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Any type of floor which is walked on gets dirty and greasy. A regular quick mopping with a good detergent in solution is usually all that is needed. General floor care is easy if mats are placed by doorways to capture incoming dirt and dusts and a vacuum cleaner used daily to remove dust on the floor.

In many cases, floor sealing and waxes are used to protect floorings. Waxing of sealed marble, stone or clay floor should be avoided and these need serious care. Bare minimum of water should be sufficient to clean these floors.

Wood flooring again comes either waxed or sealed and wax is not always sealed. Putting drops of water in a hidden place of the floor, if it turns white, then the floor is waxed. Such surfaces need extra care while cleaning.

Waxed wood

On such wooden floors, usually detergents are not used as it could remove the wax. The level of protection is less than that of sealed wood in areas which get a high level of humidity, for example, bathrooms and kitchen. Water turns a waxed floor into a skating rink. You can very lightly mop over the floor to clean it generally, but it must be dried very quickly and buffed thereafter. About two times a year, the floor will need re-waxing.

Sealed wood flooring could be used anywhere but it should be completely sealed as in high humidity it may show black spots. It can be washed with detergent solution as a routine maintenance.

Vinyl and other similar flooring

Vinyl tiles, or plastic wooden flooring or similar plastics which are laid on floors need to be cleaned at regular intervals. Vinyl is hard wearing but requires sealing. This is a layer of acrylic or polymer which protect the vinyl. Sealing a floor which is frequently wet during the day – toilets or kitchens for example – is not advisable. The seal itself attracts soiling and grease far faster than bare tiling does and this shows in the corners and the edges if the floor is not mopped properly.

Streaked floor indicates it has not been rinsed properly. A dirty-looking floor even after a good washing indicates that the seal has worn out and needs stripping. If brown dirty stains are visible around the edges of the tiling, then the adhesive is running. (The extra adhesive works up through the seal over time. It is water-based, so it washes off.) Brown stains could also appear if buffing machine pad is dirty. It has to be washed regularly.

Vinyl can change colour and this cannot be improved. It is a fault in manufacture or staining from sunlight. This can be minimised with seal but cannot be entirely removed.


Marbles, limestone and clay floorings are delicate materials to clean. It will last a lifetime if treated and used with care when cleaning. Some of the don’ts include:

  • Never use any acids or cleaners that include vinegar, lemon juice.
  • Never use bleach and take great care on the alkalis. A low foaming detergent based around d-limonene will clean marble quite effectively. Ideally, clean with dilute detergent solution (not washing-up liquid), rinse well and dry. They can be polished up with a dry cloth if needed, or gently buffed.
  • Never scrub any marble with a scouring pad, especially not a metal scouring pad because the small pieces from the scouring pad will stick to the marble and rust in situ, so your marble will show sometimes extensive rust staining. This can only be removed by re-polishing, which can be an expensive procedure.
  • Extra care is required if the marble is pitted or has lost its shine – this means it needs repolishing and that is a specialist job.


Such floor, if it has oil and grease over it, can be cleaned by a mix of caustic detergent with d-limonene. Leave it and then wash it off. Rinse and leave to dry. Rust stains on concrete are removed with Oxalic acid, for preference. Rinse and leave to dry.

Concrete can be acid cleaned to etch it and it has to be perfectly clean for this treatment. Acid etch before impregnating the concrete. Not all concrete flooring is worth spending too much time and money over. Concrete should however have an epoxy impregnation on it.

Source: woodflooronline.com

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