if the floor is very dirty. Cork cannot be cleaned with universal cleaners such as soft or hard soaps. Even microfibre cloths and hard brushes are unsuitable for sealed cork flooring. They will damage the surface, leading to grey discolouring.

Cleaning parquet flooring

Parquet flooring is either oiled, waxed or varnished/sealed. Usually, only damp cleaning is suitable for parquet flooring. Don’t use a steam cleaner. If you use too much water, the wood will swell up. Stubborn stains can usually be cleaned using warm water with a little vinegar-based cleaner.

Sealed and varnished parquet flooring: use special varnish soaps and cleaning products. You can remove isolated stains with a mixture of water and ammonium chloride.

Waxed and oiled parquet flooring: use special parquet cleaners. Some cleaners also contain substances that maintain your parquet flooring. Apply hard wax polish after cleaning waxed parquet flooring. Use special parquet oil for oiled parquet. Follow the instructions for use on the parquet floor care product. Pay strict attention to these instructions.

Cleaning marble

Only use warm water together with a neutral cleaner, alcohol cleaner or special natural stone cleaner to clean marble. Always mop in the direction of the stone structure. Afterwards, you can use a special stone care product to protect the flooring.

Before applying, test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous place. This way, you can make sure the cleaning agent does not damage the marble. Care should be exercised with regular household cleaners. Most contain acids that will corrode the marble and make it dull. Soaps contain surfactants. These accumulate in marble and collect dust and dirt. The marble will become stained. Oils and grease will initially make the marble shine. Afterwards, they will penetrate the stone and collect dirt and dust. Scouring agents and sponges are an absolute no-go as well, as they will scratch the surface.