So I'm in the flooring business. I also write a blog. About flooring (duh).

One pointer I got when starting this blog is to not do the "Pet Peeve" post. Sure, it's easy and satisfying, but the person reading your post might Also be guilty of doing the stuff you are righteously smashing- not the greatest method for building an audience. This is sound advice, and two years and fourteen posts later, I have kept it.

Well that's that, I'm over it. I gotta get something off my chest. Every day we get customers in our store looking to replace their flooring. It is our job to give them a run down of the features, advantages, and benefits of a variety of types of flooring choices. Invariably there is one type of flooring or another that draws their ire - "NO!! Not THAT floor, never again!" "But Madam I really think that-" "NO! I used to have (insert flooring type here) and I could never keep it clean. I would (wash,scrub, shampoo, etc.) it until I was BLUE IN THE FACE and it would never stay clean for more than an afternoon! I will never have (insert flooring type here) Again!" (ahem) I wish there was an easy way of putting this...

This is your fault. Seriously.

Okay, look- there are real and concrete reasons as to why your (tile, carpet, laminate, etc.) wouldn't stay clean, and almost all of the time the reason is you. Why? (Me nervously looking over my shoulder) okay look, I' m gonna tell you, but you gotta keep it on the DL. Seriously, I don't need those guys breathing down my neck, you know... Big Soap

If I end up dead in a vat of Ivory you all will at least know what the real truth is... Soap isn't always the best way to clean something. There, I said it. Believe it or not, one of the main ingredients in soap is oil- just a type that is easily rinsed. The oil loosens and emulsifies the soil and carries it away in the rinse. The problem comes when we use too much soap, and then we do a crummy job of rinsing the soap off of the floor and a soap residue is left on the floor. After doing this routinely over a period of time your floor becomes coated in an oily, waxy, and very Sticky coating of soap. This gummy coating then grabs onto every bit of dirt and grime that comes it's way, making the floor appear dirty like five minutes after you cleaned it. So what do you do? You clean it again....with more soap. Yep. Next thing you know you are in my store looking at replacement flooring vowing "Never again will I ever buy (insert flooring choice here)!!"

So here are some friendly tips for you to keep those floors looking awesome:

Tile: think of tile like a dinner plate - it has a hard coating of glaze that is fired in a kiln and is permanently bonded to the clay body of the tile. The end result is something that is pretty difficult to stain, and can come clean pretty easily. I will qualify this by saying that our market has been flooded with very inexpensive and poorly manufactured tile that may come with an inferior glaze coating and may be more porous and prone to soiling. When considering this tile for purchase please remember this simple rule of thumb - tile that costs .59 cents will perform like tile that costs .59 cents.....your fault mind you.... Anyway, tile needs the least amount of soap to come clean, in fact we think a solution of hot water and vinegar is an excellent way to clean tile without leaving any residue. Another option is a tile specific spray and a microfiber mop, we recommend the Bona brand found at most hardware stores. What do you do if there is already a soap residue on the floor? Call a professional tile cleaner. You want it done right don't you?

Hardwood and laminate - same idea, except skip the water part. Use a dry swiffer or microfiber for daily cleaning, and when you need to clean something sticky use ONLY a light misting of a wood/laminate cleaner (we like Bona for this too) onto a microfiber mop head and apply only enough so that it evaporates very quickly. Existing soap residue residue on this type of floor? Yep, call a professional. Do not attempt to apply a stripping agent and expect good things to happen. Bad things will happen. Seriously don't.

Carpet - with carpet soiling I'm going to do this in bold and italic -hire a professional!. We're all guilty of it, we wanted to save money so we rented that machine from the grocery store and used the soap they sell with it (too much most likely) and our arms got tired half way through and we kinda maybe rushed it....and a month later the carpet looks worse than it did initially plus your dog won't stop licking the carpet because he is a weirdo and likes the taste of soap....lets all agree right now to just not be this person ever again.

The good news is that carpet has made massive leaps forward in technology and there are a variety of brands out there that offer a virtually stain proof carpet. For real - Check this out If it can withstand an elephants cage for a couple of weeks I think it can handle your teenager...maybe.

But how do you find a non-shady cleaning company? Rule #1 is ignore the guy who has to advertise. A good cleaner won't need to advertise, he will have all the business he can handle from referrals - and that is how to find him. Ask your neighbor, ask your co- workers, get a few names and then google them. Check them out on Angie's list and Better Business bureau and follow these two rules - make sure they have been in business for at least ten years, and use somebody who carries a Carpet and Rug Institute seal of approval (click on the cleaning and maintenance tab)

That's it for now, thanks I feel much better. As much as I don't want to make this blog into a "all about cleaning" blog, I am hopeful it helped some, or perhaps causes others to post a question or two, I would be happy to help if I can.