How to Clean Cork Flooring

corkflooring

Liga asked: How do I safely clean a cork floor? I just got a gorgeous cork floor installed in my bathroom. I don’t really know how best to clean it. I’ve been told that even using a damp mop should be avoided.

Cork flooring offers a versatile look, but requires special care to keep it looking its best. The cleaning procedures used will depend on whether the cork is sealed or not. Sealed cork can tolerate much more moisture and some chemical cleaners without becoming damaged. Unsealed cork is much more difficult to care for. Cork is porous and will quickly absorb any cleaners and moisture if it is not properly sealed. Follow these guidelines to clean your cork floor safely.

You Will Need:

  • Neutral chemical cleaner
  • Water
  • Soft cloths
  • Foam rubber sponges
  • Mop

Steps to Clean Cork Flooring:

If the floor is sealed and can tolerate moisture:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water.
  2. Add the appropriate amount of a neutral chemical cleaner. These cleaners are neither acidic nor basic, so there will be no damage to the sealant.
  3. Moisten the mop with the mixture and wring it out completely. Even though the flooring is sealed, minimal moisture is still recommended.
  4. Mop the area as normal.
  5. Dry with a soft cloth or allow the area to air-dry.

For flooring that is not sealed:

  1. It is best to clean it without any water or cleaners.
  2. Use a foam rubber sponge to rub over the dirty areas to remove the dirt and dust.
  3. If there are soiled areas, blot the area with a cloth that has been moistened with water.
  4. Follow this with a dry cloth to blot up any remaining moisture.
  5. Allow the area to air dry completely.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Unsealed cork flooring should be cleaned thoroughly and then sealed with an approved sealant to help with future cleanings.
  • Do not use any harsh chemicals such as bleach on cork flooring. This porous material will quickly absorb the chemicals and can become damaged.

Comments

  1. Marilyn says:

    I have a new cork floor in my kitchen and have been told to clean it with a mild detergent, but what is a mild detergent? You suggest a neutral chemical cleaner. What is that? According to the label, Murphy Oil Soap contains no oils and leaves no residue. Would that be good to use?

  2. Jim says:

    First, I did not see an answer to the question from:
    Marilyn (January 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm), which says:

    “I have a new cork floor in my kitchen and have been told to clean it with a mild detergent, but what is a mild detergent? You suggest a neutral chemical cleaner. What is that? According to the label, Murphy’s Oil Soap contains no oils and leaves no residue. Would that be good to use?”

    My question:

    Can I use one of those new steam mops on a cork floor?

    I’m looking to clean the floor today.

    God Bless, Jim

  3. Rebecca says:

    This is exactly what I have been looking for, in simple English terms. Thanks! Also, I was hoping you would have an online newsletter I could sign up for. Do you? Please let me know ASAP, and thanks again! :)

  4. Daxa says:

    Can I use a steam mop to clean cork flooring? You suggest a neutral chemical cleaner – what is that? Where can I get some?

  5. Sue says:

    Can I use a steam cleaner on a cork floor? I pulled up the old linoleum in the kitchen and found that the cork needs a good polish. Any ideas?

  6. Cande says:

    Can you machine scrub a cork floor?

  7. Jane says:

    I would also like to know if I can use a steam mop on my cork tiles; they have a good seal on them.

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