Hardwood floor cleaning products can help keep your wooden floors looking and performing well for generations. But this doesn’t mean that you have to use them all the time.
Regular maintenance includes sweeping the floor with a soft bristle broom or dusting it with a dry microfiber mop, especially in high traffic areas. This will prevent the build-up of gritty dirt that can scratch the wood’s surface.
Avoid using vacuums that have a beater bar or power rotary brush head. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner intended for hardwood floors.
Some hardwood floors have beveled edges. In this case, vacuum with the beater bar turned off to remove any dust that settled between the floor boards.
Professional wood floor cleaning products should only be used to clean the floors periodically, and ideally, by a qualified professional.
Do’s and Don’ts of:
Cleaning surface-sealed floors:
- Do not use waxes, oils or furniture sprays. Wax takes time to apply, furniture spray creates a slippery surface and oil leaves a residue.
- Never use straight ammonia, abrasive cleaners and alkaline products. They will dull or scratch the finish.
- Do use a hardwood floor cleaner agent recommend by the floor finisher. If the recommended products are costly or hard to find, do it with soap and water. Using water alone or a vinegar water solution will result in dingy look surfaces. Vinegar and water are not as effective as soapy water and may dull the floor sooner.
Cleaning penetrating-seal-treated, oil-treated, shellacked, varnished, lacquered or untreated floors:
- Remove old built up wax using a stripper – ideally, the product should be recommended by the floor manufacturer.
- Do use either paste wax or liquid wax designed for hardwood floors – liquid wax is the better choice since it is easier to apply. However, it leaves a thinner coat (thereby offering less protection) than paste wax.
- Avoid using water or acrylic-based waxes, one-step waxes or furniture waxes. This is because water based and acrylic waxes can turn our floor white, one-step waxes trap dirt ad furniture wax creates a slick surface.
- Install protective window coverings to block fade-causing Ultra-Violet rays and prevent the floors from heating up.
- Keep pet’s nails trimmed down and paws clean. They can easily track in substances that can scratch or stain your floors.
- Protect you wood from shrinkage during the heating seasons by using a humidifier to keep humidity levels between 35 and 55 percent.
- In case sticky substances like wax or chewing gum get stuck on the floors, use ice to harden them, then gently scrape them off using a plastic scraper of a credit card edge.
- Spills and spots should be wiped up immediately using the appropriate hardwood floor cleaner. Apply the cleaner directly to a white cloth and use it to clean the spots.
- Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with sports cleats and high heels in disrepair.
Give your hardwood floors an extra layer of protection by investing in high quality floor mats and protective pads. Place the floor mats at exits and entrances. This is where most corrosive ad abrasive particles such as sand, oil, asphalt, grit, etc. tend to collect. You can also reduce wear by placing mats in high traffic areas – in front of kitchen sinks, vanities and stoves.