Wood floors require special attention when you want to clean them. The process involves thorough scrubbing with different kinds of cleaners, waxing, cleaning and many other activities. The effort you put in to clean wood floors will be worth it, as your floor will look gorgeous.
Wooden floors are gaining popularity, especially in large interior spaces. Most people still believe that it’s tedious to clean wooden floors, but that’s not the case. Taking care of the floor like your designer furniture will make it live beyond its nostalgia and charm.
Dust is the biggest enemy of your wooden flooring. You need to prepare yourself with the necessary accessories to protect it at any point in time. Here are a few tips on how to clean wood floors easily and effectively.
Best Way to Clean Wood Floors
Cleaning wood floors doesn’t have to be a daunting task for you. Following some simple methods and applying the right products will make your floor shine as good as new.
The cleaning method for wood floors depends on the type of flooring. The finished wood floor has a sealant like urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic coating. You’ll have to protect it from water and stains. However, you can use damps of water to clean them.
Unfinished wood, on the other hand, has a matte look and doesn’t shine. Finished and unfinished wood have different cleaning methods. You need to be particular about the type of wood floor you have. It’ll enable you to administer the right cleaning method.
Cleaning Method For Finished Wood
Cleaning finished wood is easy when you use the right tools and methods. Follow the steps below to clean the wood floor effectively.
Step 1: Clean Dirt Off
You can make use of a vacuum cleaner or a broom to remove dust. Cleaning finished wood floors with a vacuum cleaner takes the least amount of work. Use a broom or hand brush to clean the dust off the finished wood floor without rugs and other objects lying on it. Otherwise, you can use the vacuum cleaner for the same purpose.
Step 2: Cleaning Solution and Mopping
Get a bucket full of water and add a few drops of your dishwashing soap. A microfiber dust mop works best. It won’t leave any streaks on your hardwood flooring. Avoid exposing your floors to high moisture by dampening the mop.
The solution will prevent your mop from becoming clogged with dirt. While the microfiber dust mops, which are just barely damp, ensure that your floors shine with minimal effort.
Ensure you mop in an ‘S’ motion to avoid spreading dust around. Using the ‘S’ motion allows you to clean the floor more efficiently.
Step 3: Drying
After cleaning your wood floors, you can now focus on the last step, drying. Using a floor drying fan will help the wood to dry faster. During this process, if ever you find that your floor still appears to be uneven, you can use a leveller to solve it.
Fans work better because they are more efficient. However, you can also dry it by wiping it. Regardless of the method you use, ensure your wood floor dries completely. Drying a wooden floor properly contributes to its durability.
How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors
Unfinished wood floors often have a unique, matte-like surface. Due to their natural character, you can refer to them as unfinished wood floors.
As it doesn’t have a shiny surface like hardwood floors. You can’t use water to clean this type of floor. Using water can cause mould and mildew growth on your floor.
Unfinished floors do not come with any type of varnish seal. You should be extremely careful while cleaning them. Follow these steps to clean the unfinished wood floor.
Step One: Sweep the Surface
The first thing to do when you’re about to clean wood floors is to sweep them properly. Surface dirt can inhibit the cleaning process or make it more difficult. You can use a vacuum cleaner or microfibre dust cloth to get rid of it.
Step Two: Stain Treatment
Stains are the main reason you have to clean wood floors. Sometimes, an area of the floor may have an obvious stain that you may need to focus on. You can apply a little amount of wax to the stained area, using a ball of steel wool.
Be careful when applying wax to the stained area. Too much of it can cause discoloration of your wood floor. You may want to get a little amount on a spare container to help you control its application.
Step Three: Air Drying Stage
After getting off the stains, you need to allow the floor to dry properly. Air drying will enable the floor to become ready for use again.
Materials for Cleaning Wood Floors
Certain materials come in handy to help you clean your wood floors. It’s essential to use the right materials if you hope to make your floor sparkling clean. Also, it’s noteworthy that different materials work for different wood floors.
1. Broom/ Brush & Dustpan
You can use a broom or brush to clean your wood floors. However, you need to ensure it has soft bristles to get the job without scratching the floor. You can use these tools on both finished and unfinished wood regularly.
2. Vacuum cleaner
In place of a broom or brush, you can get a good vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust from your wood floor. Use a vacuum that features adjustable suction controls, along with quality attachments designed for wood floors. It should be easy to pick up and have a soft roller head.
3. Warm Water & Dishwashing Soap
When cleaning finished floors, you can make use of warm water and any dishwashing soap of your choice. Avoid using boiling water or cold water. Warm water will get it done better.
4. Microfiber Mop
Whether you’re cleaning a single room or the whole house, with a microfiber mop, you can get your finished floors clean. Choose your mop head wisely and don’t skimp on cleaning supplies if you want your floors to shine once again.
Pay attention to the weight of the handle. It should be sturdy enough to stay upright on its own, and not cumbersome. Look for microfiber floor mops with swivel heads that pivot easily from corner to corner. You would also want to look at mops with a microfiber pad that can be wrung out till just damp.
