What it Takes to Tackle Dirt and Dust

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By Swiffer

If not properly cleaned up, dirt and dust can greatly reduce the shine and beauty of your client’s wood floors and could eventually result in discoloration and scratching. And while there are a lot of ways to remove dirt and dust, some of the more conventional methods are not always the best.

Sweeping Evolution
For many of your clients, a standard broom is the first thing they think of when it comes to cleaning floors. However, on wood floors brooms may not be the best option. They do a decent job of collecting larger particles of dirt and dust, but smaller particles escape through the bristles or are kicked up into the air, eluding the cleaning process entirely. It is these smaller particles that are the biggest problem because they become tacked down and worked into the wood grain, compromising the finish and potentially leading to long-term damage. Fortunately, cleaning methods have come a long way. Newer innovations, like dry-cleaning cloths, trap and lock the tiny particles that brooms miss. There are many different types available, but the best designs are equipped with deep ridges to pick up the large particles, along with a sheer coating to make smaller particles stick to the surface, resulting in a much more thorough and effective clean.

The Importance of Damp Mopping
Dry cleaning is a must for keeping floors free of damaging dirt and dust particles. But because floors are constantly subjected to moisture through humidity in the air and liquids being spilled, some particles will become tacked down before they can be picked up using dry-cleaning methods. That is why occasional damp mopping is recommended. Liquid cleaning agents will penetrate tacked-down dirt and dust, lifting them from the surface before they can become deeply embedded into the grain or finish.

Here are some important things for your clients to consider when damp mopping their floors:

Always Use Water-Based Floor Cleaners—These products are strong enough to remove tacked-down dirt and dust, but, because they are water-based, they won’t damage sensitive wood surfaces. In addition, they are designed to dry quickly so there is little or no seepage into cracks and crevices, which can later cause cracking and splitting.

Invest in a High-Quality Spray Mop – These devices work well because they
feature a built-in sprayer to evenly distribute cleaning solutions across the surface. This allows for a more uniform clean with less streaking and helps reveal your floor’s natural shine.

Use Super-Absorbent Cleaning Pads – Much like dry-cleaning cloths, these damp mop pads are designed to absorb dirt and grime effectively, so none of the mess is left behind or spread around. There are two types of super-absorbent cleaning pads that are commonly used – microfiber pads and disposable pads.

Microfiber pads have a lot of initial appeal because they can be washed and reused multiple times. However, after repeat use, insoluble dirt and particles can get trapped inside the fibers, creating the potential for scratches on floors. They can also be a hygiene risk if they are not properly handled after cleaning, and they can be a source for malodors if they are put in the washing machine and washed with clothing.

Disposable pads have all the super-absorbent capability of reusable pads without any of the after-cleaning concerns – no hygiene risks; malodor washing machine risks; and, most important, no risk of scratching upon repeat use if dirt becomes stuck in the pad. Once you are done mopping, you simply remove the pad and throw it away.

Cleaning Watch-Outs
You can’t stress enough to your clients how important regular dry and damp cleaning is for maintaining the beauty of their wood floors. Here are a few things to avoid:

Never Damp Clean Without Dry Cleaning First – While your clients might save time by skipping the sweeping and going right to the mopping stage, all of the dust and dirt will just turn into a wet mess, resulting in a dull and streaky finish.

Cleaning with a Traditional String Mop and Bucket – This method puts too much water onto the wood surface, risking the potential for moisture to penetrate through the seams into the deeper layers of the flooring, causing damage.

Using Vinegar and Water – It might be a favorite home remedy for squeaky-clean floors, but vinegar is an acid. And even though it is diluted with water, when it’s used on sensitive wood surfaces, it can damage the finish.

Using Waxes, Oils, and Other Protective Products – Many of these products should not be recommended to your clients because much of today’s wood flooring is engineered with a factory finish, and applying them will only leave a sticky surface that attracts dirt. Furthermore, if the products are used incorrectly, they can cause issues down the road, especially when it comes to refinishing or adding a new topcoat.

When it comes to home ownership, maintaining and caring for wood floors is one of many things on your client’s to-do list. That is why helpful tips like these are so important. Not only do they save time, they lead to beautiful results, making your clients feel good about their investment and even better about whom they chose to install them.

This article was provided by Swiffer®. To learn more about Swiffer products, visit swiffer.com. ©2017 P&G

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