Pleasant warmth and a natural ambience thanks to clean cork floors – it was not without reason that cork floors were very popular in the 1970s. After being asleep for more than 20 years, they are modern and popular again today. Above all, their scent and their natural ambience create a cozy feeling of well-being. However, the cork floor needs special care so that it retains its pleasant properties for a long time. Read everything you need to know about caring for a cork floor here.
Eco-friendly, soft and warm
Cork is obtained from the bark of the cork oak. It is a natural, renewable raw material that is considered a particularly ecological floor covering. This makes cork flooring a very popular floor covering in shops, offices and private homes today.
Would you like to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of cork flooring? Here you can find more information about cork laminate and flooring: pros and cons of cork flooring
Cork is not just cork. Manufacturers today offer a wide range of colors, structures and textures. What they all have in common is the pleasant, warm and soft surface. It springs back slightly when you step on it. Since cork is a very good insulating material, this material always feels warm to the touch. Despite its softness, cork is surprisingly strong and resilient. However, since cork is quite expensive, regular and sufficiently intensive care is worthwhile.
Clean the cork floor properly
To clean a cork floor you will need:
- Soft broom (not a street broom)
- Vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
- microfiber wiper
- 10 liter bucket of water
- Special cork cleaner (approx. 9 euros per bottle) for sealed cork floors
- Wooden floor soap (approx. 25 euros per 3 liter bottle) for oiled, unsealed cork floors
1. Sweeping and vacuuming
Coarse dirt is first removed from the floor by sweeping and then fine dust is removed by vacuuming. Adhering dirt should be moistened. Never try to loosen the adhesions with measuring or spatulas! This will damage the surface. It is important that the soft brush is put on or folded out when vacuuming. A “naked” vacuum cleaner quickly causes scratches if foreign objects have become lodged between the suction head and the floor.
2. Wet thorough cleaning
In order to clean a cork floor, you should always distance yourself from the “a lot helps a lot” thought. Cork floors must not be wiped too wet, but only with a damp cloth. A cork floor that is too wet will soak up water and create waves and bubbles. In addition, underflowing water can cause mold to form. Cork click panels are known for their open joints, through which excess water can easily penetrate.
Ideally, the mop or cleaning cloth should be wrung out until it is just damp but no longer dripping. When wiping, no puddles should remain, just a quickly evaporating film of moisture. If water does collect, you can use a dry kitchen towel to absorb the excess moisture. Microfiber cloths are best suited for cork floors. They don’t soak themselves so much that they soak the floor. In addition, the microfibers have a particularly high cleaning performance.
When wiping with a damp cloth, not only water but also the cleaning agent should be used sparingly. The cleaning agent can leave a soapy film if overdosed. The fine dust collects on this and darkens the floor more and more. Damp basic cleaning should be carried out once a week. If you want to be on the safe side, use vinegar instead of soapy cleaning agents. To do this, mix half a cup of vinegar (no vinegar essence!) with about 8 liters of warm water. With this they have put together a cleaning mixture that is ideal for cork floors and does not require soap.
3. Refresher with special agents
The cork floor needs a refreshment every three months. A pre-treatment with a neutral cleaning agent is ideal for this. Cork is equally sensitive to acids and bases. At €1.70 per liter bottle, a neutral cleaner is not too expensive either. Oiled floors are then cleaned with the wooden floor soap. Sealed floors need the special cleaner for cork floors. Please do not confuse! Test the effectiveness of the cleaner on an inconspicuous area. Only when you are sure that the cleaner does not react with the cork floor do you treat the entire surface. Without a test, for example under cabinets, you can easily ruin your whole floor.
4. Let the cork floor dry
Even if the cork floor was only wiped with a damp cloth, we recommend wiping it dry afterwards. This prevents water from seeping under the floor. Water stains can be treated with wood floor soap or a special cleaner. The cork floor does not need to be supported by excessive heat when drying. This can cause the soil to dry out, making it porous and cracked. A thorough dry wiping followed by normal air drying is usually sufficient for cork floors.
Except for a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, cork floors should not be machined. They can only be sanded down or polished to a limited extent. The use of a steam cleaner is also fatal. The natural material cannot cope with the supply of high pressure from superheated steam. You can quickly damage the floor with a steam cleaner. You should definitely leave any further machining to a specialist. Laypersons usually have no luck with mechanical polishing of these sensitive floor coverings.
Tips for speed readers
- Never wipe cork floors too wet
- Use special agents for deep cleaning
- Always equip vacuum cleaners with a brush attachment
- Only have cork floors polished by a specialist.