There’s nothing quite like a gleaming, immaculate hardwood floor.
Having a hardwood floor can make your house feel warm, expansive and welcoming all at the same time, and the addition of a well-placed, cozy rug sitting atop the hardwood can make your house truly feel like a home.
But it’s notoriously confusing when it comes to knowing the best way to clean hardwood floors. Too much exposure to water, and your hardwood floors may end up warped or water-stained, but letting dirt and dust settle into the corners and along the baseboards isn’t an option either—especially if you have pets or children who spend their time close to the floor.
If you’re wondering how to clean hardwood floors, you’re not alone. It’s a tricky thing. Your hardwood floors are an investment in your home, and you want to get it right.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to protect your investment and get your hardwood floors to shine.
Preparing Your Hardwood Floor for Cleaning
Before you begin to clean your hardwood floors, it’s best to clear the floor of anything that might get in the way. Not only does this help clear the floor of dust bunnies and dirt, but it also helps prevent liquid from pooling or sitting too long in one area, damaging your hardwood.
Clear away all rugs, mats, and furniture, being careful not to scratch the floor. You’ll also want to fold up any floor-length curtains over the curtain rod to protect them. You don’t want to get cleaning products on your curtains, and you certainly don’t want wet curtains to sit atop your hardwood floors for an extended period of time.
Getting Rid of Dust and Debris
One of the easiest things you can do to keep your hardwood floor looking clean is to vacuum it regularly. You may think of vacuuming as something exclusively for carpets, but a vacuum is a great tool for cleaning your hardwood floors too.
It’s also a great idea to vacuum before you clean the floor with any kind of cleaning product, so you aren’t just spreading the dust around.
However, not all vacuums are made alike. Use the wrong setting, and your vacuum brush can scratch your floors or wear away at the finish over time. There are thousands of vacuums on the market. So which one is the best vacuum for hardwood floors?
You should use a vacuum that is specifically designed for hardwood flooring. And if you have a combination of carpets and hardwood floors in your home? You can always find a vacuum that is configured for both floor types.
Your vacuum should have adequate suction and be fairly lightweight, with wheels that will not scuff your floors. Many homeowners with hardwood floors opt for canister vacuums, cordless stick vacuums and lightweight upright vacuums for their hardwood floors, but you can check out a list of great vacuum options here.
And For the Days When You Just Don’t Feel Like Vacuuming
Some days, you may not be feeling particularly inspired to vacuum. And who can blame you? It’s loud, and you may be tethered to a cord, or perhaps you have to empty the canister.
On those days, you can always use an old-fashioned bristle broom to sweep, but an even better option is a dust mop or a dry mop with a microfiber towel or pad attached to catch every last speck of dirt and dust.
Sweeping or vacuuming daily or even every few days is your best defense against surface damage to your floors. It’s an important step and one you won’t want to skip.
Choosing the Right Cleaning Product
Using the wrong cleaning product for your hardwood floors can damage them—and even be dangerous.
If you’re looking for how to clean hardwood floors, it’s important to know that some products may stain or bleach the finish of your floors, and others can even be dangerous! Sure, a wood polish like Pledge may be safe to use on your wood furniture, but can you imagine how slippery your floor would be after using a polish?
Don’t use these products: Water and vinegar, which can dull your floor’s surface over time, soap-based cleaners, wax, or steam cleaners. Soap and wax can both leave a residue, and steam uses too much water that can lead to cupping.
So what kind of hardwood floor cleaner should you use? You want to pick one that won’t leave a residue and one that won’t leave traces of water behind that can damage and warp your floors.
A spray-and-mop solution is most often the best bet for your floors; a cleaner that you spray directly onto your floor and wipe up with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth or microfiber mop.
There are countless cleaning products available on the market, but we love the ones included on this list of the best hardwood floor cleaners of 2019. They’ve been field-tested and work like a charm.
Wondering how to deep-clean hardwood floors? It’s all about using the right products. Once you vacuum or dust and are ready to spray and mop, all you need to keep in mind is that you need to mop with the grain of your floorboard and not let water or moisture settle too long. If you feel like you’re swabbing the deck, you’re using too much liquid cleaner!
Other Helpful Information
Maintaining a beautiful wood floor is just as important as cleaning it properly. With the right amount of care and attention, your hardwood floor can last for years to come.
So what else do you need to know to keep your hardwood floor looking great for as long as you can?
– Put furniture coasters or felt pads on the feet of all the furniture that sits on your hardwood floors to prevent scratching.
– If you have area rugs, you may want to put a non-slip rubber mat underneath. Not only does this prevent slipping, but the backing of some rugs is hard and coarse, and over time it can scratch up your hardwood floors.
Bona, one of the most preeminent hardwood floor cleaners, has compiled a great checklist for caring for your hardwood floors:
- Dust or sweep your floor daily to protect against surface damage.
- Vacuum and mop your hardwood floor weekly to tackle dirt and grime and get all the hard-to-reach areas.
- Polish your hardwood floors every few months to renew the finish and protect the floor.
- Conduct a sanding and refinishing of your floors every few years to restore your floor to its original beauty.
Want an easier answer? Let us clean your hardwood floors for you.
At Cimara Cleaning, we offer a host of services, each executed by our expertly trained and knowledgeable staff, including cleaning your floors.
We take care of your home and your hardwood floor as if they were our own. We provide the products, the know-how and the elbow grease. And we definitely know how to clean hardwood floors.
We’re proud to serve families right here in northern Virginia, leaving them not just with clean hardwood floors but also clean homes and empty to-do lists so they can spend their time together instead of spending it cleaning the floors. And our clients love the work we do.
Let us care for your hardwood floors so you can get back to focusing on what really matters to you. Ready to hand over the floor cleaner? Get an online consultation today, and see how easy it can be.