Hardwood floors give a nice appearance to your home, but if you don’t maintain them, they’ll stick out like a sore thumb. When cleaning, making the wrong decision might even ruin your so sought-after floorboards, resulting in a very dull floor.
Luckily, you can learn the best way to keep your floor spotless and in good shape. Here are three steps for streak-free hardwood floor cleaning!
Why proper cleaning is essential for your wood flooring
In a sense, your hardwood floor is alive. Wood reacts to the temperature and humidity in your home, so you must avoid putting your flooring through extreme conditions. Harsh chemicals can dry and peel the finish, while excess water will warp the boards.
Heat can also hurt hardwood, so be very careful before using a steam mop on your hardwood floors. Always check the manuals, but to be safer, just avoid steam cleaning altogether.
Next, we’ll show you how to clean your wooden floors without worrying about damaging them.
How to clean your hardwood floors
Cleaning your wood floors is pretty straightforward, and by the time you’re done with these steps, you’ll only need to clean your flooring once a week with a slightly damp mop.
Before starting, keep in mind that not every floor is identical; spot-test first whenever you try a new cleaning solution.
Step #1: Remove dust from your flooring
Catch dust with a slightly damp microfiber mop first so that you won’t scratch the surfaces.
You could use a vacuum cleaner, but most of these devices will scratch your floors, so be very careful. Check if your vacuum cleaner has a “hardwood floor setting” or if it raises its brush bar for extra safety. If the wheels are rubberized, the better.
When vacuuming, go slowly and over the same spots repeatedly so you don’t miss anything.
Step #2: Remove tough stains
Water spots can be dissolved with baking soda; use a tiny amount (so the wood won’t dry) and wipe it with a damp cloth. If you run into tougher stains, dip the corner of a soft cloth in a mix of 50/50 water and rubbing alcohol.
If you struggle with oil and grease spills, you can damp a soft cloth in soapy water and scrub the stain away. However, you’ll need to rinse the soap residue with a slightly damp mop.
Step #3: Mop your floors clean
Flat mops are best suited, but you can still get the job done with a regular mop and a bucket. You can use a special floor solution with neutral pH (meaning no harsh acidic properties that damage the wood), but if you don’t want any headaches, the natural way is using white vinegar.
Dilute vinegar in water so its acidity won’t damage your flooring. The safest ratio is ½ cup vinegar per gallon of warm water, but still, make sure to spot-test before going all in.
The cleaning technique consists of wringing out the mop as much as possible and going in blocks, never neglecting corners. You can turn on the fans for faster drying.
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