Secrets to Maintaining High-end Finishes in Your Home
A beautifully designed home is every homeowner’s dream. Sleek marble or granite counters, shiny hardwood floors, spotless glass tables and polished wooden furniture – everyone would want to have those high-end finishes in their home. However, a scratched glass or granite surface, a damaged floor and stained marble floors are as ugly and unappealing as perfectly maintained surfaces are beautiful and fascinating.
Cleaning high-end finishes without damaging them is a delicate task, but it is an indelible part of house cleaning and it should be addressed regularly, even if you fear you might scratch or damage the finish. Don’t worry too much, as if you follow a few simple rules during your domestic cleaning routine, you can have clean and shiny high-end finishes without the fear of damage or scratches.
The Three Vital Parts of Cleaning High-End Finishes
As with every other home cleaning task, there are three vital components you have to get right for the safe and efficient cleaning of your high-end surfaces. These are:
• the cleaning product
• the cleaning tool
• the cleaning technique
Every surface on the list below has its specific requirements for these three elements and, as every professional house cleaner will tell you, the most important part of the job is to get those three right. Here’s how you should clean the different high-end finishes at your home.
Granite surfaces can most often be found in the kitchen and bathroom, in the form of countertops, floors and shower walls. Granite is a durable material that gives a luxurious feel to the room it is used in, but as durable as it may be, it can still be damaged by certain products.
The rule of thumb to follow when cleaning granite is to avoid using detergents with acidic properties, as they can eat through the stone and leave irreparable marks. It’s best to use a mixture of water, rubbing alcohol, mild soap and a few drops of essential oil when cleaning granite surfaces.
A microfiber cloth is the best tool to use for cleaning granite surfaces, but a sponge will do too, just make sure it is a non-scratching one.
Spray some of your cleaning product evenly on the surface; then wipe it off in an S-pattern. If there are any streaks left behind, buff the surface with a microfiber cloth.
Marble is another high-end stone often used in home interior, mainly for floors and counters. It can easily be stained by moisture, so it is recommended to use mats and coasters to prevent spills and staining. Marble is prone to scratching too, so debris and dirt have to be removed very carefully and as soon as possible.
As with granite, marble too cannot be cleaned with just any product. In most cases, wiping or mopping with water is enough to clean marble surfaces, but if you want a more thorough house clean, mix some dishwashing liquid or castile soap into water and use that solution.
The tools to use for cleaning marble are an angled nylon-bristled broom, a microfiber mop and a wringer bucket. For wiping marble counters during bathroom or kitchen cleaning, use a clean soft microfiber or cotton cloth.
Sweep marble floors before you mop them. After the wet mopping, follow up with dry mopping to buff the floor and absorb any moisture left behind. The same goes for counters – dry the surface with a soft cloth after wiping it.
Glass can be found in almost any room in the form of walls, tiles, mirrors, glass table tops, shelves, etc. Its sleek looks make it a much preferred choice in modern interior design, but it can make house cleaning a bit of a bother too. Scratching and accidental breaking are the most common problems to beware of when cleaning glass surfaces.
The best product for cleaning glass is undiluted white vinegar – it dissolves soap scum and mineral deposits and disinfects the surface too. Vinegar can cut through grease quite easily and will leave a streak-free finish.
Avoid anything that might scratch the glass. Soft microfiber and cotton cloths as well as a squeegee are the best tools for the job. In case you need to scrub the surface, use a brush with soft bristles or a sponge (non-scratching one).
Spray the product on the glass, let it sit for a while and then wipe it with your sponge or cloth in an S-pattern. After you’ve taken a shower, use a squeegee to remove water marks and prevent streaks on the glass.
Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any room. However, proper hardwood floor cleaning is a must, as the floor finish can easily get scratched and water can seep through the planks too, causing irreparable damage.
There are many specialised floor cleaning products you can use on hardwood, but you can easily prepare one at home too. Avoid products that contain oils, as they can leave a residue on your floor.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft-bristle attachment or a broom with soft bristles to collect the dirt before mopping your hardwood floor. A wringer bucket and a twist mop, preferably a microfiber one, should be used for the wet floor cleaning. Avoid steam mops, as they may damage the floor finish.
First, sweep or vacuum the floor to remove the debris and dust. Then, mop the surface with a well-wrung mop and let it dry. You can also dry mop the floor to get a shiny result faster.
As you can see, cleaning high-end finishes can be fairly easy, as long as you use the right home cleaning techniques and the right tools and products for every type of material. Stick to these guidelines and your domestic cleaning routine won’t damage your high-end finishes.