For some of us, cleaning our hardwood floors is a 4 letter word. However, for some, we happily lug out our brooms, vacuums, dust mops, and buckets and start scrubbing. The one thing we both have in common is that we both will have clean floors. On our downtime, we search the blogs and Pinterest walls trying to find the best way to clean hardwood floors. Either we look for new techniques, new mop solution recipes, or a new sequence of cleaning that will all hopefully result in clean floors that stay clean with almost no effort. Fortunately for you, we at Carolina Flooring have put together a quick how to on the best way to clean hardwood floors.
The first step when it comes to the best way to clean hardwood floors is to sweep it. You can use a soft bristled broom or a vacuum, whatever works to get the dust and dirt up. If you do use a vacuum, make sure you don’t use the beater bar attachment because it can scratch your floors.
Next, figure out what kind of finish is on your floor. If your floor isn’t glossy then you most likely have an unfinished floor. You also may have an older seal on your finished floor or a pre-finished floor, all of which need to be handled with special care when it comes to cleaning them. Let’s start with these. First, fill a bucket with water, it is best to use distilled water which will not streak your floor. Wet your mop with the water and wring it out until it is lightly damp. If you can still get water out of it with your hands, it is too wet. The reason why it has to be only damp is that because these types of floors aren’t sealed or haven’t been sealed in a while, we don’t want standing water on them and damaging them. After you have your mop ready, start cleaning. Wash your mop as often as you can and make sure you use clean water. If you have a tough spot to get out, use some odorless mineral spirits and a cloth to help break up the stain. Make sure you test the spirits in an inconspicuous place first. If you have some extra energy you can buff your floor dry with a terry cloth. It will give it a nice sheen but isn’t necessary.
Now on to the other types of floors. If you have a modern house or at least modern flooring your floors are easier to clean because the newer finishes are water and stain resistant. Here is the best way to clean your hardwood floors. First, choose the right cleaner. For a general clean, use a pH-neutral water-based cleaner. A great example of this would be a mild dish soap. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons for a bucket of water. It will also help dissolve any dirt and grime on your floors. If you happen to have any hard water or mineral deposits, use a more acidic cleaner, like vinegar, to help get rid of those stains. When you go to mop, make sure you wring out your mop to avoid standing water but you don’t have to be too diligent about it since your floors are sealed well. If you have any really tough spots, use a cloth and your solution and work on those individually. Once you are done, clean your mop with water and rinse your floor with your clean mop.
One thing to remember when finding the best way to clean hardwood floors, if you aren’t sure what kind of finish or stain you are working with, use the more gentle method to avoid ruining your floor.
If you have any questions about the best way to clean hardwood floors or would like to make and appointment to see our samples of available flooring, please give Carolina Flooring’s knowledgeable staff a call today.
Photo by: Boa-Franc