Getting hardwood floors to your home can be a great investment. It is a durable flooring material, which can enhance the overall value of your home. They also provide a shiny and polished surface. However, your hardwood flooring will be subjected to wear and tear along with time. This is where you will have to clean the hardwood floors. Let’s take a look at the steps that you should follow to clean your hardwood floor.
Checking if you have laminate or vinyl flooring
You can easily check whether your hardwood flooring is properly sealed or not. You just need to place a water drop on the floor. If the water drop gets absorbed, your flooring is not sealed. It is not a good idea to clean such a unsealed hardwood floor with water. But if the drop of water sits on the surface of the floor, you can confirm that it is properly sealed.
To check whether you have a paste wax finishing or not, you will need to get some fine steel wool and rub it over the floor lightly. Make sure that you do this in a corner of your floor. If your floor is waxed, you will be able to see gray colored waxy film on your steel wool.
Factors that make a wooden floor look dull
Now you can take a quick look and see the type of finishing you have on your hardwood floor. Along with that, you need to understand the factors that can make a hardwood floor look dull.
- Redistributing dirt
When you forget to sweep or use a dirty mop, you will just be redistributing the dirt. This can also happen when you vacuum your floor before cleaning. This can make the dust, grit, and dirt to trap within the surface of your floor and make it look dull.
- Failing to use the correct cleaning products
There are few different cleaning products that you can use to clean your hardwood floor. Most acrylic-based liquid waxes would do more damage to your hardwood flooring than good. Once you apply such wax on hardwood flooring, you will make it look patchy. It can also turn milky with time. This is where you will need to use mineral spirits and elbow grease on a smaller area. Then you will be able to remove the milky look offered by the acrylic waxes.
If you want to completely restore the shine, you will need to strip your floor and reseal it. Moreover, cleaning products that come with harsh chemicals, like ammonia, chlorine beach, pine oil, and undiluted vinegar can also cause damages to the finishing. This is why you should carefully go through the label of the cleaning product and then use the right one.
- Using too much of cleaning products
You should not use too much of cleaning products as well. It is important to stick to the correct amount after reading the label. Using more products will not make the floors look better, but worse.
- Not completing the job
Once you mop and wax your hardwood floor, you will need to finish the job with a good buffing. This will help you to prevent streaking. You can use a dry microfiber mop and buff the finishing of your floor. It will make you end up with a shiny flooring.
- Be mindful about the out of control scratches
When you have pets at home, you will have to deal with scratches on the hardwood floor. This can even happen when you walk around with heels. Scuffs and scratches can make your hardwood flooring look dull. This is where you need to prevent getting scratches as much as possible.
- Focus on the buildup of wax
If your floor is not properly sealed, regular waxing will result in buildup of it. This can also make your floor look dull. This is why you should limit waxing to one or two times a year. However, there is still a possibility for wax to buildup in low-traffic areas of your home. This is where you should be using a wax stripper to remove excessive wax buildup.
- Failing to refinish your floor
Hardwood floor refinishing will not last forever. You will need to refinish and scale it along with time. This is applicable for engineered hardwood flooring as well. For example, engineered hardwood flooring has a thin veneer, which you will need to refinish and seal few times before replacing.
How to clean the hardwood floors effectively
- Clean the spills immediately
When you spill something on your hardwood floor, you will need to clean it immediately.
- Remove dirt everyday
You will need to dust, vacuum, and sweep daily in order to remove dirt. Otherwise, dust and dirt can cause scratches on the floor. Make sure that you also take a look at the places under area rugs, which can trap grit and scratch your flooring.
- Damp mop the floor after a season change
You will need to damp mop your flooring at the end of every season. In other words, you should do hardwood floor cleaning four times a year. You may do it with the help of a slightly wet microfiber mop. Make sure that you clean it in the direction of wood grains. It is not a good idea to use a sopping wet mop, as it can cause your sealed floor to buckle. If you have a bigger area to clean, it is better to get a commercial mopper.