Although hardwood floors may seem like the easier, simpler choice when it comes to keeping them clean, those of us that have opted for them over carpets know that they have their own set of rules when it comes to cleaning. To keep your wooden floor at its best, it’s important to know the right products to use, how often to clean them, and what to clean them with. Depending on the type of flooring, the following advice provides some guidance on how to make sure your floors stay good as new!
Firstly, work daily sweeping and weekly vacuuming into your routine to remove dust, dirt, and any other debris. Keep windows open while you vacuum so that the air circulates and dust does not resettle afterwards. Remember to use your machine’s different attachments to attack those hard to reach places in the corners and the oft forgotten parts underneath furniture. It may be helpful to move sofas and tables to create more space to clean.
Then choose your products and tools – make sure to pick a specialised wooden floor cleaner so as to avoid damage, and follow the instructions closely. Generally it is best to use a rag or sponge to soak up the solution and mop the floor, and wring out the sponge with clean water before wiping away the cleaner. It’s important not to get the floor too wet, so use damp cloths to wipe up, and try not to use excess water, which can cause damage and and mould. Some areas with stains or marks may require harder scrubbing and a little more product. For scratches, dedicated products can be applied to the scratch to fill it and smooth it over.
Polishing the floor is another effective way to clean without excess water damage, and tops up your floors natural finish and shine. Assess the kind of finish your floor has and use the appropriate product – be careful with strong polishes meant for different types of hardwood sealant. If necessary, test a small patch of the polish first to ensure it will not discolour or ruin the floor. Use microfibre cloths or a microfibre mop to buff the floor, and wipe repeatedly in circles to stop the polish from streaking. Don’t ruin your hard work – wait 24 hours before walking on the floor until the polish is completely dry.
There are also some pre-emptive moves you can make which mean your floors can be cleaned less frequently and more easily. The biggest no-no when it comes to hardwood floors is the same as with carpets – no outdoor shoes! Keeping a mat at the front door to stop dirt being tracked through the house goes a long way, as does having a shoes off rule and sticking to it. Remember to get any spills straight away to give yourself less work later on, as well as cleaning high traffic areas more regularly. Investing in rugs serves more than simply a decorative purpose – they give your floor a break and protect the surface, which saves you time and effort. Using heavy equipment such as brooms with tough bristles or vacuum brushes should always be avoided for natural wooden floors, which need more gentle care.
For a truly effective floor cleaning routine, determine how regularly you need to clean and polish the floors in your home by how often they are used – generally they should be deep cleaned four to six times a year, and intensively treated every couple of years. If looked after properly, wooden floors can be a wise choice when it comes to having pets, young children and a busy household – show them a little love with our guide and you’ll be delighted with the results!
>> Need professional cleaning support? Check out the top home cleaning companies here <<