When it comes to cleaning, hardwood floors are a little bit tricky. Learn what you need to know about how to get your wooden floors shiny.
Essentials: What you didn’t know about cleaning a wood floor
Before you start mopping, it is best to select an approach. The cleaning agent you are going to use is determined by the finish. Hence, it doesn’t matter whether you have an engineered floor or parquet. All that matters is how it is sealed.
Penetrating and oil finishes tend to soak into the surface. They require more than just mopping. Paste or liquid wax added to an existing oil or penetrating finish will ensure extra protection against dirt and scratches.
Surface finishes such as polyurethane are resistant to damage, water and stains. They only require regular vacuuming and mopping.
Shellac, lacquer, varnish or lacquer finishes are not very resistant to wear, spills and moisture. Therefore you should be careful not to soak them when mopping.
Untreated floors, that is floors that have no finish, should be treated like oil-treated floors.
How to tell what kind of finish you have if you are not sure? Perform a simple test to figure out. Rub your hand across the surface and take a look at it. Is there smudge on the floor? If so, it means it has been sealed with a lacquer, varnish, shellac or oil finish. If not, then your floor has been sealed with a surface finish.
Cleaning: what to do when
How to clean oil-treated floors, lacquered, shellacked, penetrating or untreated floors. First off, you need to remove old wax. Use a floor stripper to do the trick. Your choice of a product will be influenced by the manufacturer’s recommendations. When it comes to wax, choose paste or liquid wax, as mentioned above. But don’t go for furniture or water-based waxes. Ideally, you will re-wax the surface every 12 to 18 months. Until that time, all you need to do to keep your floor shiny is to sweep and vacuum regularly. Waxed floors should not be dampened! Spot wax any small areas that get dull in the meantime.
How to get surface-sealed floors gleaming. Unless you want a dull look, don’t use abrasive cleaners, alkaline products or ammonia. Instead use water and mild soap or shampoo. Fill a bucket with water and add a quarter cup of soap. Soak your mop into the bucket and squeeze the excess water. Then mop as usual. Another way to do this is to check with the floor finisher. Every product recommends a certain cleaning solutions that would be best to use. Find that product and use it on a regular basis.
Even though many people go for it, it is not recommended to use vinegar and water to clean your hardwood floors. It will make the surface dull. Don’t use water alone either. It is always better to stick to a soap solution rather than to rely on other suspicious products.
Remember, your mop should be slightly wet, not soaking.
When you cover the whole surface with the mop, change the water and mop again to rinse the cleaning solution. If you leave any cleaning solution behind, the surface will look dull once it dries.
If there are scuff marks, try using baking soda. Sprinkle some white powder on a clean wet sponge and rub the affected area until you remove all scuff marks. Rinse well.
Note that with everyday use and heavy traffic, your floors will eventually become dull. If this is the case, you had better sand and refinish.
- Take off your shoes before you walk on the floor. Loads of debris, dirt and sand stick to the shoes when you are outside. Respectively, they spread to your wooden floors once you enter the premises. To keep dirt to a minimum, always walk with bare feet around your home. Also, place doormats near the door to protect your home against debris and dirt.
- Sweep your floors on a day-to-day basis. Vacuum once weekly. Focus on the areas that receive heavy traffic.
- Prior to washing, vacuum the surface thoroughly to remove any debris and dust.
To recap, the best way to get your hardwood floors shiny is to 1) know your type of finish; 2) use the right cleaning method and solution; 3) clean your floors regularly. It’s not that difficult when you know what you are doing.
The article is written and edited by Acton Tenancy Cleaners