Instead, use a mop that’s slightly damp and mostly wrung out. Be careful about shoes and pets. Every three to five years, you’ll likely need a maintenance, also called glaze, coat, which is application of a new layer of the floor’s finish. How To Clean Hardwood Floors. Prefinished floors are the easiest to spot, as every board has beveled (slightly raised) edges. But they can be tricky to clean and maintain. You can clean up the hardwood using a simple microfiber mop and a hardwood floor cleaner. For instance, you can simply use a capful of dishwashing soap or Murphy Oil Soap in a bucket of water. Waxed floors are very sensitive to basic, acidic as well as solvent cleaners. Before purchasing your cleaner, keep safety in mind lest you budget for another floor. Rinse the mop with clean water, wring out excess, and damp mop the floor to remove the cleaner. Begin mopping at one side of the room using a use a side-to-side motion to clean the floor as you go. It doesn’t require the use of any toxic cleaning chemicals, unlike typical cotton, microfiber, and wool dust mops.. TWEET. You can also use boiling water and two teabags to clean hardwood floors. As an added bonus, you probably only need to clean high-traffic areas — like foyers, living rooms and hallways — throughout the week. Here’s what you need to know to keep your hardwood floors beautiful for years, courtesy of Brett Miller, vice-president of technical standards, training, and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association. How to Clean Your Car's Interior Like a Pro, How to Make Your House Smell Good All the Time. Cleaning with Vinegar 1. If you want your hardwood floor's finish to last, you need to give it a little love. How to Clean Almost Anything in Your Home, The Best Hardwood Floor Finishes for Your Style, Read This Before You Ruin Your Hardwood Floors, The 6 Best Colors for Painting Hardwood Floors, Hexagonal Tiles and Hardwood Floor Combination. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Country Living participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. “They look good for a week then scuff and build up a waxy residue.”. Whether your wood floors are solid, engineered, or reclaimed wood, the general upkeep routine should be the same. Read the labels. It doesn’t leave any residue, and it’s helped to maintain my clean floors. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, How to Properly Clean Your Silver at Home. The Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop is the best dust mop for hardwood, laminate wood, and tile floors. The multi-colored yarns of this durable old-style dust mop have undergone an exclusive proprietary electromagnetic static charge process, … Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) of white vinegar to a gallon (3.8 L) of warm water. To discover the type of finish on the floor, place a drop of … Just make sure the beater head is turned off so it won’t dent or scratch the floor. Country Living editors select each product featured. Wood floors are durable and can look gorgeous for decades with the right care and cleaning. 2. For can't-miss news, expert beauty advice, genius home solutions, delicious recipes, and lots more, sign up for the Good Housekeeping newsletter. And some new finishes are penetrating oils. It’s a bad idea. Tried-and-Tested Tips for Cleaner Hardwood Floors Take your shoes off.. 10 Houseplants That Can Survive the Darkest Corner, Ben & Erin Napier Talk 'Home Town' Season 5, 93 Best Easy Low-Carb Recipes With Tons of Flavor, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. It’s generally not a DIY job because it’s labor-intensive and requires a high level of skill for even sanding and application of finishes. For surface-treated floors, wet-clean with. When the time comes, get several estimates and look for contractors who are certified refinishers. Shoes with spiked heels or cleats can dent floors, so remove them when you're inside the house or use caution when wearing. Not every hardwood floor needs the same level of care. Wipe up excess water with a clean, dry towel because standing water will damage the floor. Try mixing 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of white vinegar with 1 gallon (3.8 L) of warm water. Why trust us? Natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe! The only way to effectively maintain hardwood surfaces in their best shape is to hire a professional hardwood floor cleaner to periodically deep clean, sanitize, polish, and renew your floors, to keep them clean and looking fresh. But you may need to do a deep clean every month or so. So, give your dog regular pedicures: Keep toenails trimmed to the appropriate length, and file them a bit to get off the sharp edges. Select cleaning products that are appropriate for your floor’s finish and clearly labeled “for wood floors.” If you’re not sure what kind of finish you have, contact the manufacturer or check with a wood flooring pro. Work your way around the entire floor, cleaning one small area at a time. Empty the room, removing as much furniture as possible, then clean the floor thoroughly to remove dust and dirt. 2. It was also recommended to me by the company that installed my floors. Old hardwood floors usually have a wax finish while more recent hardwood floors have a polyurethane finish. There are two methods you should use to clean hardwood floors: dry mopping and wet mopping. Use safe disinfectants – some people may prefer to have a disinfectant when cleaning. You can also use soaps specifically made for … If you think hardwood floors are delicate and require special TLC, think again. Throw rugs capture the pebbles, sand, and dirt that get stuck on your shoes and tracked indoors. If you come across a spot that needs a quick touch-up, clean with a water-dampened paper towel and wipe dry. