Pointers For Your Hardwood Floor Cleaning

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Pointers For Your Hardwood Floor Cleaning

 Pointers For Your Hardwood Floor Cleaning

That elegant look of your hardwood floors will only last if the installation is well maintained. Taking care of these installations is different compared to dealing with other hard surface floors like marble, concrete or ceramic tiles, especially when it comes to the cleaning products used. Here, we will break down what the floor cleaning entails, ways to optimise the process, and pitfalls to avoid. 

  • Vacuuming 

This cuts across the board, regardless of the floor type. Vacuuming regularly to remove the dust and loose particles accumulating on the floor surface is key, with the frequency depending on the level of traffic handled in the premises. Those gritty particles will slowly abrade the finish on the wood floor, causing it to become dull. As more people walk around the premises, the particles are increasingly grinded against the floor surface – weakening the lacquers that have been applied. Vacuuming helps mitigate this. 

Note that vacuum attachments like the rotating brushes or beater bars can create scratches on the wood floor. These will need to be disengaged. Instead, use an attachment that has a felt brush, running it along the floor, in order to effectively vacuum without putting the surface at risk. 

Alternatively, you can work with equipment like microfibre sweepers or dust mops. The nature of the material here allows it to pick up the particles from the surface with ease, locking them within the microfibres of the unit, remaining here until the pad is laundered.

  • Solutions to avoid

One key aspect to remember is that wood is sensitive to the pH of the floor cleaning products that will be used on it. As such, popular formulations used for working on other surfaces around the home can end up causing plenty of damage to the wood floor. Take ammonia for instance. It is a powerful cleaner, capable of breaking down tough dirt spots. However, when it comes to wood, it will also dissolve the lignin – thus damaging the wood tissue. Vinegar is also in a similar category. Using too much of it on your floor over time causes them to become dull, and it also extends the damage on the actual wood. So, while vinegar is great for sinks, microwaves and similar surfaces, it is a no-no when it comes to wood floors. Lemon juice is highly acidic like vinegar, and it puts the structural integrity of the installation at risk – especially when it is used in high amounts. 

Even the ordinary soap and water used around the house can be problematic. For starters, these soapy solutions end up leaving behind a filmy residue on the floor surface. This in turn traps more dust particles from the environment, causing the floor to get resoiled at a faster rate, while also causing that shine that you had obtained from having the floor polished to become dull. They can even cause the surface to become slippery. 

The floor cleaning should be done using formulations that have been developed for use on wood. These usually have a neutral pH, which is suitable for most of the cleaning operations. When it comes to stubborn grime, products like a mild pH can be used – taking care to follow the instructions on the product label. When selecting the wood floor cleaning products to use, be sure to be working with formulations from a reputable brand, which has been proven to deliver quality products. That way you can deliver the desired cleaning action to your wood floor without putting it at risk. 

  • Moisture control

Given that excess water will damage the wood floor, you should wring out the mop being used before proceeding to work on the surface of the installation. The floor cleaning can also be carried out using equipment like spray mops. These innovative tools allow you to mist out only a little cleaning solution at a time, which is handy in ensuring that the floor never gets soaked, while also giving you more value out of envy millilitre of floor cleaning solution. 

  • The wax factor

Can you use wax to restore the shine to your polished wood floor? This depends on the kind of existing treatment that has been used. Wax should never be applied on shellac, varnish, or polyurethane surface finishes. It will cause the floor to become too slippery, and also prevent you from adding more topcoats of the particular finish in future. These treatments have polishes made for them that can be used to restore the shine to the surface. However, if the floor has been treated with a wax finish, then it can be rejuvenated with more wax. 

Extra Issues To Note

  • Be careful while using furniture polish or hairspray around the floor. If these products get to the surface, they will cloud the finish, and the film of residue they leave behind is also slippery, which can lead to accidents. They should be wiped up immediately using a damp cloth. 
  • Is it about to rain? Close the windows. This is to protect the floor from the rainwater that would have got into the building. Also set up trays under the potted plants. All this is to avoid cases of water damage on the installation. 
  • Having a “walk-off” doormat will come in handy to reduce the amount of dirt, salt, snow, ice and water that would have otherwise been trekked into the room. A mat captures the material – and it is especially important if people won’t be removing their shoes while in the building. The longer the mat, the better – especially for the section that leads away from the door. This will also help in reducing the workload of subsequent floor cleaning tasks. 
  • Get area rugs for high traffic sections in the property. These are the likes of the lounge area, and at the dinner table. The rugs have the added benefit of accentuating the decor. Ensure that these area rugs don’t have vinyl or rubber backings, as these trap humidity, which will ruin the finish or increase the risk of damaging the wood. 

 Pointers For Your Hardwood Floor Cleaning

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