Blog post has been reviewed by a Cleaning Technician
Hardwood floors are a beautiful compliment to any home. Coming in a variety of textures, stains, and woodgrains, deciding on the perfect one will bring the look of any room together. It will also mean committing a cleaning routine that will keep it looking brilliant for years to come. Caring for your hardwood floors doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, especially with plenty of tips and tricks available to help you. While some woods have stricter needs than others, we’ve put together some recommended and helpful methods to follow.
Read on to learn how to clean wood floors, along with tips to keep them looking as good as new.
Sweeping and Vacuuming are Essential
No matter what flooring material you have in your space, it’s likely one of the dustiest surfaces in your home. When you have hardwood floors, the dust is even easier to see and slightly harder to get rid of. Here are some daily and weekly tasks to complete to ensure your floors are kept looking their best and ready for deeper cleans.
- Take a soft-bristled broom over the floors daily. This can remove larger debris particles that can slip under furniture or stick to the wooden surface.
- Semi-weekly, use a microfiber or electrostatic sweeper to remove additional fibres, like hair and dust, that aren’t caught by your broom.
- At least once a week, plug in the vacuum. Avoid dragging plastic wheels across the floor, and ensure you are not using the beater bar on this surface. Where possible, use the “hardwood floor” setting, which only uses suction to pick up dirt.
The Right Mopping Techniques
How often you deep clean your hardwood floors will depend on how much foot traffic they have to deal with. Whether it is a weekly or bi-weekly task, the best time to pull out the mop is after vacuuming. Here are a few tips can help ensure your floor washing chore is successful:
- Pick a mop that you can throw in the washing machine or one that can be taken apart and cleaned after each use. This will help get rid of any grime that sticks to the fibres and could be redeposited on the floor.
- Choose a cleaner meant for hardwood floors. This might be a pre-wetted disposable pad or bottled solution. Avoid using homemade products with vinegar that might strip the finish of the floor.
- Soak the mop head in an appropriate cleaning solution to water ratio. Too much cleaner could leave your floors sticky or streaky and attract dirt once it is dry.
- After you wet the mop, wring it out so it is damp but not drenched. Ensure you absorb all excess water, as any leftover can seep into the wood and cause warping.
Preventing and Fixing Scratches
The delicate composition of hardwood floors means they are often prone to damage. This is especially true if you are a pet owner, as nails along hardwood flooring can quickly cause dents that are not easily removed. These are a few tips to keep these surfaces in pristine condition:
- Place rugs and mats in high-traffic areas. Cloth materials like these can easily pick up and hold onto dirt and debris, and can give pets better traction.
- Wherever you can’t place a rug, use furniture pads on the bottom of couches, tables, and chairs that are moved frequently. Not only will they be easier to shuffle around, but they won’t scrape floors.
Marks and scuffs will happen. Consider using a piece of sandpaper to soften the area and eliminate the abrasion. Ensure you polish or add a finishing solution overtop to reseal the wood. If you aren’t sure about using this method, try a sponge and wood products specifically designed for scratches.
Polishing Your Hardwood Floors
In addition to keeping up with routine cleaning, your hardwood floors will occasionally need polishing and refinishing to prevent dullness and possible wear and tear damage. Every two to four months, a good-quality floor polish will keep this surface sealed and protected from tarnishes that can happen if the floor is worn down. Should your flooring begin to look dull, it might be time for a buff and refinish rather than just a polish or waxing. Consider consulting a hardwood expert to ensure you are applying the right treatment to the wood to preserve it properly.
What’s the Best Thing to Use to Clean Wood Floors?
Hardwoods are typically made from a strong, durable wood such as oak, maple, pine or walnut. But even these can become dull and worn out without regular upkeep. To remove everyday dirt, you can use a little bit of dish soap and water. Just make sure to thoroughly wring out the mop before placing it onto the floor. Always stick with gentle cleaning solutions instead of harsh cleaning chemicals.
When it’s time to give your floors a deeper clean, use a designated hardwood floor cleaner. You can consult with your floor installer or manufacturer about what they recommend for your specific type. Wooden cleaners are designed to remove deeper impurities and help preserve the natural richness that hardwood is renowned for.
How Do I Make My Hardwood Floors Look Like New?
Over time, excessive wear and tear can cause the floor to look faded, especially in areas that get the most amount of foot traffic like hallways and stairways. To make yours look as good as the day it was installed, use a polish. If you’re wondering how to polish hardwood floors, the best approach is to use a high-quality wood floor polish. We recommend talking to your local flooring specialist to ensure that you’re using a product that is suitable for your floor finish. Polishes should only be used on sealed hardwood so double-check that yours is. You can test this by placing a few drops of water onto the wood to see if it creates beads. If it does, it means your floor does have a sealed protective finish.
Once you have your polish, clear out the rooms, dust, mop, and dry the floors. Afterwards, apply the polish to a small section and use an applicator or flat floor mop to disperse the polish to cover the surface evenly. Once complete, let it dry for 24 hours.