Winter can be a tough time to maintain floors no matter their age, style, or finish. People walk in and out carrying mud and slush, which make cleaning very difficult. Minimize the effects of wear and tear with these hardfloor cleaning tips for spring.
Quick Hardfloor Cleaning Tips
- Sweep the floor with a lint-free mop head daily.
- Vacuum two to three times a week.
- Clean up spills as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains.
- Apply cleaner that is specifically designed for your hardwood floor finish.
- Always remove excess water when rinsing.
- Dry thoroughly to prevent streaks.
- Place rugs in high-traffic areas (without rubber or vinyl backing).
- Place doormats in the interior and exterior of your home.
- Do not allow shoes inside the house.
How to Choose the Right Cleaning Product
Applying the wrong type of cleaning solution can do more damage than good to your hardwood floor. There are two basic types of finish so your floors are either surface-sealed or not. Surface-sealed floors feature a top layer of urethane, polyurethane, or poly-acrylic sealant. Floors that do not have this are often unfinished or sealed with oil seals, lacquer, or varnish.
Most newly installed floors are surface-sealed to keep stains away. All you have to do is sweep and then mop with water and soap.
Floors without surface sealing are vulnerable to water penetration so do not mop them. Sweep the floor and vacuum regularly to remove dust and dirt. Once a year, strip back the old wax and feed the wood with fresh wax (liquid or paste). Lastly, buff the floor to restore its original shine.
The following cleaning products should NEVER be used on hardwood floors:
- Cleaners that contain ammonia
- Acidic cleaners like vinegar
- Acrylic wax
- Abrasive soaps
- Oil-based soaps
- Furniture sprays
These products can make your floors look dull and slippery. Acrylic-based cleaners that leave a white residue can even scratch the hardwood surface and attract more dirt.
How to Choose the Right Vacuum Cleaner
When choosing a vacuum cleaner for your hardwood floor, look out for scratches. Make sure the wheels of your vacuum are not scratching the floor! Avoid dents and scratches by using a vacuum cleaner with brush or felt head attachment.
How to Properly Mop your Floor
Water is the enemy of wood, so make sure that you do not flood your floor when mopping.
Proper mopping technique starts with having a very soft felt or cloth mop. Attach it to the mop head and dip into your cleaning solution. Wring it out thoroughly to remove excess water. Your mop should be damp, not wet. Change buckets as often as needed with clean water as your final rinse.
Instead of a bucket, you could mix your cleaning solution in a spray bottle.
Always mop the floor in the direction of the wood grain. This way mop fibers won’t get trapped in between rough patches.
Hardfloor Cleaning Tips and Hacks
- Chewing gum or candle wax: fill a plastic bag with ice and then place it on top of the gum or wax. Wait for it to dry and become brittle before removing.
- Scuff marks: dip a damp sponge in baking soda and scrub lightly.
- Water spots: dip a very fine steel wool pad in mineral spirits and rub carefully. Apply fresh liquid or paste wax to protect the area.
- Food grease: remove with a commercial hardwood floor cleaner (for surface-sealed floors) or wipe immediately with a damp sponge. Dry the area with a clean cloth and apply wax.
Stripping and Recoating Hardfloors
One of the most problematic contaminants associated with winter is salt. If left untreated, salt can eat through protective coatings and scratch surfaces. When damage is too deep, a simple surface clean might not cut it. Floor stripping not only removes salt but stubborn stains, old wax, and deep-seated dirt as well.
Hardfloor cleaning tips for stripping hard floors:
- Rotate cleaning. Break your floor area into sections so you can strip and coat with maximum efficiency.
- Apply finish in phases. Apply coats of finish in three phases: 1) 15 to 20 cm from the wall, 2) 7 to 10 cm, and 3) the whole floor.
No matter how many doormats you have or how often you clean, your flooring will eventually need refurbishing. This task should be outsourced to a professional team.
Prestige Property Services Can Help with Spring Cleaning
A professional cleaning company has flooring experts with knowledge, experience and equipment that you don’t have. They will inspect your floors and provide a customized solution to make your hardwood sparkle again.
Ignoring problems for too long can lead to floor damage that is costly and time-consuming to fix. Contact Prestige Property Services today so we can discuss your needs and make appropriate recommendations.