How to Clean Hardwood Floors
Learning how to clean hardwood floors is essential for protecting and maintaining your beautiful investment. Since dirt and grime can’t hide on hardwood flooring like they can on carpet, the steps needed to clean wooden floors may seem “high maintenance.” However, once you establish your own routine, the best way to clean hardwood flooring won’t seem so difficult.
Daily Schedule – Dust/Sweep
Giving your floors a good dusting with a microfiber mop or cloth will be your best daily defense against scratches and surface damage. Microfiber cleaning pads often use static electricity to trap dirt, particles, and other household allergens. Using a broom to can be effective as well, but using a broom only pushes the dirt around. When you want to clean wooden floors without damaging them, avoid lifting your microfiber mop up off the floor when you clean—this way you keep the dirt trapped on the pad.
Weekly Schedule – Vacuum/Mop
Weekly maintenance will deal with harder to reach areas that a daily dusting can’t reach. Vacuums and wet mops are ideal for getting dirt out of trouble areas like corners and the spaces between hardwood flooring. However, using vacuums and mops come with extra caution when you want to clean floors without damaging them. If your vacuum has a beater bar, make sure it doesn’t hit the bare floor. Also, the wheels on a vacuum might damage the floor. When you’re using a mop, remember that water and wood don’t mix! Avoid putting excess liquid on your floor. Lightly misting your floor with a natural hardwood floor cleaner will be enough to give it a great clean. A gentle touch is one of the best ways to care for wood floors.
Monthly Schedule – Polish
Polish wood floors every 2-4 months, depending on the traffic in your home, to add extra shine and protection. Hardwood floor polish renews and refreshes the finish that protects your hardwood floor. With floors that have a protective sealant, it is the finish that is getting the most attention when we clean—not the actual hardwood. When you polish wood floors, you fill in microscopic scratches and even out a floor’s protective surface. Using hardwood floor polish is not a difficult task and can be done with a minimal amount of effort.
Yearly Schedule – Deep Clean
With all the foot traffic we put on hardwood flooring, consider giving your floor a deep clean or a sand and refinish every 3-5 years. Refinishing your floor completely removes the old protective finish and replaces it. If your floor has some deep scratches or gouges, sanding and refinishing can repair this damage, leaving you with immaculately clean hardwood flooring.
Get the right tools.
A microfiber mop paired with a natural hardwood floor cleaner is enough to care for wood floors. Using a mop with a machine washable, microfiber pad for dusting and cleaning is great way to save money. The electrostatic action of a microfiber pad attracts dirt, particles and common household allergens.
Things to avoid.
Cleaning floors with vinegar is a bad idea. Using water and vinegar, soap-based cleaners, wax or steam cleaners on your hardwood floors should be avoided in hardwood floor maintenance. Vinegar and water dull the floor’s finish over time, while soap and wax leave residue. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on your floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage.
Extra protection with mats.
Place mats or rugs at entryways or other traffic areas to minimize the amount of dirt and debris that gets onto your hardwood flooring. Make sure the protective coverings you use are designed for wood floors. Some rubber-backed mats can trap moisture, damaging floors in the process.
As you come up with your hardwood floor maintenance routine, remember that the overall use of your floors will dictate how often you need to clean. High-traffic areas may need to be mopped or polished more often, while less-used floors can go a bit longer between intense cleanings.
Finding the best way to clean hardwood floors will take some time and patience, but with the right tools and techniques, you’ll be able to keep your floors looking their best. Remember that the time you spend maintaining your floors pales in comparison to how much time you’ll spend enjoying your floors.
Bona offers a wide selection of natural hardwood floor cleaners and hardware that will make cleaning your hardwood floors a breeze. Find the right tools and give your floors a phenomenal clean.