You've washed the windows, dusted the door frames and plumped the pillows, now it's time to get down to business. Providing you've worked from top to bottom (as any accomplished cleaner should) cleaning the floors should be the last job on your list.
With a whole range of both natural and man-made flooring now gracing our homes, knowing how best to tackle each one can be hard. Luckily, Expert Home Tips are on hand to help.
Try out our 23 top floor-cleaning tips today and you'll never loathe cleaning the floors again.
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How to clean ceramic tiles
1. Never use a sponge mop
Ceramic tiles are usually relatively easy to keep clean, unless you use a sponge mop, that is. The trouble with these is that they will push dirt and grime into grout, which can be extremely tricky to get out again.
2. How to clean grout
When grout does start to look a bit grimy, there's one thing that is guaranteed to get it sparkling again: bleach.
It may not be natural, but it definitely works. Dilute your bleach down with equal parts water, then dip a toothbrush into the solution. Scrub into the grout, leave for an hour, then wipe away with a clean, damp cloth.
3. Purchase a universal cleaner
No one wants their cupboards cluttered with tens of cleaning products. Our favorite universal cleaner, Flash, not only smells divine, but will get your floors sparkling.
It's the perfect cleaner for ceramic, lino and vinyl flooring.
How to clean linoleum flooring
4. Sweep, sweep, sweep
Unless your linoleum has been stuck down with the strongest glue known to man, vacuuming is ill-advised. Sweeping is preferable, and an easy way of keeping floors clean if you do it often.
A quick, 60-second sweep after cooking will prevent dropped crumbs being squished into the flooring.
5. Spot clean
Where linoleum is concerned, spot cleaning is the best option. Much like laminate flooring, which we'll discuss later, keeping the floor as dry as possible is paramount to avoid water damage.
Spot clean spills using a microfiber cloth slightly dampened in hot, soapy water.
6. Pick up pet hair from carpets
If only our fluffy best friends didn't leave hair everywhere! Remove all trace of animals easily by using a rubber glove to lift pet hair.
Pop the glove on, and wipe your hand over hair-covered areas to lift.
7. Use entrance mats wherever possible & remove shoes
It sounds obvious, but preventing stains on carpets is much, much easier than trying to scrub them clean. Encourage the rest of your household to use entrance mats as a minimum, and remove shoes whenever possible.
8. Soda water & salt remove stains
To remove fresh stains, soda water and salt can be really useful.
For liquid stains like coffee, blot the liquid with kitchen towel, then soak a clean cloth in soda and apply to the stained area. Rinse the cloth and reapply as necessary.
If the stain persists, grab some salt, and sprinkle over the stain. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming away.
Check out our other article for even more surprising ways to use soda water.
9. Use castor cups to protect carpets
Castor cups are becoming increasingly common, and it's no wonder. We pay so much for our lovely carpets, it seems such a shame to ruin them with heavy chair legs.
Invest in some almost invisible, plastic castor cups and you'll never have to bother trying to get indents out of your carpets again.
10. Baking soda removes carpet stains
Expert Home Tips love baking soda. Here's another reason why - baking soda is great at removing carpet stains.
Sprinkle the powder liberally over the area, leave over night, then vacuum clean. It really doesn't get easier than this!
Find even more ways to use baking soda for cleaning in our other article.
How to clean wood floors
11. Use neutral floor cleaners on waxed wooden floors
Although they may look hard-wearing, natural wood floors must be treated gently. We advise only using shop-bought products specifically designed for cleaning wood flooring. These will protect, rather than damage wax coatings.
12. Use freshly-brewed tea to clean natural wood floors
Neglect natural wood flooring, and it can soon lose it sparkle. A great way to revive it is using freshly brewed tea. Dip a clean, microfiber cloth into the liquid, wring out well until just damp, then wipe over floors.
Dip a clean, microfiber cloth into the liquid, wring out well until just damp, then wipe over floors.
Discover more surprising uses for tea bags in our other article.
13. Avoid dragging furniture
If you're lucky enough to have solid wood furniture as well as solid floor, be sure to take care when moving it. Heavy legs can easily scratch the surface more easily than you'd imagine, and damage is hard to repair when done.
14. Avoid using acidic solutions on wood floors
Natural wood is a truly beautiful thing. If you want to keep it that way, stay away from acidic solutions such as vinegar. Over time, these may cause your wooden floors to become dull and faded.
How to clean laminate floors
15. Mop up spillages ASAP
The most important thing to remember when caring for laminate flooring, is to never allow them to get too wet. Spillages should be mopped up ASAP to avoid having to soak the area. Moisture can leak underneath the floorboards and damage laminate.
16. Spot clean laminate flooring
For everyday floor cleaning, there's no need to wet the entire area - a better way to clean laminate flooring is to spot clean. This can be done with a microfiber cloth, lightly dampened with clean, soapy water. This process will again protect laminate flooring from becoming damp underneath.
17. The importance of dry mopping
When your laminate floors do start to look a little worse for wear, you can go ahead and mop with a slightly dampened microfiber mop. Once clean, follow-up with another mopping, this time with a dry microfiber mop head.
Once clean, follow-up with another mopping, this time with a dry microfiber mop head to keep moisture to a minimum.
18. Remove scuffs with this amazing cleaning tip
Floor scuffs? A really nifty way to remove these is by scrubbing with a tennis ball. The tight fibres of the ball will rub off marks from the soles of shoes easily.
How to clean natural stone floors
19. Use a pH neutral product on natural stone floors
Preserving the natural beauty of stone flooring is easy, providing you don't use harsh products.
Some chemicals can alter the appearance of stone, so we advise choosing a cleaning product that's pH neutral.
20. Add a stain prevention layer to your stone floor
To keep your stone floor clean for longer, consider applying a stain prevention layer once clean.
Stains must be completely dry before you attempt this. For easy application, we recommend applying the solution with a long-handled foam roller. Continue to roll over the entire area for 10-15 minutes to ensure the solution is fully absorbed.
Wipe over with a rag to remove excess liquid and you're done!
Vinyl floor cleaning tips
Remove scuffs with a rubber
This is one of those odd but awesome tips, and we can't get enough of it! Next time you see a scuff on your vinyl floor, don't panic - you can rub the mark right off using a rubber.
21. Make sure you pick the right product when cleaning vinyl floors
There are two types of vinyl flooring - waxed and unwaxed. It's important to know which one you have before cleaning your floor, as the wrong product could damage the surface.
If you're unsure, check with the manufacturer.
22. Remove stains using bleach
Vinyl flooring is one of the most hard-wearing flooring choices around. If you have a seriously bad stain that nothing will budge, bleach could be the answer.
Alternating between soaking the stain in a diluted bleach solution, then scrubbing and so-forth should eventually return the vinyl to its former glory.
Cork floor cleaning tips
23. Use a natural DIY solution to clean cork floors
Cork floors are few and far between. If you're lucky enough to have one, make sure you look after it by lovingly making your own solution to clean it with.
Mix 1/4 cup vinegar into a a bucket and add a drop of dish soap. Use a soft, sponge mop to wipe down the floor, then wipe with a microfiber cloth.
Wow! Those cleaning tips are going to get my floors cleaner than ever. Do you have any of your own?