With an abundance of flooring options available it's hard to narrow it down to just one. Thankfully it's perfectly acceptable to have different flooring throughout the home. Some rooms may be carpeted, others could be hardwood. Some may be tiled, and some might be laminate. Regardless of what you choose, caring for hard surface floors versus carpeted floors is a little more in-depth. You can get by with simply vacuuming a carpeted floor a few times a week if you don't have heavy foot traffic. Do some heavy-duty carpet cleaning once or twice a year and maybe a quick once over here and there. When you have hard surface flooring, messes are more noticeable so you need to take some extra steps to keep them clean and in good shape.
Proper floor care starts with proper tools
The most common hard surface floor care tool is the broom. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and are imperative to keeping your floors clean. Sweeping the floor prior to cleaning it is going to make things a lot easier on you and your cleaner. If you make daily sweeping a habit, your cleanup efforts will be minimal.
In addition to sweeping, a floor-dusting tool is also useful. These tools are a lot easier on the body than traditional sweeping as you don't have to bend or exert too much energy.
I avoid using chemicals when possible so I use very few commercial cleaners. I prefer steam for many reasons, including the effectiveness and reduction of water use.
Did you know that steam cleaning your hard surface floors kills up to 99.9 percent of bacteria, germs and dust mites?!
Maintenance For Hard Wood Floors
The Shark® Genius™ Steam Pocket Mop is by far the easiest way I've tried to get floors to look amazing. Not only does it sanitize your sealed hard surface floors, but it makes getting rid of stuck-on messes incredibly easy. Steam Blaster™ Technology targets stains like stuck-on food, pet messes, grease—even scuff marks—and lays waste to them. They seriously don't stand a chance!
One of the best features (besides being safe to use around kids and pets) is that it doesn't leave a wet mess behind. Steam cleaning leaves behind a fraction of wetness that traditional mopping does. That means less waiting for the floors to dry and more enjoying the time you saved.
The Shark Genius has some extra bells and whistles too.
- Touch-Free Technology: never touch a dirty pad again
- Steam Blaster™ attacks tough, greasy, stuck-on messes
- Steam channeling system distributes steam throughout the pocket, to create an ultra-wide cleaning zone
- S6001 - Pump-for-Steam lets you apply the ideal amount of steam in every situation
- S6002 - Electronic steam control provides the right amount of steam for each cleaning task
- S6003 - Intelligent Steam Control® lets you customize the amount of steam for each cleaning task
The fact that it comes from Shark is an extra check in the WIN column, definitely a brand I trust to deliver the best.
I've been known to get intimidated with household tools and appliances. Thankfully the included instructions were easy to follow and within a few minutes, I was on my way to cleaner floors. The Genius glides over the floor with ease and turns smoothly, no jiggling or shaking required (how annoying does that get?!). I would be lying if I said I wasn't mortified by the pad after just doing the kitchen floor. A floor that is barely 10 ft long or wide. And I sweep and mop, regularly!
This pushed me to the STEAM IS KING side. Just seeing how much my traditional cleaning methods were leaving behind, and seeing what the steam broke free after just one use made me a believer. I've used the Genius weekly in the kitchen and bi-weekly in the bathroom. I'm highly considering getting rid of the carpet completely, or at least mostly, and switch to all/mostly hard-surface flooring. Long haired pets and carpet don't seem to be mixing too well. And with summer coming? Look out!
The only thing I would like to see different with the Genius is to add an attachment so I can steam the walls and fixtures too. Sure I can use a separate tool, but it would be great if I didn't have to! You can buy the Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop here.
More Ways to Keep Hard Surface Flooring in Top Shape
~ If you have tile, laminate, or vinyl flooring you may notice tears, chips, and cracks. One of the primary causes of this is your appliances and furniture. Moving them can move the flooring so be sure you're lifting and not dragging when you rearrange. Go the extra mile and buy or make something to go in between the floor and anything heavy that may be moved later.
~ Pay special attention to the edges when you inspect the floors. If there seems to be peeling or movement away from the wall you may need to resecure the flooring.
~ You don't have to do it daily, but at least once or twice a week go over the floor with a dust mop or vacuum (without the spinning brush). This will keep dirt from becoming a permanent fixture, which doesn't look good at all.
~ Use a finisher to keep your flooring looking shiny and new, even when it isn't. Be sure to find the right type of finisher for your flooring, they're not all created equal!
~ Pick up some scatter rugs from yard sales and thrift stores (have them cleaned before bringing them home) to protect your high traffic areas.