Goodbye, snow and slush. Hello, water and muck. Your floors never get a break, no matter the season. Whether you’ve got hardwood, ceramic or vinyl underfoot, follow these tips to keep your floors properly maintained year-round. (Too busy to clean your floors? Goldstar Cleaning can help with all your floor-care needs.) Stripping and waxing Floors with a wax finish should have the wax stripped and then reapplied at least once a year to maintain their shine and protect the floor from damage. There are different kinds of wax strippers for hardwood, vinyl and masonry (ceramic or stone) flooring; check with your local cleaning supply store to find the right kind for you. (Note: wax strippers are toxic and give off fumes. Be sure to use wax stripper in a well-ventilated area, and wear rubber gloves when handling.) To strip wax, apply a layer of stripper to a small area of floor, then wipe the area with a scrubbing pad to remove the waxy buildup. Use a scrub brush or a toothbrush to remove wax from corners and hard-to-reach areas. Use a putty knife to remove large wax deposits. Once the old wax has been removed, it’s time to apply a new layer. Apply the wax sparingly directly on the floor, and spread it into a very thin coat using long, straight strokes with a wax applicator or sponge mop. Open windows, and let dry to a shine. Apply two or three thin layers of fresh wax, being sure to allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. Buff your floor between wax applications to remove scratches and keep the surface looking radiant. Vacuuming, mopping and sweeping Regular vacuuming or sweeping will remove surface dirt from your floor. It also makes mopping and waxing less arduous. In addition to vacuuming, you should wipe your floor with a rag mop once a week to clear away surface stains. For vinyl, laminate and masonry floors, try a mixture of one part water, one part alcohol, one part vinegar and a few drops of dish washing liquid. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture spray, the floor, and mop. The alcohol sanitizes and helps dry the floor quickly, while the vinegar and dish washing liquid cuts through the dirt and grease with ease. Daily care for your floor Floors can be divided into two varieties: those that you can get wet, and those that you can’t. A wax finish does not make your hardwood floor water-proof. Wipe spills with damp paper towels as soon as they hit the floor, and buff the area with a soft, dry cloth. Avoid dragging furniture across your floor, which can scratch the surface. Attach felt or nylon glides to the legs of heavy furniture items, and check the glides occasionally for dirt, which can also scratch. Use area rugs or mats in high traffic areas like vestibules.