We are going to give you the down and dirty details of how to clean hardwood floors. What to do, what not to do, how to protect your investment and avoid some costly mistakes. Before you begin, you need to cozy up to your floor and determine what you’re working with.
The kind of wood isn’t as important as the kind of finish. The finish determines what kind of maintenance the floor will require. It the floor sealed or unsealed? If you had the floor installed recently then you should know and have the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations on hand. But if the hardwood was there when you moved in. How can you tell? If you press your finger against the floor and it leaves a smudge: it’s unsealed. No smudge? Your floors are sealed. Once you determine what kind of finish you have you can look up recommendations as to which products are safe to use.
Most new hardwood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic. This makes them water and stain resistant and caring for these sealed floors is a piece of cake.
The tips we will give you today are safe, common-sense maintenance for sealed hardwood floors. We will talk about caring for unsealed floors in a separate video. Let’s get this party started!
The easiest way to keep your floors sleek and beautiful is to keep them free of dust and debri by regularly dust mopping and vacuuming them. Use the attachment on the vacuum to get into the corners and along the baseboards.
When needed you can clean your floors with either vinegar and water or a product recommended by your floor’s manufacturer. Ready for the bad news? Hardwood floors are best cleaned Cinderella-style: on your hands and knees.
You may be wondering: Why in the name of polyurethane would anyone do that? It’s because water is your hardwood’s worst nightmare. Working on your hands and knees ensures that you will clean a small area at a time and dry as you go.
You should never get your floors too wet, and you should never let them air dry. Most floor manufacturers do not recommend using “oil-soap” type products so avoid temptation. Those soaps can cause a gunky buildup over time and you just might have to pay big money to have your floors refinished. Also avoid using furniture polish unless you want to skate around the house in your socks. It’s very slippery! No need to wax these floors either, it will cause a dull build-up and it’s just not necessary.
Here are some quick tips on how to clean hardwood floors:
Pamper and protect your sealed hardwood floors…
- Sweep and vacuum the floors often, ground-in dirt and debris can ruin your finish.
- Clean the floors with a damp cloth as needed but not as often as you sweep and mop. Always dry the floors as you work with a clean, dry towel.
- Use runners or area rugs in areas with high traffic. Just make sure they are breathable materials that won’t trap moisture next to your floors, also avoid plastic backings and keep an eye on rug dyes that could possibly bleed and stain your finish.
- Put a welcome mat by each door to the outside.
- Keep your pet’s nails trimmed so they won’t scratch your floors.
- Don’t use ammonia, alkaline or abrasive products on your hardwood as they can dull or damage the finish.
That’s it for this Clean Freaks post and as always: if it sounds like too much work just call Dallas Maids!