Ceramic Tile Floors
Just sweep and mop on a regular basis and they stay clean and shiny. Mop floors with clear water or just a dash of liquid dish soap. Be sure to change the water when it gets cloudy. Too much soap or dirty water will make floors dull or sticky. Don't use scrub pads on ceramic tile floors or you might scratch them. Our professional cleaners wash most floors by hand, cleaning and drying a small area of the floor at a time.
Old grout may need cleaning with a wax stripper or heavy-duty cleaner plus a grout brush. Use a bleaching cleanser on tough spots. Once the grout is as clean as you can get it, rinse it well. When it's thoroughly dry, apply a coat of masonry sealer so that it doesn't absorb dirt in the future. For mildewed grout in tubs or showers, use a grout brush with a 1:5 solution of chlorine bleach and water. Never use bleach in combination with any ammonia-based product and be sure the area is well-ventilated. When you've finished cleaning, rinse the area well to remove all traces of bleach. Clean colored grout with a heavy-duty cleaner and a grout brush, but don't use bleach because this may remove the color from the grout. Be sure never to use a bleaching solution on colored grout. A masonry sealer can be applied to clean, colored grout to ward off future stains.
Hard Water Spots
Hard-water deposits are alkaline, so an acid-based cleaner is the best way to clean them. Phosphoric acid works well and is safe for most surfaces. Grocery store cleansers with phosphoric acid contain 4 percent to 6 percent acid. You can purchase lime scale removers at janitorial supply stores that contain 8 percent to 12 percent acid to get the job done faster. A higher concentration of acid is safe on most household surfaces as long as you rinse the surface to remove all traces of the acid after the cleaning is complete. Let the acid sit for a few minutes after you apply it to let it work. Tough hard-water deposits may take more than one application. Scrub the applied areas with a white, nylon-backed scrub sponge. Make sure you read any manufacturer's warnings before applying phosphoric acid solutions to surfaces in your home.
Wipe down mini-blinds with a damp fabric softener sheet. This eliminates the static that causes dust to stick. The same trick works for TV and monitor screens.
No-Wax / Linoleum Floors
Regular vacuuming or sweeping is the best way to maintain the finish. Then damp mop with plain water or add just a drop of liquid dish soap. If the floor has some tough spots to clean, use a white, nylon-backed scrub sponge. This will keep soil from wearing away the surface. However, if time and traffic eventually dull the glossy top layer, you may want to add a floor finish or wax to restore the shine. Choose any good commercial floor polish or try a self-polishing, metal-interlock floor finish available from a janitorial supply. Traffic areas may need finish applied more often than the rest of the floor. It's a good idea to keep doormats at all the entrances to your home, as they will catch much of the dirt that could eventually damage your floors.
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