Although you use a cleaner to make your floors shine, it might seem as though they’re always sticky. That’s because the chemicals in your floor cleaner leave behind a residue. Not only does this residue make your floors sticky, it can also lead to a cloudy appearance and discoloration on wood floors. Fortunately, you can follow these steps to remove floor cleaner residue.
How Does Floor Cleaner Residue Occur?
Even though floor cleaners are supposed to make your floors clean, they can leave behind a residue that actually makes them sticky. This is the result of one of the three main ingredients in floor cleaners. Most cleaners contain water, solvents to cut through dirt, and surfactants to suspend dirt and make it easier to wipe away. These surfactants are what leave the residue on your floors. How sticky your floors get depend on how much surfactant the cleaner had to begin with. If you’re not diluting your floor cleaner properly, this is likely leading to very sticky floors.
Removing Residue With an Ammonia-Free Cleaner
While sticky floors are annoying, you have several options for how to remove the residue that’s causing the stickiness. The first option you can try is an ammonia-free cleaner like Windex. Spray a two-foot section of your floor and let the cleaner sit for about two minutes. Next, use a dish-scrubbing sponge to rub the section of the floor where you sprayed the cleaner. Immediately after scrubbing, use a clean and damp towel to wipe the area so the residue can’t dry on the floor. Finally, repeat this process on your entire wood floor to remove the rest of the cleaner residue.
Removing Residue From Laminate Floors
If you have residue on your laminate floors, soap or floor wax is one of the likely culprits. To cut through this residue, you’ll need an acidic cleanser. For difficult jobs, you’ll also need to use a detergent. To begin, make sure you thoroughly sweep the floor so you have no dirt left behind. Next, combine a gallon of warm water and a cup of white vinegar in a bucket and mix together.
Dip your mop into the bucket, wring it out, and mop your floor from end to end. You’ll also want to rinse the mop often to make sure you’re getting enough cleaner. Once you’re done cleaning, wipe the floor with a soft towel. To get the best results, stand on the towel and move your feet back and forth until you’ve dried the entire floor.
If the residue is still there after mopping with vinegar, add a drop of dishwashing soap to a non-abrasive sponge and scrub the floor. Rinse the sponge and reapply the soap as often as needed. Finally, mop the floor with vinegar again to remove the residue from the soap.
Don’t Use Dirty Water
Once you’ve removed the residue from your floor, you want to make sure it doesn’t start to build up again. The first way you can do this is by not using dirty water to clean your floor. While you might start out with clean water when you begin mopping, it can quickly get dirty as you go. Trying to use this dirty water to clean your floors will only make them sticky.
To avoid using dirty water, choose a mop bucket that keeps the clean and dirty water separate, or opt for an automatic scrubber that applies the cleaning solution, scrubs the floor, and vacuums up the dirty water.
Dilute Concentrated Cleaners
While it’s more economical to buy concentrated cleaning products instead of ready-to-use bottles, you need to properly dilute the concentrated cleaner in the bucket. Using a concentrated cleaning product without using enough water when diluting it won’t make it easier to clean your floors. Instead, it will only lead to big residue issues. Make sure you follow the directions and properly dilute your concentrated cleaning products.
Look for Residue-Free Floor Cleaners
Another easy way to make sure residue doesn’t accumulate on your floors again is to use a residue-free or low-residue cleaner. Unfortunately, not all residue-free cleaners are made the same. Even worse, some cleaners that claim they’re residue-free still leave behind a film. Fortunately, you can use an easy test to see just how much residue a cleaner will leave behind. Simply spray the cleaner on some glass and wipe it away. You’ll quickly be able to see if it leaves behind any residue.
While sticky floors are a frustrating problem, you can remove the residue left from floor cleaners with these cleaning tips.