Cleaning Products That Should Be Avoided For Your Wood Floor

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Cleaning Products That Should Be Avoided For Your Wood Floor

Cleaning Products That Should Be Avoided For Your Wood Floor

While they are strong and durable, they are not invincible. Hardwood is one of the most popular flooring choices, with its strength that makes it capable of handling high levels of traffic, to the aesthetics that are as a result of its natural charm. However, the kind of floor cleaning measures that are carried out can be a make-or-break factor for the installation. Wrong cleaning approaches can easily ruin the installation, reducing its lifespan and calling for those floorboards to be replaced. What should you not use on the floors?

  • Wet mops

First off is the threat that water poses to the wood floor. The wood tissue will soak up that excess water, and different problems can result. These range from water stains, to issues like cupping and warping. This is also why it is imperative to deal with any kind of flooding in the house, where the first priority is stopping any additional water from being released onto the floor, then mopping away all the liquid. So instead of soaking the floor with a mop that is drenching wet during the floor cleaning, start by wringing out the mop, and use it while it is just damp. 

Note: With the effects of water on wood already a major issue, definitely steam cleaning should never be considered. The combination of heat and excessive water will result in long-term damage to your wood floor.

  • Soaps and detergents

This is specifically with regards to those cleaning products used around the house – from working on surfaces like the countertop and wall, to the laundry detergents. Simply because they have varying degrees of cleaning power doesn’t make them suitable for working on wood floors. For starters, the wood is sensitive to the pH of the products that are used on it. Incompatible products will damage the wood. Secondly, the soap usually leaves behind a film of residue on the floor. This dulls the shine that had resulted after polishing the surface, those annoying footprint marks are made on the surface, the floor becomes slippery, and the residue is also a dirt magnet. 

Stick to floor cleaning products that have been developed for wood. These typically have a neutral or mild pH, where the formulation breaks down the grime without putting the wood at risk. 

  • Vinegar

Many blogs on “Home Cleaning Tips & Hacks” have vinegar as a popular feature. Sure, it is a powerful cleaner. However, for wood, the very potency that makes it great becomes a liability. It is a harsh product, where the regular usage of the formulation causes the finish to become dull. 

  • Lemon-juice

A popular DIY hack, lemon juice is an acidic cleaner known for effectively breaking down stubborn dirt spots. However, on wood floors it will ruin the beauty and structural integrity of the installation. It dulls the surface and wears down the existing finish coats – which further makes the installation susceptible to long-term damage. 

  • Ammonia

This also falls under the category of “harsh cleaners” when it comes to wood floors. While the chemical is useful for other cleaning tasks around the house, when it comes to wood it actually dissolves the lignin. This puts the structural integrity of the installation at risk. Sure, the floor can have protective treatments applied to it, but ammonia also contributes to them wearing down and even getting to the surface – in the end having a negative effect on the installation. This also means that you should stay away from cleaners that use ammonia as an ingredient – like glass cleaners, and not use them on your floor. 

  • Bleach 

Keep it away from your wood floor – it will permanently discolour the surface, and also weaken that protective finish that has been applied. 

  • Furniture polish

It’s meant for the furniture – not your floor. These formulations are usually developed with waxes and oils. Sure, the look will look great at the start. However, the residue that has been left on the surface is sticky, and it will cause dirt to build up at a faster rate. Many of these products are also slippery – which is not much of a threat when they are used on furniture, but on the floors they increase the risks of accidents occurring. 


Extra tips when handling wood floors

  • Equipment like floor spray mops have been developed to give you more control over the amount of solution that is used on the surface. Here, the liquid is housed in a cartridge on the mop, and you operate it by pressing a trigger that mists a little solution onto the floor surface at a time. The mop head – usually microfibre, soaks up the dirt plus solution. This is an effective mode of floor cleaning that gets the task done without damaging the surface. 
  • Get entrance mats. These serve to keep the dirt that would have been tracked into the house from getting past the door. Absorbent mats lock in the grime from the soles of people’s shoes, thereby protecting the indoor surfaces and also making subsequent floor cleaning tasks much easier. Be sure to get mats that are compatible with the wood floor, especially when it comes to the backing. For instance, mats with synthetic rubber backing damage the floor. Breathable material, such as for the case of wool mats and rugs, will be safer for your hardwood floor. 
  • Hire pros for a deep clean. When time comes to give your floor a deep clean, you can outsource the task to a professional contractor who will come on board with the equipment and personnel needed to work on the installation. That way you can have the unsightly stains that had defied ordinary cleaning measures got rid of, without putting the wood floor at risk. When hiring a local floor cleaning company, be sure to check out its reviews and testimonials, since the feedback from previous clients will be a pointer to the level of quality of services that the company has to hire. 

Cleaning Products That Should Be Avoided For Your Wood Floor

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