from Kanter’s Carpet & Design Center
Right now, many of us are cooped up at home and while the situation is far from ideal, it can be a great time to get some cleaning done. It’s not only important to keep a clean home to lower the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and other germs, but getting a head start on spring cleaning can help you feel productive and make your home a more pleasant place to be. If someone in your home is sick, it’s important to not just clean, but to disinfect surfaces and your floors are no exception.
Should I Clean or Disinfect My Floors?
One of the first things to note is there is a big difference between simply cleaning and disinfecting your home. Cleaning helps to remove germs but does not kill them, though this does lower the risk of spreading infection as it reduces the number of germs. Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This does not necessarily clean dirt or remove these germs, so it is always best to clean first and then disinfect to lower the risk of spread. The good news is, if no one in your home is sick it is only necessary to clean (without disinfecting) to reduce the spread and keep everyone safe and healthy. Keep up with a daily cleaning schedule like frequent and thorough hand washing to maintain a healthy household.
Fortunately, when it comes to flooring, fully disinfecting is rarely necessary in any case. CDC studies have shown that disinfecting floors has minimal impact beyond regular cleaning. We’ve included some disinfecting tips below anyway, but for the most part you don’t have to change your cleaning methods, though you may want to clean a little more frequently than usual.
Cleaning Tips for Hardwood Flooring
Just like any other time, daily use of a microfiber mop is a great way to keep your hardwood floors clean. You can vacuum with a soft-bristled floor brush attachment to clean up even more dirt, dust, and debris. Hardwood floors can be damaged by moisture so be sure be to damp mop.
Disinfecting Hardwood Flooring
Again, it’s important to clean hard surfaces prior to disinfecting, and if you’re using a disinfecting product be sure to carefully review the manufacturer’s instructions prior to use to know how long your disinfectant needs to be in contact with the surface to kill germs. It’s also good to know the difference between cleaners that kill bacteria and ones that kill viruses and look for the latter. Many anti-bacterial cleaning agents are also disinfectants that will kill viruses but double check the label.
Whenever you’re disinfecting, make sure to wear disposable gloves if you have them handy to protect your skin from the chemicals. If you only have reusable gloves, be sure to dedicate these gloves specifically for cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19. Wash and clean your hands thoroughly as soon as you remove these gloves. Most hard surfaces recommend a bleach solution for disinfecting, but you’ll want to keep bleach and other harsh chemicals away from your hardwood flooring. Remember that keeping water and moisture away is key to ensure your floors last so you don’t want to use the vinegar solution. The best option is to use a damp mop with a cleaner made specifically to disinfect hardwood floors for example Bona products. After damp mopping, dry the surface with a clean, soft, dry towel to remove any lingering moisture.
What Not to Do
When it comes to disinfecting wood floors, knowing which products you shouldn’t use is just as important as finding the right ones that work. When cleaning your floors, do your best to avoid using too much water and steer clear of using a steam cleaner to get the job done – either of which can warp the wood.
Certain household products like vinegar and baking soda are commonly used to clean various parts of the home but aren’t recommended for cleaning wood floors as they can wear down the polyurethane coating, which gives wood flooring that glowing shine.
Keeping Your Floors Clean to Keep Your Home Healthy
Frequent and thorough cleaning is important right now to keep your home safe and healthy from the spread of the Coronavirus and other sicknesses. The good news is that your usual routine floor cleaning, no matter your flooring surface typically will suffice in lowering the spread of germs. Working out a daily schedule can help keep your home happy and healthy.