Hardwood floors demand consistent maintenance to lengthen its lifespan. There are a lot of ways one can possibly go about this, however it is advisable to be fully informed before cleaning hardwood. By doing this, you can avoid the many mistakes and pitfalls people occasionally make that can really damage and harm your floors and reduce their duration.
Identifying the Finish
Most hardwood floors come in one of 2 finishes : prefinished and unfinished hardwood. To know more about these 2 types of finishes, check out the article on Prefinished vs. Unfinished Floors.
Prefinished Hardwood Floors are mostly sealed at the surface to protect dirt and moisture from entering in and causing damage. To clean these types of floors, you cannot make use of any sort of oil or wax-based products or cleaners.
Prefinished floors are water-resistant and so the best way to take care of them is to sweep and vacuum it regularly, or use a water-and-soap solution to clean. An easy solution can be made using the following :
1. ¼ Cup of dishwashing soap
2. A Bucket filled with water.
Simply mix them together in the bucket and use a mop to clean the floor. WARNING : Do not use a completely wet mop, make sure to wire out the water-and-soap solution simply enough so the mop is damp, rather than wet.
To clean up the scuff marks on prefinished hardwood floors, rub a bit of baking soda onto a wet sponge and polish the marks away. To wash away food stains and oil, ALWAYS use a commercial cleaner.
Unfinished Hardwood Floors need much more care when cleaning and sustaining them. Unfinished floors are completed and seal-treated onsite during the installation. They are also considerably more prone to moisture damage therefore it is best to prevent using water-based cleaning when dealing with them.
Eventually, unfinished hardwood will see a lot of wax accumulation which can both be harmful to the floor and make it look incredibly dull. To clean and restore the floor’s initial shine, use a stripper to remove old wax buildup. Always ensure to ask the hardwood’s manufacturer to advise a commercial product that can do this.
The method for washing and waxing an unfinished floor is demonstrated below.
1. Vacuum, sweep or use a dry cleaner like Swiffer to rid the hardwood of dust as well as dirt.
2. Applying a manufacturer-recommended product, remove the old wax buildup from the floor.
3. Be sure the entire hardwood area is well-ventilated to avoid dust and dirt from re-entering. Wait around until the floor has dried up before applying the wax.
4. Put a thin coat of wax to the hardwood, making sure to uniformly spread it all across the floor.
5. Again, maintaining the area well-ventilated, let the floor dry.
6. Finally, apply the final coat of wax and let dry
7. Using any a cloth or buffing machine, buff the waxed hardwood floor.
For high-traffic places, the floor should be waxed atleast twice a year to extend its duration.
To take care of little issues such as scuff marks, use a metallic wool pad and apply minimal amount of wax to the afflicted area. For food stains and oil, always use a commercial cleaner for unfinished hardwood.
5 Tips For Maintaining Your Hardwood Floor
1. Always sweep and vacuum it regularly. If you have time in your day, it is advisable to sweep or vacuum your hardwood floors at least two times a day.
2. To minimize the amount of dust that can harm your hardwood, place a doormat at the entrance to the room.
3. If anything is ever dropped or spilled on your floors just like any sort of liquid or food, make sure to clean it immediately. Water can definitely damage hardwood if neglected.
4. When placing a carpet on your floors, place an underpad to safeguard your floors from rug dyes and plastic backings from the carpet.
5. Constantly follow your hardwood manufacturer’s maintenance directions carefully and ask questions when anything seems unclear.
Never take an action to clean your floors without having to be fully informed. By using this guide closely, you can extend the life of your hardwood floors and keep them looking as beautiful as always.