It’s difficult to maintain your flooring clean. Children are dirty, dogs (and humans) shed, and there’s always that one family member who hasn’t learned to wipe their feet on the welcome mat. The good news is that if you know a few basic procedures, it’s simple to clean hardwood floors and maintain them in excellent condition.
Don’t worry, dry cleaning your floors isn’t as time-consuming (or expensive) as dry cleaning your clothing. The first and most important step in cleaning your hardwood floors should be weekly vacuuming, sweeping, or dry mopping. If you have dogs who shed all over your floor or children who leave Hansel-and-Gretel-inspired tracks of crumbs, you should do this more often. These crumby particles are more than simply a nuisance to walk on with bare feet. They may leave microscopic scratches in your flooring, which can wear down the sheen and make it seem dull over time.
While dust mopping and vacuuming are effective in removing crumbs, hair, and dust from your floors, they will not remove all of the filth that has accumulated over time. A liquid cleanser is required for a thorough clean every now and then. One alternative is to use a store-bought wood-cleaning solution that is warranty-approved. Another good option is to manufacture your own cleanser by using one part vinegar and ten parts warm water. Add a few drops of a plant-based soap, such as liquid castile soap. The water and vinegar combination alone will make your floor shine, but the extra soap is beneficial if your floor is really dirty. If you want to go creative, you could even add a few drops of aromatic oils to make your floor look and smell like a spa.
When using liquid wood floor cleaners, soak a cloth or sponge mop in the solution and wring it out to ensure it is moist but not wet. Moisture may soak into the floor and cause it to deform if it’s too damp. After mopping the floor, rinse the mop, drain off the excess water, then wet mop it again to remove the cleaner. Wipe up any extra wet with a dry towel to ensure there is no dampness remaining on your floor.
Cleaning using Steam
As a general rule, wood floors should never be steam cleaned. Steam cleaning may be effective on floors that are totally sealed, meaning they will not absorb any moisture, but most hardwood floors are not sealed and should not be subjected to steam. Steam mops’ heat and moisture may cause wood floors to warp and never recover. Remember that dampness is the nemesis of hardwood flooring.
Whatever cleaning technique you choose, remember to always check the warranty on your floor before committing to one. Whether you have new floors and want to maintain them in excellent condition, or you feel you’ve been cleaning them incorrectly for years, your local Flooring America specialists are here to help. Our flooring professionals are eager to assist you with any of your projects, so stop by your nearest Flooring America location today to get started.