The type of methods and cleaners employed to clean cork floor depends greatly on the type of finish the floor possesses. A cork floor with Polyurethane finish is cleaned using a dry mop or damp one. While cleaning a waxed finish floor, solvent wax in liquid form is often used in conjunction with a damp mop or a dry mop. For excessive cleaning, a method called electric buffing is carried out. Steel wool discs of type 00 are used for cleaning a waxed floor followed by the application of lamb wool pads. Nylon pads and sandpaper may also be employed for heavier cleaning and refinishing of a waxed floor. The sandpaper disc type should be 150 grits or 180 grits.
Cork Cleaning Methods and Tools
Cleaning a cork floor is relatively easy as compared to other floor types and need no special methods. The only necessary tools needed for cleaning a cork floor are sponge, a piece of cloth and a squeezed dust mop. Stains should be scrubbed gently using a mop moistened with a cleaner such as dishwashing liquid. The cleaner employed should be pH balanced, neither acidic nor alkaline in nature. Mild soaps serve the purpose well.
In order to remove more stubborn stains, mild detergents meant for hardwood floors can be used to treat cork floors, but not on frequent basis. Otherwise, only those cleaners should be used that are specially designed for the purpose of cleaning cork floors. Dirt should be cleaned immediately because it can create scratches on the cork surface. For this purpose, cleaning should be done on weekly basis.
Solvent-based cleaners are the ideal choice for these floors. The only kind of wax appropriate for cork floors is the one that is solvent-based. An electric buffer applies it. A solution of white vinegar in water can be employed as cork floor cleaner. The appropriate proportion of ingredients for this cleaner allows four volumes of water for one volume of vinegar.
Precautions Needed While Cleaning
Liquids should not be allowed to remain on the floor because it is likely to cause serious damage to the cork. Wet mopping is greatly discouraged for the same reason. Under no circumstances should the floor be flooded with water for cleaning. Care should be taken to absorb the spills immediately with the help of a paper towel to prevent the formation of permanent stains. Use of abrasive soaps should be avoided. While using commercial cleaners, labels should be carefully read and it should be made sure that all the instructions are completely followed.
Cleaners containing ammonia should not be used with cork floors. All strong and harsh chemicals and oils can damage and discolor the cork floor surface and hence should not be employed. If a vacuum cleaner has to be used, it should not be carrying a beater brush on it. Sharp cleaning tools should never be used with cork floors. Detergents and cleaners that are likely to deposit a film covering the floor surface should be avoided. Wax should not be employed for treating cork floors. A cork floor should not be washed within first five days of its installation.