Tips for Cleaning Tile, Wood and Vinyl Floors
Get expert tips, techniques and recipes for cleaning all types of floors, from ceramic tile to hardwood.
Clean Ceramic-Tile Floors
Ceramic-tile floors can be cleaned easily with nothing but warm water, but be sure to sweep or vacuum first to remove any loose soil or grit. Never use a sponge mop to clean ceramic-tile floors. It will pull the dirt right into the grout tracks. This makes the floor more difficult to clean. A micro-fiber mop picks up all the dirt that a sponge mop leaves behind. Pour the ingredients into a bucket and use a rag or micro-fiber mop to clean. If you do use a rag and the on-your-hands-and-knees method, be sure to wipe in a circular motion across the floor. Don't forget the cabinets and baseboards. If you have really dirty grout, use a brush.
Clean Hardwood Floors
Use boiling water and two teabags to clean hardwood floors. The tannic acid in tea creates a beautiful shine for hardwood floors. Let two teabags steep in the boiling water for a few minutes. Pour the tea into a bucket. Take a soft cloth and wring it out in the tea. The cloth merely needs to be damp, not soaked. This will enable the floor to dry quickly. Wash the floor and be ready to be amazed by the sheen.
Vinegar is by far one of the most versatile cleaning agents. Use it to remove soap scum from the shower. Mix it with borax to get rid of hard-water rings in the toilet. Tape a bag of vinegar to your showerhead and leave it overnight for an easy, sparkly clean; or add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to your dish soap to eliminate grease in the kitchen.
You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but don’t forget about cleaning your toothbrush. Let it soak in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes to get rid of any lingering germs. Hydrogen peroxide is also useful on many hard surfaces. Use it to scrub your toilet, trash cans, shower, mirrors and doorknob. You can even mix it with equal parts water for a safe and effective solution for mopping the bathroom and kitchen floors.
The acid in lemons makes them a great natural cleanser. The juice is great for disinfecting kitchen countertops and cutting boards. Cut a lemon in half and scrub your bath and shower to remove soap scum. And if your shaving cream has left a rusty ring in your bathtub, use your lemon half to scrub it away.
Do you have a mold and mildew problem in the bathroom? Skip a trip to the store, and pull out some inexpensive vodka from the liquor cabinet. Spray it directly onto the mold and mildew, and wait 15 minutes. Then use a cloth or small scrubbing brush to wipe it clean. And don’t forget to save a little for an after-cleaning celebration!
More than a favorite beverage, brewed tea can be used to clean windows, mirrors and countertops. Spray on your bathroom surfaces just as you would any typical window or surface cleaner. Then, keep your bags to hide in the back of the fridge. They will actually work to deodorize it. And if you need to remove the scent of onion, garlic or fish from your hands, cut a bag open, and wash your hands with the leaves to remove the odor.
Remember that miracle lemon that cleaned the tub? If your dirt stains are particularly stubborn, add some salt to the lemon, and scrub the surface of your bathtub, sink or toilet. Once your salt solution has done the trick, just rinse off any pulp and leftover residue, leaving your bathroom perfectly clean with a lemon-fresh scent!
Perfect for cleaning counters, sinks, drains, the toilet bowl, soap scum, shower doors, showerheads, and well, pretty much anything in the kitchen and bathroom, baking soda is one cleaning agent you don’t want to be without. For most kitchen and bathroom surfaces, a simple paste made of baking soda and water will do the trick.
Though it is not a natural cleaning solution, exactly, a drain snake is an eco-friendly way to clean out the main source of drain blockage: hair. And if you don’t have a drain snake, you can still avoid pouring harsh chemicals down the bathtub drain by unwinding a wire hanger, hooking the end, pushing it down the drain as far as it will go, and pulling up hair that is keeping the water from draining properly.
Fill in Any Scratches
If there are scratches that stand out after cleaning the hardwood floor, simply take a crayon the color of the floor and rub it on the scratch to fill the gap. Turn a blow dryer on high, heat the area where the crayon was applied and buff it with a soft cloth.
Clean Vinyl Floors
Mix borax in a bucket of warm water and wash the floor.
A 1940s Home's Original Hardwood
This kitchen was totally overhauled, the only thing that was kept from the original space was the solid wood floors, they needed just a slight refinishing. As seen on DIY Network's I Hate My Kitchen.
This slate floor tile was laid out in a Versailles pattern. It combines four different sizes of tile replicated over and over to give the finished floor a random look. As seen on DIY Network's I Hate My Kitchen.
Modern Residential Loft
This modern kitchen was once a commericial office space that was turned into a luxurious loft-style home. The hardwood floor just needed to be sanded and refinished in order to make it shine. As seen on DIY Network's Million Dollar Contractor.
Colorful Farmhouse Kitchen
Vinyl plank flooring was installed right over the existing linoleum flooring. The new flooring was extended into the adjacent living room to give the space continuity. As seen on DIY Network's I Hate My Kitchen.
This inexpensive floor is made from particle-board plywood joined with aluminum seams and covered in a thick coat of oil-based polyurethane. The floor is very durable and the plywood's pattern helps hide dirt. As seen on DIY Network's I Hate My Kitchen.
This kitchen features new custom cabinets, a colorful backsplash tile and travertine-tile flooring. The poured-concrete countertops, new stainless-steel appliances and tech-friendly accessories finish off the kitchen. As seen on DIY Network's I Hate My Kitchen.
Beautiful Terra Cotta
This kitchen was totally remodeled, except the beautiful Saltillo floor tile. The homeowners loved the flooring so much, they built the new kitchen around it. As seen on DIY Network's Kitchen Crashers.
This Spanish-inspired kitchen was resurfaced with authentic Saltillo tiles in a high-gloss finish. Knotty alder cabinets and vibrant-colored countertops complete the rich and rustic look. As seen on DIY Network's House Crashers.
Able to Use What They Got
This kitchen was completely remodeled in a French-country style with a few modern-design elements sprinkled in. Fortunately for the homeowners, their gorgeous hardwood floor didn't need to be redone, and it fit in perfectly with the new space. As seen on DIY Network's House Crashers.