Who doesn’t find hardwood floors amazing? They are classy to look at, and there are so many types to choose from. However, for many people, they are hard to keep. Think of how much they can be damaged over years and years of us and our pets walking over them, spilling drinks, dropping greasy food and heavy objects…especially in offices or restaurants. And think about how much little time we have to dedicate to cleaning in general- let alone a whole routine for floors!
Only a good cleaning plan can prevent these kind of issues- one that has to be specifically designed for the type of floor you have- it will save you a lot of time too.
1. Verify What Type of Finish Your Hardwood Floor Has
Typically when you buy this type of flooring, a mandatory identity card comes with the purchase. This paper has all the information you need regarding how the floor has been sealed- for instance, it could be with oils, wax or varnish. Furthermore, the surface can be smooth, brushed or just irregular because of works like planing, cutting, sawing and others. Knowing that, it is useful to understand how to keep your hardwood floor shiny. For example, if it has been treated with wax, after a certain period of time, you will need to re-wax it.
At least, keep in mind that when it comes to cleaning a hardwood floor, whichever its type could be, the procedure is the same, while when we talk about waxing we come to different solutions.
2. Remove Dirt From Surfaces
Make sure to remove all excessive dirt when beginning the cleaning process. For your hardwood floors, use a broom, vacuum, or steam vacuum.
3. Steam Cleaner is Key in the Process
To ensure that your hardwood floors are properly sanitized from all the remaining dust, hair, dirt and unwanted germs, use a steam cleaner. It will properly prepare your hardwood floor for the next steps, preventing it to be badly waxed. Using a steam cleaner for your hardwood floors will also have them looking refreshed and elegant.
4. Never Use Water Alone!
Remember that you should never clean your wooden floor with water alone, because it is not enough to work. Actually, it is the same for our body, it needs a solution with soap in order to eliminate germs and bacteria.
5. Use a Neutral Detergent – or Tea!
Be careful in the choice of the detergent to use- it shall not contain any toxic substance such as ammonia, bleach, alcohol, anti-scale, or any kind of pseudo-protective cream. Why? Well, using a bad detergent along with polishing products could permanently damage the wooden floor surface. This is why you should only use soap diluted in hot water- simple, but effective.
Otherwise, granny’s method is always trustworthy (unless it is vinegar!)- steep two teabags in boiling water, as if you were preparing tea. Damp a cloth in the drink and start washing- it is going to be shiny, thanks to the tannic acid contained in tea.
6. Dishcloths and Towels
If the surface of the floor is rough or irregular use a durable dishcloth or a common towel for proper cleaning use.
Are there stains that you haven’t still managed to erase? If it is food, rub the surface with a cloth until it dries, then wax it. If it is other marks, rub wax into the area in a circular motion.
7. Use the Right Kind of Waxes
Check how many times a year you should wax your floor- twice? Twelve? There are multiple possibilities. In any case, over the time, the usage of a bad kind of wax creates chemical layers, resulting in damaging the veins of the wooden floor. It is very important you listen to your seller’s suggestions when choosing a wax. Keep in mind it is better if it is natural and liquid. Also, do not overuse it.
8. What About Prevention?
Prevention is important too! Here are some golden tips to follow:
● Consider using doormats and carpets- choose them wisely, as some colors may stain your floor- they help significantly in preserving your floor for many years to come.
● Whenever you spill a liquid on the floor, wipe it away immediately, before it could further damage your floor.
● Vacuum and steam clean periodically, as dirt destroys hardwood floors.
● Keep yourself informed! It is the first and only step that avoids unexpected issues. Read home magazines, online product reviews, ask someone you know who is more knowledgeable in this field or even hire a designer to help you in answering all of your questions.