9 cleaning hacks that will make the floor sparkle like new

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Homes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but no matter what a residence looks like it’s a guarantee that its floors will see a lot of foot traffic. It doesn’t matter if those floors are covered with wood planks, vinyl, ceramic tiles or granite, it can be difficult to keep them in top-shape with so many people walking on them. Although scratches, stains and dirt are an inevitable reality, that doesn’t mean these outside forces need to affect flooring’s overall appearance.
Instead of turning to professional cleaning services or scouring store aisles for harsh chemical cleaners, keep some of those dollars in your wallet and instead try a few DIY solutions. Sometimes all it takes is a strategic approach to help floors sparkle like new without a large price tag attached. These nine cleaning hacks will improve the look of floors and provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing dirt and grime haven’t won out.
1. Wet the dustpan
Dust is a common culprit when it comes to floors that give off a dull appearance. Quickly building up, hard to remove and always hiding in corners and crevices, dust can be a frustrating factor in keeping floors looking less than their best. Instead of reaching for a vacuum multiple times a day, wet down the dust pan and watch dust disappear for good. A moist dustpan firmly holds captured particles in place once swept in without the possibility of it falling off as cleaning continues. Captured dust will also attract hidden particles in unseen corners, ensuring longer-lasting results. Knock as much dust off into the trash as possible once finished before wiping down the dustpan with a paper towel and moving onto the next item of business.
2. Fuzzy sock mop
Brand-name floor mops are highly effective tools when keeping floors clean and sparkling, but replacing the cleaning pads can be expensive. Fortunately, a fuzzy sock works just as well toward removing grime from flooring crevices. Stretch the sock over the head of the mop and continue to use the mop as usual. When the sock is full of dirt, remove and wash on a standard cycle in the machine for another successful use later.
3. Vinegar and dish soap floor solution
In the same way the cost of replacing floor mop cleaning pads can add up, replacing cleaning solution can be difficult on a budget. Instead of buying brand-name products, try an equally effective at-home solution for keeping floors clean and shiny. Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of white vinegar in a bowl. Once fully mixed, add in 3 to 5 drops of a preferred dish soap and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix everything and add to an empty floor mop solution container.
4. Steel wool for scratches
Scratches happen but when they do, there is a tendency to feel a bit helpless. Often, they look far more permanent than they are. A simple household product may be all it takes to return a synthetic floor to its natural scratch-free shine. A single steel wool scrubbing pad works wonders against removing scratches on vinyl and linoleum. Once buffed out, wipe over the area with a warm water mix and allow to dry. Keep in mind that steel wool is not appropriate for buffing out scratches on wood flooring.
5. Club soda for stains on carpets
Club soda is often kept on hand for mixing specialty drinks but it’s also a go-to stain remover for those with homes covered in carpet. When an unexpected stain shows up, pour 1 tablespoon of club soda directly onto the affected area and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Gently dab with a dry wash cloth and allow it to dry. This quick-fix solution will keep carpets in pristine shape and floors looking like new.
6. Hydrogen peroxide and lemon oil
When it comes to treating tougher carpet stains that happen at the hands of a dropped glass of wine or muddy shoes, a more complex but highly efficient solution is required. Pour out two-thirds of a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and place the liquid in an alternate container so only one-third of the solution remains in its original brown bottle. Fill the remaining space in the bottle with water and add 5 to 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Once fully mixed, add a spray nozzle head to the hydrogen peroxide bottle and spray generously on the affected area. Allow the solution to soak in for about one minute before scrubbing with a gentle brush to loosen particles. Dab up moisture with a dry wash cloth and repeat this process until the stain is entirely removed.
7. Toothpaste for marker on wood flooring
A toothbrush and toothpaste are readily available in the bathroom for dental hygiene purposes but once homeowners discover they are just as useful for keeping floors sparkling clean, their value quickly rises. Permanent marker has a habit of making its way onto delicate surfaces, and when that surface happens to be wood flooring, it can initially be devastating. Thankfully there’s a quick DIY solution to removing these “permanent” marks and returning wood flooring to its shiny and original state. Dab a small amount of toothpaste onto the affected area and gently scrub with a toothbrush and watch the marker wash away. Although it may take a bit of scrubbing, it ultimately works and is most successful when followed up with a gentle warm water wipe-down.
8. Vinegar and canola oil for extra shine
The same products kept in the pantry to cook can be the best products to use when it comes to removing scratches from wood flooring. For treating minor scratches or adding all-over shine to floors, mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 3 cups of canola oil in a large container. Use a washcloth to rub a small amount of the mixture into wood floor scratches or use a larger mop to apply the mixture over the floor's entire surface for a good-as-new shine. It is highly recommended to let the mixture sit for five to 10 minutes before wiping over again with a clean, dry cloth.
9. Black tea shining solutions
The tannic acid that makes tea a delicious beverage also works to buff and shine wood flooring. When searching for an all-over shine solution, simply reach for a tea kettle and a few bags of black tea. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add 3 bags of black tea for a sizable cleaning mixture. Once the water is boiling, add the 3 teabags and allow to brew for 10minutes before removing. Pout the tea directly into a mopping bucket and use a clean mop to apply even amounts of the tea directly to wood flooring. This solution is sure to bring a new shine to well-loved wood floors and will not leave a sticky residue.
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