Hard Floor Cleaning London
It’s been said by more than one person that if the floor is clean, the rest of the room looks clean but if the floor is dirty, the rest of the room looks neglected and uncared for. Thanks to gravity, debris and dirt fall down (duh!) and there’s no place that’s further down than the floor. The floor also ends up being the receiver for most spills. Then you’ve got the whole shoe thing: shoes don’t just bring in dirt and debris from outside but they also make scuff marks on certain types of hard floors. What with all these factors, it’s not long before the floor looks dirty.
This is why, throughout the ages, cleaning the floor has been almost a symbol of housework, from the broom being the emblem of Saint Martha, patron saint of domestic cleaners (professional cleaners get their own saint!) through to sailors being ordered to swab the deck. Yes, that clichéd order from storybook sailing ship captains was an order to get down on hands and knees and clean off the mess with a damp cloth… which is what swabbing means. Even today, the main tools used by janitors are to do with cleaning floors: brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners and floor buffing machines.
Why Do You Need To Clean Hard Floors?
So why do we bother cleaning hard floors? Hard floors made from wood, concrete or vinyl are hard, so it’s not as if grit and dirt wear out the floor the way they do with carpets, is it…. or is it? Actually, dirt and grit do wear out the surface of a hard floor over time, so this is a good reason for cleaning a hard floor.
However, long before your lino or parquet floor shows signs of wear thanks to grit particles, you’ll need to ensure that it’s clean for a number of other reasons, such as the following:
· A clean floor looks better!
· Sweeping removes dust and debris that can become a hazard as well as an asthma trigger.
· Mopping removes wet stains and spills that can make a floor hazardous to walk on. The thing with hard floors is that they’re slippery when wet and unforgiving if you fall onto them.
· Polishing applies a protective layer to a floor surface, making it last longer.
· It’s more hygienic, especially in food preparation areas and in toilet and bathroom areas.
· Floors in specialised areas need to have the right sort of grip for hard activity to be safe and more fun – think of dance floors or basketball courts.
Hard Floor Cleaning Basics
Although hard floors may all seem the same, they aren’t. You probably already know that they feel different and look different. It makes sense that a cleaner needs to use different methods for different types of hard floor finish. For example, anything slightly acidic is hell on granite and marble floors, but it won’t hurt wood or cork. Wet mopping works well for vinyl and lino but will ruin the finish of a shellacked wooden floor. This is why Anyclean has a team of hard floor cleaning specialists – it’s not a simple job!
The first step with cleaning any hard floor of any type is the same, however. This first step involves sweeping or vacuuming to remove the dust and loose debris. This step should never be skipped, as dust and fluff will be spread by mopping and polishing and made worse, not better. Either sweeping or vacuuming will work perfectly well for removing dust from a hard floor, although you have to make sure that you have a vacuum cleaner head that’s designed for hard floors if that’s your preference, or a dustpan and small brush for scooping up the collected dirt and dust otherwise.
Different Hard Floor Cleaning Methods
Here are a few of the methods that Anyclean uses to deep clean and maintain clients' hard floors.
This is a time-honoured method of washing a hard floor, and it’s great if you need to sanitise a bathroom floor or to remove sticky spills that have dried on. This usually involves a bucket of warm water and a mop if the floor to be cleaned is small (think domestic cleaning). Detergent of some type is often added to the water and a bit of disinfectant doesn’t go amiss in bathrooms. The secrets to effective mopping is not to use too much of your chosen floor cleaning product (and you have to make sure you use the right sort), to squeeze the mop out thoroughly rather than applying it dripping, and to go over the floor a second time to rinse off residues. A professional cleaner will often have two buckets on his/her janitor cart– one for fresh clean water and the other for rising off the mop once it’s collected the dirt. In commercial cleaning situations where mopping is involved, one of those “Caution – Wet Floor” signs is a must so people know to watch their footing, as floors always take a bit of time to dry.
Using a microfibre mop head means that less water needs to be used to clean your hard floors, along with less cleaning product – and less floor cleaning product means fewer toxins in your home and no residues left on the floor. This is why they’re very popular with commercial cleaners.
Mopping can also be done with a steam mop. Steam mops use heat to kill bacteria rather than disinfectant products, which is better for the environment and for the level of toxins in your home or workplace. They also use less water to remove dirt, which reduces tripping and slipping hazards. Steam mops also kill dust mites, which is good news for allergy sufferers. They’re probably best in the hands of a professional cleaner, as they can be hazardous to use if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if you have small children or pets about because of the high temperatures involved. If the steam’s hot enough to kill germs, it’s hot enough to burn you!
Gone are the days when a charlady, housekeeper or maid would be done on her (or, very seldom, his) knees to scrub the floor. These days, especially in office cleaning situations where lots of floors need to be cleaned in a short time, machines are the order of the day. Floor scrubbing machines come in a range of sizes, including ride-on types and pushed types, but they all work in the same basic way. A floor scrubbing machine usually has a disk or cylindrical scrubbing head that actually does the dirty work, a sprayer for applying water plus the floor cleaning product to loosen the dirt, and a vacuum to collect all the water and debris at the end. Their only downside is their inability to get into tight corners – but they make very light work of large expanses of hard floor.
In the case of tight corners where a scrubbing machine can’t fit, a professional cleaner will rely on the mop or, depending on the size of the area, the good old scrubbing brush.
Floor Buffing And Polishing
These heavy-duty cleaning machines have been around for longer than you might think, possibly pre-dating the vacuum cleaner. The job of a buffing machine is to whip up ingrained dirt and to apply a layer of polish – and then to buff the polish to a nice smooth finish. They’re perfect for wood, marble, tiles, vinyl and linoleum, although you have to match the right sort of polish to the surface. Like floor scrubbers, they come in large and small versions, with the smaller versions being used for domestic cleaning (or for small office spaces) and larger ones being used in commercial cleaning situations. Polishing and buffing is the best method of removing scuff marks left by shoes and drag marks left after moving furniture.
Hard floor cleaning is hard work – we’ll admit that. Doing it properly also involves special tools, so save yourself a world of hassle and bother, and contact Anyclean’s hard floor cleaning services if you have a dirty ifloor that needs cleaning.