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3 Floor-Cleaning Myths Debunked

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Laura
05.28.13

Sometimes conventional wisdom checks out, but in matters of floor cleaning, some of those tips and tricks you’ve been told may actually be less-than-reliable. In fact, a little bit of research reveals that the quest for film-free wood or spotless carpet has inspired more rumors than a teen pop star!

You (and your floors) deserve the truth, so here are three common floor-cleaning myths debunked:

Myth #1: Vacuuming Takes a Toll on Carpet

Running a powerful machine across the carpet over and over may seem like a surefire way to damage its fibers, but don’t be fooled! As long as you raise your vacuum’s brush to its highest setting when tackling higher pile carpets, you’ll leave them unscathed while still eliminating the real threat: dirt.

Even if the whole “back-and-forth” movement doesn’t hurt your carpet, doing two to three passes to pick up all of the dirt can get pretty annoying. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to clean your vacuum or ­– if you have an older model ­– buy a new one. If you really hate multiple sweeps, BISSELL is known for their OnePass technology, which is supposed to pick up more dirt than other models. We haven’t tried it ourselves, but it sounds pretty interesting!

Myth #2: Wood Floors Need Wood Cleaner

It seems logical that cleaning your wood floor requires purchasing a specialty cleaner that’s designed for, well, wood. But actually, it’s the finish of the floor, not the wood type, ­that determines how you clean it.  Using a wood cleaner can result in an ugly film or, worse yet, damage to the finish. To be safe, always check with your floor’s manufacturer for a recommended cleaner.  Here are a few more general rules of thumb:

  • Surface-sealed wood floors: Most new floors will fall into this category, which includes sealing by urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic.  Because these floors are water- and stain-resistant, good ‘ole soap and water is the most effective cleaner.
  • Oil-sealed wood floors: When floors are oil sealed, it means they have an oil finish that soaks into the wood and hardens. To keep them in top notch shape, it’s best to clean them with a liquid or paste wax.
  • Varnished or lacquered wood floors: Though less common, lacquer and varnish are used on some floors. These should be treated similarly to oil-sealed floors and cleaned with gentle wax, since these finishes rarely resist moisture.

Myth #3: Vinegar Cleans Up Pet Accidents on Carpet

Don’t get us wrong ­ ­– vinegar is a marvel – but its cleaning power is no match for pet urine! The issue is twofold: 1) the stench of Fluffy’s business combined with vinegar’s natural funk can create a pungent aroma that will clear out any room. 2) Vinegar isn’t a particularly powerful disinfectant which, in matters of carpet-marking prevention, is important. (Otherwise, your pet may continue to visit the same spot in the future).

To break down urine and completely remove the smell, you need an enzyme-based cleaner. We like Nature’s Miracle because it does the job using natural enzymes without any harsh chemicals.

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