Hardwood floors take the beauty of your home interiors from 0 to 60 in an instant! Sure, marble floors and extravagant tiling work is great; but nothing beats the rustic, yet modern, charm that hardwood floors possess. Wood (in virtually any form), is in a class of its own; that is why it’s so important to clean and maintain hardwood floors because any damage or stains made to them, take our floors from 60 to 0 (in an instant!).
As beautiful as they are, hardwood floors can be a little finicky to clean and maintain. This is because they generally have a coating or finishing that requires more delicate cleaning. Though they demand a little more care than most floors do, it’s well worth the extra effort to keep your hardwood floors gleaming and gorgeous! And here’s how to do just that.
What Type of Finish is it?
It pays to know the finish of your hardwood floors to ensure that you’re cleaning them appropriately. Modern floors are generally finished with a polyurethane or acrylic coating (unless a different finish is requested for), while older hardwood floors may be unfinished and only stained (i.e. having no surface-seal or protective film). If you are unsure about the finish of your hardwood floors, conduct this simple test to figure it out: apply a few drops of water to an inconspicuous area of the floor; after a minute, check whether the beads of water remain as is, or soak into the wood and darken it. The former means you have a polyurethane finish which is more durable and easy to clean, while the latter is an unfinished hardwood flooring which can be rather tricky when cleaning. We also put varnished or lacquered wooden floors under the same category as stained flooring because even though they are supposed to act as surface-sealers, they are nowhere near as protective as polyurethane finishes.
It’s a good idea to get in some professional help for cleaning these types of finishes as they can be time consuming and risky to do on your own. Read on to find out how to clean and buff hardwood floors with a polyurethane finish
It is easier to clean modern hardwood floors because dirt and spills stay on the surface. This is credited to the surface-sealer which does not allow moisture to penetrate the wood. Having said that; they are also prone to dirt and dust because the oil content in this type of finish allows dust to cling on to the surface. Here’s how to get rid of the dust and stains that are dulling your floor’s shine.
- Firstly, you need to get rid of the dust and dirt on your hardwood floors by sweeping them. Use a soft-bristled broom for this. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the dust; just make sure that the brush attachment is long enough so that the metal does not come in contact with the floor which can easily scratch the surface. If you still find very fine dust clinging to the surface after sweeping or vacuuming, consider using an electrostatic cloth (available in supermarkets); they pick up dust better than most vacuum cleaners do.
- Using a regular mop, you can choose between a specially produced hardwood floor cleaner or a pH-neutral, water-based cleaner. For very soiled floors, an alkaline water-based cleaner is advised; however, simply making a solution of baking soda and water can also loosen grease and dirt on your hardwood floors. Whichever cleaning solution you choose, be sure to dilute it in water as polyurethane finishes require mild cleaning agents. Dip the mop in the cleaning solution and give it a good wring before you start mopping. Avoid stepping onto the wet floor until it dries completely as any foot print will dry up leaving an outlined mark, requiring more mopping to get rid of. For stubborn stains or marks that have had plenty of sitting time, dip a non-abrasive cloth in a mild solution of water and detergent; scrub the stains away using minimal amount of force.
- While buffing is optional, it’s very tempting to get the maximum shine out of your hardwood floors after you’ve finished cleaning them. Moreover, it’s so easy! Using the softest and most absorbent cloth you can find (baby cloth diapers are highly recommended), buff your hardwood floors using one of the following:
- Lemon juice mixed with water
- Water from two tea bags soaked and boiled
When the water is at room temperature, dip the cloth in and squeeze it properly so that it is merely damp, and start buffing your hardwood floors!
If you’re still hesitant to clean your precious hardwood floors yourself, leave it to us. At Simply Maid, no job is too tricky or too tough. We have the experience, skills and equipment to take care of any household cleaning you require. Simply call us or make a convenient booking online and we’ll be right at your service! You can visit our pricing page for all information related to our service charges.