How to Clean Cork Flooring

What You'll Need
Dish soap

Like any other type of flooring, cork flooring will eventually get dirty. Gradual buildup of dirt, grime, oil, and dust can slowly build up and cause untold amounts of damage, whether you see it or not. Obviously, keeping any dirt that builds up on your floor under control is a much better idea than waiting until it is unmanageably stained. Unfortunately, effectively cleaning a cork floor requires a certain amount of planning and knowledge, as well as the proper materials. What follows should help you keep it clean, no matter what type you have.

Step 1 - Setup

When cleaning a cork floor, it is important to consider its special properties. Cork will absorb water and expand. Needless to say, this is not something you want your floor to do. In order to avoid this, you will have to use a cleaning strategy that uses the absolute minimum amount of water possible. While many types of cork flooring are actually more water resistant than they appear, it only takes a small amount of damage to render the seal weak enough to allow a little bit of water in. In general, whoever installs a cork floor will use a sealant on it to make it more resistant to water. Some cork floors are actually even more solidly built and function more like engineered wood or vinyl. However, it is always best to be safe and use minimal water, especially because no sealant is perfect.

You can do this by having a separate water supply. Fill a bucket with water and squirt some ordinary dish soap into it. Mix them together thoroughly and bring your bucket to a convenient place. Next, dip your sponge in the bucket and fill it with soapy water. Finally, wring out your sponge to remove most of the water from it.

Step 2 - Cleaning

Before you wash your cork floor, you should vacuum it. This is to remove any loose particles such as dirt or small rocks than can gradually damage your floor by rubbing against it repeatedly. This kind of damage can also damage the seal on your floor, making it less water resistant. Generally speaking, this is all you should do to clean a cork floor — it should not need anything more than regular vacuuming to stay clean unless you have spilled something on it.

However, to get your cork floor really clean, use your damp sponge to wipe it down. You can use your damp sponge in combination with a dust tray to collect excess dirt and dust. If your sponge dries out or runs out of soap, dip it in your bucket and then wring it out to remove excess water before continuing. You should also do this if your sponge gets dirty or dusty to avoid spreading the mess around your cork floor.

Step 3 - Maintenance

Vacuum your cork floor regularly. If you accidentally spill something on it, clean up the spill immediately to minimize the degree to which it stains.

You can also use a resin or sealant specifically designed for cork floors to protect it if you suspect that it has not been sealed properly.