To get the best results when cleaning wood floors, choose the right type of wax. Clear paste wax or one with a wood stain is suitable for hardwoods that are in good condition.
You can use liquid floor wax on all types of floors, including sealed hardwood floors. Either way, make sure you follow the instructions on the container to apply the wax correctly.
6. Cleaning Gloves
It’s never a good idea to clean your wood floors with your bare hands. Put on good cleaning gloves to avoid germs. It’s one of the ways to keep safe and maintain good health.
Related Article: A Guide to Refinishing Hardwood Floors
How to Maintain Wood Floors
It won’t be smart to follow this wood floor cleaning guide, and not maintain the floors afterward. Here is how you can easily maintain these floors throughout the entire year. Follow the tips below.
Avoid Spills/ Clean them Instantly
With proper upkeep and aside from the mess of kids and pets, wood floors can last over 50 years. Also, they’re relatively easy to maintain. Although you can’t entirely prevent accidents, you can clean them up as soon as they occur.
Allowing spills to dry up before cleaning will leave marks on your wood floor surface. Hence the need to tackle the mess immediately it happens.
Keep humidity levels down
Keep your home between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, 30 to 50 percent humidity for wood floors. The right temperature in your home can help to maintain wood floors for a long period.
Avoid steam mops
A steam mop won’t be as effective in cleaning your wood floors as a traditional floor mop. Steam can cause the wood to swell, which will result in the cupping of the boards.
Steam also creates a high level of moisture and heat, which can cause your wood flooring to shrink, warp or gape. It’s important to keep your wood floors clean and conditioned. Keeping up with this maintenance will help prevent damages such as cupping and gapping.
Sweep or Vacuum daily
Take care of your wood floors by vacuuming or dusting them daily. Even though wood is hard, regular cleaning ensures that it doesn’t get scratches or burrs on the surface.
The best way to be sure that you’re doing the right thing is to wipe the floor with a clean cloth. Then vacuum the rest of the dirt from it. Even if you don’t wear shoes in your home, it’s still essential to sweep daily.
Make Use of Furniture Pads
Scratches are some of the toughest challenges to using or maintaining wood floors. While you can’t completely avoid scratches, there are ways that you can minimize their impact. One way to prevent these is to add furniture pads to the legs of your chairs, sofas, and other furniture. The furniture pads will prevent dents from your floors and keep the dust down as well.
Don’t Use Vinegar or Ammonia
Vinegar and ammonia are two of the most commonly and mistakenly used cleaning agents for wood floors. This is probably due to their inexpensive cost. However, these two products are too abrasive for the fragile finish applied to your hardwood floors. It’s another reason you need to properly read through any cleaning agent you may want to use.
Trim Your Pet (s) Toenails
Pets just want to have fun and run around the house. But the toenails of your pet may contribute to scratching the surface of your wooden floor. A good practice you can observe is to trim and file the toenails of your pet regularly. By so doing, you’ll curb the little scratches they can make on your floor.
Placing doormats outside and inside the entry points of your home can help maintain your wooden floors. Doormats reduce the amount of grit that enters your home, resulting in a lesser surface scratch on your wooden floor.
It’s not enough to place the doormat(s) at the entry points of your house. You need to clean it regularly for it to be effective.
Lift, Don’t Drag
There are occasions that you may have to move pieces of furniture or other items in your home. When doing so, have it at the back of your mind that dragging furniture will dent your floor. It’s advisable and logical to lift such items when the need arises.
Watch Your Shoe-type
This goes to the ladies mostly. Avoid wearing cleats and stilettos on wood floors. Stilettos can scratch your wood floor and give you problems when you try to clean it.
One of the ways to maintain your wood floor is to repair scratches using a matching crayon colour. Use a crayon with a similar colour to the floor to fill the gap. After which you can use a hairdryer to blast hot air on the crayon. Once you notice that the crayon has set into the flooring, use a soft cloth to buff it.
Treat Your Wood Floor Occasionally
A major hack you need to know before you install wood flooring is that you can treat it with tea. Place two or three bags of tea into boiling water then allow it to cool down. Once the tea is cool, mop your wooden floor with it.
This practice is good for wooden floors because of the tannins in the tea, Tannins help to restore the shine on wooden flooring.
Be Careful About Cleaning Products
It’s essential to understand the manufacturer’s instructions before applying cleaning products. Better still, you can conduct a patch test in a discreet area of your home to know if the product is okay.
Also, avoid using homemade cleaning agents including vinegar and lemon juice to clean your wood floor. The acidity of these elements may cause them to damage the sealants of your wooden floor.
Related Article: American Oak vs French Oak
You need to clean your wood floor regularly for it to add an extra appeal to your home. Before cleaning, ensure that you follow the guidelines in this article. There are vast designs, cuts and choices of wood floors that can make your home look beautiful.
Check out our collection of wood floors for sale. Our prices at Three Trees Flooring are affordable and the quality of our products is second-to-none. Contact us today!