With Christmas just around the corner, Flooring Superstore investigated the recommended cleaning methods for different flooring types, based on eight potential scenarios of Christmas Day spills.
To gather expert insight, Flooring Superstore collaborated with Lisa Evans, spokesperson from MyJobQuote, and Henry Paterson, Senior Operations Executive at Housekeep – here’s the advice:
While a real Christmas tree is a lovely addition to any home during the festive season, it leaves you with a tedious and time-consuming clean-up due to fallen pine needles
- To clean up pine needles off a carpet, you should apply some dry foam carpet shampoo or hand sanitiser to the area and leave it overnight to loosen the sap adhesive. You should then brush it in the morning to lift up the needles then hoover them up. If there any needles left, you can use duct tape to collect any stragglers
- For real wood, laminate, or vinyl flooring, you should clean sap off with a simple solution of warm water, washing up liquid and a soft cloth. When wiping the floor, you need to make sure that the cloth is not soaking wet as this could lead to moisture damage. You can then sweep up or hoover the needles up, making sure you use a hose attachment to remove stubborn needles
If you have any glittery decorations on your tree or using glittery wrapping paper, it is very likely that the glitter will stick to the floor. Glitter flecks can be quite hard to remove, and tiny specks tend to be missed, especially when it is split on a carpet or hard floor.
- To remove glitter from your carpet, you should hoover up the glitter with a small shop vac attachment which will help you work deeper into the carpet fibres. For smaller areas, you can use the hose part of the vacuum without any attachments to pick up the smaller glitter pieces
- If you have any stubborn glitter which is stuck to vinyl, wood, or laminate floor, you should wet a cloth, then dab and wipe the glitter up using static electricity. You can also use a tape-based lint roller for any type of floor, which will enable you to remove leftover glitter
When wrapping presents or propping up a wreath, you will most likely use a lot of sticky tape. While this is an excellent material for keeping things wrapped and in place, it can be a nightmare to remove, especially on floor surfaces.
- For carpet, you should take a paint scraper or plastic knife and gently scrape it across the tape, making sure you avoid removing any carpet fibres. You should continue this process until the majority of the residue is removed. You can then apply WD-40 or a similar solvent to the area and begin the scraping method again until you have removed as much residue as possible. A carpet cleaner should then be added to the carpet and left to dry
- If you have any tape stuck on your vinyl, wood, or laminate flooring, then the best way to remove it is by placing a hairdryer over the tape on low heat and move it across the tape. The low heat will loosen the adhesive without causing any damage to the floor. After a few minutes, you should be able to slowly lift off the tape and use a soft cloth to clear off any leftover adhesive, then dry the area with a towel
White wine / prosecco
With all the excitement of Christmas, there is bound to be wine or prosecco spillages. If you or any of your guest spill white wine on the floor, then do not worry as there are plenty of cleaning solutions.
- For white wine or prosecco spillages on carpet, you should first try to blot the spillages as quickly as possible with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should then use a mixture of two cups of warm water, one tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of washing up liquid. You should then apply a little bit at a time and take a clean white cloth and use a sponging action on the stain until it starts to disappear
- While white wine does not tend to stain wood, vinyl, or laminate flooring, you should still clean it up quickly to avoid any moisture damage. It would be best if you soaked up the stain using a paper towel then wipe or mop up the excess with soapy water, although make sure you wring out the cloth or mop first
Red / mulled wine
One thing everyone dreads is red wine spillages, as they can be quite hard to remove. However, don’t panic when that happens during your Christmas celebrations, as there are plenty of ways to remove red or mulled wine.
- There are various ways to remove red wine stains from carpet, although the most popular involves applying and blotting WD-40 on to the carpet to remove the majority of the stain. You should then use a steam cleaner to remove the WD-40
- If you have spilt red wine on hardwood flooring, you should start by blotting the area with a damp cloth. If there is an evident red wine stain, then you should take some oil soap and mix it with water and dip a cloth into the mixture. To clean the stain, you should wring out the cloth and then scrub the area. You can use a similar method with laminate and vinyl flooring, however, make sure the water isn’t too hot as this can actually set stains
Another common Christmas spillage is gravy, which can be quite difficult to remove especially when it has been left, so it is essential that you use the right cleaning methods to ensure your flooring isn’t ruined.
- One of the best ways to remove gravy from carpet is by gently scraping the gravy. You should then apply a carpet stain remover followed by an absorbent which should be left to dry before wiping up the gravy
- For wood, laminate, or vinyl, you can use a simple solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water which should be applied to a cloth and wrung out before wiping up the spill. Once the gravy is cleaned up, you should dry the area thoroughly to avoid moisture issues
Mud and dirt
A walk on Christmas Day or Boxing Day is a lovely tradition for many but can lead to mud and dirt being trodden into the house on your return.
- Dirt can usually just be vacuumed up from carpet. Fresh mud should be allowed to dry if this is possible, as it’ll be much easier to vacuum up once it’s dried
- Real wood, vinyl, or laminate floors can usually just have dirt and mud wiped off with a slightly damp cloth or mop
Santa is likely to bring new toys to kids of all ages – however, some presents such as toy cars may lead to nasty scratched floors if you’re not careful.
- Whether they’re wood, laminate, or vinyl, you should conduct some proper research before attempting any fix yourself. After all, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up making the problem much worse. There are a number of possible fixes, ranging from inexpensive ones such as using a touch-up pen, to more expensive sanding & varnishing treatments. Which option is best for you will depend on your floor surface, the severity of the scratches, and where they are located. If you’re in doubt though, it’s probably worth getting a professional opinion
Henry also gave advice on which cleaning products to avoid using on specific flooring types:
“It’s important when cleaning any flooring to read the labels of your products to check they’re suitable and follow the instructions provided. For homemade remedies, such as bleach and water solutions, white vinegar, or isopropyl alcohol, do a quick online search to check that they’re suitable for your floors. You should also test any products or solutions on a discreet, inconspicuous area first, such as beneath furniture to ensure that it won’t damage your floors”.
He continued that
“for wood, vinyl and laminate surfaces, you should try to use as little moisture as possible to avoid any warping. You should wring your mop or cloth as much as possible – until it’s almost dry – before cleaning and run over with a dry mop or cloth afterwards to quickly dry the floor”.
Jessica Fox at Flooring Superstore, commented:
“As we enter the festive season, we looked into how to clean up eight potential Christmas Day spills from your floors. Our research highlights the importance of choosing the right type of flooring for your home. For example, high traffic areas may benefit from a low maintenance and hard-wearing flooring range such as EvoCore. It has multiple benefits when it comes to easy cleaning, so could be a great option to consider. It’s waterproof, scratch-resistant and easy to maintain; making it both practical and a stylish choice for any room in the house.”