Cleaning Wood Floors
Many people dread the thought of cleaning floors.
It is not like it used to be 200 years ago when a straw broom was all you needed to sweep out your home.
Now, the applications of various treatments to the wood to preserve their beauty have slowed down the process, making the cleaning process a bit more intricate.
However, there is no need to stress about cleaning your wood floors.
Tips for Mopping Wood Floors Effectively:
Believe it of not, you can't just slop around a bucket of water to clean your floors. Dirty water can scratch the floor. Improper cleaning solutions can make the floor squeak. Too much water can warp the floor. Not drying it can leave water spots.
I don't mean to scare you- really. Just be aware that you need to treat the floors properly when cleaning them. You can damage them if you don't.
It also depends on the type of wood you have and the type of protections that your manufacturer used. These tips should help.
- Avoid a very wet mop. Anytime that you wash the floor, be sure it will dry quickly, such as within a few minutes. You do not want to place a very wet mop on the floor at all.
- Pergo wood floors are laminated can be cleaned with 1 gallon of warm water mixed with not more than 1 cap-full or 2 TBL of of plain white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and disinfectant and leaves no residue; so you do not have to rinse the floor.
- Swedish finish wood floor care varies by manufacturer and the specific process used to finish the floor. Some are okay to clean with 1 gallon of warm water mixed with not more than 1 cap-full or 2 TBL of of plain white vinegar, others are best cleaned with plain warm water and a small amount of pH neutral floor cleaner.
- Dry the floor after mopping, using a towel and shuffle around with your feet, or dry it by hand. You'll be surprised at how much dirt comes up on the towel after you cleaned the floors so carefully. Drying the floor stops water spots from forming so your floors will shine that much more.
- Dry mopping or dusting the floor is often the best recommendation for overall and regular cleaning. This method allows you to remove much of the dirt and debris without damaging the floor itself.
- Some manufacturers have stated that it is okay to use the spray mops on these floors, but do be careful about using any type of solution in them. You need to avoid using most soaps on the floor.
- Tackle spills as soon as possible. This is critical to maintaining the beauty of your floor.
- Check with your manufacturer to learn about restrictions, especially if you have a warranty in place. Follow your manufacturer's instructions perfectly.
To wax or not to wax-that is the question. Some types of flooring need a layer of protective film over them in order for the wood to remain beautiful and in good condition.
The good news is that MOST wood floors today do not need waxing. The majority of floors in homes today have a protective layer of varnish (or plastic- if you will) that repels water and shines just fine on it's own.
In fact, a varnished floor that has been waxed will look dull and dirty- It's just not meant to be waxed and now you'll have to clean it again just to remove the wax to make your floors look good once again.
If you can't tell whether to wax or not, check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend.
Keep the Need For Cleaning To a Minimum:
When it comes to cleaning wood floors, upfront planning will keep the floor cleaner, for a longer period of time. For example, request that people wear socks, not shoes or bare feet, on the floor.
Put floor mats inside and outside of doorways to keep out dirt and grit.
Sweep or vacuum often to remove any tracked in grit or dirt that does make it's way inside.
If you have pets, ensure you have purchased flooring that will not be damaged by their claws.
And, keep up the cleaning process. In many cases, regular dust mopping is all that is needed to protect the floors.
Sometimes a Professional Is Best:
In certain cases, when the floor is marked, scuffed, warped or heavily scratched, you may need hire a professional to handle the problem. A professional can sand, stain and wax the floors to make them look as if they were new.
But by cleaning your wood floors properly, you will extend their life and avoid calling that flooring professional to start with.
And, while it may seem like a grueling task, clean floors really do speak to the cleanliness of the home overall. In other words, it is worth investing the time in having great looking and well maintained floors.