8 Floor Cleaning Tips For Seniors

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Keeping the floors in your home clean is one of the most difficult household tasks there is. What may seem like a simple household chore to most, can be back-aching work for seniors and aging adults. Sweeping, mopping and carrying around a bucket of water all become more and more difficult as we age. Here are some easier ways for seniors to keep their floors sparkling clean.

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Here are my 8 floor cleaning tips for seniors that are guaranteed to make the task much easier for aging adults.

1. Prevention Is Better Than Cleaning

Keeping your floors from getting dirty in the first place is the best way to avoid having to clean them. There are a few ways you can accomplish this.

Lose the Shoes

Take your shoes off before entering your home and wear socks or soft slippers instead. There are even special socks or slippers available that are designed to clean your floors as you move through your home. Don’t feel embarrassed about asking visitors to your home to do the same.

Block the Drafts

Install draft excluders on your entrance doors. This will prevent dust and debris from blowing in under the doors. Place doormats outside your entrance doors that are specifically designed to trap dirt. Remember to give them a good beating every now and then to get rid of the trapped dirt. You can also use area rugs or runners to protect your floors and carpets from getting dirty. The type that you can throw into a washing machine are ideal.

Clean Spills Immediately

If you spill something on the floor, clean it immediately. It is easy to sweep up or clean a mess after it has just occurred. If you leave it, a wet mess is going to get sticky, dry out and spread making it far more difficult to clean. Dry messes will also spread instead of easily being sucked up with a vacuum or swept into a scoop.

2. Make the Switch to Microfiber

Microfiber sweepers and mops are designed to make the task of cleaning floors easier. The tiny fibers sweep and rub off dirt much faster and more effectively than a traditional mop or broom. If you suffer from back and joint pain, opt for longer handle sweepers and mops that will prevent you from having to bend and will reduce the amount of movement you need to do when cleaning floors.

3. Let The Detergent Do The Work

A mistake that most people make when cleaning their floors is manually trying to remove dirt from floors. This makes the task much harder. Your detergent is supposed to clean your floors – not elbow grease.

So, wet your floors with diluted detergent and allow it to work for a few minutes – about 5 to 10 minutes should be sufficient. The detergent will loosen the dirt which means that you won’t have to go over the same area repeatedly to or apply more pressure to try and get those floors clean.

4. Vacuum Instead Of Sweeping

A vacuum cleaner is not only designed for carpets. It is ideal for sucking up loose dust, dirt and debris from all types of hard surface floors too. Seniors should opt for lightweight upright vacuum cleaners. These are far easier to use and will place much less strain on joints and your back.

You will find that vacuuming will also take far less time than sweeping and of course, it will do a far better job of removing the dirt. Plus, it doesn’t simply swirl the dust back into the air (like sweeping does) where it will land on floors and other surfaces giving you even more cleaning to do.

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5. Take One Room At A Time

You don’t have to wash your floors everyday to keep them clean and hygienic. It’s best to clean the floors in just one room every day. This makes the task far more manageable. Depending on how much traffic a specific room gets, it may need to be cleaned more often.

For example, your kitchen and bathroom floors are going to require more regular cleaning than the bedroom. Vacuuming your bedroom just once a week should be sufficient whereas the floors in the kitchen, bathrooms and hallways will probably need to be cleaned every 2 to 3 days. So schedule your bedroom, sitting room and other areas to be cleaned the day after cleaning your kitchen or bathroom.

6. Kick The Bucket

Dilute your floor cleaning detergent in water and pour into a spray bottle instead of a bucket. Lugging that bucket around is going to be painful and difficult. Plus, you are only going to end up with a bucket of dirty water. Spraying the detergent on the floor and then mopping is much easier and more effective.

Remember to let your detergent work for a few minutes before mopping. You can follow the same process to rinse floors by using clean water in a senior-friendly spray bottle. Rinse your mop in your kitchen sink instead of a bucket under running water. This is far more effective at cleaning your mop plus you don’t have bend down to reach a bucket on the floor.

7. Let It Dry

To prevent falls, you need to let your floors dry properly before walking on them. Use less water and detergent to wash the floors so that they dry much faster. Using the spray bottle technique described above is the ideal way to ensure that your floors dry really fast. A wet floor is going to attract and hold the dirt. A dry floor is far easier to keep clean and also doesn’t present a slip and fall hazard.

8. Get Help

If you are really struggling to keep your floors clean, ask for help! Even if a friend or family member can pop-in just once a week, it can be extremely helpful and go a long way to keeping your home clean and hygienic.

You can also opt to have a home care assistant come in and help you with the floors and your other household chores. Getting someone else to do the heavy lifting and the hard labor is by far the easiest and most effective way to keep your floors clean.

Do you know of other ways to make floor cleaning easier for seniors? Tell us about in the comments below!

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