Do you need help with hardwood floor cleaning? Natural hardwood floors are a durable and timeless alternative for homes as they offer long-term beauty for decades. They pair well with just about any décor scheme – from traditional to ultra-modern. They add beauty to just about any room in the house and are a pinnacle of luxury.
The high cost of hardwood flooring often led homeowners to think that their hardwood floors are invincible and can take on whatever is thrown on them. But the truth is, they are not made of steel, and several elements can threaten their well-being. Consider all the dust, dirt, debris, and grime you bring inside the house from outside.
However, allowing your wooden floors to get dirty is not just unclean, but it can damage the hardwood, which can be too expensive to repair, refinish, or even worse, replace. Learning hardwood floor cleaning is not difficult, but you need the right hardwood floor cleaners and tools. Here’s how you can clean your hardwood floors and keep them looking new for longer.
What is the Best Cleaner for Hardwood Floors
Keeping your hardwood floors clean and well maintained does not require any special hardwood floor cleaner. Since the hardwood floor is made of natural materials, you need to be careful about what you use on the floor.
There are several cleaners available for hardwood flooring in the market, but you should avoid those that aren’t pH neutral. The key here is to find the best cleaner for hardwood floors, depending on their finish. Make sure to read the label on the commercial cleaner before using them, as they can damage your flooring beyond repair.
Natural cleaning agents such as lemon juice, vinegar, or baking soda may effectively clean other parts of the house but are not ideal for hardwood floors.
The same goes for too much moisture or using steam to clean on your hardwood floors. Avoid furniture sprays, waxes, oils, and anything that contains ammonia.
How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors the Right Way
For most homes, the best hardwood floor cleaner is water and soap, along with a broom, vacuum, and mop. String mop or Microfiber flathead is the best hardwood flooring cleaning machine as they can pick up all dirt and grime much better than other mops.
Add one quart of water and a small amount of dish soap or Bona hardwood floor cleaner to a spray bottle. Spray a little amount of the cleaning solution on your floor and start mopping.
But use only a minimal amount of cleaner for your floor as too much water can damage the hardwood floors. When mopping, start moving across the floor in a backward action to prevent your footprint on the wet floor.
There is no need to rinse the floor. Let it dry naturally. If the floor still looks a little dull, use a clean and dry microfiber to get back the shine.
Hardwood Floor Cleaning Routine
Sweep the Floors Daily
Daily sweeping is an important step for regular cleaning and maintenance of your hardwood floors. Particles from your shoes can easily scratch the surface of the wood. Use a good broom with durable and soft bristles to get the job done.
Vacuum the Floorboards
Vacuum cleaning is not just for your carpets. They come with attachments that suck up the dust from the baseboards and floorboards that you might miss during sweeping. While dust and small particles may not seem like a big deal, they can end up scratching your wood.
Best Method for Cleaning for Wash or Wax Surfaces
The surface seal of your hardwood floors is a top factor to consider when picking the best cleaning method. Here is how to go about the cleaning:
These floors are sealed with chemicals such as polyurethane, urethane, or polyacrylic. They make them resistant to water or stains. Your hardwood floor installer should recommend a specific cleaning product, but it might not always be possible due to cost or availability.
So, if that’s the case, it’s best to use soap and water. Plain soap is mild and will not scratch or dull the finish like other cleaners.
Add a quarter of soap to a bucket of water and mop. Ensure you wring the mop dry as excessive water is tough on floors. While most experts advise using vinegar to clean the flooring, it is not recommended for the hardwood floor.
Oil treated, penetrating-seal, varnished, or untreated floors need more labor-intensive upkeep. These surfaces are not resistant to general wear and tear and thus are treated with wax.
Use a floor stripper to remove old wax from the hardwood panels carefully. Once the floor has dried, apply a very thin coat of wax and allow it to dry. You can also use liquid wax or paste wax for best results.
Additional Preventive Care Tips
When it comes to hardwood floors, preventive care can make a lot of difference when keeping your investment in top shape. Here are some great tips you can use –
- Use floor protectors on your furniture legs. These do not allow the bottom of your furniture to scratch the floor when you move or bump them.
- Always take off your shoes when you enter the house. It is not only applicable for carpeted floors, but the dust, rock, and debris can easily scratch your hardwood floors.
- Trim your pet’s nails regularly. Dog’s nails can also leave scratches on your hardwood floors.
- Wine can be as damaging to your wooden floors as they are on carpets. So, make sure you clean any wine spills immediately.
- Always dry any excess water that may spill on the floor. While the water will often dry after some time, prolonged exposure to water can damage your expensive hardwood floors.
The above tips will help you maintain your wooden floor and enhance it to look brand new. Call a professional cleaning company to assist you with hardwood flooring cleaning and protection if you are in any doubt.