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to scrub the sticky area. Use a paper towel or rag to clean hard to reach corners. EMAIL. “You want to remove any dirt or grit, which becomes like sandpaper underfoot,” says Miller. Mop your floors using a damp mop or hand wash with a damp rag. Stir thoroughly to... 3. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. A microfiber or terrycloth mop or soft broom work best to sweep it all up, but it’s also okay to use a vacuum with a hardwood floor setting. Nothing removes dirt and fine debris from the cracks and crevices of a wood floor like a good vacuum cleaner. When you move furniture or wear shoes indoors, you may notice scuffs on your hardwood floors. You just need a natural mixture for cleaning as it will work perfectly on unsealed hardwood floor. Keep an eye on your pup’s toenails too! So, while an occasional wash is okay if it’s all you have on hand, it’s not recommended for regular use. First, examine how much traffic your floors get and then establish a cleaning schedule that makes the most sense. And avoid products that promise to “restore” or “add shine” or “add luster.” “They may contain an acrylic polish which leaves a residue on wood flooring,” says Miller. We make things easier with these mere 7 steps explaining how to clean wood floors and keep them looking gorgeous. How to Clean Hardwood Floors. "The worst thing you can do is let water puddle on the floor," says Forte. Wood floors can be prone to wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas, that's why Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, has an easy-to-follow guide on most effective ways to restore your dull, dirty hardwood floors. Older wood floors may have a waxed finish, which has its own set of rules for cleaning and care. If your floor starts to look dull or has tons of scratches, water damage, or places where the finish is worn down to the raw wood, it may be time to sand the old finish off and apply a new one. Cleaning Up Dirt and Debris 1. The best choice is a canister vacuum because it has a long, oval floor brush attached to reach tiny spaces. Let two teabags steep in the boiling water for a few minutes. The general vinegar/water solution to use on hardwood floors is 1/2 a cup of vinegar per 1 gallon of water. Luckily, the regimen isn’t too rigorous. Dunk the mop head into the vinegar solution and wring out any excess liquid. Mop the floor with the cleaner, being careful to not put too much liquid on the floor. The best means of cleaning hardwood floors is to use a microfiber dust mop or a vacuum cleaner. Like everything else in your home, it's best to clean hardwood floors well and often. Before you start cleaning the floor, make sure you rinse the mop properly. Keep fabric-backed slides on the bottom of furniture legs such as chairs to prevent dragging them over the floor. This will enable the floor to dry quickly. Follow up with a damp paper towel to remove any residue and buff dry. When it comes to hardwood floors, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Loose pieces of dirt and small stones may be tracked into your house on a daily basis. SHARE. Mix up a solution of soap and water. Never use a steam mop, wet mop, furniture polish or abrasive products. For maximum clean and shine, she recommends combining 2 cups of warm water with 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon castile soap, and 1/2 cup vinegar. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Hot water is recommended. The best soaps for polyurethane floors are mild, pH-neutral ones. To test your floor for wax, moisten extra-fine steel wool and rub it on an inconspicuous area; if a light gray smudge app… Dampen a mop in the mixture. Sweep daily with a broom. Tape and other adhesive materials can leave a sticky residue on your hardwood floors. Place rubber pads outside the door and decorative rugs (with natural fiber non-slip pads) inside the door. How to Best Alleviate COVID-19 Symptoms at Home, These Reusable Grocery Bags Make Shopping a Breeze, How to Read the 'Bridgerton' Books in Order, The Best Way to Clean the Carpet in Your House, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Vacuum with a soft floor nozzle; carpet beaters and brush rolls can damage the finish. For starters, never, ever use a steam mop, which drives water into the grooves and crevices. Luckily, they can easily be rubbed away with some elbow grease. Using the wrong product can leave a sticky mess. A little TLC will keep your floors pretty for years. Regularly I clean my floors with Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner, and I LOVE it. Take a soft cloth and wring it out in the tea. SHARE. The last thing you want to do is cause your flooring to warp or scratch. In the case of the big dogs, they even can gouge floors. "I am a firm believer in taking my shoes off as soon as I come in the door, because this simple act goes a long way to eliminating virtually all of the tracked-in dirt that can wreak havoc on a wood floor's finish," says Forte. Mop in straight lines if you are using a sponge mop, or a figure eight pattern for rag mops. Determine your kind of hardwood finish. Wood floors can also make your home greener. Simply take the bottle with you as you mop, squirting the liquid where you need it and following up with a wet mop. A microfiber or terrycloth mop or soft broom work best to sweep it all up, but it’s also okay to use a vacuum with a hardwood floor setting. Hardwood floors require frequent cleaning and maintenance to prevent grime and debris from scratching and denting the wood. Mix vinegar and hot water. Spills are inevitable, but if you let them dry on the floor they'll dull the finish and attract additional dirt. Most of the time, sweeping will keep the dust and debris under control. Look for those that say “safe for wood floors” to ensure they won’t discolor or damage the finish, says Miller. Are You Cleaning Your Mattress Often Enough? It can, however, be an effective way to clean sticky floors. Routinely sweeping the hardwood removes dirt and protects the seal on the wood while mopping. Pour the tea into a bucket. