The key to enjoying the beauty of your hardwood floors is regular maintenance combined with annual deep cleaning. We understand that life can be hectic, so the regular maintenance may not get done as often as you’d like. Here are some tips for safely cleaning your hardwood floors when a deep clean is necessary.
- Use Only the Best
It’s essential to use only the best hardwood cleaning product for your particular floor. Find out what type of product to use by determining what style your hardwood is. The first finish matches a floor that has been sealed with urethane, polyurethane, or a poly-acrylic sealant. These floors are commonly called surface-sealed floors. The other type of flooring is simply any hardwood floor that doesn’t include these sealants. This includes unfinished floors and floors that were finished with oil seals, penetrating seals, varnish, lacquer, or shellac.
Luckily, most new floors belong to the first category of surface-sealed floors. These are prized for their easy maintenance level. Surface-sealed floors are remarkably resistant to both water and stains. Simply sweep the floor and do a once-over with a damp mop of hardwood floor cleaning solution. That’s it!
On the other hand, floors without a surface seal must be cleaned differently. They cannot withstand any amount of mopping. Regular sweeping and/or vacuuming is your best bet for keeping these floors clean. Once a year, you should consider stripping away old wax by using a mineral spirit or gentle wax stripper. After stripping away the wax, replenish the wood with fresh liquid wax or paste wax. Finally, buff the floor to get a nice shine, and you’re done!
- Find the Right Vacuum
As previously mentioned, regular sweeping and vacuuming will do wonders for maintaining the beauty your hardwood floors. In heavy traffic areas of your home, you might consider doing a daily light sweeping to keep them in top shape. When sweeping just won’t cut it, you might have to break out a vacuum. However, not just any vacuum can be used on your precious floors. To avoid dents or scratches on your floor, only use a vacuum that has a brush or felt head.
In addition to the proper head, ensure that the wheels on your vacuum won’t scratch your floors. If you think the wheels will damage the floor, apply felt tape to the wheels! This is a quick solution, so keep a roll of sticky backed felt tape on hand to occasionally replace the tape on the wheels.
- Avoid Water at All Costs
Whether you have a surface-sealed floor or not, water should be avoided. While water can be used on surface-sealed floors, it can only be used as part of a delicate damp-mopping technique. If you have a surface-sealed floor, start by using a damp mop; the mop must be a very soft cloth or felt mop. Using the proper cleaning solution, gently go over your floors after wringing out excess liquid. Swapping dirty liquid for fresh solution often is a good practice to keep. Finally, go over the entire floor with a mop dampened only with clean water.
Stick to these three tips and your hardwood floors are sure to look great for years to come.