Do you love your gleaming hardwood floors but tiptoe around how to properly clean them? You're not alone, stick around and I'll show you how to properly clean and maintain your hardwood floors. Hardwood floors need maintenance no matter if they're pre-finished at the factory or if they're finished on-site the no maintenance hardwood floor just does not exist.
What Do You Need?
Here are the tools you'll need to mop and care for your hardwood floor; water, vinegar, dishwashing liquid, a bucket, a microfiber twist mop, and a microfiber cloth.
Have Protective Walk-Off Mats
The first step that we take with this hardwood floor is that we need to have protective walk-off mats inside the house here as also we need a walk-off mat outside the house. By getting the dirt and grit off of your feet as you're coming into a hardwood floor your hardwood floor will be a lot easier to maintain. One of the first things that you can do is to use protective floor protectors on the bottoms of all the chairs, tables, and anything that moves around even things that don't move around these can be bought at any hardware store.
Know Your Floors
Hardwood floors are finished in a couple of different ways and my recommendation is to test them very quickly before you actually go ahead with cleaning so that you know exactly what kind of finish you have on your floor. The first kind of finish is that with a polyurethane coat on it and the second kind of finish that you'll see on hardwood floor obviously would be a hardwood finish where the wood has been impregnated with a waxy or oily coating and that way it repels any water or liquid.
The third kind of hardwood floor that you'll see is the unfinished hardwood and on this hardwood floor, you can't put any water on it. So the best way to test your floor to see what kind of finish you have is to drop just a little bit of water onto the hardwood and see if it bubbles up; if it bubbles up you've got a finished hardwood but if the water is absorbed you've got an unfinished hardwood.
Vacuum or Sweep Your Floors Regularly
Before mopping the hardwood floor, it is important to vacuum it first this way you get rid of all the debris, crumbs, dirt, grit and things like that. Never use a wet mop on your hardwood floors; it's just too much water. If you're spreading water all over the hardwood floor the water gets hit on the cracks it swells up the boards and it breaks the bond of the polyurethane in the seams of the boards.
This result in water damage and the finish starts to peel and you end up with a mess and have to refinish your floors; so never use a wet mop on your hardwood floors. A lot of people would like to use a little bit of vinegar and water so when you are using vinegar and water do not use a lot of vinegar in there so a cap full of vinegar in there or a little bit of the dishwashing liquid will do. This is because a high concentration of vinegar can take the sheen off the finish.
Choose the Right Cleaning Agent
If you're going to use a hardwood floor cleaner make sure to use something that its pH is dedicated for hardwood floors. Using something that is acid-based will etch your floor and it is actually a nice way of saying you will create an uneven sheen in the appearance. This damage is something that doesn't happen overnight it will take 1 or 2 months maybe even three but one day you use these chemicals you will find that your floor will lose its sheen.A dishwashing liquid is best for cleaning on hardwood floors because it's a neutral cleaner, it's not harsh and it removes dirt well.
Now, everybody freaks out about putting vinegar on their hardwood floor but vinegar is a mild disinfectant so it is very effective against any oil from your feet, bacteria, dirt, or whatever gets on the floor. Again, vinegar cuts grease and it doesn't leave streaks behind; use only a capful of vinegar because if you use any more than that you can actually take the finish off which would be completely counterintuitive.
Polish Every Month
It is recommended that you polish your hardwood floors at least once in a month; doing this will help to refresh the hardwood finish. It is the polish on the hardwood floor that wears off gradually with every cleaning so polishing at least once in a month can help to fill in the scratches while also evening the floor’s finish.
So keep in mind that you should be sweeping and vacuuming a couple times a week if you can bear it and you should be mopping the floor at least once every two weeks. When your hardwood floors are mirror shiny it makes all the difference and people really notice so it is worth the extra effort.