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How to clean a floor: top wood, laminate and tile cleaning tips from Mumsnetters
Are filthy floors the bane of your life? Never fear, Mumsnetters are here to share their top floor cleaning tips.
By Laura Cooke | Last updated Mar 24, 2023
Whether you have laminate, stone or tiled floors, keeping them clean and shiny feels like a never-ending task.
Although a well-placed doormat or rug can help protect floors from mud, dirt and mess, you’ll still need to keep on top of this particular household chore or risk a colossal build-up of muck.
We’ve scoured (ahem) the forums to discover exactly how Mumsnetters are keeping their floors sparkling and what their favourite go-to cleaning products are.
Read next: The best vacuum cleaners to buy, as tested by Mumsnetters
How to clean a wooden floor
To clean a wooden floor, start by giving it a once over with a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust and hair. Pay attention to the edges and the nooks and crannies where dust tends to gather in lumps. Use a suitable wooden floor cleaner and follow the directions carefully. Mumsnetters recommended using a microfibre cloth. Work your way around the whole floor, tackling a small amount of flooring at a time.
In order to keep your floors looking at their best, make sure you mop up any spills straightaway to avoid staining.
If your floor is scratched, you could try some repair oil to help restore wooden flooring to its former glory. But of course the best thing to do is to take steps to prevent troublesome scratches in the first place, as Mumsnetter Ditto22 points out: “I would suggest not wearing shoes in the house for a start (if you currently do). Makes a huge difference.”
Best vacuum cleaners: Editor's picks
Dyson V11 Absolute
iRobot Roomba 966
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap
How to clean a laminate floor
Laminate is a durable, low-maintenance flooring choice. But just because it’s hardy doesn’t mean that you can be careless when you clean.
First, use a vacuum cleaner to hoover up any dust and debris before breaking out the mop. Use a cleaner that’s suitable for use on laminate flooring and follow the instructions carefully when diluting to ensure that you’re using the correct amount. The key is to only use a slightly damp mop rather than one that’s soaking wet. Overwetting a laminate floor can cause water spots or warping.
Some Mumsnetters swear by good old-fashioned vinegar and water, including Anotherselfemployedcleaner, who says: “White vinegar and warm water can work wonders if a film of residue has built up BUT test somewhere inconspicuous first! You only need to mix a bit up in a jug, say 50ml white vinegar/150ml warm water, then apply with a well-squeezed cloth/sponge. No need to rinse, but repeat until the patch is completely clean. If the shine doesn’t return, it might be that the top layer has worn away.”
Steer clear of using anything harsh or abrasive and avoid chemicals like bleach or ammonia as even if diluted, these can permanently damage laminate flooring.
Read next: The best steam cleaners to invest in
How to clean a textured wet room floor
A wet room can be an absolute godsend, but if you don’t keep on top of your housekeeping, a textured wet room floor can be a pig to clean.
A simple mop and bucket, filled with warm water and a suitable bathroom cleaner, should be enough to keep wet room floors sparkling. Scrub the mop in small circles, tackling one area at a time. Dunk the mop to remove the dirt and repeat until the job’s done.
The best thing to do is to get into the habit of ‘sweeping’ the water towards the drain using a mop with a rubber bladed head after every use. It’s worth noting that wet room drainage problems can also lead to water marks and stains, so any issues should be checked out pronto.
Read next: The best handheld vacuum cleaners to buy
How to clean a tiled floor
A sparkling tiled floor can brighten up any living space. But marauding kids and pets, not to mention constant cooking if the tiles are in the kitchen, can leave tiled floors looking grubby and tired.
The overwhelming consensus from Mumsnet users is that a steam mop or robot mop is a good investment. Use with a regular cleaner. If the tiles are particularly filthy or covered in grease, it may also be worth giving a degreaser a go.
You might want to take a closer look at your grouting too, as chickensafari says “Did you seal the grout? That’s the first thing I would do - straight away as the grout will darken in certain areas and make the floor look patchy and dirty.”
