Clean Hardwood Floors
Clean Hardwood Floors
Even with the most consistent upkeep, hardwood floors can look old and uninviting. Floors get stepped on by all sorts of shoes, rolled over with heavy equipments, stained with chemicals and even not cleaned at all. Although hardwood floors are tough floors that can last a very long time, all types of wood eventually lose its luster because of abuse and the test of time.
Well Finished Floors: Some hardwoods are well finished which means that it has undergone 3 coats of oil modified polyurethane or 4 water-based finish coats. There are also Swedish finishes which are pre-catalyzed conversion finishes. The last type is the moisture cured urethanes which are water resist.
There are certain chemicals that can contribute to a hardwood floor discoloration and age. Some cleaning solutions instead of giving hardwood floors the perfect shine ruin the natural color of the wood. These chemicals shorten the lifespan of hardwoods. Frequent cleaning is also not necessarily the solution to making a hardwood look clean all the time. Instead, proper way of cleaning will make a hardwood, shine for a lifetime.
2 Things You Have Been Doing That Can Ruin Your Hardwood Floor
- Not Cleaning it at all
A simple wipe is not cleaning at all. If you think floors are maintenance free, they are not. They should be cleaned regularly, primarily because gravity will pull all dirt and bring it to the floor. If you mess it up with ketchup stains, alcohol drippings and the like, it certainly can ruin the hardwood floor. To maintain the cleanliness of the floor, you have to clean it regularly. Even new floors can lose their shine after a couple of weeks without you cleaning it. So, make sure that you clean it regularly.
- Using Chemicals that Can Ruin the Floor
When you clean it though, do not just use the first cleaning solution that you see in a store isle. They might contain chemicals which are bad for hardwood floors. The chemicals will slowly remove the coating and eventually destroy the wood. Once the coat wears off, it would be easier for the wood to break. You can find these chemicals in some household cleaning materials meant for the kitchen tiles or bathroom tiles. Do not use bathroom chemicals to remove stains you have on the hardwood.
3 Things You Need to Do to Maintain Your Hardwood Floor Life
- Trust Cleaning Experts
Cleaning experts are not know-it-alls when it comes to using the proper cleaning agents and materials but really are experts at cleaning. They can make an old hardwood floor look new again. Trust cleaning experts which have been in the industry for quite some time and have a good reputation to back them up. Check their client feedback and certifications.
- Use Eco-friendly Solutions
If you are cleaning new hardwood floors, PH neutral cleaners are the perfect cleaning agents to use. New hardwood floors need to cure first before you attempt using any cleaning solution on them. If you have an oil based hardwood finish, it will take about a month for it to cure, which means you have to wait a month to use PH neutral cleaners. Water based finishes only take 2 weeks to cure.
Low PH Cleaners, like vinegar, are good to dissolve hard water and mineral deposits but is a poor cleaning agent. It cannot remove grease and dirt. High PH Cleaners like soaps and detergents will dull the finish of the floor. They are also bad for the skin. So, the best cleaning agent that you should use are PH neutral cleaners.
When waxing the floor, use water based acrylic waxes which can be easily applied, easily dries off and does not need to be buffed. There are also high shine wax for commercials hardwood floors and high solid acrylic wax. High solid acrylic wax should only be applied to well finished wood surfaces. It will give the high glossy shine but cannot be easily removed. So, if you want to change coating, you will have to sand the floor and apply a different finish.
For washing it, you can use a wood wash solution. It is safe to use in both new and old floor finishes. It is also biodegradable. It is also cheap and does a better job than vinegar. There are also floor refreshers which can re-coat your less shiny hardwood floors.
- Use Proper Cleaning Tools
If you think cleaning hardwood floors can be a daunting task, it is indeed, especially if you have been cleaning it all wrong. You will just ruin or further ruin your floor if you have been cleaning it the wrong way. It is not just wipe and go. Vacuuming the floor thoroughly first is a good way to prevent scratching the floor, then using a damp mop after. Using a damp mop is a method where you dip the mop in a bucket and wring it out almost dry. Going over the floor with a damp mop removes guck, and dissolves dirt.
The basic cleaning materials that you need are the following: vacuum, dry mop, damp mop, bucket of water, PH neutral cleaning agent, cloth and wax.
5 Tips on How to Maintain Hardwood Floors Spick and Span
You can restore the luster of a hardwood floor with these proper cleaning techniques.
Clear the floor of any furniture.
- Vacuum Floor. This can be something that can save the life of the hardwood. Removing grains that ruin the floor if mopped immediately. Get rid of all the surface dirt and debris.
- Damp mop it. Make sure you mop it going with the grain. Hardwood polyurethane floors can be damp mopped. Run the mop back and forth. Make sure you go with the grain in smooth strokes.
- Let it dry.
- Use a wax that best suits your floor. Let it sit for a before buffing, about 1-=15 minutes.
Buff the floor with a Cloth. Use a soft cloth and buff the floor in a gentle circular motion. Buffing the floor after the wax gives back that shiny floor look again