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DIY tips on cleaning hardwood floors

DIY tips on cleaning hardwood floors

Your home’s hardwood floor is central to your decorations and overall look of your home. Therefore, it is important to ensure that it retains its look, and it lasts for a long time. The steps below outline how you can clean the floor without the need of seeking the services of professional cleaners.

Sweep the floor

Start by sweeping the floor with a broom that is soft bristled to remove particles such as grit and sand.

Determine the finish of the floor

A finished floor is durable and lasts long. It is also easy to clean. You can know if a floor is finished if it is shiny because unfinished floors do not have a glossy surface. To know if a floor is wax finished apply moisture to a steel wool and rub it on the floor. A gray smudge means a wax finished floor. Modern floor seals do not absorb water and therefore, if you place a drop of water on them, it remains beaded on the floor. They are sealed using urethane, polyurethane or poly acrylic coats. This makes them stain and water resistant and easy to clean.  Older sealed floor are not as durable and the water drop soaks the wood. They have been finished using varnish, shellac or lacquer, making them less durable than the modern finishes. Prefinished floors have the board coated separately and therefore the cracks can get water damaged.

Cleaning hardwood floor with modern seal

After sweeping, clean the floor. Determine the cleaning agent to use. A water based cleaner that is pH neutral is preferable for general cleaning. If the floor has grease, use alkaline-based water cleaner with soap or baking soda. Avoid using ammonia, bleach and abrasive cleaners to clean the floors because they can damage it and can void the floor warranty. Get a bucket of water and add the cleaning agent. If you have hard water, purchase distilled water from the stores to prevent hard water streaking. Mop the floor using the diluted cleaning agent in water and while at it, ensure that you remove your shoes so that you do not dirty or mark the floor. Run the mop with the wood grain. If there are tough areas, clean them using a cloth that has been dipped in the cleaning water. If the floor gets excess cleaning water, mop it until it is dry to prevent the hardwood floor from being damaged. Clean the mop with clean water and use to rinse the floor.

Cleaning other hardwood floors

Hardwood floors with modern seals are water resistant due to the durable finish. On the other hand, other hardwood floors such as prefinished or unfinished floors can easily be damaged by water. When cleaning these floors, you need to ensure that the mop is only lightly dampened by wringing the water out completely. Just like with modern sealed floors, mop the floor with the wood grain and clean tough spots with a damp cloth and mineral spirits that are odorless. Though optional, dry the floors completely using a terry cloth.

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