It is rare that I think about our the care and keeping of our floors and flooring. But when I focus on it, our floors are exposed daily to dirt, grime, spills, and wear and tear. Think of all the places our shoes and/or feet have been, yet, at least for me, I do not keep the maintenance of our floors top of mind. Naturally they get washed, or vacuumed on a regular basis, but to truly deep clean, I am guilty of being lax.
Between our home in Phoenix and our cabin in Pinetop, we have many different types of flooring and surfaces. Recently, my husband, while alone at our cabin, did some well-needed maintenance and cleaning of our floors there. Well this activity got me thinking about how we care for our floors and how often we should tend to them.
In Phoenix, we have real Canadian birch hardwood floors that are 113 years old in most of the house. Weekly the floors are washed with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. This water-based cleaning formula dries fast, is residue-free, and is safe for people, pets, and the planet. It meets the U.S. EPA product standards and is Safer Choice Certified.
We purchase the largest container and pour it into a spray bottle. Once applied to the floor, we use a mop that holds microfiber cleaning pads to clean the floor. These pads are machine washable and can also be used for the cleaning of laminate or stone floors too.
Recently, I spent time on my knees on the kitchen floor cleaning all the corners by hand as those tend to get overlooked. With a bit of elbow grease, a microfiber rag and Bona did the trick! I’d like to say I do this all the time, but quarterly would be my goal. How often do you deep clean your wood floors?
At the cabin, we have engineered wood floors and we use the Bona cleaning product there as well. However, due to snow, rain and grime, the engineered wood adjacent to the front door looks tired and is losing its finish.
When that happens, I love using this product~ Rejuvenate Wood Floor Restorer. This is the third time I have used this and the results are miraculous. Rejuvenate restoration and polishing formula fills in scratches, restores a glossy shine and protects hardwood flooring. It bonds to existing finish to resist stains and spills with no waxy build up.
The first time I used this was during the restoration of the Willetta house back in 2017. If you recall, this house was empty for 20 years and the hardwood floors upstairs were in terrible condition. Toward the end of the restoration project, I did not want to spend the money to have these floors professionally refinished so I tried this product and so happy I did!
In 2021, I also used this in my son’s apartment in Arlington, Virginia where the hardwood floors were scuffed and scratched. The floors looked new after one application of Rejuvenate.
A 32oz bottle covers up to 525 sq. ft. and dries within 45 minutes. The results are astounding and I have not been disappointed yet. Plus it is Proudly Made in America. Note: if you do purchase the floor restorer it does come in gloss and a satin finish.
Luxury Vinyl Plank
The quality of luxury plank vinyl flooring today is not your grandma’s vinyl. There are hundreds of styles and colors and I am completely sold on this product. We used a luxury vinyl in our pool house remodel last year, mainly due to water exposure from the pool and our pets’ wear and tear. It provides a real look of wood but at a fraction of the cost and is easy to install. To see more about this remodel, click here.
The best way to clean your vinyl plank flooring is a solution of a cup of vinegar to a gallon of hot water. Use a mop and a microfiber cloth and you are good to go. Both Bona and Rejuvenate have multi-purpose floor cleaners that state you can use on vinyl flooring too, but I have not used either on our floors.
In our mud/craft room in our Phoenix home, we have slate floors. This heavily trafficked room serves so many purposes and as a result, has daily dirt and grime from shoes and pets.
After the initial installation, we did seal the stone floors with a specialized stone floor sealant. Like most other stone, slate tile flooring requires sealing to aid in water repellency and prevent staining and scratching, and sealer should be applied on a yearly basis.
We are long overdue in applying a sealant (like years), but I will add that to our fall project list. There are several sealants on the market to choose from, depending on what type of stone floor you have.
We have tile in our bathrooms in Phoenix and in the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms in our cabin. Last year I wrote a post about cleaning the tile floors using a steam cleaner. I am amazed at how clean this machine gets the tile and grout.
