You must first determine if your hardwood floor needs cleaning or does it need refinishing?
You cannot clean a hardwood floor that has little or no finish. This is because you are not cleaning the floor itself but mainly the finishing.
In my experience when someone asked about cleaning their hardwood floor, what they mean is how should I get my floor refinished?
Here is a 3 step process to determine if your wood flooring needs refinishing?
- Locate an area of the wood floor that gets the highest traffic daily. This would be an area that may need refinishing.
- Start by pouring a spoonful of water on that area of the floor. If the finishing is in good condition, it will produce droplets of beaded water on top of the wood. If the finish is wearing thin, you will see the water soaking into the wood slowly but surely. If the water is absorbed by the wood immediately and you see a dark spot in that area, your wood floor must be refinished immediately.
- Remember to wipe up any water that still remains on the surface of the wood with a paper towel. Move on to other areas to see which portion of your hardwood floor may require refinishing.
Let's start with the cleaning
Firstly, go over it with a vacuum cleaner to remove as much debris as possible. Why you are doing this is to remove any debris like grit or sand that may end up scratching the finish of the floor during the mopping step.
Next, start with a damp mop.
How about a little vinegar in your water? Is it safe for the floor?
Although you may have seen many articles on how vinegar may break down the properties of wood, think of it, how often do you wash your wood floor and how much vinegar do you use?
It will take a whole lot of vinegar and many washing for that to happen.
- Make 3 tablespoons of white vinegar With 3 liters of warm water in a large bucket
- Wash your mop in this mixture and dry it as much as you can
- Sprinkle a light code of baking soda over the hardwood floor which gives you a slightly rough texture that causes no harm to the hardwood floor but allows you to remove any buildup on the floor
- Using your mop, wipe off your hardwood floor while using as much pressure as necessary to get rid of any buildups.
- Wash the mop frequently and repeat this step 3 to 4 times.
- Allow the floor to air dry naturally.
Here are some tips on how you should be caring for your hardwood floor
- Sweep your floor regularly, either with a vacuum with a soft floor attachment all a soft bristle broom
- Remember to put a barrier between any furniture legs and your floor. plastic gliders or felt pads work very well
- If you spill something on the floor clean it up immediately using a damp paper towel
- Clean the floor occasionally using a high-quality wood floor cleaner
- If you are trying out a new cleaning product for the first time remember to test it in an inconspicuous area first
- Place floor mats at the ways to prevent greet and dirt from getting onto the floor which can scratch the finishing of the floor
Hardwood flooring is beautiful and long lasting because of its durability, variety and versatility. Virtually any decor can match your choice of hard wood flooring.
Learn to care for it and it will last you a lifetime.