A wooden floor is a perfect alternative for tiles or carpets in a home. They are in fact the easiest to clean despite being extra nice. But since wood is very sensitive, then it should be cleaned and maintained in the right way to avoid bringing some devastating effects on your floor. And once the floor is correctly cleaned and, at the same time, well maintained, it will retain its new look. At this point, there’s nothing that’s more beautiful in a home, than having a well cleaned and shiny wooden floor. So, how should you clean and maintain your wooden floor?
To start with, most of the wood floors cleaning products are readily available in the supermarkets. You can decide to buy these products if you’re in a good position to afford them. Alternatively, there are several home-made cleaners that can still serve the same purpose. For instance, a mixture of water and vinegar is more effective in killing bacteria and doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind after cleaning. Similarly, a dish detergent solution can be more appropriate for breaking up the dirt and grime, and it also doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue. Here are the simple guidelines on how to clean your wooden floor:
Removing dust and dirt
By sweeping your house regularly, you’ll be protecting your wood floor from scaring and scratches. You’re however advised to use a soft bristled quality broom to sweep the surface; or a vacuum cleaner that’s designed for cleaning wooden floors. And before you embark on dust mopping your floor, always ensure that it’s well swept and freed from dirt and grime.
It’s advisable for you to use a soft terry-cloth when cleaning deeper stains and dirt. In addition, you should try and avoid wet mopping your floor at all cost as the standing water may end up damaging the wood. Using ammonia or an oil soap to clean the floor is not recommended either as they are both known for making the finish look dull. Similarly, all products that are designed for cleaning tile or vinyl floors should be avoided since they can make your wood floor to look dull and be slippery.
Buying a cleaner
Before you can go ahead and buy a cleaner, you’ll first have to determine the type of your finished wood. In this case, there are two types of wood finish: a penetrating seal with a matte finish and a surface finish that’s typically shiny. You are advised to choose a cleaner that’s more appropriate in cleaning the specific type of your wood finish.
If your floor has a non-urethane finish, then you can have it waxed. Just ensure that the waxing is not overdone. For a finish that still looks dull, just go ahead and buff the floor.
Maintaining the floor
Apart from the regular cleaning, your wooden floor should also be properly maintained to retain that shiny new look and, at the same time, make it look pretty. In fact, the process involved in maintaining your wood floor is continuous, and it should be taken with more seriousness to avoid ruining the wood in the long run. Here are some proper guidelines on how to maintain a wooden floor:
Protecting the floor from grit
Sand particles and grit are well known for their abrasive effects on wood floors. They should therefore be removed frequently to prevent them from scratching the wood and making the floor look dull. All you have to do is to place a mat at the entrance for all your visitors to clean their shoes thoroughly before entering the house. Or simply, put a polite notice for everyone to leave his or her shoes at the door step before allowing them in.
Protecting the floor from pressure
Heavy house hold items like furniture are well known for having adverse effects on wooden floors. They can scratch, crack or even dent the floor. To avoid all these, you’re advised to always use a fabric or plastic protection for minimizing the pressure under furniture leggings. And instead of moving a furniture by pushing, try and move it by lifting.
Protecting the floor from your pets’ nail scratches
To protect the wooden floor from the scratches that are caused by your pets’ nails, you should try and ensure that the nails are regularly trimmed.
Protecting the floor from moisture
Standing water can either discolor, warp or destroy the surface of your wooden floor. You’re therefore advised to wipe any spill using a damp cloth immediately it happens. In addition, water bowls and pet dishes should always be placed in protective areas, and the area around them wiped regularly to avoid creating a trap for moisture.
All floors that lack a polyurathane finish should at least be waxed after a few months. Conversely, if your wood floor has a polyurathane finish, you should consider consulting your installer for a proper guidance on how to polish it.