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Hardwood floors are a fantastic way to add a rustic and natural flair to any space. They’re long-lasting if cared for properly. But if you have hardwood floors or are planning to get them, you should acquaint yourself with their methods of cleaning.
If we think about it, our floors are subjected to the most amount of stress and strain in the house. We should pay significant attention to their maintenance, considering how much dust, filth, grease, and litter they carry.
Dirty floors, especially hardwood ones, are not only unhealthy but harmful to the hardwood itself. Failing to look after them properly may prove to be quite costly; you may have to spend heavy amounts on restoring, or replacing them!
The correct method to clean wooden flooring begins with preventative steps. The first step would be to install floor carpets outdoors and indoors to prevent dirt from being carried in. Designate an area for removal of footwear, this way, you minimize damage to the floors.
You can also place some microfibre cloth or light napkins near the entrance, along with comfortable seating where one can swiftly wipe up mud stains. Make a habit of removing your shoes outside before entering the house to eliminate trailing dirt, filth, and harmful bacteria.
Routine Cleaning of Hardwood Floors
Cleaning wooden floors with a sweeper or a dusting mop regularly always do miracles! We recommend you wash your wood floors at least twice a month. If possible, brush or dust them every day in the areas of the house that are frequently used, such as the dining room and pantry. The best idea is to clean the wooden floors once or twice a week, keeping them shining and extending their lifespan.
Clean your hardwood floors with a broom or cloth along with any cleaning chemical that removes dirt particles, debris, and pet hair. Microfiber mop heads are ideal to use on hardwood floors as it is very good for collecting dust and dirt. Moreover, they will not scrape your flooring the way vacuum cleaners do.
When using wooden floor polish or cleaning mists, follow the instructions provided in the containers to make sure you’re using them correctly. It is also important to note that certain mops do not need an additional cleaning solution. Vacuuming is also an essential part of maintaining your hardwood floors. Do it on a monthly or biweekly basis using the floor-brush attachment.
Deep Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors
Dust, grease, and filth accumulate over time and cannot be eliminated simply by mopping once or twice a week. To do a thorough job, grab a hardwood cleaning solution and follow these steps:
Step 1: Soak a cloth or fabric sponge in the solvent and squeeze it so it’s only mildly moist.
Step 2: Mop the floors using a damp cloth, being cautious not to leave any stagnant water.
Step 3: Wipe the area with a fresh mop soaked in freshwater to wash the solvent away. Excess moisture can degrade wooden furnishings, so dry off any extra liquid right away.
Be mindful of using specialized wood-cleaning agents and reading the product’s instructions properly before use. If you use vinyl or marble tile cleaning solvents, you may end up damaging your wood floors. Be sure to check for Greenguard Gold-approved cleaning solvents as they are usually safe to use in households with children and pets.
Alternatively, you can also opt for ecological methods and make your own homemade wooden floor cleaning fluid. Combine one part vinegar with ten parts lukewarm water. Cleansing hardwood floors with vinegar is not only organic but also one of the most effective methods. Some points to keep in mind while using vinegar:
- Check you’re using the correct vinegar. Washing hardwood floors with white vinegar is ideal. Cleaning vinegar, which is more acidic than conventional vinegar, is also good. If you don’t have these, use apple cider vinegar.
- Never use red wine or balsamic vinegar for this job.
- Remember that vinegar might fade the sheen on some hardwood floors, so check your mixture before using it.
After procuring the best solvent, get a good mop. Use a gentle sponge that won’t scrape your surfaces. Triangular mops are great for cleaning nooks and crannies, and other small spaces. You can opt for the mop and bucket sets that include a gadget to rinse out the mop to avoid using too much water on the floor.
Natural Alternatives For Vinegar
Using vinegar and water to clean wooden flooring is a great idea, but it isn’t the only one!
If you liked the results of using vinegar but can’t stand the odor, try adding a few drops of essential oils like lemongrass. Lemongrass oil also gets rid of greasy dirt, which is especially handy if you’re cleaning the wood floors in your kitchen. It’s also an excellent sanitizer.
Hardwood floors can also be cleaned using warm water and a couple of teabags. The tannic acid in tea gives it a lovely sheen. Allow two teabags to soak for several minutes in boiling water, then fill a bucket halfway with it. Squeeze a clean microfiber cloth in the tea solution and drain it. Make sure the fabric is only moist, not drenched, so the floor dries quickly.
Castile soap is another excellent technique to clean your wooden floors. They are available in a variety of aromas, including menthol, daffodil, lilac, and chamomile, as well as an odorless variant. Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup castile soap into a pitcher of lukewarm water to scrub the surface and wipe up with a usual mop. Rinsing isn’t necessary. Keep in mind that castile soap should not be used on waxed and sealed hardwood flooring since it can cause the wax coating to deteriorate.
How To Remove Pesky Stains From The Hardwood Flooring
Before you try to erase a spot or stain from wooden flooring, get to know the polish of the flooring. You can find this out by examing the stain itself; if the stain is on the top, your floor most likely has a strong coating, such as urethane. The floorboard will have an oily sheen if the stain has permeated the hardwood. This is common with floors that have never been repaired and resealed. If the floor is hard-surfaced, scrub the stains gently with a smooth, dry cloth. Never use sandpaper, steel wool, or chemical treatments as they will ruin the gloss coating irreparably.
Use the following techniques for different types of stains or marks on hardwood floors with light lubricated finishes.
- To remove dark patches, scrub the area with no. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If somehow the patch remains darkened, pour a bleaching agent or vinegar on it and let it soak for approximately an hour. Use a moist towel to wipe the residue.
- You cannot put an end to your floors obtaining scratches. Scuffs and scrapes dull the flooring. Clear these marks by rubbing in floor wax with fine steel wool.
- To treat oil-based marks, use a microfibre cloth and dishwashing soap. Wipe the area to disintegrate the greasy particles of dirt. Cleanse well with clean water and repeat. Allow the area to dry before using fine abrasives like sandpaper to level the elevated surface.
- Stains caused by water or pale patches too can be removed by scrubbing the area with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If the stain is more severe, scrape the surface slightly and cleanse it with the finest steel wool and unscented mineral solution.
Do’s And Don’ts of Cleaning Hardwood Floors
- You can use a floor-cleaning solution or any basic detergent and water to clean the floors. If a specified solvent is unavailable or extremely expensive and alternative floor cleansers contain components that damage the coating of the surface, just try warm water and soap. Take a bucket of water and add 1/4 cup of moderate or pH-neutral cleanser like a dishwashing liquid.
- Never use hydrocarbons and furniture spritz. The oil leaves behind residue, and furniture mists give a slick texture.
- Raw ammonia, alkaline solutions, and abrasive cleaners are also a big no-no. They can scrape the floor and degrade the shine.
- Don’t use lime juice and water to clean wood flooring. Experts advise against using acids or lemon juice, at least not in big amounts, because they can harm the sealant of the flooring. Even while using vinegar, be careful of the quantity.
- Always clean, sweep, or vacuum the surface before using a cleansing solution on it to ensure that the grit, dust, and debris are not retained in the cleansing fluid and left behind on the floor.
- Never make the mistake of using too much cleaning solution or water! Even though you might be doing everything else right, overuse of any wet substances will ruin your floors. “The more, the merrier” is not the way to go with this one!
Hardwood floors are a classy installment that requires regular cleaning and maintenance. We hope you found some helpful tips and methods to take care of your wooden floors through this article. Do let us know in the comments below if you tried any. Happy cleaning!