How to Disinfect Floors – Floor Cleaning Tips

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips
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Sweeping away dust, dirt, and hair is the first step in disinfecting any type of floor. Keep the appropriate mops on hand, along with a potent disinfectant.

A steam mop might be a good investment if you plan to regularly deep clean your entire house. Additionally, you can create your own solution at home by mixing bleach and water.

However, what about surfaces you don’t touch with your hands, like your floors? In some circumstances, it’s worth going the extra mile to stop the spread of pathogens that could make someone in your house ill—even if doing your due diligence means including the floor in your routine of disinfecting.

We’re here to offer some advice on maintaining clean and safe floors, from cleaning to disinfecting.

(Read More: 10 Best Mop For Laminate Floors – Best Ways to Clean)

Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips

Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: cleaning and disinfecting the floor are two very different processes with very different results. The act of cleaning is the removal of soil, which is any foreign, non-living particle, from the flooring material. Utilizing the four fundamental cleaning principles of chemical, heat, agitation, and time (CHAT) is required. Disinfection is the process of using chemicals to attack and eradicate bacteria and viruses. Do cleaning procedures kill some bacteria and viruses now? Does soil get cleaned up during disinfection processes? Yes, but you won’t have much success using a disinfectant to remove a grease stain from carpet. The only similarity between cleaning and disinfecting is the requirement for rinsing with both chemistries. Disinfectants, even if they are rinsed off the flooring material, happen very infrequently. So if it isn’t rinsed, that means it is still working. The flooring material may be damaged as a result, resulting in discoloration or yellowing.

How to Disinfect Your Floors

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips

Your strategy will ultimately depend on whether your home has carpets or a firmer surface like a hardwood or tile floor. If you fall into the latter category, your best bet would be to buy a steam mop, which can use heat powerful enough to kill bacteria; some models can get as high as over 200 degrees.

A regular mop and a potent cleaning solution will also work, but you’ll actually be wiping the bacteria away rather than disinfecting. Your home probably doesn’t see as many visitors these days as it did prior to the pandemic, which is okay. However, you might require the additional power provided by the steam mop if you have a large family or multiple roommates.

Should I Clean Or Disinfect My Floors?

One of the first things to note is there is a big difference between simply cleaning and disinfecting your home. Cleaning helps to remove germs but does not kill them, though this does lower the risk of spreading infection as it reduces the number of germs. Utilizing chemicals, disinfection eliminates germs on surfaces. To reduce the risk of spreading, it is always best to clean first and then disinfect because this does not always remove dirt or these germs. However, disinfecting requires specific products to complete effectively and these supplies might be hard to come by if you don’t already have them on hand. The good news is that you only need to clean (without disinfecting) to stop the spread of illness and keep everyone safe and healthy if no one is ill in your home. To maintain a healthy home, keep up with a daily cleaning schedule and adhere to the CDC’s best practices, such as frequent and thorough hand washing.

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips

Fortunately, thorough disinfecting is infrequently required when it comes to flooring. According to CDC studies, disinfecting floors has little effect beyond routine cleaning. We’ve included some disinfecting tips below anyway, but for the most part you don’t have to change your cleaning methods, though you may want to clean a little more frequently than usual.

What Flooring Material Are You Working On?

Carpet, tile, or stone make up the flooring? Is that which resembles stone resilient? Is the vinyl flooring you’re working on going to turn yellow as a result of the disinfectant? The disinfectant will remain on your skin if you don’t rinse it off. Would you like to disinfect the marble flooring in your lobby with a peroxide-based product? You shouldn’t because the peroxide’s acidity will etch the marble and leave permanent damage. How about the house’s back yard’s rubber tile flooring? Still intending to use that quaternary disinfectant with a 12.5 pH? Well, that high pH product will give the rubber a chemical burn, doing it permanent harm once more. The discoloration or appearance of soiling at the transition between two flooring materials is another frequent occurrence that we as manufacturers observe on construction sites. This occurs when a disinfectant is applied without rinsing it off and is then walked onto another surface. The stone to carpet transition outside of bathrooms is the most typical. Often the stone is disinfected with a quaternary ammonium compound and not rinsed leading to people tracking that chemistry all over the carpet. Reverse saponification is what creates the black or yellow traffic pattern, and to remove it requires specialized carpet cleaning chemistry and knowledgeable technicians.

There is a very fine line that you walk when it comes to using disinfecting chemistries. Although you might be lucky the first time, I can assure you that using the wrong product repeatedly on the wrong type of flooring will make you look foolish.

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips

Do We Even Need to Disinfect Our Flooring Materials?

Actually, we don’t—at least not in healthcare environments. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flooring materials in healthcare settings are considered “non-critical surfaces” and therefore can be maintained with routine scrubbing and mopping. This doesn’t apply to restaurants, shops, or other commercial settings, but it does demonstrate that the CDC does not believe that disinfecting floors is necessary in settings where there is a high risk of infection, such as healthcare facilities. Whether you disinfect the floor is up to you, the staff at your facility, or the end user.

Do you feel confident in your current procedure now that you have a better understanding of the distinction between cleaning and disinfecting, how some disinfectants may affect your flooring materials, what the manufacturers of flooring materials will tell you regarding disinfection, and what the CDC has to say about disinfecting flooring materials? Again, contact the manufacturer of the flooring material you intend to install by phone, email, or other means. Doing so could save you thousands of dollars and ensure that we don’t inadvertently cause damage that would necessitate replacing the flooring.

Disinfecting Hardwood Floors: Best Practices

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips

After a quick sweep, disinfect hardwood floors daily or weekly to ensure that your unwanted house guests—bacteria, germs, and fungus—have left. By placing mats in front of doors and taking off your shoes as soon as you enter the house, you can further prevent messes and germs from being brought into your house.

Working in small sections will help you disinfect hardwood floors more effectively and allow for quick rinsing. Additionally, while working, make sure the space is well-ventilated.

Before mopping the entire space, test a small, less noticeable area of the floor to see if a disinfecting product is safe for your hardwood floors. Additionally, always read the label of the cleaning product before using it to understand how to properly disinfect and how to use it.

To prevent injuries, take precautions against slipping and falling on wet floors and clean your floors when there is less traffic. Make sure to give floors plenty of time to dry after you’ve cleaned and disinfected them.

How to Disinfect Floors - Floor Cleaning Tips


Have you ever used a mop and hung it up without giving it a thorough cleaning? Yeah, us neither. It can be super tempting to just toss your mop back into the laundry room, garage, or wherever your cleaning products live when they’re not being used, but it’s important to clean those things and let them dry before their next use. We’re confident you’ll be happy you did it. The majority of mop strips and pads can be cleaned in a bucket using some bleach and warm water, then they can be wrung out to dry.


How Can I Disinfect My Floors Naturally?

The rubbing alcohol, for example, helps speed up evaporation time to avoid floor streaks and also helps both disinfect and degrease the floors, while dish soap will dissolve the bond between the dirt and floor while it degreases and cleans.

What is the Most Sanitary Way to Clean Floors?

Never use soap-based detergents as they can leave a dull film on the floor; instead, vacuum, dust, or wipe with a lightly dampened mop. Also, avoid overwetting the surface. The floor will become slick if you use wax polish. Use a water and vinegar solution that has been diluted to get rid of stains and marks.

How Can I Disinfect My Floor Without Bleach?

Most hard surfaces recommend a bleach solution for disinfecting, but often you’ll want to keep bleach and other harsh chemicals away from your flooring. Instead, you can clean laminate and vinyl floors by scrubbing them with a solution made of one cup of white vinegar and one gallon of warm water.

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