It's difficult to keep 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 there are a few basic strategies for cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors.
Don't worry; dry cleaning your flooring isn't as difficult (or expensive) as dry washing 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 frequently. These crumby particles are more than just unpleasant to walk on with bare feet. They can leave microscopic scratches in your flooring, which can wear down the sheen and make it appear 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 deep clean every now and then. One alternative is to use a store-bought, warranty-approved wood-cleaning solution. Another good option is to manufacture your own cleanser with one part vinegar to ten parts warm water. Add a few drops of a plant-based soap, such as liquid castile soap. The water and vinegar mixture alone will make your floor shine, but the extra soap is beneficial if your floor is really dirty. If you want to go fancy, add a few drops of essential oils to make your floor seem clean and smell like a spa.
Cover a cloth or sponge mop in the cleaning solution and wring it out to ensure that it is moist but not wet when using liquid wood floor cleaners. Moisture can 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, and then damp mop it again to remove the cleaner. Wipe up any extra wetness with a dry towel to ensure there is no dampness remaining on your floor.
As a general rule, never steam clean wood floors. Steam cleaning can 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.
No matter what cleaning method you’re considering, remember to always check your floor’s warranty before committing to one. Whether you just got new floors and want to keep them in good shape or you suspect you’ve been cleaning them wrong for years, your Happy Wood experts are here to answer all of your questions. Our flooring specialists are happy to help with all your projects, so visit your Happy Wood today to start one.