Tips For Cleaning Hardwood Floors

How To Clean Hardwood Floors Without Causing Damage

Floor Cleaning

How To Clean Hardwood Floors Without Damaging The Floor

September 29, 2022

Hardwood floors are one of the most stunning flooring choices available, adding warmth and richness to any space. Their durable finish and timeless design make them a favorite among homeowners seeking to elevate the look and feel of their homes. Currently, over 52% of homeowners have hardwood flooring in at least one room of their home, making it one of the most popular flooring choices in the country. If you're considering adding this gorgeous flooring to your house, it's important to understand proper upkeeping practices, including how to clean them properly without causing harm or damage. With mindful care and proper floor cleaning, your hardwood floors can bring you and your family decades of use everyone will enjoy.

What Are Hardwood Floors?

Before you can understand the correct way to clean them, you must first understand what hardwood floors are. Hardwood flooring is made from slow-growing tree varieties, a characteristic that causes them to have denser, stronger wood than their faster-growing softwood counterparts. Generally, hardwood floor is made from oak, maple, or cherry since these varieties are readily available. Other popular species include walnut, mahogany, bamboo, and ash, each with its own coloration and features that make it unique and beautiful.

Hardwood Floors Vs. Engineered Wood Floors

Many people may wonder what the difference is between hardwood and wood, also called engineered wood flooring. While, at first glance, the two may look identical since engineered wood flooring is made to simulate hardwood varieties, they are actually quite different. Engineered wood flooring contains a plywood core, with only a thin hardwood veneer on top. It is often less expensive since it doesn't contain a solid wood core, a feature that doesn't allow for refinishing when seeking to expand the lifespan. Engineered wood floors are usually installed with interlocking planks and offer adequate water resistance.

Hardwood flooring is made from solid milled wood, making it denser than engineered varieties. Since it is a solid piece of wood, hardwood floors allow you to sand and refinish them, a welcomed feature for those who enjoy updating their home or are worried about possible damage. Hardwood floors that are refinished look new and can have the process done multiple times throughout their lifespan. These solid wood planks must be nailed to a wooden subfloor for installation, making them less DIY friendly, but their unmatched beauty more than makes up for the added effort.

Why It's Important To Be Mindful When Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Since hardwood floors are made from real wood, they require more care than engineered options. Although they do receive a water-resistant finish, that doesn't mean they can withstand sitting water. Wood is inherently porous, containing many small holes throughout its composition. These holes are there for the tree to readily absorb water and nutrients from the bark to help it grow tall and strong. Once cut, the porous nature of the wood continues to make it susceptible to water, including the humidity in the air, which can cause warping and bending.

When you wash your floors, it's typical to use a mop and water to remove dirt and dust; however, this can spell disaster for your hardwood flooring. The problem lies with the amount of water that mops deposit onto the floor, moving it around and leaving it to sit and dry.

On sealed surfaces, like tile, this isn't an issue since the water cannot penetrate into the material, but hardwood flooring is different. Allowing water to sit on top of your hardwood floors will cause damage, compromising the plank's integrity and leading to possible bowing, warping, lifting, or even cracking. It's crucial to never use a mop and water on hardwood floors, choosing safer cleaning methods instead.

The Best Tools For Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Before you begin cleaning your hardwood floors, you'll want to ensure you have the right tools for the job. There are multiple options for different jobs that will leave your floors looking shiny and beautiful.

Soft-Bristled Brooms

One of the best ways to clean crumbs and dirt off your hardwood floors is with a soft-bristled broom. The bristles may be made from rubber or nylon and will easily clean up the mess without scratching your floor.

Microfiber Dusters

You can use a microfiber duster or mop head to wash your hardwood floors since they attract dust and dirt better than a sponge or cotton mop. Plus, they are easy to clean, either in the sink or washing machine, and extremely affordable.

