Having wooden floors in your home is fashionable and will make it look more valuable when you decide to sell. Although wood works well in most homes as flooring, it still needs occasional cleaning and upkeep.
It’s only natural that your floor endures a lot of wear and tear from all the dirt, grime, and debris you track in from the outdoors. When neglected, your floors can develop permanent stains which could result in expensive damages down the road.
If you use the wrong products while cleaning your wooden floor, they can get damaged beyond repair. Follow the steps below to clean it correctly and avoid any costly mistakes.
How to Clean Solid Wood Floors
1. Tidy up the room
Begin by clearing the floor of any obstacles like furniture or electronics. Also, use furniture pads to avoid harming large items when you have to move them during cleaning.
If you have limited space, once you finish cleaning one side of the room, move everything to the other side. This way, nothing will be left behind and forgotten!
2. Sweep and Vacuum the floor
Next, remove any loose dirt, hair, or pet dander from the floor with a vacuum cleaner. You can even use the vacuum to clean cracks and crevices on your wooden floors.
To avoid scratches on your floor, it’s best to check the vacuum for debris before you start vacuuming. Sometimes coffee grounds, gravel, and other particles may get stuck in the vacuum cleaner.
If you want your hard surfaces to be clean, use a vacuum with plenty of suction power. Canister vacuums work better than uprights because they have long oval brushes that can reach tight spaces.
To avoid damage, turn off the rotating brush on your upright model. If you don’t mind forgoing the rotating brushes, other options include cordless or automated vacuums.
3. Use a floor cleaner
Once your floors are clean, you can start using a floor cleaner to remove any remaining dirt and dust. There are many different types of floor cleaners that you can choose from depending on your needs.
You can either buy diluted floor cleaners or opt for the concentrated option. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to dilute it properly if you go with concentrate. Using too much of the cleaner can end up damaging your floors.
If you’re looking for another method, try mixing dish soap with water in a bottle and spraying it on the floor. But be careful – if your flooring has an oil, monocoat, or wax finish, using water will damage the surface.
Before using a new cleaning product on your floors, always test it in an inconspicuous area. Spray the cleaner on the floor, wait a few minutes, then wipe it up. While you’re testing, keep an eye out for any discoloration or staining of the floor finish.
4. Wipe it with a mop
Use a damp mop and clean one small section of the floor at a time, going from any corner toward the door. To avoid making things dirtier, use an S motion and always start with your lead foot on the same side.
Use a microfiber mop head and make sure to wring it completely before using it. You can also use a cotton cloth, but only as long as you don’t fold or twist it while cleaning.
Rinse the mop every time you change direction, which will help prevent dirt from settling back onto your floor.
Remember to change the water after each room for the best results. Also, you’re on the right track by using a microfiber mop and wringing it out before starting- this will help Pick up any excess water afterward too so that moisture doesn’t have a chance to sit on your floor and cause damage.
If your cleaning solution requires it, always rinse the floor after you clean. To do this, first, dunk your mop in a bucket of water to wash off the cleaner. Then, make sure to fully dry the floor before moving on.
5. Frequently clean areas with a lot of foot traffic.
High-traffic areas in your home, like the kitchen and hallways, get dirtier a lot quicker. So make sure to sweep or vacuum them every day. Mop high-traffic areas of your house at least 2-3 times a week, and low-traffic spaces 1-2 times a month.
When cleaning high-traffic areas, consider using a floor cleaner that’s specifically designed to withstand heavy usage. Look for one with a non-slip finish so it won’t get slippery if you have pets or children running around.
Using proper tools and techniques can also help reduce wear and tear on your floors.
Properly Caring for Your Solid Wood Flooring
If you want to extend the life of your solid wood flooring, it’s important to take good care of it. This means cleaning and maintaining it regularly and using proper tools and techniques.
Thoroughly clean the floor
You should clean your hardwood floors regularly to prevent dirt from buildup. Over time, oil, grime, and grease accumulate – requiring a deep clean every once in a while. Cleaning your floor thoroughly every 3 months is often enough to keep your hardwood floors looking their best.