This Karcher SC 3 is perfect for deep cleaning, utilizing steam that heats up in 40 seconds and with a steam output of over 200°F. Designed to eliminate grease and stains from a wide range of surfaces, it also kills up to 99.9% of common household bacteria and viruses without the use of harsh chemicals. Plus it is lightweight and portable to maneuver.
Since I am not a fan of our kitchen floors at the cabin, at least having them grease free, bacteria free and sparkle makes it easier to live with them.
The only tile floor I do treat a bit differently is the hand-painted tile floor in our pool house bathroom. This is cleaned with mild soap and water. Even though it has 3 coats of polyurethane over the hand-painted stencils, I don’t want to risk damaging the countless hours of work I put into this floor. It is 3 years old and still looks fabulous.
There are only 2 places we have a concrete floor~one is in the wine cellar (which is a stained concrete finish) and the other is on the back terrace. When we did a complete renovation of the back terrace during the pandemic, one of the projects is cleaning and sealing the floor. This hard work paid off so well as we are still enjoying the effects 3 years later. See the renovation here.
Wall to Wall Carpet
The only place we have wall to wall carpeting is at our cabin. Mostly in the bedrooms and hallways, the off white berber rug can get stained and dirty. If the stains are small and contained, we use our Little Green Bissell. You have heard me rave about this fabulous little machine. Not only does it clean rug stains but also upholstery as well. It has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with over 60,000 reviews.
When my husband recently took on the bigger job of cleaning all the rugs at the cabin, he rents a professional rug cleaner from Home Depot. It’s $27 for 4 hours or $39 per day and this machine did an amazing job. It is a wide track machine so it cleans larger spaces in a shorter amount of time. You need to buy the cleaning liquid and Home Depot has lots of choices.
The berber rugs look brand new and the biggest surprise is when Scott uses this on the creepy outdoor rug on the screened in porch. I’m sure that rug has NEVER been cleaned and now I know what color it really is!
There is a quick dry time to so you can use your rugs the same day.
If you would prefer to have a professional clean your wall to wall carpeting we have had good luck with Zero-Rez. They recently cleaned all the carpeting in the guest cottage.
How often do you clean your wall to wall carpeting?
Depending on what type of area rug you have, the cleaning options will vary. We are fortunate to have gorgeous Oriental area rugs ranging from wool to silk which require professional cleaning. When the children were home and a houseful of pets, I would try and get those cleaned every 3-5 years, depending on need.
For any other special rug, which is a manageable size, we take them to Organic Living at 8342 N. 7th Street in Phoenix. They do a fabulous job using all organic cleaning products. When I was restoring the Willetta project (see that here), there was a beautiful, albeit filthy, Karastan runner that came with the house. It stayed in place during the entire restoration so you can only imagine how much dirt, debris, and paint it had buried in the fibers.
Of course, after the fact, I realized what a fine rug it was, I took it to Organic Living and this 15 foot runner looks brand new!
Today, there are many choices in buying washable rugs. In the entry of our pool house, I have a beautiful blue and white rug from Ruggable, which I just throw in the washing machine.
Since these types of rugs work well in high traffic areas, I have another one up at the cabin in the kitchen. These are not rugs that your feet sink into but very functional and attractive and washable.
These 100% polypropylene rugs are located on our back terrace. Surprisingly they are in great condition despite being outside in our summer heat for several years.
To wash a polypropylene rug, take it outside on a nice day and wet it down with the garden hose. Then take a few drops of mild dish soap and use a scrub brush to clean the accent rug. Next, thoroughly rinse the rug with the hose. These are very low maintenance and there are several sizes, styles and colors to choose from.
Well, I think that covers all the flooring and floor covers that we have here at Bella Terra and at our mountain cabin. It’s amazing how nice it is to know the world under our feet is very clean!
Quite honestly, I hope to be more diligent in having a deep cleaning schedule in the future. We are also trying to remove our shoes before entering our homes, which I believe is a worthwhile tradition. Please share your care and upkeep of your floors and floor coverings.