Read next: Bag a bargain with our roundup of the best vacuum cleaner deals
How to clean a stone floor
Stone floors are not created equal. But all can be high maintenance.
Applying a sealant is essential to prolong the life of stone flooring and protect the area from dust, acid and other nasties that can cause the stone to deteriorate. Natural stone floors that are highly porous, such as marble, require resealing every few months while natural stones that are less porous, such as granite for example, can be safely resealed every 12 months or so.
Despite their tough exterior, stone floors should be treated with a little TLC to avoid scratching. Use a dry mop and a pH-balanced cleaner or alternatively, interiors website Hunker recommends mixing 90% baking soda, 8% water, and 2% Castile soap. Avoid using vinegar as this is too acidic to be used on natural stone flooring.
What to use to clean a very dirty floor
If the surface of your floor is covered with a layer of stubborn dirt and muck, don’t worry because Mumsnetters are here to share their tips on sprucing up the filthiest of floors. Just be prepared to give it a bit of welly.
NutButterNutter recommends: “Stardrops in hot water, Elbow Grease spray and physical elbow grease with a scrubbing brush. Then steam mop weekly and use the spray thing daily as a quick go over high-footfall areas. It'll only be hard work for that first clean and then you'll be on top of it.”
Muppet7410 added: “I scrubbed the floor with bio washing liquid diluted in hot water and went over it with the mop and bucket with Flash. I did it in small sections and it took me approximately 4 hours but I got there!”
Washing up liquid also worked for Palaver1 who said: “Mop Fairly liquid [...] every couple of days. Have to put in a bit of effort, you can’t be gentle if you see what I mean…good exercise for bingo wings.”
How often should you clean your floors?
According to The Spruce, carpeted floors and rugs should be vacuumed at least twice weekly and hard surface floors should be vacuumed at least once a week. Hard floors in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen or bathroom, should be wet mopped once a week. However rooms that are not routinely used can be left for a couple of weeks, or even as long as a month.
Of course whether you have the time, or indeed the inclination, to do them that often is a different matter entirely.
Best floor cleaning products: Editor's picks
Method Wood Floor Cleaner
Stardrops Home Original All Round Cleaner
Elbow Grease All Purpose Degreaser
What are the best products to use to clean floors?
There is a lot of love on the forums for Method Wood Floor Cleaner, which is safe for wooden floors and good for the environment to boot.
“Method for wooden floors is great,” says Mumsnetter cheeseychovolate. “Hoover first then use the method cleaner. I squeeze some onto the floor then mop it with just water. Smells amazing.”
A number of Mumsnetters recommend using Method Wood Floor Cleaner in combination with the E-Cloth Deep Clean Mop for the best results.
For tackling scratches on laminate, sealed and unsealed wooden floors, Pledge Revive It Repairing Oil comes highly recommended. According to Dewberries, “Pledge repair oil is excellent. It's a dark coloured liquid. Amazing stuff. It comes in dark or light. Got my last one in Tesco but you can get it on eBay etc. Lasts forever.”
As far as tiled floors are concerned, Mumsnetters say steam mops are the way to go, with Shark leading the way in terms of recommendations. However you may prefer a robot mop to do all the hard work for you, as mommybear1 says: “We have a robot mop, a Braava Jet called Connie. I love her. I purchased an extra battery and mop heads and I set her off every day and just change the pads/batteries as needed. Put a drop of Method floor cleaner on the pads and the smell is amazing. I keep her going till she comes back with a clean pad then I know the floor is done.” If it’s your grouting which is letting the side down, try a Fuginator tile joint brush to shift those stubborn stains.
If you want to find out more about which cleaning products Mumsnet users recommend, take a look at our guide to the best cleaning products. Alternatively, check out our roundup of the best eco-friendly cleaning products, as tried and tested by Mumsnetters.