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Organize Any Closet in the House with These Tips, Here's How to Keep Your Pillows Fresh and Clean, How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies, Once and for All, The Best Grout Cleaners on the Market Right Now. For cleaning unfinished hardwood floors, fill the bucket with warm water and white vinegar. Step 1 Determine the type of surface finish used on the hardwood floor. Just make sure the beater head is turned off so it won’t dent or scratch the floor. When this happens, dip a microfiber cloth or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge in a 4 to 1 water/vinegar solution and gently rub out the residue. If you’re wondering how to clean wood floors to make them shiny without leaving a film, the answer is vinegar. Using products for finished floors on unfinished floors. 2. SHARE. A wooden floor brings a certain charm, warmth, and elegance to a house. No matter how dirty your floors may be, follow this guide to restore their natural shine. Cleaning wood floors with vinegar is not only easy, it’s one of the best ways to get the job done. Clean your floor using a microfibre mop and wooden floor cleaning spray. You can make a natural mixture by getting any of these: A gallon of water and two spoons of white vinegar A gallon of water and half a lemon mixed together Whatever you do, don’t attempt to clean this type of flooring with wet cleaning methods like this. All the water from the mop should be out. Shiny floors are the most difficult to tell apart. You can also use boiling water and two teabags to clean hardwood floors. QUICK AND EASY A quick formula like Murphy ® Squirt & Mop Wood Floor Cleaner makes Saturday cleaning a snap. It is essential when cleaning your wood floors to use any water or cleaning solutions sparingly. Use a microfiber cloth or towel to go over the floors after you finish mopping to pick up excess water. It’s actually made for and recommended by my floor manufacturer, Armstrong, so I know it’s safe. When you're short on time, you can use Murphy ® Squirt & Mop to clean up spills, remove tracked-in dirt or spot clean. Blot spills immediately with an absorbent cloth. 4 Methods To Clean and Maintain Your Floors Choose a soft-bristled broom angled. Vinegar may prematurely dull or damage hardwood floors. Spray mops are fine as long as you don’t overdo it and leave the floor sopping wet. "If you only have an upright model, be sure to turn off the rotating brush to keep the bristles from scratching your floors," Forte recommends. Sweep up debris daily. For more information about waxed wood floors, check out this article from Bob Vila. No matter how petite or gigantic your dog is, their nails can scratch flooring. With any real or engineered-wood flooring, sweep or dry mop it every day. It's quite the opposite really: Most wood floors are finished with polyurethane, making them one of the most durable flooring options out there. Bacteria and pet hairs can also get trapped in the wood floors that cannot be removed with traditional DIY products. Vinegar is a great cleaner, and when diluted with water it helps cut through dirt and grime on your floors. The best way to clean your hardwood floors will depend on the finish. This entry was posted in Wood Flooring and tagged looking after hardwood , cleaning hardwood floors , maintaining hardwood , caring for hardwood flooring , cleaning wooden floors , protecting wooden flooring on May … Dirt and grit are abrasive, which can scratch floors over time. If the surface isn’t glossy, you have a stained or unfinished floor. The tannic acid in tea creates a beautiful shine. Unless a product says it is specifically designed to clean untreated floors, it is more likely that it isn’t safe to clean unsealed wood floors. The cloth merely needs to be damp, not soaked. Residue from many commercial floor cleaners and the buildup of dirt, dust, and other unwanted debris can make wood floors look dull. Vacuum regularly.. As a general rule of thumb, hardwood floors should be vacuumed at least weekly and wet cleaned every one to two months (more or less frequently, depending on traffic). When it comes time to clean, follow the steps below: Because dirt isn't always the main culprit. “Both of these are acidic. While they do clean, over time, they break down the finish and sheen,” says Miller. Modern floors often are coated with polyurethane but older floors may be waxed. If that doesn’t do the trick, pick up some Goo Gone Pro-Power Spray Gel on Amazon. Use the kind that stick on, not the ones that hammer in, because if it pops off, the nail is exposed, says Miller. If you’d prefer not to use a broom—or want to make doubly sure that you’ve cleaned up all... 3. More about us. STEP 2: Clear and clean your wood floors of dust and dirt. Most of the modern sealants are water resistant, making care and maintenance a little easier. But that doesn’t mean you have to baby it. To remove light scuffs, buff it out with a sock or a clean, fuzzy tennis ball. You should discuss the hardwood floor cleaner with the manufacturer to avoid any further messes or issues on the floor. 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