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Handy Hints For Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Posted by on Nov. 7, 2017 at 2:15 AM
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More and more homes these days have bare flooring.

From laminate and tiles through to striking hardwood, wooden floors look great but need careful maintenance.

Things can be awkward when you have mixed flooring. You'll want a vacuum with strong suction to deal with debris ingrained in carpets. The problem is, motorized brush rolls can scratch and damage your polished wood floors. This is where the best vacuum for hardwood floors can come in handy.

So...

Today, we'll have a look at some handy hints for cleaning your hardwood floors.

First thing's first, though...

What type of hardwood floors do you have?

Hardwood Floors: Different Types

The way in which your hardwood floors are sealed will determine basic cleaning and care.

There are 3 main finishes:

  • Surface-Sealed
  • Penetrating Seal-Treated/Oil-Treated
  • Lacquered, Varnished or Untreated

Surface-Sealed

The majority of new wooden floors are surface-sealed with polyacrylic, polyurethane or urethane.

Surface-sealed floors are highly resistant to staining or water damage.

They are also the easiest type of hardwood floor to clean. All you need to do is sweep then mop and you're good to go.

Lacquered, Varnished or Untreated

These floors are technically surface finishes but a varnish, shellac or lacquer will not wear as well against any spillages or damp.

Paste and liquid waxes will serve you well.

Penetrating Seal-Treated/Oil-Treated

Penetrating seals and oil finishes harden after soaking into the wood grain.

This style of finish demands much more effort on your part. You'll need to really look after your floor to keep it tip-top.

Liquid or paste wax works best.

Some General Advice For Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Once you've thought about what finish your flooring has, here are a few things to consider for short-term and long-term cleaning.

Daily Routine

Sweeping frequently is crucial if you want your wooden flooring to look its best.

If you use a microfiber cloth or mop on a daily basis, this is the first line of defense against surface scratches. The static electricity generated by microfiber can help to trap dirt, debris and allergens.

When you push your microfiber mop around the floor, avoid lifting it up. This will keep all the dirt you capture secure on the pad. You will lessen the risk of any damage to your floor using this method.

This type of little-and-often maintenance means you'll have far less work to do in the long run.

Weekly Routine

Once a week or so, it's time to roll out your vacuum or mop for a thorough clean.  It's the awkward spots, corners and under the furniture that might not need attacking every day but do demand regular attention for a spotless finish.

It's critical to switch off the motorized beater brush on your vacuum if you have one. If your vacuum has one of these brush rolls but it's not possible to deactivate it, use extreme caution if you use it on bare floors.

Be wary of wheels marking or scoring your hardwood floors.

If you choose to mop your floor, remember to be very sparing with the water. Hardwood floors do not appreciate too much moisture and it can be highly damaging. Mist rather than soak.

Monthly Routine

Every few months, it's a good call to polish your wooden floors to keep them immaculate.

The act of polishing does more than just make your floor look nice and shiny. It can actually help to buff up and invigorate the finish protecting your floor.

A good dose of polish can help to fill in any tiny scratches and generally helps to even out the protective surface.

Don't put off polishing your floors. It requires remarkably little effort and can actually be pretty therapeutic.

Yearly Routine

Deep-cleaning your hardwood floors on a yearly basis is a smart move.

Every 3 or 4 years, it also pays to sand it down and refinish for best results. This will strip off the old protective finish and you can replace it. Even in the event of fairly deep scrapes, your floor should be returned to like-new condition after refinishing.

Use Plenty of Mats

Prevention is better than cure. Keeping your hardwood floors nice and clean and making it easy on yourself will reward you when cleaning time comes around.

 

If you pop some floor mats at all entrances and in any particularly high-traffic areas, this is a strong start. You will immediately reduce the amount of dirt, debris and stoned that would otherwise have been tracked over your floor.

What Not To Do With Hardwood Floors

Don't bother with water and vinegar solutions, any soap-based cleaning products. Vinegar can cause your floor to dull over time while soap leaves a sticky residue.

Steam cleaners should largely be avoided. The combination of heat and excessive water can harm your hardwood floors and lead to cupping and warping.

Wrap-Up

We hope you've found these hardwood flooring tips useful and informative.

Cleaning wooden floors is not rocket science. A little care coupled with a little effort and your flooring should stay looking as good as new.


by on Nov. 7, 2017 at 2:15 AM
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