Maintaining and Cleaning Your Cork Flooring
Caring for cork flooring is essential to preserve its beauty and longevity. Unlike some misconceptions, traditional cleaning methods like using oil-based products or soaps can actually harm your cork flooring and void your warranty. Here, we’ll guide you through the proper cleaning methods based on the type of finish your cork floor has.
1. Modern Cork Finishes: Water-Based and Solvent/Oil-Based
Most cork floors today come with finishes similar to those used on hardwood floors. These finishes generally fall into two categories: water-based and solvent/oil-based. Both require similar cleaning techniques.
Sweep or Vacuum: Begin your cleaning routine by removing loose dirt and debris from your cork floor using a broom or vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
Damp Mopping: Gently dampen your mop with water (use a microfiber mop head) – avoid spraying water directly onto the floor.
Deeper cleaning, occasionally damp mop your cork floor using a pH-neutral wood floor cleaner. Make sure to follow the cleaner’s instructions carefully.
Why pH-Neutral Cleaners: These cleaners are chemically balanced, meaning they’re neither too acidic nor too alkaline. They contain low levels of surfactants, which are responsible for creating bubbles in soap. Surfactants can leave residues on your floor as the water evaporates, potentially causing issues in the long run.
2. Cork Floors with Wax Finishes
If your cork flooring has a wax finish, it requires special care and maintenance.
- Regular Waxing: Cork floors with hard or hot wax finishes are highly durable and resistant to scratches. However, they need to be waxed approximately every six months in low-traffic areas and more frequently in high-traffic spaces. For instance, a hospital or retail store might require waxing every three months. This wax layer helps protect the finish from wearing down.
Important Note: Neglecting to refresh the wax layer can result in premature wear and tear of the finish. If you have a busy household and find it challenging to wax your cork floor regularly, you might want to consider a different finish type.
Avoid Traditional Soaps: Regardless of the finish, it’s crucial to steer clear of traditional soaps and oil-based cleaning products. These can harm your cork flooring and decrease its lifespan.
By following these maintenance tips tailored to your cork floor’s finish, you can ensure that your floor remains beautiful and in excellent condition for years to come. Proper care will not only enhance its longevity but also preserve your warranty, allowing you to enjoy the unique beauty of cork in your home.