Wood floors are popular and so are the cleaning products available on the market today. But with all the different recommendations on how to clean your wood floors to make them last as long as possible while looking great, how do you know which way is best? If you’re confused about which cleaning strategy is the most effective, keep reading to learn the six dos and don’ts of maintaining your wood flooring.
1. Do: Find the Right Cleaning Liquids
Most wood flooring installed today have a finish, usually of urethane. The best way to find the right cleaning solution for your wood floor is to go to your local flooring store and ask them which products they sell and recommend. Another option is to ask the installer since he or she will likely know what the manufacturer recommends and what to avoid.
When you use the right cleaner for your wood flooring, you will make sure it stays clean and bright, with no dulling of the finish.
2. Do: Remember to Vacuum
You cannot just wet mop your floor and think it’s done. No, vacuuming your wood floor is essential to keep them maintained. Vacuum your floors as often as you can, since this will prolong the life of the wood, keep its finish, and keep it clean. Avoid using a vacuum with a beater brush since this can damage the surface.
3. Don’t: Placing Rugs Immediately
There isn’t anything wrong with using area rugs on your wood floors; however, you should wait at least six months after the floors are installed before you place the rugs. This is because over time, the light in the room will change the colour in the wood.
If you place the rugs too soon, you will have a visible difference in wood colour under the rugs than what is around them. If you place the rugs sooner than six months, you might have to re-sand and re-finish the floors to get them of a consistent colour again.
Always use floor rugs with a natural backing.
4. Don’t: Avoid Homemade Cleaners
If you’re the type of person who eschews commercial cleaners and instead use homemade cleaners made with vinegar, this is one area that you should change your habits. Vinegar is acidic and can damage the finish of your wood flooring; commercial wood flooring cleaners have been formulated to protect and prolong the finish on your floors.
5. Don’t: Beware of Steam Cleaners
You have probably seen the commercials where a steam cleaner is used on a floor to give perfectly shiny, sanitized, and disinfected wood floors. But what you don’t see is the long-term effects a steam cleaner will have on your wood. Steam will slowly but surely peel off the finish on your floor, leaving you with dull, drab wooden flooring.
Furthermore, once the finish is damaged, the steam can actually cause permanent damage to the wood underneath.
6. Don’t: Wet Mopping without Dusting or Vacuuming First
Many people think they can just wet mop their flooring without first sweeping, dusting, or vacuuming it. This is not the proper way to maintain your wooden flooring. Leaving dust on the floor before you mop it will create a dusty haze, and eventually lead to a build-up of debris and dirt.
All you will do is smear around the dust and dirt around. Always dust, vacuum, or sweep your wood floor before you apply any water and cleaning solution.
In the end, the best way to keep your wood floors looking well-maintained and clean is to make sure you use a cleaner that has been recommended to you by the installer or manufacturer. Also, don’t use wood polish or conditioner except on a very irregular basis, since they aren’t recommended and might give you a sticky floor.
Finally, it’s better to dust and vacuum your floor on a daily basis and only wash it sparingly so you get the most possible life and beauty out of your flooring.