COVID-19 has changed everything about our lives. Most of us are cooped up at home and while that may not be ideal, it can be a great time to get some cleaning done. It’s especially important now to keep a clean home to help lower the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and other germs, and getting a head start on spring cleaning might just help you feel productive and a bit lighter in spirit.
If someone in your home is sick, it’s doubly important to not just clean, but to disinfect as well. Make sure to disinfect all surfaces including your floors. While you might not think your floors are critical since they’re not touched by hands very often, they can still harbor germs if someone has walked through with shoes on from outside or if you have pets who carry in dirt, germs, and bacteria from outside. From cleaning to disinfecting, here are some tips to keep your floors clean and safe.
Cleaning or Disinfecting – What’s the Difference?
There is a big difference between simply cleaning and disinfecting your home. While cleaning may help to remove germs, it doesn’t necessarily kill them. Disinfecting involves using chemicals to kill germs and bacteria on surfaces. However, disinfecting requires specific products that might be hard to come by if you don’t already have them on hand.
Here’s the good news. If no one in your home is sick, it is only necessary to clean (without disinfecting) to keep everyone safe and healthy. Keep up with daily cleaning and follow the CDC’s best practices like washing hands frequently and thoroughly.
Fortunately, when it comes to flooring, fully disinfecting is rarely necessary. CDC studies have shown that disinfecting floors isn’t that much more helpful than simply cleaning them as usual. We’ve included some disinfecting tips below to keep you from harming your floors, but for the most part you may just want to clean a little more frequently than usual.
How to Clean Hard Flooring – Hardwoods, Laminate & Vinyl
Using a microfiber mop or Swiffer daily is a great way to keep your hard surface floors clean. You can also vacuum with a soft-bristled floor brush attachment. You’ll want to be careful with any kind of mopping – too much moisture can damage hardwood and laminate floors so opt for damp mopping instead. If you have vinyl flooring, mop with either a store-bought cleaner or a solution of apple cider vinegar and warm water.
Disinfecting Hard Flooring – Hardwood, Laminate & Vinyl Flooring
If you’re using a disinfecting product, review the manufacturer’s instructions prior to use to know how long the disinfectant needs to be in contact with the surface to properly kill germs. It’s also good to know that some cleaners are designed to kill bacteria and others are designed to kill viruses. With COVID, you’ll want to look for the products that kill viruses. Many anti-bacterial cleaning agents are also disinfectants that will kill viruses, but double check the label to be sure.
Be careful of harsh chemicals. Manufacturers recommend a bleach solution for disinfecting many hard surfaces, but you’ll want to keep bleach and other chemicals away from your flooring. Instead, disinfect vinyl and laminate flooring by damp mopping with a mix of one gallon of warm water and one cup of white vinegar.
Disinfecting hardwood floors is a little trickier – moisture and harsh chemicals are not recommended. Don’t use the vinegar solution here either. For disinfecting The best option is to use a damp mop with a cleaner made specifically to disinfect hardwood floors. Be sure to dry the surface with a clean, soft, dry towel afterward to remove any leftover moisture.
Cleaning Tips for Carpets & Area Rugs
Vacuum daily or weekly depending on the amount of traffic. Vacuuming slowly will pick up more dust and debris than fast passes. Dirt tends to hide underneath or behind furniture, so if you can, move or lift your furniture to vacuum more thoroughly. If you’re cleaning the entire room, it’s smart to dust first so that when you vacuum you can pick up any dirt that has made its way to the carpet after your other cleaning efforts.
Disinfecting Carpets & Area Rugs
Soft surfaces like your carpets and area rugs might be a little more challenging. The CDC recommends cleaning these surfaces either with soap and water or with cleaners made specifically for these surfaces. Remember to pay attention to those cleaners and use those that are specifically made with disinfecting properties. If you own a home steam cleaner, you can use this for a more thorough cleaning. If you use that mixture of white vinegar with hot water in your steamer, change the ratio to equal parts for carpet and rugs.
Wash Hands and Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces
While frequent and thorough cleaning is important right now to keep your home safe from the spread of the Coronavirus, the good news is that your usual floor cleaning, no matter the flooring surface, typically will suffice in lowering the spread of germs. Remember, it’s very important to wash hands and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, appliance handles, faucets, and light switches. Your friends at SVB Wood Floors want you to stay safe and hopefully, soon, things will get back to normal. If you have any other hardwood flooring questions, check out our blog at SVBwoodfloors.com/blog.
At SVB Wood Floors we believe in quality hardwood flooring services. We are the Kansas City wood floor installation, refinishing and restoration experts throughout the KC metro. We’ve been serving the Kansas City area for 15+ years and we pride ourselves on top quality. Your home’s hardwood floors can be simple or extravagant, but no matter what you’re looking for, when you choose SVB Wood Floors for your local hardwood flooring company in Kansas City, you’ll be thrilled with the results. In addition to residential wood flooring services, we also offer professional commercial flooring services as well.