Mold, Gum and Silly Putty: Three Tips for Cleaning Your Floors

cleaning rubber mats“I’m not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on,” comedienne Roseanne Barr once said, echoing the feelings many people have about cleaning their floors. Floors of all types can be a tricky business to clean, especially when there’s a spot or substance that defies quick scrubbing or vacuuming.

While you might have a while to wait if you’re searching for a ride-on vacuum, there are several ways to deal with unique floor problems. Here are three top tips for taking care of some of the tougher stains you might come across.

1. How to Get Mold Off Floors
Older wooden floors built in the 1950s often were treated with waxing and buffing, in order to shine more brightly. This treatment didn’t last long, since it was discovered that it required the floors to be re-waxed periodically, and the finish left the wood soft and prone to mold damage. To deal with any blackened mold areas on an old floor, treat the area with a bleach and water solution. Let it dry, then sand the area and apply coats of polyurethane varnish, to prevent mold from forming in the future.

2. Pulling Out Silly Putty From a Carpet or Rug
Silly putty — it’s a child’s favorite substance, and a parent’s worst nightmare when it ends up everywhere it shouldn’t. Invariably, silly putty often ends up placed on a carpet, where someone steps on it, and finds out that it’s easier to push into fibers than pull out. Is your carpet going to be puttied forever? No — luckily, there are solutions. First, scrape out as much as you can. Then, use a cotton ball moistened with rubbing alcohol to blot at the putty. Scrub with a rag, and continue alternating between the two treatments until the putty is removed.

3. Cleaning Rubber Mats, Getting Rid of Gum
While cleaning rubber mats or floors isn’t usually a hard task, it can be difficult to do so when the material is something sticky, like old gum. Luckily, you don’t need to stare at it every time you do a pushup from now on. You can use ice to harden the gum and make it easier to scrape up — a rubber scraper, in this case, can come in handy. Use rubber floor cleaning products, as cleaning products intended for other floor types could potentially damage rubber. Mild soap and water solutions are usually okay for cleaning rubber mats.

Do you have tips for cleaning rubber floors? Let us know in the comments.

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