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Cleaning Hardwood Floors - Top Tips!

Thursday 10th May 2018

Cleaning hardwood floorsEnsuring we take proper care of our hardwood floors is essential if we want them to stay looking good for a lifetime. The real secret to protecting and maintaining your floors appearance is a proper floor cleaning regime. To prevent damage to the hardwood floor when cleaning we need to establish the correct cleaning protocol. We can incorporate preventative maintenance measures in our regular floor cleaning thus minimizing damage to our hardwood floor. The power of proper floor maintenance combined with regular cleaning will increase the lifespan and durability of your hardwood floor. Below are some top tips on the best way to clean hardwood floors.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

1. Daily: 

It is important to dust your hardwood floor daily with a microfiber mop

By using a microfiber mop it will trap dirt, debris, pet hair and other household allergens. Microfiber mops are not only more effective than sweeping or vacuuming they are safer as they will not scratch the hardwood floor or raise dust. Daily dusting really is the easiest action to defend against scratches and surface damage to any hardwood floor.

2. Damp Mopping: 

This particular floor cleaning method is new to Ireland and the UK. The secret to damp mopping is you should only dampen the microfiber mop head by misting with a spray bottle. Never dampen the mop head with water! The spray bottle should be filled with a diluted solution of Alkoclean this is a neutral detergent and will not harm the wood. Remember never wet mop or steam mop a hardwood floor this will only destroy the wood in your hardwood floor! 

Maintaining of Hardwood Floors

1. Routine: 

By following the daily cleaning methods above you will keep your hardwood floor looking better for a lifetime whilst minimizing damage. Don’t forget to Damp Mop your hardwood floor at least once a week. 

2. Polish

The majority of modern hardwood floors have a polyurethane finish. These finishes are designed to leave a glossy finish that seals and protects your hardwood floor. If a floor isn’t maintained correctly, wear and tear will lead to scratching and dulling of the finish. By buffing Crème Lorito or Automatic into the hardwood floor it will remove microscopic scratches and even out the floors surface. Polishing periodically with Crème Lorito will help refresh, renew and restore your hardwood floors shine. Never use a wax (Hartwachs) on polyurethane or sealed floor. 

3. Coverings: 

Direct sunlight discolours all wood not just your hardwood floors so don’t be afraid to use protective coverings such as curtains and blinds on windows. This will help protect against UV rays and excessive heat from direct sunlight causing the wood fibres to expand, as they absorb moisture and shrink as they release it, causing your timber floor to warp. It’s always an idea to re-arrange furniture regular so as the hardwood floor ages evenly.

4. Recoating: 

You will notice that when routine cleaning is no longer restoring your floor lustre it may be time to reapply your floor polish. Most hardwood floors that are coated with a polyurethane finish will need recoating every 2-4 years, depending on the amount of foot traffic. If your hardwood floor has significant damage like deep scratch’s, gouges or discolouration you may need to sand and refinish the floor. If you haven’t done this before please contact a professional floorcare company. A good place to start looking is through professional floor cleaning suppliers like Wipeout Ltd.   

Preventive Measures for Your Hardwood Floor

1. Matting: 

By using mats and rugs you can dramatically reduce the amount of dirt, grime and debris that gets imbedded in your hardwood floor. It is always wise to use these not only in the room with your hardwood floor but also at all entry points inside and outside the room. Don’t use rubber backed or non-ventilated mats as these will trap moisture causing damage to the floors finish. Remember also to regularly shake or vacuum mats to reduce build up of dirt and debris that can lead to scratches of your hardwood floor.

2. Protect: 

It is easier to place felt protectors onto the legs of furniture than trying to polish out a deep scratch’s, scuffs or gouge in your hardwood floor. Just remember the felt protectors will get dirty so replace them regularly to avoid marking your wooden floor. Never drag furniture across a hardwood or wooden flooring! 

3. Ban?:

Think about banning high heels no matter how good a hardwood floor you have these shoes can leave dents and scratches. If you have pets keep there claws trimmed to avoid unnecessary scratching to your floor.

4. Spillages: 

No matter what liquid is spilt make sure you clean it up immediately as it will not only damage a floor but can lead to permanent staining. If the spillages is sticky use a damp cloth, but dry the area afterwards using a microfiber cloth alternatively there is emergency spillage kits available for nasty spillages of vomit or urine. Never use ammonia or acidic based cleaning products even vinegar and household cleaning products will damage your wooden floor.

For information and top tips on " style="text-decoration:underline">how to clean and maintain marble floors be sure to check out blog post.

By Tony Field
December 2016

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