|IMAGE: Eclectic Domestics|
Last week, Some questions came in regarding the best way to clean hardwood floors, so today's post will hopefully give you some answers.
I will start first with what NOT to do: Do NOT mop wood floors! Do NOT use vinegar, bleach, products with de-greasers or harsh cleaners. Standing water and chemicals can seep into the bevels and cracks of the wood, causing it to swell and layers to peel.
Mopping wood floors with vinegar, chemicals or water is the best way to shorten their life span. The same goes for bamboo and laminate floors. Water from a bucket left on the surface can leave stains and cause peeling and buckling.
The absolute best way to keep your wood floors clean is to be sure to remove shoes before coming in the house, vacuum or dry mop daily, and avoid spills. But we need to be realistic, and we need to live in our homes.
So the trick is, to use as little water as possible, and to dry washed areas completely. To accomplish this for our clients, we only use microfiber cloths and mop pads. If the manufacturer recommends a specific floor cleaner, use a small amount diluted in a spray bottle. Spray small area to be cleaned, and be sure to remove any leftover spray as you are washing and dry completely with a clean cloth.
Keeping these basics in mind, here is our own method, and what we believe is the simplest and most efficient procedure for cleaning your wood floors:
- Prepare the area to be cleaned by clearing it of any toys, trash cans, shoes, pet bowls, throw rugs, random items and smaller pieces of furniture. (Its a good idea to purchase some furniture pads to move furniture pieces. Pads will not only protect your wood floors from scuffing, but also make it much easier to move furniture.)
- urface dirt and debris needs to be lifted first or you will just be grinding dirt and particles into your floors when you clean them. We don't recommend using a 'Swiffer' type dry duster for this step as it will not fully pick up sand or dirt that has been tracked in from outside. It also will not pick dirt up
O-Cedar Flip Mop
- Buff floor: (Optional) To get rid of any left over streaks, using a clean dry microfiber mop pad or cloth attached to a Swiffer, go back over cleaned area, going with the grain of the wood, across the length of the floor in an "S" motion, and rubbing gently. If you cleaned and dried it thoroughly in the previous steps, you probably can skip this step.
- Put back Furniture and other items, making sure floor is completely dry.
Sound complicated and involved? Maybe, but a small price we pay for having beautiful wood floors! Of course, you can always count on us to clean your wood floors for you-and save yourself about 2-3 hours a week on this particular task!
How do you clean your wood floors? Please tell us in the comments.