Cleaning a hardwood floor can be a daunting task. Not only does one want to maintain the quality of the finish but also to keep it clean and nice looking. The number one key to cleaning a hardwood floors is understanding the finish. When you know what your floor is like then you can properly clean it out of understanding.
There are a few types of hardwood floors. One is the pre-finished floor, which usually has slightly raised edges that can be easily spotted. Then there are shiny floors. This kind has a wax finish. Finally, there is the modern and old seal. Old seals are prone to dump even with a few drops of water. The modern floor however is properly sealed, resistant to most stains and water and therefore easier to clean.
Generally, cleaning a hardwood floor requires patience and skill. Below are a few general steps to guide you in cleaning any kind of hardwood floor.
Use a soft-bristled broom to sweep
Before mopping the floor, take time to gently sweep it with a broom. A soft-bristled broom will ensure that your floor does not get damaged by the bristles and at the same time remove large particles of stones or sand that could damage the floor if stepped on. At this point, one can also vacuum the floor but be careful to use the ‘bare floor’ setting to avoid damaging the finish.
Limit the number of times you clean
You probably love a clean house, free from dust and all. However, if you have a hard wood floor then you must limit the number of times you do deep cleaning to avoid damaging the floor. But the good news is that you can sweep and lightly mop the floor as often as you want without any harm.
Wipe any wet spills
If yours is a modern seal floor, then you may not have to worry about water spills. But as a good practice, wipe your floor immediately there is a water spill. Water if left alone can permanently damage your floor.
The cleaning processes
Now that we have understood the general floor maintenance practices, lets delve into the cleaning process.
The first step of course is to fill a bucket with clean water and have the mop in place. If you must use a cleaning agent, use a PH-neutral agent or one specifically made for hardwood floors. It is advisable to use distilled water as normal water contains minerals that can affect the floor. Distilled water can be found in a local supermarket near you.
The second step is to remove your shoes. You don’t want to keep dirtying the floor as you clean. Alternatively, use clean sandals.
The third step is to properly wring the mop and start mopping from the farthest corner and work your way towards the door. Ensure that the mop is not dump because a dump mop can leave water seated on the floor which can damage it or cause an accident.
For tough areas, use a piece of cloth soaked in an odorless cleaning agent. This will ensure that all dirt comes off the floor. You should also keep changing water as it gets dirtier. Do not use dirty water at any point.
The last step is to puff dry the floor. You can use a thick cloth or a towel. This gives it a neat, shiny look. However, you don’t have to because the mop you use should be dry enough.