Cleaning Solution

Using a cleaning solution that is specifically made for hardwood floors is essential since harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia can strip the polyacrylic urethane or polyurethane sealant. You should also avoid using paste or liquid waxes over sealed floors, as they will cause build-up, make the floor appear dull, and attract dirt.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Once you have the correct tools, you're ready to clean your hardwood floors. Be sure to follow the directions below to ensure stunning, streak-free results.

You'll Need:

Tools/Equipment
  • Dust mop, vacuum, or broom
  • A Microfiber mop
Materials
  • Paper towels
  • Commercial hardwood floor cleaner
  • Water

Instructions For Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

1. Vacuum Or Sweep Daily

Vacuuming or sweeping daily will remove the crumbs and dirt that lead to scratches and damage to your floor's finish. Be sure to clean under furniture and rugs, removing any scuff marks immediately after noticing them.

Pro tip - Having two microfiber mops allows you to capture dirt and dust with one and damp mop with the other, keeping the mops cleaner and ensuring a spotless floor.

2. Clean Messes When They Occur

Letting wet messes sit on the floor can lead to water spots and rings if allowed to sit for longer than a few minutes. It is especially crucial to quickly clean any darker messes like mud or tea, which can stain and become difficult or impossible to remove.

3. Dry Mop Weekly

Using your microfiber mop or soft bristle broom, dry mop your hardwood floors weekly to keep dust and dirt under control.

4. Limit Damp Mopping

As we stated earlier, using a regular mopping technique can spell disaster for hardwood floors. With daily and weekly upkeep, including spot cleaning spills, there is no need to mop your hardwood floors very often. However, when it's time, you should only use a damp mop with a small amount of cleaning solution, being sure never to leave any water sitting on the floors.

To damp mop:

Lightly dampen your microfiber mop, being sure to wring out all excess water. Follow the grains of the wood, using long even strokes.

Allow the floor to dry completely before walking on it to prevent unsightly spotting.

If you live in a region with hard water, be sure to use distilled water and not tap, as the excessive minerals within the hard water can cause dullness to your hardwood floor's finish.

If using a commercial hardwood floor cleaner, be sure to use a spray applicator since applying too much product will leave your floors sticky and make them look dirtier. You should only use about half a teaspoon of cleanser for every two feet of flooring.

Tips For Keeping Your Hardwood Floor Looking Cleaner Longer

Even with regular dry mopping, floors can quickly become dirty, especially in high-traffic areas. Here are a few tips to help keep your hardwood floor looking sparkling clean for longer.

Use Doormats

Using doormats at your front and back doors can help stop dirt from entering your home, keeping the mess outside where it belongs.

Keep Shoes Outside

Making a no-shoe policy in the house will keep your family from tracking in dirt and germs, helping your family stay healthier.

Clean Spills And Messes Immediately

It can be tempting to look the other way when a mess or spill occurs but with hardwood floors, that could mean more effort later. Cleaning immediately protects your floors from scratches and staining and saves you time in the long run.

Use A Quality Cleaning Service

You're busy, and cleaning your hardwood floors isn't always a priority. If you don't have time for weekly mopping, hiring a floor cleaning service is an excellent way to ensure your hardwood floors stay clean and look new for years to come!

Luxoclean provides unmatched cleaning services for Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and the surrounding areas. Our team of local experts can handle any job, large or small, so you can focus on what matters most. Our wide range of cleaning services fit any need, whether you're looking for weekly or bi-weekly assistance. Services include:

When you choose Luxoclean, you can have confidence knowing our trained cleaning experts are background checked and insured, providing all the tools, supplies, and materials necessary to deliver exemplary results. Setting up quality house cleaning is easy with Luxoclean; simply schedule a cleaning service using our booking form, and we'll show up and clean your house or apartment from top to bottom while you sit back and relax.

Now your hardwood floors and home can look amazing with the expert cleaners at Luxoclean!

Floor cleaning Experts In Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph & Surrounding Area