Expert Shares the Best Tips for Cleaning Wood Floors and Carpets

Erin Browne
  • Fiona Mills is a former hoarding technician and current franchise business coach at Spaulding Decon. 
  • Mills, 32, shared advice for cleaning wood floors and carpets. 
  • A combination of baking soda and olive oil can help remove scratches from wood floors. 

Carpets and hardwood floors can accumulate a lot of dirt, so giving them a proper clean is necessary. 

According to Fiona Mills, a current franchise business coach at Spaulding Decon, carpets should be cleaned at least once a year. 

“You should have your carpets cleaned every six months if there is high traffic or pets in the home, but at the longest once a year.” Mills, 32, said. “Hardwood floors are good to clean every other month or quarterly throughout the year.”

Mills told Insider tips for cleaning wood floors and carpets. She previously shared cleaning hacks for a spotless house, bathroom cleaning tips, advice about garbage disposals and pipes, removing odors, and her go-to cleaning products.  

Table salt can help remove stains from wood floors 

Open-floor kitchen with wooden table

Table salt is a common ingredients that can remove stains from wood floors.

Neil Podoll/Shutterstock

Mills told Insider that table salt and a baking soda paste is one way to remove stains from wood floors. 

“Pour a generous amount of salt over the stain and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. The salt will absorb a majority of the stain,” Mills said. “Remove the salt and use baking soda mixed with lemon oil as a paste, then rub into the stain until it is gone.” 

Mills also said people can use white vinegar on a paper towel to absorb stains. A high concentration of hydrogen peroxide can bleach wood floors or dark-colored carpets. 

Rubbing alcohol can tackle paint and marker stains in carpets, while people can remove red wine stains with a splash of white wine 

Spilled red wine on a white carpet.

Mills said white wine can help remove red wine stains.

Tetra Images/Getty Images

Mills said Shout Stain Removers are good for carpet stains, but people can also use rubbing alcohol as a cost-effective alternative to getting rid of marker or paint stains. 

Also, Mills suggested people counter pesky red wine stains by using white wine. Bob Vila’s official website explained that white wine can dilute the red wine concentration much like cold water.

A combination of baking soda and olive oil may also make wood floor scratches disappear

A bedroom with an open-floor concept, hardwood floors, and hanging light fixture.

Baking soda mixed with olive oil can help fix scratches on wood floors.

Martin Deja/Getty Images

“Deep scratches on wood floors is something I am personally dealing with due to my out-of-control giant puppy,” Mills said. She suggested people apply baking soda and a few drops of olive oil onto the scratched area.

“Wait about 5 minutes and buff out gently using a sponge, then clean with a damp cloth,” Mills said, adding that Bona Floor Cleaner can also work. 

Use mineral oil on light water stains when it comes to wood floors

A young person's bedroom.

Mills said mineral oil can help remove light water stains.

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Some wood floor damage needs to be removed and replaced, but there are some solutions for light water stains and dark water stains. Light water stains refer to water damage that only affects the wood’s finish or the surface layer. Dark water stains happen when light water stains go untreated and seep deeper into the wood, where it may start growing mold.  

Mills said to rub mineral oil into a light water stain and let it sit for 24 hours, or rub lemon oil into the light water stain. 

“If the wood is faded from age and high traffic, then sand, buff, and refinish is best,” Mills said. 

For dark water stains, Mills said to buff — or sand — the affected area and then vacuum. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, then soak the stain for 10 minutes with a cloth. Allow for the area to dry, then refinish.

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