Cleaning Wood Floors

While wooden flooring is easy to clean and maintain, there is a right and wrong way of cleaning it. Find out how best to take care of this investment in order to make sure it is not damaged.

Wood is a popular material of choice for flooring because of its durability and versatility. Wood floors create a warm atmosphere for any space – may it be a home or an office. It embodies comfort and exudes charm, which makes it a very ideal flooring option for any area.

If you’ve decided to get wood flooring for your place, the next step would be to preserve the beauty of your floor. Cleaning your wood floors regularly is one way to do just that. Contrary to the horror stories about the difficulty of cleaning wood floors, there are many effective and “green” ways to clean your floors to keep them looking brand new.

Clean your floors regularly

The first place you would want to start is at the “gateways” of your floors which are the doors. You can place doormats at each entrance in order to keep dirt, grime and debris to a minimum. Walk-off mats are very effective since they not only catch dirt but also reduce the chances of lead and pesticides coming into your home through people’s shoes. However, aside from this and the regular sweeping of the floors, there are other methods that you can try to keep the life in your floor without having to use toxic chemicals and elements found in the store-bought cleaners.

Don’t use water

One of the most basic and most important rules for cleaning any kind of wood floor – whether it is surfaced, oiled, laminated or not – is to never use a wet mop as you normally would for vinyl or tile floors. Flooding the floor with water and mopping will bring damage to your wood floors quickly. Water is the most violent enemy of wood floors so prevent water from coming into contact with the wood floors. When you mop, make sure that you wring out the mop head thoroughly before you use it across the floor.

Find out what cleaning materials work for your kind of hardwood floor

Engineered floors, and generally any kind of hardwood flooring with a surface coating, should not be cleaned with cleaners that promise “shine”. They will not work on the wood and will actually cause build up that will be tough to remove when you would need to resurface the floor in the future. The surface coating will also become cloudy if you use products that contain ammonia. For these types of floors, the recommended method for cleaning is using a quarter cup of regular dishwashing detergent and mixing it in a bucket of warm water. Make sure that you wring out your cleaning material well before you use it to wipe the floors. After wiping with the detergent, do the same again only this time, use plain water.

Water-based cleaners are not recommended for hardwood floors that have oil or penetrating finish. Using natural citrus solvent in a light spray should do the trick. An advantage of this is that it is not only effective, but it is also environmental.
Another unconventional and uncommon ingredient used for cleaning wood floors is tea. Simply brew three tea bags (use only black tea) in a quart of water. You then have to wring out a mop or a rag to apply it onto the floor. You do not need to rinse after this cleaning method.