It is important that you follow a few simple rules when cleaning cork flooring. Cork flooring can last several decades and can carry on looking and feeling great if you follow these rules.
The first rule is to never use excessive water when cleaning. Although cork has water resistance it will become damaged if standing water is left on cork flooring for any length of time. It is only necessary to wet clean cork flooring two or three times a month or when there is a stain. Never slop water on the flooring.
There are a number of cleaners that you can use. Washing up liquid, hand soap, or an all purpose cleaner are fine. If you are using a cleaning product check that it has an even pH. Many people still use vinegar and water mixed in a ratio of four parts water to one part vinegar. Use a clean mop or cloth. Dip it into the cleaning solution and then wring out before applying to the cork flooring.
It is important to remember when cleaning cork flooring that you are really cleaning the finish. The most common types of finish are polyurethane and wax and oil. In the case of polyurethane finish use a damp mop as described above. If your cork flooring has a wax and oil finish solvent wax is often used in a liquid form in conjunction with a damp mop or dry mop. If you are unsure about what type of finish your cork flooring has consult your supplier.
It is more important to dust mop cork flooring regularly. This stops the build-up of dust mite excrement that causes allergic rhinitis. It is also important to protect your flooring from particles of grit and dirt that find their way into the house from outside. Either use a dust mop or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
If you don’t dust mop frequently then particles will get trodden into the flooring damaging both the finish and the cork. It is a good idea to put mats by external doors to catch particles as they are entering the house. Shake these mats out twice a week. It is also a good idea to encourage people to remove their shoes near the entrance. This can be done by placing a shoe box near the door.
For excessive cleaning electric buffing is best. In this type of cleaning fine steel wool pads are used with an electric buffing machine followed by the application of lamb wool pads. After this procedure it might be necessary to re-apply a finish to the cork flooring.
Finally, whatever cleaner that you use read the label carefully. Ammonia based cleaning products are very bad for cork flooring. Mild detergents can be used but be careful. If you want to wax cork flooring use a solvent-based wax.
By following these guidelines you should be able to keep your cork flooring looking really clean and beautiful. By dust mopping regularly you will prolong the life of your flooring.