Hardwood flooring is an expensive investment, thus, it requires regular maintenance to get the value of what you have spent. Before starting mopping out your floor, you need to know several consideration which are very vital to preserve and get the best condition and appearance of your hardwood floor. You should also learn the things you need to avoid that would make the wooden floor look dull and deteriorate fast. There are inexpensive and effective solutions for hardwood floor cleaning that you will surely love since most ready-made solutions available in the market to clean the type of hardwood floor you have costs a lot and some are actually very strong chemical mixtures with a strong scent that may cause inconvenience.
Why Care For So Much For Your Wooden Floors
When you put effort to take care of your wooden floor, the best condition of the wood would remain and you would enjoy it for a long period of time. You will be able to get the most experience of obtaining a costly wood floor by prolonging its life span. Knowing a few simple yet effective solutions will save you from trouble, time and money while keeping your floors fresh and clean looking most of the time. Some people experiment and try things on their own but this is very risky especially if the experiment won’t go very well and causes harm to your dear floor. It would be better to try things which are tested and recommended to be safe. When you know your floor better, it is easier to maintain them, aside from knowing the kind of solution you can use to clean it, you know what type of materials that are needed to be avoided around the floors like rubber soles that can cause marks and other hard objects that can easily leave scratches or heavy marks.
Type of Hardwood Floor Finish
Before taking a step to clean your floor, there is a need to know what type of finish your wooden floor has first and foremost. The type of wood is not really so important, but how it was sealed or treated is essential to determine, for you to be able to know how to clean and maintain them to lengthen the shelf life of your wooden floors. Generally there are surfaced-sealed or finished wooden floors and penetrating sealed or unfinished wood floors. Safe and effective cleaning procedures for differently treated wood floors varies. Most of the new or modern floors nowadays are surface-treated floors with urethane, polyurethane or a polyacrylic coating and these are water and stain resistant that is why with these type of covering or finish, they are the easiest to clean. Wooden floors with shellac, lacquer or varnish finish are technically surface-sealed too but they are different with woods sealed with modern finishes because these are more durable than those sealed with old school finish. Unfinished floors are usually cleaned differently since it don’t have protective coating for water and stain. Pre finished wooden floors are also coated with protective sealants but the unsealed cracks in between the board is prone to water damage. We also have solid and engineered wood floorings. Solid wood floors are thick and can be sanded and refinished many times while engineered wood floors are made up of several layers of wood finishes and can be sanded and refinished to limited extent only.
Basic Cleaning Method
You can regularly clean your wooden floors to get rid of the surface dirt such as dust, grains and other particles by using a soft broom or dust mops and it’s safe to use these cleaning materials to any type of wood finish. There is also aBISSELL Hard Floor Expert Bagless Canister Vacuum, 1154vacuum cleaners too as long as the material used is appropriate to clean hardwood floors. Better yet, use vacuum cleaners that are accepted or approved for wooden floors. Some models can be a little harsh and may cause scratches and unwanted marks on the floor while gliding the equipment on either unfinished or finished type of wood floor. You can clean your floor with an appropriate broom or vacuum as often as needed to get rid of everyday dirt and relish a particle free wooden floor at all times. Enjoy your investment by preserving it even the simplest way.
Effective And Inexpensive Solution
Depending how the hardwood floors were treated, there are ready made mixtures available in the market and they are usually the perfect solution to maintain your wooden floors but they are usually quite expensive. We have some very good suggestions that you can use without hurting your budget. Try mild soaps or detergent with a bucket of water to mop surface sealed floors. Dishwashing liquid solution also works perfectly on most hardwood floors. Also, Murphy’s oil soap is a gentle cleanser that is usually used to clean finished wooden floors that will give you a very satisfactory result. You may try other mild soaps but make sure that it has low PH but the ones mentioned have been tested and tried. Avoid using plain water because it can cause dullness to the floor and soap substance helps to remove dirt quickly and retains the smoothness of the finished wood. But take note to avoid strong detergents with strong substances as well like bleach and the like. After mopping with the soap solution, do not rinse it with water, dry the floor using a dry cloth or let it air dry before you apply your finishing touches instead. For unfinished wooden floors, applying a wax or liquid wax can help protect the floor from water damage and stains. The type of wax to be used depends if the wood is varnished or sealed with old school wood sealant that often times considered as unfinished or prefinished type of wood. It is also recommended that wax application is done regularly depending how often the floor is used or the traffic in a certain area of the house.
To get the best result, it is recommended to mop the floor in a uniform direction or with a systematized technique or strokes, for floors with grains, it is recommended to follow the direction of the wood grain when mopping. Avoid mopping in random directions, always do it in one direction to make sure that all surface are evenly mopped. If you mop in random direction, there is a tendency that the appearance may not appear uniform even after your finishing touches. Start on a side, from top to bottom then move going to your right or left until you finish mopping the whole surface. Remember to use not so damp mop head in mopping, always remove as much water as you can in the mop head before sliding it on the floor. As much as possible wring it as hard as you can to make it dry as possible or just slightly damp. You can dry your floor faster this way and reduce the risk of water damage especially on unsealed or unfinished wood floors. Flat mops are recommended for timber floors or wooden floors, aside from avoiding scratches, dirts are easily and effectively removed. Another thing, always use lukewarm to cool water with your soap solutions, hot water can damage woods faster.
Use of Robotic Cleaners For Finishing Touches
Aside from drying and using a dry cloth or a mild wood scrub on your wooden floor after mopping and waxing (for some type of wood floors), there are also reliable robotic cleaners that you can rely to make the last phase of your hardwood cleaning process. After you mop it out and dry it, the robotic cleaner can do the last touch by going over the floor with dry appropriate type of fabric to wipe the floor and bring out a natural and shiny look. Advanced robotic cleaners can be set on how to do the cleaning by setting gliding directions and how long they should do it. Works perfectly for floors that needs to be scrubbed with dry fabric to make it shiny and more smooth especially with finished and wood floors that need to be waxed.
Simple and inexpensive solutions for hardwood floor cleaning isn’t that difficult especially if you know what to do and you are used of doing it. It won’t eat much your time either since mopping should be done twice or thrice a month only but sweeping or vacuuming can be done as often as needed. For areas like the kitchen which is prone to mud and traffic, putting a mat on the entrance door will help reduce the amount of dirt that can be engrossed to the floor.