Don’t you just love the look of a clean hardwood floor? A clean floor allows you to appreciate the beauty and character of the hardwood to its fullest, and, frankly, a clean floor feels so much better under foot than a floor that isn’t kept properly cleaned. When you know how to clean hardwood floors properly, you’ll know how to keep your floors looking as beautiful years down the road as they did the day they were installed. Keep in mind: finishes with a higher degree of shine typically need more cleaning and sweeping to maintain a clean area.
What You Should Do
An important first step in keeping your hardwood floors clean is to sweep or use a dust mop daily to keep at bay a build up of loose dirt. Let’s face it, kids aren’t the only ones who sometimes forget to remove their shoes or boots when coming indoors. That gritty dirt we all track in from the outdoors could scratch the finish of your floors if left to sit.
Tip: When you employ a dust mop, don’t use a household dust treatment on the mop because this will dull the finish of the floors.
When it comes to actually washing your hardwood floors, do so only when it’s absolutely necessary and clean only the soiled areas. If there are only a few soiled areas, you can simply clean them with a slightly damp cloth. Choose a mop with a removable cloth head when you do need to clean the whole floor. Again, you want the cloth to be only slightly damp. Clean the floor then remove and rinse the cloth. Next, re-attach the cloth to the mop and spray it with a small amount of a recommended hardwood floor cleaner such as Gaylord’s Floor Cleaner. Apply the mop to the floor again and then wipe up any excess cleaner with a few paper towels. We recommend our cleaner because it evaporates and won’t leave that sticky, ugly film that other commercial cleaners tend to leave. Our complete cleaning kit contains a 28 oz spray bottle and a 4-litre cleaning spray.
Tip: If your floors appear to have a waxy build-up, use mineral spirits to clean the affected area. Once done, clean the floors in the above manner.
What You Shouldn’t DoTwo of the worst things you can do to your hardwood floors are using an excessively wet mop and letting water spills dry on the floor. Excessive water can damage the finish and can lead to cupping in your hardwood floor. Liquids and cleaners you should definitely not use on your hardwood floors include:
- Oil-based cleaners
- Saddle soap-type cleaners
- Vinegar and water solutions
Tip: Never use harsh harsh abrasives, steel wool or steam cleaners to clean hardwood floors.
Once you know how to clean hardwood floors properly, you’ll appreciate how these tips help you keep your floors looking and feeling their best.