• Saturday , 21 October 2017

Cleaning Hardwood Floors vs. Carpet

The kind of floor to install is one of a homeowner’s tough decisions to make. Depending on one’s personality or life-style, one may prefer hardwood floor over carpet floor or vice versa. Aesthetic is truly dependent on a person; and both types of floors really looks good.

One of the aspects to consider is the cost. Hardwood floors are more expensive to install but low in maintenance cost. It is the opposite for carpet floors, which is less expensive to install but would cost more to maintain.

Let us talk about maintenance. And let us compare the difference in maintaining the two types of flooring material.

Maintaining Hardwood Floors

To keep the appearance of your hardwood floors, we got some tips for you:

  • Put felt pads under the feet of your furniture such as chairs, tables, bookshelves, and others. This prevents scratches on the floor.
  • Do place door mats at all external doors. This keeps away dirt stuck on shoes and sandals.
  • Place rubber mats on areas where kids play. This prevents damage of any kind to your floor.
  • Wipe off water or liquid spills quickly, when this happens.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Cleaning hardwood floors is quite easy. You will need only a few household tools to do this:

  • a wet mop
  • a bucket
  • water
  • liquid kitchen detergent
  • a micro-fiber rag or wipe
  • a dry mop or bristle broom
  • a dust pan

Daily cleaning:

  1. Remove movable furniture from the area to be cleaned
  2. Dry mop the area along the grain of the wood, or using your broom, sweep dust and dirt, and catch these in the dust pan.

Weekly cleaning:

  1. Remove movable furniture from the area to be cleaned
  2. Fill the bucket to half
  3. Add a few drops of liquid detergent to the water, and mix
  4. Dip the mop into the bucket with the water solution
  5. Squeeze mop to remove excess water
  6. Mop the floor along the direction of the grain
  7. Go back to step #4, when the mop had dried up to moisten it again. Change the water solution when it becomes very dirty.
  8. Buff the floor with clean cotton rag or better yet, use micro-fiber rags.

When cleaning the floor, start from the furthest point from the door. Clean towards the door so you can easily exit without having to step on the newly cleaned or still moist floor.

Caution: do not use the wet procedure if your floor is lacquered or varnished as liquid may stain the floor.

Maintaining Carpet Floors

Keeping the appearance of your carpet maybe a challenging job. Carpets, like textiles, can stain easily from liquid spills. Some tips to keep your carpet looking good:

  • Remove spills and stains as soon as possible
  • Regularly vacuum your floor
  • Place a good door mat to trap dirt from shoes. Recommended type is the coil-type mat as it traps a good deal of dirt off your shoes.
  • Do not allow shoes or outdoor footwear inside your house. You may place a shoe rack outside the door.
  • Do not use carpet flooring for dining and kitchen areas as these are very susceptible to liquid spills.

Removing Spills

Spills on the carpet must be removed as quickly as possible as this may cause stains and permanently damage your carpets. To remove this, you will need:

  • Clean white absorbent cloth or rag, preferably cotton as this is more absorbent
  • A glass of water

If the spill stains the carpet, follow the process for removing stains.

  1. Blot out the liquid carefully by pressing a dry cloth on the wet spot
  2. Repeat the process using clean absorbent cloth so as not to spread the stain
  3. If the spill is water soluble like coffee or tea, carefully wet the area with clean water to dilute the stain, and then blot it out again using steps #1 and #2.

Removing Stains

Spills on the carpet must be removed as quickly as possible as this may cause stains and permanently damage your carpets. To remove this, you will need:

  • Clean white absorbent cloth or rag, preferably cotton as this is more absorbent
  • Carpet cleaner

To remove the stain:

  1. Blot out the liquid or stain carefully.
  2. Repeat the process using clean absorbent cloth so as not to spread the stain
  3. When you can no longer lift the stain out the carpet, use carpet cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label
  4. Check if the carpet is colorfast. Test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area of the carpet. If it does not stain nor change the color of the carpet, go ahead with the cleaner, otherwise try a different brand.
  5. Use as instructed on the product’s label
  6. Always use clean dry cloth to wipe away the stain. This prevents stain from spreading.

Vacuuming The Carpet

Carpet flooring needs to be done regularly. On an average household with 4 occupants, a weekly vacuum may do. But if you have pets inside your house, you may have to increase the frequency of cleaning to remove your pet’s hair on the carpet.

To do this:

  1. Remove movable furniture from the areas to be cleaned.
  2. Check the floor for small items like kid’s toys, coins, paper clips, etc and remove these.
  3. Check the dust bag and the filter of the vacuum cleaner. If bag is dirty, change with a new bag or clean the existing bag as the dirt lowers the suction power of the cleaner. Do this too for the filter, change or clean if required.
  4. Vacuum the floor starting from the farthest point from the door moving to the direction of the door
  5. Vacuum both in vertical direction, and later in horizontal direction. Because carpets are intertwined, it is best to do this in both directions so that all dirt stuck deep inside the carpet are sucked
  6. Vacuum in slow movements rather than quick multiple passes.

Deep Cleaning The Carpet

Carpets need to be thoroughly washed and cleaned every year or at most every 18 months. This is to wash away stubborn dirt gathered though months of use. This uses the wet-vacuum process where the carpet is shampooed and dried.

It is recommended that you call a professional help for this task as drying your carpet DIY could be a challenge. Make sure to get the help of a reputable cleaning service provider.

And finally, carpet flooring gathers dust easily. If you have an asthmatic person in the house, you need to have a regular cleaning and maintenance of your floor.

In Conclusion

Did you notice the difference between maintaining a hardwood floor and a carpet floor? I don’t have to tell you which is easy and less expensive. You know it!

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