Replacing your old carpets with hardwood floors can add a touch of elegance to your home, and will also increase the value of it. Keeping them clean can be challenging but getting rid of the dirt, debris, dust, and grime can make a big difference to the appearance of your flooring. Proper cleaning of the wood flooring will ensure it looks good for years to come, and achieving a sparkling clean floor is fairly simple when you follow these tips.
Know Your Wood Finish
Before you start to clean, it’s essential that you know what type of hardwood floors you have. To get a better result from cleaning your hardwood floors, you should understand it’s less about the wood but more about the finish. So try and figure out the type of finish you have, and it will make your job a whole lot easier.
Your finish can either be sealed or unsealed. Unsealed wood flooring has no protective coating of urethane, polyurethane or other top coats. It easily absorbs liquids that drop on it, causing it to swell up. On the other hand, finished wood flooring is regarded as sealed. Sealed wood flooring has been coated with protective coats like varnish or polyurethane. These floors can be shiny, have a matte finish, or high gloss. Sealed wood is the most common type of wooden floors in homes today.
The Best Way to Clean Your Sealed Hardwood Floors
We’ll start with the most common and widespread type of wood flooring; sealed. Here are some cleaning tips and tricks to ensure your hardwood floors are left sparkling clean.
Regular Cleaning with a Vacuum
Vacuuming is an important step in the cleaning of hardwood floors, as it will remove any dirt and debris that could scratch the surface. Ensure that you use a vacuum cleaner that is designed specifically for hard floors, as these will often come with dusting attachments to protect your flooring.
If your vacuum cleaner has a brush bar for deep cleaning carpets, you need to make sure that it can be switched off otherwise it can scratch the finish of a hardwood floor. Nothing can remove fine debris and dirt from the crevices and cracks of a wood floor like a powerful vacuum cleaner.
A lightweight stick vacuum is the best choice as it is not too heavy for the floor, and they usually come with a wide range of attachments.
Cleaning Wood Flooring with a Spin Mop
When it comes to mopping your hardwood floors, it’s important to not let the water sit on the surface for too long. A spin mop can be helpful as it allows you to clean with an almost dry mop, eliminating the risk of water damage.
Start by sweeping or vacuuming your floors properly. Then, mix a few drops of dish soap or castile soap with 4 cups of warm water. Mix gently (without shaking), then mop a particular section at a time.
Dry the floor with a dry mop or clean cloth and allow the section to dry before proceeding to clean another area.
Cleaning Unsealed Hardwood Floors
Unsealed wooden flooring is more prone to water damage and needs to be treated differently when cleaning. You need to be extremely careful not to let any liquid sit on the surface as it will absorb it and swell, which will lead to damage.
The best way to clean an unsealed floor is to use a vacuum cleaner that has a dusting brush attachment. The dusting brush is gentle on the surface and will avoid scratching the wood.
There are times when you need to do a deeper clean of the floor, and for that, you could use a damp spin mop that has been squeezed so much that it is almost dry. Clean a small section at a time and immediately dry the section with a clean microfiber cloth.
If you don’t want to risk using a mop on the unsealed hardwood floor, a safer alternative is to use a damp microfiber cloth. This will allow you to remove any stains on the wood without the risk of water damage. Again, you should work in small sections and dry the floor with a clean cloth instantly.
About the Author
James Garner is a small business owner who loves nothing more than spending time with his family and teaching them the ways of the world. He loves writing about any topic related to home or office life. He currently runs the blog at Clean Home Guide.