The Best Ways to Clean Your Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are an investment many homeowners take pride in. The fresh natural look is appealing, but it won’t last long if dirt and grime are allowed to build up. Wood floor cleaning requires a daily and weekly schedule—and an occasional professional cleaning job can’t hurt.
Many types of wood are used for flooring, but the kind of sealing used is what determines the optimal cleaning method. Hardwood floors may be surface sealed with urethane or polyurethane or polyacrylic; they may also be treated with a penetrating seal or oil finish, or have a lacquer, varnish, or shellac coating. The best way to clean your floor depends on its sealing or finish.
Cleaning Surface Sealed Floors
Hardwood floor cleaning should be done only with a recommended product or with soap and water. Water can damage even sealed wood. Therefore, wring out a mop that’s been dipped in a bucket of cleaning solution, so it is just damp. You should always mop in the direction of the wood grain. Daily sweeping should clean high traffic areas, but a once or twice weekly mopping should be fine; less trafficked areas can be mopped every month or even seasonally.
Use baking soda on a damp sponge to clean scuff marks. If food, grease, and water stains mar the surface, a commercial hardwood floor cleaner should get these out without a problem.
Treated or Untreated Floors
Wax floors should never be mopped. You can sweep and vacuum the surface on a regular schedule. Common cleaning challenges include heel marks, which can be cleaned by applying a little wax to a pad made of extra-fine steel wool and rubbed out using a circular motion. For food stains, rub the surface with a damp cloth and add more wax. Always start from the outer edge of the stain, moving toward the center as it clears up. Only use liquid or paste wax for wood floors.
Precautions When Cleaning a Hardwood Floor
People often mix vinegar with water to create a home-made cleaning solution. Vinegar is a bad idea because it can dull the floor’s finish. Soap- and wax-based cleaners can leave a residue. Vacuum cleaners with beater bars should be avoided; they can damage the finish and underlying wood. Also, avoid steam cleaners, which add moisture to the floor, and heat, which can cause avoidable damage.
You really don’t need to go high tech. A simple mop and machine-washable, microfiber pad will clean dirt, allergens, and microparticles. These are attracted by the electrostatic effect of the pad, which is great if you want to know how to clean wood floors naturally.
Never Underestimate a Professional Floor Cleaning
If your wood floor is dirty, hasn’t had a thorough cleaning in a while, or you’re concerned about damaging it, call a professional. They first evaluate the finish type and sealant. Then, the proper techniques and treatments are used to restore hardwood floors, whether they’re dirty, scratched or discolored or need to be deep-cleaned, waxed, or polished.
Do your hardwood floors need professional wood floor cleaning? Get them looking fresh and lasting longer by scheduling a professional floor cleaning from Kiwi Services—call 888-961-4682 for a quote or appointment today!