In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 many homeowners undertook some pretty stringent cleaning and disinfecting steps. While this might have seemed necessary at the onset of the pandemic, instructions for safe protocols such as hand washing and mask-wearing in hand with the introduction of vaccinations have helped reduce the risk for the spread of the virus.
However, what you might not realize is that harsh chemicals in disinfecting products could affect the appearance of your floors. Here we offer tips to protect your high traffic flooring areas, so they maintain their appearance post-COVID-19.
First keep in mind cleaning your home floors and disinfecting them are two different things. Although commercial spaces have a responsibility to disinfect high-traffic touchpoints, your goal is to help remove germs to reduce the spread of infection. You don’t have to disinfect your floors every day, as this process requires special detergents that can be quite harsh on your family, pets, and flooring surfaces.
These chemicals are designed to kill germs and don’t remove dirt. So ideally, you should follow the same floor cleaning processes you have always used. Then be certain your family and all guests adhere to safe protocols in the home including washing their hands. This in hand with a daily cleaning schedule to wipe down frequently touched surfaces will help keep everyone safe, without constantly applying harsh chemicals to your floors and other surfaces without need.
Since floors are rarely touched by people’s hands, full disinfecting can be done far less frequently than the more commonly touched surfaces in the home. It’s far easier to make sure everyone is washing their hands frequently.
You can up your floor cleaning game by using a microfiber mop or floor cleaning tools such as a “Swiffer” daily. These cleaning methods are ideal to protect your floors while also keeping them cleaner. If you have a vacuum with a soft-bristled floor brush attachment do this first to remove debris, so you aren’t rubbing the debris into your floor surfaces. This will reduce the risk for scratches. Remember constant exposure to damp and wet such as mopping can damage hardwood floors and laminate so only use damp mopping instead of a fully wet mop.
As mentioned, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. So if you feel you want to disinfect your hard flooring surfaces, be careful. The things you might be tempted to use to kill germs including vinegar solutions can be quite damaging. Always make sure you vacuum and clean the floor first. Be sure you read the manufacturers’ instructions and that the product you use is recommended for the specific type of floor you have. Your disinfectant needs to kill viruses as opposed to bacteria, so you need to look for a safe disinfectant that will kill the virus, and not ruin your floors.
A safer option might be to go with a DIY concoction of one-gallon warm water with one cup of white vinegar. For hardwood, only use a disinfecting cleaning solution specifically made for hardwood, as most harsh cleaners will remove the protective finish especially if used frequently. And as mentioned above, thoroughly dry your floors right away so you don’t leave any moisture behind.
If you have carpeting, be sure to vacuum regularly using slow passes to pick up as much debris as possible. High traffic areas might need daily vacuuming, but if time doesn’t allow for this, be sure to do it at least weekly.
Nothing is simpler than using a home steam carpet cleaner to kill germs and viruses. It provides thorough cleaning, so your carpets look great, and it also reduces the risk of your carpets staying damp. Unless someone in your family or who has visited your home is confirmed to have the virus, disinfecting your carpeting really isn’t necessary. If you are very nervous about COVID, either buy a carpet steam cleaner or rent one every month or so to provide peace of mind.
As you can see, maintaining a regular floor cleaning regime is an excellent way to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. However, if you feel the need, these disinfecting tips can help protect high traffic flooring, so your floors aren’t ruined post-COVID-19.
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