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How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are durable and, with proper care, last for decades. The main thing to determine before you start cleaning is your type of flooring: solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, or laminate wood-look flooring. They look very similar but care for laminate differs from solid or engineered hardwood. Solid and engineered hardwood flooring can receive the same cleaning regimen but never use hardwood floor cleaners on laminate since the oil and waxes in the ingredients can dull the surface. You can keep them looking lovely by following these tips on how to clean hardwood floors.

a clean modern kitchen

Dust or vacuum to remove dirt, pet hair, and other debris

The first step in learning how to clean hardwood floors is removing dust or debris that can scratch or dull their surface. Sweeping and vacuuming hardwood floors works well no matter what kind of wood floor you have. Here are some tips:

  • Use a broom or hardwood floor mop for cleaning wood floors daily. A microfiber dust mop pre-treated with a dusting agent will pick up dust and dirt and prevent scratches.
  • Vacuum your hardwood floor once a week. Use your vacuum’s “hard floor” setting. This raises the vacuum cleaner, deactivates the brush roll, and works only by suction.
  • When vacuuming hardwood floors, be careful to always turn the brush roll off since it can scratch your floors. Some models offer rubber wheels, which are less likely to leave scratches than models with hard plastic wheels.

Mop with a liquid cleaner

Mopping weekly or bi-weekly ensures your floors stay clean, especially in high traffic areas. You’ll need to use a liquid hardwood floor cleaner and saturate your rag or mop. Then, mop the floor with the cleaner, being careful to not put too much liquid on the floor. Rinse the mop with clean water, wring out excess, and damp mop the floor to remove the cleaner. Wipe up excess water with a clean, dry towel because standing water will damage the floor. Don’t use DIY wood floor cleaner containing vinegar when mopping your hardwood floors because it can damage the finish. And avoid using harsh detergents that will dull the surface of your floors. You also shouldn’t use products like vinyl floor cleaner or tile cleaner on hardwood floors.

Here are the key components to look for in ready-made solutions engineered specifically for wood floors:

  • Solvents: Speed the drying process, reducing exposure to moisture and making the job go faster; they also minimize streaking and filmy buildup
  • Surfactants: Loosen grease and dirt and emulsify them so they can move to the mop head
  • Chelators: Fight water spotting and snow-melt salts
  • Citric Acid: Breaks up dirt and combines with alkaline ingredients to help achieve a neutral p
  • Oxidizers: Release hydrogen peroxide to bust up dirt on long-neglected floors

Take care of scratches and dullness

Knowing how to clean hardwood floors includes taking care of occasional scratches and dullness. Here’s a few quick fixes:

  • Try liquid scratch concealers. When they dry, they form a permanent seal that won’t come off during cleaning. Be sure to select a concealer that best matches the color of your floor’s finish.
  • You can restore the shine with wood floor polish. It’ll also protect your floor from wear and help fill small scratches.
  • Use floor wax to revitalize and deep clean worn floors. Always apply floor wax to go with the grain of the wood.
  • Other floor protection materials include repair kits, scratch repair kits and touch-up kits.
  • If your floor is real hardwood, lightly sand it, then apply a new finish to restore the wood’s natural beauty.

Tips to keep floors clean longer

Make sure you have a doormat outside your main entrance door and, if possible, inside your door too. The door mat may get dirty fast, but it’s better there than all over your house.

Spills and messes can worsen if you don’t clean them up right away. If you’ve lived with children or pets, you know what happens when Cheerios get flung from a high chair or dog kibble is left on the floor; it becomes a crumbly, powdery mess once a foot steps on it. Juice splatters become a sticky nightmare after a few hours. If you leave these cleaning tasks until the next time you wash the floors, your floors will look dirtier and will take longer to clean when you get around to them.

Contact Get It Installed

To schedule an appointment or get a free quote on flooring installation in Kansas City, contact us at 913-375-2219