To clean your floor, start by sweeping or vacuuming to remove any loose debris. Then use either a wet mop or a steam cleaner to deep clean the floor.
If your once-shiny floor has lost its luster, it may be due to residue from commercial floor cleaners. To bring the shine back, try cleaning with vinegar. You should always test it on a small, unnoticeable area before using it all over – this is especially important because sometimes vinegar can also dull some finishes. When shopping for vinegar at the store, make sure to get white or cleaning vinegar; balsamic or red vinegar won’t work as well.
To start, push all the furniture out of the way and sweep or vacuum to get rid of any dirt. In a bucket, mix together one cup of vinegar with a gallon (4.5 liters)of water, then use that solution to mop the whole floor. Pay more attention to areas that have stains or scuffs.
After the floor has completely dried, you can apply a paste wax to protect it from moisture and dirt. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to rub the wax into your floor in small areas at a time, then buff it with another clean cloth until it’s dry.
After you’ve mopped the floor, take a look to see if any areas need deep cleaning. If they do, you can also speed up the drying process by opening the windows or running your heating unit.
Another good way to maintain your solid wood flooring is to use mats or rugs at each entryway. This will help keep dirt and moisture from getting tracked onto the floor, which can cause damage over time.
You can also use a soft cloth and simply wax the floor, following package directions. Remember to buff with a clean, dry cloth after you wax.
Clean up spills as soon as they happen.
Mop up any wet or sticky spills right away, and dry the floor off as soon as possible. If you let liquids sit on the floor, the wood will soak it up and cause stains and weaken the timber. It also removes some of the finish from your floors and attracts more dirt and dirt.
In addition to cleaning up spills as they happen, be sure to vacuum or sweep the floor regularly. This will help keep dirt and debris from building up on your hardwood floors and causing damage over time. You may also want to use a damp mop occasionally to pick up any leftover dust or grime that has accumulated.
Gently remove any stains
The method you use to remove a stain should depend on the type of stain and your wooden floor’s finish. If the stain is only on the surface, this means that your floor has a urethane hardwood finish. Some older homes may have a soft oiled finish instead, which allows stains to penetrate more easily into the wood.
If your floor has a hard finish, gently scrub the stain with a soft cloth that is only slightly damp. Once you have rinsed and dried the area, take care not to use sandpaper or other harsh cleaners as they will damage the floor permanently.
If your floor has a soft finish, take extra care when removing the stain. Try to use only water and non-abrasive cleaning products, like vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, to avoid further damaging the wooden surface. You may also want to try gently scraping off a small portion of the top layer of wood with a butter knife to see if that helps to remove the stain.
There are a few more ways you can get rid of watermarks and other light stains on hardwood floors with softer oil finishes. For example, try using 0000 steel wool or floor wax. If the stains go deeper into the wood, sanding the floor may do the trick. Just be sure to finish off with some fine steel wool scrubbing.
Oil-based stains can be cleaned with dish soap and a clean, damp cloth. Gently rub the area, rinse it off with clean water, then repeat until the stain is gone.
Once you have removed any stains from your hardwood floors, take the time to seal them with a protective layer of wax or varnish. This will help prevent future staining and keep your floor looking beautiful for years to come.
Not only do polishing and waxing your hardwood floors help to reduce the appearance of scratches, it also leaves behind a lovely shine.
Cleaning a solid wood floor requires regular sweeping and vacuuming to remove dirt and debris, as well as mopping up any spills or wet spots as soon as they happen.
By cleaning your solid wood floor the right way, you can make it last longer and prevent damage over time. Remember to use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners, and be sure to seal the floor with a protective coating every few months. With proper care, your hardwood floors will look great for many years to come.
Keep in mind that not every type of hardwood floor needs the same level of care. Consult with an expert, or do some research online to find out exactly how best to care for your specific type of floor. And remember that prevention is always the best way to avoid damage, so take steps like using coasters and mats under heavy furniture and moving/vacuuming frequently to protect your floors from wear and tear.