Keeping your hardwood floor clean and in good condition is an important step to avoid permanent damage that will be expensive to fix in the future, where it is one of the largest investments in your home. Protecting of your Floor is simple with regular cleaning and maintaining it from avoiding dirt and scratches.
There are some handy tips to keep your floor looking their best. Here the mortal enemies of wood flooring are moisture and dirt, both of which most likely settle on your floors continuously. Longer you mop, the harder it will damage your floor. Never let standing water sit on the floor, and if necessary dry mop, or use a towel to remove any excess liquids that may be present. When tiny particles of dirt, sand and grit are tracked into a room, leaving your foot at the door where it causes scratching on the wood with wearing it down. That is why regular vacuuming or sweeping is necessary on weekly basis.
To figure out the best cleaning method for your floor initially, you need to find out how your floors are sealed or finished hardwood. Here you can go with types of hardwood flooring finishes.
Acrylic- This is a quick drying solution that is water soluble, and non- toxic. It does require regular maintenance, as it will have to be waxed 2- 4 times per year in order to provide additional protection to the floor.
Polyurethane- The most common sealant, inexpensive, long lasting and tends to bring out yellow shades and hues in natural wood flooring, and over time those colors will become more pronounced. Polyurethane finishing is easy to clean by mopping your floor on weekly or biweekly basis.
Wax- It is natural and water resistant and even has a pleasant scent after application. Over time of wax can build if not polished, causing unattractive splotches on the floor. It can also occasionally be slippery when wet.
Hardwood floors treated with a urethane finish (usually polyurethane or a poly acrylic) are the easiest to clean and a quick swipe of a damp cloth will do the best on your floors.
Here are the best rules of thumb for cleaning your hardwood floors, no matter what type of finish you have:
- Do not use ammonia or harsh, abrasive cleaners and avoid using of ammonia content solutions as they will dull or scratch the finish.
- Do not mix common chemicals found in your home without proper instructions by the manufactures.
- Do not use furniture sprays or wood oil on floating hardwood floors, as sprays would create a slick and dangerous slip surface, while wood oil will have a waxy build up on the floor.
- You can also make your own solution by mixing about a quarter cup of pH- neutral soap or Murphy oil soap to a bucket of warm water. When the water gets dirty, empty the bucket and mix a new batch of cleaning solution and continue mopping. When finished, rinse the entire surface with clean water and then, dry the area thoroughly with a towel.
- Make use of appropriate cleaning tools, soft non- scratching fibrous cloths (like microfiber) are ideal for picking up surface dirt without marking your floors.
- If you really don’t know what to be used to clean your floor then, go to a local store or better yet, a flooring store, where you can get brands of cleaning solutions and to pick up supplies and cleaning cloths. However, follow all mixing instructions on the cleaning solutions label for proper use.
- Never mop with water and vinegar, as this can end up dulling the look of floors more quickly.
As stated before, the best way to maintain a clean hardwood floor is to prevent dirt and spills from accumulating in the first place. It’s an incredibly simple DIY project where special equipments aren’t needed. A clean floor equals a longer-lasting floor. In addition, it also keeps harmful pollutants, like dust and allergens, out of the home.