Proven Techniques To Clean Hardwood Floors
You’ll find many tips and secrets when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors.
So many, in fact, that we often don’t know which tip or hack will work, and which tip or hack will change our lives.
Well, in this post I am going to show you how to clean hardwood floors with only tried, tested, and proven techniques.
I will fill you in on all the secrets and information you need to know, including maintenance, the correct cleaners to use, and how often you should clean your hardwood floor.
The things you should know
To get the best results when cleaning your hardwood floor, try to vacuum at least once a week.
If you don’t vacuum at least once a week, eventually the grit and dust you track in from the outside, will wear through the hardwood finish.
Also, something to take into account when vacuuming is to avoid using vacuums with rotating brushes, as this will scratch your floor.
And when using an upright vacuum, remove the beater bar to preserve your floors finish.
The best cleaning agent for a new floor finish is a PH neutral cleaner.
The so-called “high-traffic zones” of your household: the living room, the entrance, and doorways should all have rugs.
Putting rugs in the places where people are most likely to walk around will make cleaning your hardwood floors a lot easier.
Educate yourself on waxes. Don’t just use a wax because you like the look or smell, even waxes that come highly recommended can damage your floor.
Make sure you know all there is to know about your hardwood floor, and the type of wax you can use before you begin to clean.
Furniture polish and hairspray can cause clouding on your hardwood floor. To thoroughly clean clouding use non-ammonia cleaner window cleaner.
Use a microfiber mop when cleaning; doing so avoids leaving excess water on your floor which can cause damage.
Using white vinegar or water can harm your floor, but it depends on the floors finish. For some hardwood floors, it’s fine to use.
Now you have a good idea of what you can use and what to avoid; it’s time to get into the proven techniques to clean hardwood floors.
Before any form of cleaning sweep, dust and vacuum your hardwood floor
As you should know, the best way to clean any surface is to dust it before applying water.
If you go straight to mopping your hardwood floor or waxing it, what you will find is little pieces of grit and dirt swimming in your attempt to clean.
Sweeping before you mop is incredibly essential in high-traffic zones, so areas such as hallways and dining rooms will need extra attention.
You can also vacuum the floor instead of sweeping it, but I always recommend dusting first (no matter what method you decide to use), using a handheld broom and pan to sweep up, and vacuuming to finish.
It’s a tiny bit excessive, but (especially in high-traffic zones) this is the best way to prepare your hardwood floor for cleaning.
When you start dusting your hardwood floor, try to use a microfiber duster for the best results.
Before you start dusting the floor, make sure you save the floors for last. When cleaning, complete dusting from the top to the bottom (from the ceiling to the floor)
When you make a habit of dusting this way, it prevents double work.
A great technique when dusting your hardwood floor, to prevent confusion, is to divide the room into sections.
Breaking up the room into a grid can help you keep track of the work you’ve done.
Using a fine spray mist on your hardwood floor
When cleaning a hardwood floor the number one thing to avoid is over soaking it.
When you are in the midst of cleaning, soaking the floor may seem harmless; over time, excessive water will affect the finish of your floor.
So, when using sprays to clean your hardwood floor, make sure you use a fine mist, and clean your floor in sections for the best results.
Some people like to use certain cleaning products like all-purpose cleaners and white vinegar on their floors, those products are fine to use but don’t feel that you have to go that route.
Warm soapy water (only a small amount is needed) can work just as well for a light clean; just make sure that you fill an old bottle with the right spray adjustment to avoid putting too much liquid on your floors.
Having to be told how to mop will make most of you laugh, I’m sure, but knowing the right way to mop a hardwood floor is essential knowledge to have.
Some of you might think you just grab a mop, a bucket, and begin; well that is not the case.
It’s not that simple, the way you would mop a vinyl floor is not necessarily the same method you would use when mopping a hardwood floor.
There are certain things you need to take into account.
For example, make sure the mop you use is damp, not wet.
Also, when mopping a hardwood floor you can’t just go in any direction. You have to go with the grain of the wood.
After you have gone over your floor once, next, you have to spot clean with a damp cloth (dipped in your cleaning solution) to apply pressure to stubborn dirt.
Now, squeeze the mop dry and go over the floor once again to get rid of any unwanted streaks.
Finally, buff the floor with a dry cloth. Additionally, you can use a dry mop if you wish; just make sure it is completely dry.
Getting rid of marks and scuffs
The scourge for anyone and everyone who has a home with hardwood floors are marks and scuffs.
No matter how much you tell your kids not to wear shoes in the house, no matter how careful you are while you’re getting dressed, scuffs and marks can’t be avoided.
A lot of the time we simply give up; we accept the marks and scuffs as new features to our home.
Well, you don’t have to do that anymore!
For dark spots and pet stains gently rub the stain with no. 000 steel wool and floor wax.
Tough stains like ink might need to be soaked in (small amount) bleach or vinegar, for about an hour.
When the hour is up you should be able to wipe it away with a cloth.
Heel marks, scuffs, and watermarks can be removed with fine steel wool and floor wax.
Rub the stain with a clean cloth dipped in a solution of water and detergent.
Rinse with clear water and the oil-based stain will disappear. If this doesn’t work, follow the above steps, but let it dry and lightly rub it with fine sandpaper.
Waxing Hardwood Floors
Use wax to protect and seal hardwood floors.
There is no right or wrong answer to how often we should wax our home?
However, the most common recommendation is only to wax your hardwood floor once a year.
Before you do, you will need to know which type of wax can be applied to which type of hardwood floor before you use it.
Here’s a little rundown of the most common waxes:
- Solid Paste Wax – Unvarnished hardwood floors, true linoleum, unfinished cork, and concrete.
- Liquid Wax – Unvarnished hardwood floors, linoleum, or unfinished cork.
- Water-Base Silicone Polishes – Applicable to ALL floors EXCEPT unsealed wood, cork, or linoleum.
When waxing if you choose a good brand, the instructions will be clear and easy to follow. Make sure you stick to the guidelines on the label.
Waxing techniques are pretty universal; all you need to remember is to spread evenly and prevent soaking when using liquid wax.
However, a great (and little known) technique when using water-based wax is to pour the polish onto a clean mop. Then, pour some of the polish directly on the floor.
Spread out the polish evenly to avoid streaks and bubbles. Wait for the polish you applied to dry. Then, buff the floor using a clean sponge mop covered with a terry-cloth.
Presented above are all the techniques you need to know when cleaning hardwood floors; all of which are tried and tested techniques.
Trying these tips will make your life a lot easier when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors.